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.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Creating Places: Tuck Hinton Visit

Today, I visited the offices of Tuck Hinton Architects and got the "tour" from Kem Hinton. Of note, I saw a model and images of the proposed Tennessee State Library and Archives Building to eventually be constructed in North Capitol and bordered by Jefferson Street on the north and Fourth and Fifth avenues on the east and west. A very handsome building. Clad primarily in limestone, about 80-90 feet at its tallest points, lots of columns and a courtyard. Grand looking but in a clean, 21st century way. Will be an excellent addition to Nashville's already impressive collection of civic buildings. Sadly, there is simply no start date announced, despite the project having been discussed for years.