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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Creating Places: Beaman Automotive Building

Some thoughts regarding the new Beaman Automotive Group building on Broadway...

...I like the massing and materials. The landscaping seems sufficient, while the color scheme plays nicely off surrounding structures. I don't care for the setback (I can already envision the sea of new cars fronting Broad), but this seemingly is an otherwise very fine building. In fact, I think Beaman is shooting for silver LEED certification.



  1. Its a shame the Broadway car dealerships have remained at one of Nashville's prime locations for anything except car dealerships. The Broadway and I-40 location should be a celebrated gateway to Midtown/West End. Proper mid-rise buildings could be designed to front the street with perhaps a median to divide Broadway similar to Demonbreun.

    I applaud Downtown Nissan for moving their location to Metro Center, which is ideal for car dealerships. Metro Center streets are condusive for test drives, as well as easy access from the interstate. In addition to Downtown Nissan, Crest Honda and Crest Cadillac are presently located providing a ground work for others to follow. Perhaps Fountain Square could be converted? Nashville needs a true "motor mile" and Metro Center has the infrastructure to support it.

    The Beaman dealership uses the new, Toyota-standard prototype to fit the site. And, it does have some nice aesthetics. However, the set-back and the sea of new cars will be displeasing.

    Broadway and 1-40 has the potential to be Nashville's signature "welcome" mat. It is my hope that someday, someone will have the vision, commitment, and dollars to support it as such.

  2. Anonymous,

    I fully agree with you. It seems Beaman and the Jim Reed facility are there to stay for years. We need Alex S. Palmer & Co. to eventually deliver West End Summit, as that will lessen some of the negative "built fabric elements" attendant with car dealerships. I do like some aspects of the Reed Subaru facility. Next to go must be the hokey Jim Reed cowboy signage.


  3. "Next to go must be the hokey Jim Reed cowboy signage."

    Heresy. Ol' Jim is spinning in his grave.

  4. I'd actually to see a rendering of the Beaman Automotive Building. Where can I?

  5. Two things:

    Let the ghost of Ol' Jim spin.

    For the basic look of the Beaman facility, visit this site: