Q&A: Leslie Fawaz, Project Manager for ETCDC’s Everly Brothers Park

In Q&As, Words With… by Rose Kennedyleave a COMMENT

Leslie Fawaz is studio design director for the East Tennessee Community Design Center and project manager for its concept plan to assist fundraising for an Everly Brothers Park at the corner of North Forest Park Boulevard and Kingston Pike. The Everly Brothers attended nearby West High School and started performing in Knoxville on Cas Walker’s TV show. The ETCDC is also celebrating its 1,000th project, which involves studying potential expansion of the existing building for the First Tee of Greater Knoxville, working with volunteer David Collins of McCarty Holsaple McCarty.

Why was Everly Brothers Park picked as a project for ETCDC?
ETCDC projects must serve the general public and the client must be a nonprofit or community organization, with control of the property and the ability to fundraise to develop the project. This project request came from the Bearden Council with approval to develop the site from the city. It met all our criteria, so we were excited to be able to assist in developing the concept plan—every project the ETCDC assists is developed by a design team made up of ETCDC staff and volunteer professionals who provide pro bono services to the project.

What’s good about the chosen location?
It is very visible, accessible by public transportation, and near the trailhead for the Third Creek Greenway. It was a former brownfield that was remediated by TDOT and has been leased to the city.

Did you learn anything interesting about the Everly Brothers during the concept plan development?
We learned about the song “Cathy’s Clown,” written by Don and Phil Everly. It was the duo’s biggest hit, selling more than 8 million copies. We heard that it was inspired by Don’s West High School girlfriend, Catherine Coe, although both of them have stated that it did not reflect their true relationship.

The concept includes an interactive sculpture. What would that entail?
The proposed sculpture design, of the brothers playing guitars, would be life-size so visitors could stand with them and take photos. We like the idea of an app people could download to explain the history of the Everly Brothers, play some songs, and so forth. It could also describe plant types at the park.

Is there anything significant about the landscaping vegetation suggested? 
Large trees, small flowering trees, shrubbery, and ground cover will be added to create low maintenance and a natural but coordinated appearance throughout the park. We worked with volunteer professional landscape architects Rachel Rittler of Carol R. Johnson and Associates and Garry Menendez, who teaches in the department of plant sciences and landscape architecture at the University of Tennessee. Our goal is to promote the use of native and non-invasive plants and landscaping, which will not need irrigation to maintain.

What’s been a favorite ETCDC project in the time you’ve been there?
Every project that I have been involved with has been unique and interesting, but I particularly liked our work for the Knoxville Salvation Army community garden, and for historic Dandridge, helping make their streetscape more pedestrian friendly and environmentally conscious. I am an architect and am most familiar with the building projects, but that is a fraction of what we do. We also help with parks, playgrounds, neighborhood planting plans, greenways, streetscapes, and city and campus master plans.

Could your group do more if they had more members and donations? 
Funding the ETCDC through new memberships and donations is critical to our continued success. I would like to see the ETCDC consulted on all projects in the city, Knox County, and our 16-county region that impact the public realm.

To learn more about the park: www.everlypark.org; to join ETCDC: www.communitydc.org 

Rose Kennedy came to Knoxville to work as an editorial assistant on 13-30’s Retail Appliance Management Series and never saw a reason to leave. Her “so uncool I’m cool” career among the alt weekly newspaper crowd has led to award-winning articles on Dr. Bill Bass and the Body Farm and cyber-bullying at West High School, and treasonous food columns about preferring unsweet tea and feeling ambivalent about biscuits.

Share this Post