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, July 28, 2009

Demolition Hits Church Street Building

I drove along Church Street yesterday and noticed that an old-school brick building (across from the YMCA and next to the building that houses Venito's) is being demolished. A LifeWay official (LifeWay owns the building, which contained four spaces) confirmed today that the building is being razed due to structural deficiencies.

For now, the replacement will be a surface parking lot. 

How many times has Nashville seen the loss of a charming little pedestrian-scaled building -- only to be replaced by either a synthetic-stucco piece of junk or what may as well be a used car lot? With the rain falling as I type and another historic architectural piece of downtown Nashville soon to be no more, my stomach is upset. 

Details, and a commentary, to follow.


  1. I agree ... it's a loss for this city. I always thought that building could really blossom if it were to be injected with the right businesses.

    Can't we amend the downtown plan to prohibit new surface parking lots if they're not accompanied by new structures? It's a good idea, in my opinion.

  2. A-Mous,

    I can't see a code that would require a property owner that demolishes a building to replace it with another building. However, there are requirements involving landscaping. I favor that.