So Long, Scenic City

  • Thursday, June 1, 2023

Thank you, Glen Miller, for giving Chattanooga world recognition through the hit song during the big band/swing era. Thank you to Bob Brandy (former local children’s TV host) for your song “Chattanooga, My Home Town”.   Both songs, although different genre, identify Chattanooga as a destination of welcome and hometown pride.

I have travelled both coasts, Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean and besides the southern accent people readily identify Chattanooga as Choo Choo City, Scenic City of the South,  home of Rock City, Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga Battlefield and Moon Pies. Never has anyone recognized Chattanooga as Gig City since it was established in what 2010. Lastly, thank you to Bob Elmore, former civic leader and promoter of Chattanooga.

According to a morning news story, the Choo Choo complex is going to undergo a “renovation” and re-imaged as The Hotel Chalet.  Sounds Swiss to me (yodeling, beer and skiing). Meanwhile, a controversial development of abandoned foundry sites is to become a baseball stadium with adjacent housing and shopping is promoted as improvement to area beauty and need.

What welcomes visitors to Chattanooga now is traffic congestion on Interstate 75 N from Georgia, the Scenic View from White Oak Mountain on 75 S is no longer rolling fields in a picturesque valley but scores of houses jammed one on top of  another (has TDOT removed the Scenic View sign?) and from 24 E more congestion and soon to be scores of housing and a ball park.

I don’t oppose economic development and in order for a city to survive it must embrace development, but also with attention given towards the infrastructure needs and the community’s desire for preservation of the natural beauty the area offers. What is happening is unbridled development by developers/ investors with unrestricted planning from planners with obsolete zoning codes that fail to reflect the community needs. Preservation of natural resources and history has been abandoned.

So long Scenic City and thank you again, Glen and two Bobs.

Jan Ditzer

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