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The Sesquicentennial Commission and Fundraising Committee, joined by the Board of Commissioners, broke ground at King Commons today for the first phase of the sesquicentennial legacy project — the Legacy Plaza, which includes a history circle and “tri-star” area. The second phase, a natural adventure area playground, will be located across King Street.

The sesquicentennial legacy project was selected by the Sesquicentennial Commission to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the City’s founding. The project will be a multigenerational, all-inclusive site for families to gather in downtown Johnson City.

“We wanted to celebrate our past while leaving behind something that will continue to inform future generations about our rich history,” Noland said. “This project does that in a way that provides a gathering space for families to enjoy.”

The history circle design includes four concentric rings featuring 31 engraved blocks that list key dates and information about Johnson City’s history. At the center of the rings will be a commissioned art piece selected by Johnson City’s Public Art Committee.

The sesquicentennial time capsule will also be buried beneath the plaza. Completion is set for Dec. 1, the date the City received its charter from the state. The sesquicentennial will commence on that day, with a public celebration and time capsule burial.

The “tri-star” area pays tribute to the Tennessee state flag, which was designed by Johnson City resident Colonel Le Roy Reeves.

“We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of our founding throughout this year,” said Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock. “Once these celebrations are behind us, this Legacy Plaza will remain a visible reminder of this milestone and be yet another draw to our downtown.”

For more information about the Sesquicentennial legacy project or the yearlong sesquicentennial celebration, visit or follow @jctn150 (Johnson City 150 — Sesquicentennial Celebration) on Facebook.

CONTACT:    Donna Noland
                             Sesquicentennial Commission