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.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Creating Places: A Touchdown for Germantown

One of the most interesting stories involving Nashville's transformation the past 15 years or so involves Kat and Michael Roos (she of Drinkhaus fame and he of Titans offensive line toil). The Germantown-dwelling couple are a rare breed, as few Titans live in Nashville's urban core (most opting, instead, for neo-mansions in the suburbs of Davidson and Williamson counties.

No doubt, the Rooses dig G-Town, as the two now want to undertake a development they are currently calling The Square at Fourth & Madison ( Kat and Michael have selected DA|AD as the architect for the mixed-use building, a website image of which suggests an interesting structure with various square forms and angular definition.

With a slumped economy, don't expect the city's core to see much built in 2010. But do look for the Rooses to start work next year on TSatF&M, as the wife-and-husband team have already proven with their quaint cafe that they possess business savvy. Furthermore -- and more importantly -- Kat and Michael are well-rounded urbanites who have a passion for city living and all its attendant elements.

Football and tea aside, The Square at Fourth & Madison will be a major score for this likable couple. The end zone awaits, Kat and Michael.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Creating Places: Music Row Project Proposed

An empty Music Row-area lot is now sporting a sign advertising a proposed project that would give the district some added architectural flavor. The rendering on the sign suggests an attractive contemporary design for the mixed-used building, which would feature retail, office and structured parking. An official with ProVenture, one of the entities involved in the development, said the project is in its early stages.

To be located at the northeast corner of the 16th and Horton avenues intersection, the approximately 50-foot-tall building would be one of the larger structures in the geographic area bordered by Edgehill and Wedgewood avenues on the north and south, and 16th and 17th avenues on the east and west. Relatedly, the building seemingly would represent a handsome and adventurous design when compared to other post-1960s-built Music Row structures, many of which offer understated, if not bland, architectural themes.

Though time will be needed for the economy to allow this project to unfold, the building should be worth the wait.