Nashville Mayor Karl Dean flipped the ceremonial switch Saturday to mark the completion of the 5th Avenue of the Arts streetscape project.
The $1 million dollar project, which spans 5th Avenue North between Church and Union Streets downtown, features canopy lighting and wider sidewalks to better accommodate pedestrians.
Mayor Dean turned the lights on during the First Saturday Art Crawl. Dean says the improvements will help distinguish the area as the visual arts district of Nashville.
“We wanted to create an atmosphere here and in the arcade that, if you like the visual arts, this is the street to come to in Nashville,” said Dean.
The section of 5th Avenue North has long been the heart of Nashville's art scene, with around 20 art galleries on the block.
Anne Brown, owner of The Arts Company gallery, says The Avenue of the Arts name is nothing new.
“We've been calling it that for 15 years just to see if it sticks,” Brown said. “And I'm saying today, it sticks.”