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, April 10, 2011

Creating Places: The Astoria

I see The Astoria — a two-story office building in Green Hills' Bedford Commons — has been fully framed. Based on an image on the construction site signage, the building should be quite attractive.

Nashville-based Southeast Venture is handling architectural work, with the company having skillfully excecuted design work for two of my favorite Nashville-area structures completed within the past few years: 1700 Midtown (an industrial looking apartment building) and Gateway at Armory Oaks (home to Nashville School of Law).

Ewing Properties is the developer of The Astoria, the colors and shapes for which suggest a very contemporary and masculine building.

The Astoria should be a fine addition (although I do wish it were three stories) to Bedford Commons.


  1. It will be interesting if 1700 Midtown remains one of your favorites within the next 10+ years. That thing is already dated.

  2. A-Mous,

    In 10 years, I might find Bristol on Broadway a minor masterpiece, as I am an unstable man given to wild mood and opinion swings.

    Seriously, you might be right. But I like what 1700 represents for Bristol Development: an example of thinking outside the box.


  3. Good point. It is nice to see a developer try things in terms of broader thinking. However, It's a balance of creating something that is appropriate for an intended market (young and hip in this case), while providing a solution that has a sense of permanence and longevity.

  4. A-Mous,

    Well said. 1700 could age poorly. But it will still seem more interesting (perhaps in an oddly charming way) than those buildings constructed at the same time period and with a "safe" design.