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Madison Street's better days

Posted Friday, November 30, 2007, at 9:07 AM

(Photo)
Here's the old K-Mart/Kroger shopping center from 1986. Remember when the lot was filled with cars? (T-G file photo)
Remember when the old K-Mart/Kroger shopping center out Madison Street in Shelbyville was full of businesses and customers?

It wasn't so long ago. Now that center stands mostly empty. If I'm not mistaken, only one business there is still in operation.

Remember when Wal-Mart was out Madison Street? Coltharp Oldsmobile? Going back a few years, Ray's Drive-In? The Golden Spur? (I think that was the name, where the Tony Rice Center has been in later years. I remember eaeting there once as a small child.)

You can still go to church, school, work in a factory, get help for mental problems, visit a convienience store for life's most basic needs and be buried on the east side of town. And there's definitely no shortage of bank branches.

For pretty much everything else, if you live in far eastern Shelbyville and need it you drive several miles or head for Tullahoma.

People still work and live on the east side of town, and, for that matter, in rural areas of eastern Bedford County. They shouldn't be neglected, and, yes, I realize businesses depending on impulse buys have to go where the heaviest traffic rolls.

Hopefully a few housing developments -- meaning potential customers -- will locate in eastern Shelbyville and drive some business development.

A special section published in the T-G in 1962 -- with multiple copies remaining in the T-G's sections file until just a few years ago -- proclaimed, "Booming Madison Street!"

How times change.


Comments
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Thank you,David.

That means more than you know.

But could we ban my opinions instead?

Which words get noticed first-the mandated material or the censored stuff?

Imagine the best works of all the bloggers smuggled around town in plain,brown wrappers...

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 3:01 PM

Your comment should be required reading for everyone in Bedford County, quantumcat.

-- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 9:52 AM

That's not counting non-profit or public uses that could be made of our empty buildings if no tax-revenue producing ventures were forthcoming.

We could have a Y,a shelter,a youth center,a continuing education campus,a bus station,etc. operating in various underused facilities.

Public transportation,a fabric store,an arts and crafts store (like Hobby Lobby,Michael's or our old Bible,Book and Gift Nook),a bigger,more ambitious version of our local bookstores (think of Nashville's Mills',Elders' or Koinonia) plus a skating rink and a gaming center (akin to Dr.Bob's in Huntsville,the Boro's Outer Limits and Grand Adventures and Lord Al's across from Grassmere ) would all jumpstart our community and provide work,services and entertainment for all our people.

We need to ask the owners of the businesses we want what their criteria are.

Who are they wanting to attract?

Do the powers-that-be see our city as a bedroom community for the 'excess elite' of other areas or are we warehousing the workers who will commute to the big cities to earn and spend their dollars in places they can't afford to live?

Maybe we are meant to grow into a community more like what we were a century ago-only better.

Maybe we are expected to have the beauty and amenities to entice the more priveliged class while offering the rest a safety net and a way of bettering their lives without leaving home to do it.

We don't need to be known for what we used to have,could have had or might offer one day to a small demographic group.

We need to have a reputation of being forward-thinking with respect for the past.

We need to be renown for acting and thinking as a community and not a hodgepodge of cliques.

We need to be known for working together for solutions instead of muttering to ourselves about unrealized dreams and ever-present problems.

Our town motto isn't "That won't go in Shelbyville."

If one option falls through,let's find the same benefits from another source without the difficulties.

If we substitute "Yes,we can" for "Yes,but...",we might find a way of having growth without sprawl or blight and preservation of what we've been without stagnation.

We've got too many bright,industrious,caring people not to have a terrific place to live.

We need to make ourselves believe that our successses are the norm and not a few happy accidents.

Yes,our positive actions have been limited.

Let's exceed those limits and see what a town's combined vision can achieve.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Dec 4, 2007, at 6:16 PM

We need to build a nice movie theater where the old Kroger is located... The old Wal Mart now sits empty and could be torn down and turned into a Target or Hastings....

The ideas are plenty the actions of the people are limited...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Dec 4, 2007, at 3:40 PM

I hate the Walmart supercenter but there is not really any other place left.

-- Posted by stardust on Sun, Dec 2, 2007, at 6:51 PM

Aaahh...memories. I worked over at the K-Mart. It was nice being able to get groceries and medicine if needed before heading home.

Sadly, the flat roof has ruined the whole complex and the whole thing needs to be torn down.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Sun, Dec 2, 2007, at 8:50 AM

Can't the congregation give us an AMEN?

I totally agree that we on the east side have been left out in the cold. I had hoped that with Harris moving out to this side and talk of an elementary soon that it would soon pick up. Guess we'll just have to wait a little while longer while they tear down everything on North Main and replace it with yet another business.

Only a few years ago, everyone hated traveling down Madison because of the traffic; yet now we wish that some of it would come back.

-- Posted by EastSideMom on Fri, Nov 30, 2007, at 5:24 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.