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.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Outfitting Urban Outfitters

Building signage is one of the most overlooked — yet important — elements of a building's exterior. On this note, I offer a commendation to MarketStreet Equities and Urban Outfitters for opting for the attractive and prominent metal sign on the facade of the former's Gulch building housing the latter's just-opened "bohemian-hipster" clothing store. Word on the street is that the Metro Housing and Development Authority was a bit taken aback when MarketStreet and U-Outfitters proposed the eye-catching, and somewhat envelope-pushing, sign. Fortunately, the fine folks at MDHA, which must approve any architectural designs and features for those buildings within the entity's redevelopment districts (including The Gulch), summoned what is likely a modest level of inner coolness (and I write this with all due respect) and OK'd the sign.

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