Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Architecture

Advisor

Goodstein-Murphree, Ethel

Reader

Herman, Gregory

Second Reader

Davidson, Fiona

Abstract

In the late twentieth century, Memphis, Tennessee was on the verge of destruction due to its neglectful past. Race and safety concerns continued to plague the city. The area was failing socially and economically. Memphis and its needs were generally ignored by its public. What needed to be done to recreate this urban center for talent and entertainment? What local influences and global patterns help sustain an urban downtown environment? How could Memphis reestablish its forgotten identity? What would be the ‘difference-maker?’ The goal of this thesis is to answer these questions by addressing the essential elements of urban planning and the relationship between sports architecture and place attachment. Specifically, this thesis presents a case study investigating the Memphis Ballpark District. This area, the home of AutoZone Park, a Triple-A baseball stadium, and other related projects, accomplished what many people believed the city needed. It laid the foundation for social stability between different classes and races while also catering to the local culture by contributing to the entertainment nature of Memphis. This research strives to understand why and how AutoZone Park and the Memphis Ballpark District accomplished this through urban planning and the science of place attachment through sports. This investigation will show how the new facility did not create its own identity within an already-culturally sufficient atmosphere; it enhanced and reinforced the identity that Memphis already had. The success of the Memphis Ballpark District and AutoZone Park results from both the local needs of a deteriorating downtown and the global influences of urban planning and place attachment in sports architecture.

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