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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cream and Bright Red?

Note to Hilton Hospitality Inc. and its team of architects who stamp out countless hotels: Off-white cream stucco and fire-engine-red signage result in a horrendous color combination. For proof, check the soon-to-open Hilton Garden Inn on Broadway. 

In fairness, there are various components of this building (particularly the window types and some metal elements) that have been surprisingly and effectively incorporated. I also like the building's northeast side/corner and, overall, its facade. Considering most chain hotel companies opt for buildings that are no more adventurous than the junk from which the nation's Walgreens and Beds Baths & Beyonds operate, the new H-Garden Inn is actually decent.  But in comparison, the sleek Hutton Hotel, a retrofit of the quirky 1808 West End Building and re-designed by Nashville-based Earl Swensson Associates, is — though not to be confused with the Chrysler Building — much stronger.

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