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.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Creating Places: A Question

Sometimes I wonder what percentage of Nashvillians would list the manmade environment (that is, issues related to planning, design, construction, development, etc.) among their 10 main interests. Could it be 10 percent? I doubt it. I would think 5 percent at best.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Creating Places: The Little Things

With minimal major construction slated for Nashville's urban core in 2010, I will be closely watching the additions and modifications of "less significant built fabric elements." A fine example is the retaining wall accompany the soon-to-open Pinnacle Financial Center building in Berry Hill. In a classy and visually attractive manner, the wall, which anchors the northwest corner of Bransford Avenue and Thompson Lane, reads "Welcome to Berry Hill." Sometimes it's the little touches to our manmade environment that can make a underrated difference.

Creating Places: 1700 Midtown

A recent tour of cutting-edge apartment building 1700 Midtown spurred me to ponder the following: Is there a similar rental building within Nashville's urban core? 1700 is unusual in that if features multiple elements found at the city's post-2000-completed urban condo buildings, including a secured parking garage, a very sleek club room, a fitness room and even a "green room" devoted to recycling. Each unit offers a washer/dryer, which is unusual. Of note, 1700 lacks a pool but beyond that, the building offers big-city apartment living on a different level compared to Nashville's other cool apartment houses.