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MADISONVILLE – The first of three public workshops to discuss the future of Madisonville’s historic downtown will take place from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the Madisonville First United Methodist Church.

Students from the University of Tennessee’s Urban and Regional Planning Program will facilitate the event.

This workshop will give Madisonville area residents the opportunity to discuss ideas concerning the downtown area. Planning and visioning activities will help them generate ideas which will provide the foundation for a community-driven action plan for downtown Madisonville.

“We are excited to be in Madisonville. It is a great town with a lot of resources and a rich history. We look forward to working with the local community to discuss ideas and develop a vision and a plan to help promote and preserve this important and special place,” said Tim Ezzell, director of UT’s Community Partnership Center.

Mary Hendershot, of the Monroe Area Council for the Arts, explained the importance of planning for Madisonville’s future.

“As the home of the oldest courthouse in southeast Tennessee, downtown Madisonville is the image-maker or image-breaker for Monroe County. Everyone who moves to our county must come to Madisonville to do business. The revitalization of downtown Madisonville is beneficial to the whole county,” she said. “Many people in Madisonville are interested in protecting the assets of downtown and the neighborhoods surrounding it. These community workshops will give them a voice to express their concerns and interests.”

Recognizing that downtown commerce is an important economic base for communities, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TDECD) is emphasizing downtown revitalization efforts. Last year, TDECD initiated a pilot grant program supporting the redevelopment of courthouse square districts, but participating communities had to have downtown planning studies in place.

“Downtown Madisonville 2025” is a partnership between the people of Madisonville, UT Urban and Regional Planning Program and UT Community Partnership Center. The program is supported by a grant from the John D. Grubb-Louise G. Sumner Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation.

Created in 1994, the CPC has worked to create equitable partnerships between UT and low- and moderate-resource communities. The CPC provides leadership in developing collaborative and participatory approaches and methods in research, planning and policy development, and implements those approaches through local, regional and national programs. For more on the CPC, see

Tim Ezzell, UT-CPC, (865) 974-9036
Mary Hendershot, MACA, (423) 442-3210