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.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Creating Places: MCC Construction Update

I recently talked to an official working on the Music City Center construction site. He noted full-fledged excavation should start by mid-March, with the effort to require about five months. Also, we should expect to eventually see on the site no fewer than six tower cranes (some rising, I would think, upwards of 200 feet) along with various mobile cranes. In terms of both sheer number and "visual impact"of cranes, urban Nashville will have never seen anything quite like this. I suppose work on the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center was as "crane impressive." But the MCC site is so visible from the south interstate inner loop and to those who work and live downtown and high above SoBro as to create a powerful construction presence that vastly more people will notice than was the case with Opryland Hotel.

We "built environment addicts" should brace for some serious construction.


  1. I cannot wait for this, especially when the water table is reached during excavation. Lets see if we have another "Lake Palmer' on our hands... As for the six cranes, bring them on. WE need to see some cranes again.

  2. William, This is not specifically related to the MCC, but to the corner opposite the MCC at the northwest corner of Demonbreun and 8th Ave. It is currently a surface parking lot, with an adjacent parking garage. There is also a federal employees credit union building facing 8th Ave. Do you know why this land was not selected for the new (if ever built) federal courthouse? It seems far better suited for that purpose as it's adjacent to the current courthouse, which I understand will continue to be used.

    Obviously, security is a concern, and that may be the reason this site was not selected. However, I fail to see how it would be any less protected than the selected site at Church. Even that little street behind the current courthouse could be closed if it jeopardizes security. On the proposed site, has the whole block been acquired by the federal government? Thanks.

  3. Anonymous,

    I would assume a key factor for the site the Fed wants is the Church Street address. Church is arguable downtown's most "prestigious" street and is the geographic "epicenter" of the Central Business District. But the site you note would be strong too. Likely, it's a moot point. No courthouse anytime soon.