The Village Green neighborhood, at the corner of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road, is approaching 50 years old, making it almost historic. The neighborhood was originally developed in the late 1960's by Marvin and Breck Ellison, Dean Cate, and Ross Hanna, Jr. Houses originally sold in the $20,000-$30,000 range.
Village Green was advertised as Tennessee's first planned community.
A planned community, or planned city, is any community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. However, the reason for that designation in Village Green isn't clear in the context of earlier developments; for example Norris, Tennessee, a model planned community of the 1930's.
The planned community development concept seems to have been a popular one at the time Village Green was developed. Several were reported to have been studied by the developers with examples as close as Florida, Atlanta, GA, and Eastern Virginia.
Village Green began as 600 acres of rolling fields, woodland, and hillsides. It was advertised as being 17 minutes down Kingston Pike from downtown, certainly the far edges of suburban development at that time.
Planned communities often include a variety of development, like shopping centers and public spaces, with residential development. The planning of the Village Green community, today with great adjacency to the Farragut branch library and Campbell Station Park, included a 15 acre tract for churches, perhaps the section occupied by churches today, and another tract for a county school, perhaps the site of Farragut Primary School. It also included the Village Green Shopping Center, in use today at the corner of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road, with tenants including The Fresh Market, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, and the Runner's Market.
The community, with wide center medians and sidewalks along main streets, also originally included the Four Seasons Club House with it's cloverleaf-shaped pool and tennis courts. One of the original developers imagined the future possibilities of a golf course and riding stables.
The Village Green slogan was, "A Modern Community with Yesterday's Charm". With street names like Heritage Drive West and East, Old Dominion Road, Nassau Drive, Jamestowne Boulevard, and Georgetown Boulevard, it was designed to evoke the sense of a pleasant village. The developers patterned the development on Old Williamsburg in Virginia.
The theme was developed in the neighborhood with traditional architecture, no flat roofs or modern designs. Hanging street signs, hooded coach lights, and old-time decor mailboxes were included. The Village Green shopping center included benches in the style. The main tenant of the shopping Center, White Store, included curtains in the windows.
However, most impressively within the original theme, flanking the entrance to the development, there were two brick replicas of old Williamsburg well houses and, where Jamestowne Boulevard branched, a pillory. Yes, a pillory, a wooden structure with holes to hold the arms and head of prisoners. It's still there!