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, November 21, 2010

Creating Places: Building Facelifts

I noticed today the 176 Third Ave. N. structure last home (and perhaps still — who knows?) to Atlantis is being given a major facade modification courtesy of masculine paint colors and new awnings. The effect thus far is successful. During the past few years, this vintage brick building has undergone more facelifts than an aging, and insecure, Hollywood star. Many of those updates have partially marred the Central Business District-located building with excess paint and less-than-ideal embellishments. Let's hope this latest look is both attractive and long-term.

On a related note, the two-story residential building called The Marc (on West End Circle in West End Park) looks vastly better than its previous iteration courtesy of an earth-toned paint job, sleek signage and multi-colored geometric shapes. An otherwise non-descript 1960s-era brick building, The Marc — or "the marc" as the all-lowercase letters hiply display on the structure's face — strikes a modern-era pose in a district dominated by bland multi-unit residential buildings. Kudos to the person who hit on this simple, yet tasteful, improvement idea.


  1. I can't say I like the painting on 176th 3rd Ave. The colors are not too bad, but why is the red tone painted in some goofy radius shape!?!?! It looks awful. And, the orange trim on the 2nd floor windows is not a good choice.

    Honestly, I think what has marred this Central Business District location has been the clientele the business attracts on 3rd avenue and the adjacent parking lot in the evening hours. But, that's for a another discussion on another blog.

  2. A-mous,

    Yes, I can understand your criticisms of 176's new look. I hope to swing by again this weekend to check the progress. The adjacent surface parking lot (the one on the southeast corner of Church and Third as there is also a small lot south of 176) was most recently home to a vintage gem with beautiful terra cotta elements. I recall it was razed in the early 2000s. Sad.