The area known as Patten Parkway might be Chattanooga’s most historically significant city street. It once served as the site for the Old Market Square, the city’s first farmers market and subsequently the old City Hall. Patten Parkway was also the site of the original Coca-Cola Bottling facility. By the early 1920s though, Chattanoogans were promoting the demolition of the Market Square to allow for the creation of a city park. The razing of that structure finally took place in 1943.

Like just about anything else during that time, any major construction was halted until the end of World War 2. It was at that time to name the area Patten Parkway after Z. Cartter Patten, a prominent Chattanooga industrialist and capitalist.

Patten came to Chattanooga in 1865 after the Civil War. Patten and partner opened a bookstore in the area before he sold his interest in the store and purchased the Chattanooga Times. In 1906, Patten and his son-in-law, John Thomas Lupton, founded the Volunteer State Life Insurance Company.

After the second World War, it was decided to pay honor to Hamilton County’s fallen soldiers by creating a war memorial on Patten Parkway. Approximately 700 names are listed today. The parkway also pays homage to The Marines and the American Legion Post.

You might have noticed though recently that the years are starting to show on Patten Parkway. The memorials have seen better days. Some of the smaller pieces have been either stolen or broken over the years.

But there is a plan in place to refurbish the area. The city and the River City Company are in the conceptual design phase of renovating the area as part of the Miller Park project.