The Chester Rows, an interconnected network of second-level balconies that began about 700 years ago in Chester, England, fascinated local architect Hubert Bebb. Bebb brought the idea to Morristown as part of the massive 1960s urban renewal project. The goal was to create two “Main Streets” in one and double the downtown shopping district. They called it SkyMart. This downtown shopping area is the only one of its kind, a unique attraction that made newspaper headlines around the world. From London to New York to Miami, SkyMart put Morristown on the map.
There was a big celebration for its Grand Opening in 1967 with music from Tex Ritter, Porter Wagoner, and Dolly Parton as part of the concerts and parades that marched down Main Street!
During the closing years of the first century of the county, the spotlight of national and international publicity was thrown on the undertaking of central business district of the county seat.
What was originally planned to be a major improvement in the Central Business District of Morristown ended with two-fold results. First was the improvement itself and secondly, part of this improvement turned out to be a major attraction of interest throughout the nation.
This major attraction is an overhead sidewalk which gives complete access to the second floor level of all buildings on Main Street in the heart of the county and serve as a canopy protection to the street-level pedestrians.
The name of the overhead sidewalks has been officially called "Skymart".
The Skymart came into being from a similar idea established some 700 years ago in Chester, England. The Chester, England idea was applied to the Skymart by architect Hubert Bebb, who had visited the old town in England some years prior to the building of those in Hamblen County.
The unique sidewalks in the air have received world-wide publicity and carried many unique features in addition to serving the original purpose.
One of the major features is background music which is installed throughout the three-block area which the sidewalks run and sets a pleasant atmosphere for those who come to the 'sidewalks in the sky'.
A number of events are featured from time to time from the overhead sidewalks ranging from band concerts to rock 'n roll combos. Artists also perform during the Skymart Art Festival, which is held from time to time.
Interest groups from cities across the land have visited the Skymart to incorporate some of its features in their own particular town. Planters filled with shrubbery and flowers throughout its entirety blend with the landscaping of the lower level sidewalks.
Check out some video performances from some of the great talent here in Morristown. New videos are posted every week so check back often.
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Morristowns Got Talent Round 3.
We thank all of you that entered our contest, the competition was tough this year and the judges had a very tough job but they narrowed it down to our top 4, we had another tie so we thought it only fair to allow both to continue one more round. If you didn't advance please know that you all were extremely talented and we hope that you enter our contest next year. And our congratulations to those who did advance and best of luck to you !!
The finale starts next Tuesday, February 26th at 7:00 pm at the Rockin' Porch, if you are performing please try to arrive no later than 6:30 pm.
This years Morristowns Got Talent top 4 are, Brooke & Tori Roberts, Justin Duncan, Tanna Purkey, Rick Hodge.
It was hard to narrow it down to just 4, everyone who performed last night did an amazing job and if you didn't advance to the finale we hope that you will enter our contest next year because you are all extremely talented !
You can see all of the performances from Morristowns Got Talent HERE
You can see all of the photos from all of the performances from Morristowns Got Talent HERE