The Southside still looks rundown. But as one heads north to the 1400 block on Market Street, a fleet of electric and hybrid buses next door to the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel waits to ferry passengers downtown past the solar-paneled Tennessee Valley Authority office building. That structure, along with the world's largest freshwater aquarium—awash in visitors since 1992—and a riverwalk that each year stretches further along the banks of the oncefilthy Tennessee River are among the signs, symbols, and brick and mortar of urban renewal, much of which has retained the historic texture of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

One senses that something is happening in this place.