Walnut Street Bridge


Finished in 1891, this half-mile span carried vehicles from downtown to the North Shore until 1978, when it was closed for safety reasons. In 1993 it was reopened as a pedestrian bridge and park. Since then the bridge has served as a key component in downtown revitalization efforts. The bridge stretches from the Hunter Museum in the Bluff View Arts District downtown to Coolidge Park and nearby shops and restaurants on the North Shore.

A petition was launched in 2018 to change the name of the bridge to the Ed Johnson Memorial Bridge to remember the name of an African American man lynched on the span in 1906. Johnson had been yanked from his jail cell by a mob after being accused of raping a white woman.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chattanooga attractions

1. Hunter Museum of American Art

0.17 MILES

Set high on the river bluffs, this striking edifice of melted steel and glass – fronted by an early-20th-century mansion – is easily the most singular…

2. Coolidge Park

0.18 MILES

A good place to start a riverfront stroll, Coolidge Park has a play fountain, a carousel ($1 per ride), well-used playing fields, and a 50ft climbing wall…

3. Tennessee Aquarium

0.26 MILES

Situated on the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga, TN, the Tennessee Aquarium is home to 10,000 animals. The aquarium, Chattanooga’s most visited…

4. Ross's Landing & the Passage

0.42 MILES

Tucked between the Tennessee Aquarium and the Tennessee River, the patch of greenery known as Ross's Landing marks the starting point of the Trail of…

5. Bessie Smith Cultural Center

0.94 MILES

Explores various aspects of African American history in Chattanooga and shares a few artifacts related to Chattanooga-born singer Bessie Smith, the…

6. Songbirds

1.46 MILES

Myriad songbirds of the avian variety call Tennessee home, but Chattanooga's newly revamped Songbirds – an innovative interactive learning space devoted…

7. Sculpture Fields at Montague Park

2.29 MILES

Large-scale sculptures from a global array of artists dot this 33-acre outdoor museum. Open since 2016, the park is a pleasant place to stroll on a pretty…

8. Lookout Mountain

4.13 MILES

Just ten minutes from downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, rising along the upper rim of the city, Lookout Mountain is rich in both Civil War history and…