The Green Commons is a central hub for ecologically-minded education and community development. It serves as an entity in itself, as well as a partnership of existing entities in Knoxville that enrich our city and its residents through green programming and projects: SEEED (socially equitable energy-efficient development), The Knoxville Botanical Gardens, and Beardsley Community Farm. This project capitalizes on renewed interest in reviving local foodways, urban agriculture, and sustainable living.
A soaring atrium provides a pleasant place to gather and enjoy plant life, and connects three sub-buildings that house classrooms, workshops, and a restaurant with teaching kitchen. The outdoor terraces provide space for culinary and flower gardens, as well as seating for events. The building also renegotiates the relationship between the residents of East Knoxville and the police department. It seeks to re-root communities displaced during the development of the Civic Auditorium site: Willow Street, Mountain View, and Morningside. As such, the proposed complex will provide a vibrant heart for cultural and environmentally-friendly flourishing for East Knoxville.
The site reclaims a large portion of the grounds at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, the main portion reaching from the west side of the Knoxville Police Department and Municipal Courthouse to Hall of Fame Drive.
The Green Commons complex will provide a living monument to the rich cultural heritage of Knoxville and its people. As the gardens flourish and the building stirs with learning and engagement, this underutilized section of Knoxville will begin to reseed the communities displaced by destructive urban renewal projects decades ago.