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.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Creating Places: 2009 Review, Part I

As we look back, let's take a few blog posts (to be written spanning this week) to review some manmade environment highlights (and frustrations) from 2009.

I'll start with the one-two punch of the Belle Meade Town Center and Hill Center Belle Meade, both finished this calendar year. With their arrival, this segment of Harding Road was transformed with building density heretofore unheard of for this car-heavy mixed-use district. Note the various shapes, forms and colors of the many new buildings on either side of Harding. My favorite structure might be the new Pinnacle Bank Building that fronts the street.

Grade: A

Monday, December 7, 2009

Creating Places: Deaderick Street Kiosks

They may not be a sleek new skyscraper, a recently completed mixed-use building of striking 21st century design or a badly needed sidewalk (all of which this writer cherishes as much as enjoying spiked eggnog and How The Grinch Stole Christmas during the holiday season). But the new kiosks that are part of the now-finished — and tastefully done — Deaderick Street streetscape improvement project are outstanding additions to downtown Nashville. Large, colorful, detailed and useful, the kiosks are very big city.