Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Renaissance Center - Dickson, TN

A title for this photo might be "Call for a medical doctor MUSHROOMS into something much bigger!" The small white sphere in the foreground is the mushroom, and the gigantic black sphere in the background is the "something much bigger"! The following is how the website ( for the big black sphere (aka The Renaissance Center) explains what happened: It all started over 50 years ago when the town of Dickson, TN, sent out a call for a medical doctor to serve the health care needs of the community. Answering the ad was a young, newly licensed doctor from South Pittsburgh, Tennessee, by the name of L.C. Jackson. He opened a one-room medical clinic on the second floor of a retail business on Dickson's Main Street. He soon realized he would need help taking care of the ever-increasing patient load. He solicited the help of his physician brothers, Drs. William and Jimmy Jackson, who joined him in taking care of the medical needs of the Dickson community, as well as neighboring Hickman and Humphreys county residents. In 1958, the Jackson brothers built Goodlark Hospital, which grew to become one of the finest medical facilities in the mid-state area. In 1995, the hospital sold to Columbia/HCA. In a great spirit of philanthropy, The Jackson Foundation, Inc., was established from the proceeds of the sale of the hospital. The three physicians have since died, but the son of Dr. Jimmy Jackson serves as the President/Executive Director of the foundation. The Renaissance Center was built as the cornerstone project of The Jackson Foundation, and opened its doors in 1999.
From a one-room clinic on Main Street to a 176-bed hospital to a fine arts and technology learning center unlike any other in the country, the Jackson brothers' commitment to helping others continues to have a lasting impact for generations to come.
I came across the Renaissance Center quite by accident very early one morning when I was driving along Tennessee Highway 46 on my way to an event in Nashville. The gigantic black sphere caught my eye, grabbed my curiosity, told me to turn the car around,and insisted that I get my camera out to take its picture. It was so early in the morning that nobody else was around, so I was having a great time with an improv photo seminar on architectural photography. I tarried so long, that the hours of the facility's opening ticked around, and I was able to tour the inside, as well. My son, who once went with the University of Arkansas Architecture Department on an overseas architecture study program, told me that the way to impress architecture professionals, is to say "what a great space this is" when bragging on a building's interior. So let me tell you, the inside of the Renaissance Center is a GREAT SPACE! And to think, it all started with one tiny little ad for a doctor. What a great example it is of doing what the Bible verse says in I Timothy 6:18. "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." It's enough to make me ponder what the legacy is that I will leave behind. Miles of smiles! Tricia
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