Creating Places: A Citizen Observer's Look at Nashville's Built Environment

Writer's Note: William Williams' interest in the manmade environment dates to 1970, at which point the then-young Williams started a collection of postcards of city skylines. The collection now numbers 1,000-plus cards. Among the writer's specific interests are exterior building design, city district planning, demographics, signage, mixed-use development, mass transit and green/sustainable construction and living. Williams began his Creating Places column with The City Paper in February 2005. The column in its original form was discontinued in September 2008 and reinvented via this blog in November 2008. Creating Places can be found on the home page of the website of The City Paper, at which Williams has worked in various capacities since October 2000.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Nasty CVS; Hello, Mr. Alexander

The updated CVS Pharmacy building in Green Hills clearly ranks as one of Nashville's ugliest recent renovations. Bright red signage, both excessive in size and usage, is tacked upon cream-pink stucco. Of note, the upper portion of the building disproportionately caps the base and mid-section, creating the appearance of structure masquerading as a roof. The only exterior element remaining of quality is the old-school stone base. At the minimum, CVS should ditch the hideous free-standing signage near the intersection of Crestmoor and Hillsboro. Thought that would somewhat minimize the property's unsightliness, the site would still remain no more attractive than an overflowing toilet.

Also in Green Hills, construction of The Alexander — a five-story residential building on the southwest corner of Overhill and Hillsboro — is almost concluded. Man, this is one heinous structure. Note the color-scheme, flimsy faux columns and wedding cake-like shape. A stacked-stone fence (the type ubiquitous to uninspired and generic suburban design) surrounds the monstrosity. In fairness, the developer has delivered some needed building height and people-density to Green Hills, both good things. Also, this intersection is well suited for a building of this size. I even like the name. But Nashvillians should hope for better in a district that has seen some very classy recent additions, including the Hill Center, Bedford Commons and, to a lesser extent, the new Avenue Bank Building.

No comments:

Post a Comment