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, June 30, 2009

Glen Echo Lands a Sidewalk Segment

A modest segment of sidewalk is being constructed in Green Hills along the north shoulder of Glen Echo Road and connecting the sidewalk at Hillsboro Road to the sidewalk running in front of the Metro library along Benham Avenue.

So what's the big deal?

Simply put, this might be Davidson County's first new sidewalk — and by "new" I mean a sidewalk where there had not been one (and not merely a replacement for an existing sidewalk) — in at least six months. For about a year now, I have received each Friday, via email, the Metro Public Works project update list. And it has been months since I last recalled seeing the announcement of a new sidewalk in the county. As a man who drools at the sight of new sidewalk construction (yes, sad), I closely check the weekly report.

I could be wrong. So if you are aware of new sidewalk construction from the past year and within the county, please post a comment noting so.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Portman/ESa Hotel Tower Assessment

Based on the rendering (and I'm open to the thought that this tower might be fairly attractive and functional), the tower portion of the proposed MCC anchor hotel building reminds me somewhat of a much taller version of the 3322 Building at West End and Murphy Road. The latter sports an exterior design that has not aged particularly well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

StudioEightDesign Delivers Deftly

A quick kudos to StudioEightDesign, which has delivered a marvelous update of the former Belcourt Avenue residence now home to Zumi Sushi Japanese Kitchen. Both the building's exterior and interior shine, with sleek, contemporary elements.

S8Design's Matthew K. "Matt" Taylor, project manager Anna Ruth Kimbrough and general contractor DWC Construction nailed this project.  

"[Anna Ruth] deserves the credit for creating the design vision and helping make sure it was carried out," Taylor said, adding that DWC skillfully executed the build-out on a tight schedule.

Attractive and suitable for Hillsboro Village, the Zumi space design is an outstanding example of a small-scale project that yielded large-scale results.