It’s odd how often we shirk tradition nowadays, giving it less than its fair due for sheer endurance. Naturally, not everything endures, but that which does merits imitation. Henry Turley thought that historical Southern towns showed endurance to be admired. Amongst these are Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans – all have lasted centuries, through times of prosperity and, importantly, times of real adversity (in particular, the Civil War). In developing South Bluffs, Henry Turley Company sought to create a residential area akin to those classic southern cities. With the patina of time, South Bluffs was to become a place so integral as to feel like it had always been there.
To accomplish this, South Bluffs incorporated classic architectural and town planning components, such as commons and boulevards (the green median serving as a park-like place). We planted oak trees and dug up old cobblestones from the site itself, reusing them along the streets of the new neighborhood. We commissioned the same venerable company that had long-ago designed the fountains for downtown’s Court Square to design the fountains for South Bluffs. We contained the public spaces, and their attendant energy, by keeping houses close by, as they are in well-loved town squares – no energy gets dissipated across grassy spaces that are too wide.
South Bluffs sits on a precious site – a high bluff, overlooking the Mississippi River, a once-bustling rail yard. By borrowing from tradition, pairing it with life along the river and commerce along Main Street, South Bluffs now offers a uniquely urban experience.