Lakeshore Park is a 185-acre park located along the Tennessee River with expansive views of the Smoky Mountains. Formerly the site of a state-owned mental health institute, the land was acquired by Lakeshore Park Conservancy and repurposed as a public park in 1996. Late in 2017, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects was hired by Lakeshore Park Conservancy to develop a Landscape Master Plan Update for the park that provided a vision reflecting the needs of the community while celebrating the history of the site.
Construction began in 2019 on the first phase of the master plan implementation, the Overlook Plaza and Esplanade. This phase features a large central plaza, on axis with the historic Administration Building, framed on both sides by an arcing pedestrian esplanade and allee of native Blackgum trees that draw visitors toward the center. The Overlook Plaza and Esplanade guide movement along this central axis as it descends towards the Tennessee River, orchestrating views towards the mountains beyond. Construction was completed April 2020.