Friends of Riverside Drive

The Riverside Blossom Festival is proud to be partnering with a local non-profit Friends of Riverside Drive!

 

Their Mission: To raise awareness in the Nashville community of the only community drive dedicated as a living memorial to those that fought in the World War I, World War II and Korean War. They plan to restore the dignity and beauty of this drive that it once had by the continued planting of Yoshino Cherry trees and red poppies, which are the emblem of the World War I, and to install formal landscaping of the entire median and provide for its care in perpetuity.

 

 

Riverside Drive is dated back to the early 1900s and was constructed to be one of the prettiest drives in Nashville. Historical reasearcher Debie Cox recently wrote an article about the drive:

 

 

"Riverside Drive is familiar to all who live on the east side of Nashville but unknown to many who reside in other parts of Davidson County. The wide boulevard seems almost out of place, meandering about three miles, through a mostly residential section from Shelby Park in East Nashville to the Inglewood community, where it merges with Greenfield Avenue. 

 

A decision to research the story of Riverside Drive, came after reading the following embellished description in a book titled, All About Nashville, published in 1912, and written by Ida Clyde Clarke.

 

 'Riverside Drive, a boulevard extending from Belle Meade, five miles west, to the National Cemetery, six miles north, is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The Harding Road, from Belle Meade to the city, is an already notable and popular highway of great beauty. This leads direct to the great Broadway Bridge, on the east side of which the new boulevard extends up the river to Shelby Park, thence through a fine section of the country to Inglewood, one of the handsomest residence subdivisions in the environs of Nashville, through the center of which it passes to the Gallatin Pike and thence to the National Cemetery.'"

 

 

 

A plaque was erected in 1959 at the start of Riverside Drive dedicating the drive to the fallen soldiers of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. It reads:

 

RIVERSIDE DRIVE

A MEMORIAL
DEDICATED TO OUR AMERICAN SERVICEMEN
WHO FOUGHT IN WORLD WARS I & II
AND THE KOREAN WAR
DEVELOPED 1933
RELANDSCAPED AND REDEDICATED
MAY 30, 1959
SPONSORED BY
CLUBS OF INGLEWOOD

 

 

 

Friends of Riverside Drive is headed up by President and Executive Director Tony Viglietti, a 28-year resident of the Inglewood neighborhood in which Riverside Drive begins. He serves as the Commissioner of the 7th District on the Mayor's Commission for Beautification and the Environment and is an active member of his neighborhood with an extensive background in charitable works, having presided over the Inglewood Neighborhood Association and overseen its charitable disbursements. He has already begun planting Yoshino trees down Riverside Drive and he plans on an extensive face-lift to the drive to bring it back to the Sunday-drive worthiness it was in the past. To learn more about Friends of Riverside Drive and read Debie Cox's wonderful article in full length about the history of the drive, please visit their Facebook page (website coming soon!) under Friends of Riverside Dr.