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, May 22, 2011

Creating Places: West End buildings

Driving along West End Avenue yesterday during the early evening, I caught a quick glance at the hideous building home to Electronic Express and shuddered. The color scheme, lack of detail, excessively large (and jarringly red) signage and overall lack of quality materials render this building a piece of junk that has no business on the city's most high-profile street. In fact, the EE building might be West End's most foul structure. Another "fine" example of a nasty building on the street is the cheaply built strip center across from Vanderbilt University and home to Office Depot (on a positive note, the Pinkberry signage has nicely enlivened the east side of the building). With this in mind, I am going to soon create a ranking of the five to 10 ugliest buildings — those that most need to be razed and replaced — on West End between 17th Avenue and Interstate 440. I will not include the structures that house fast food eateries as all — save for, perhaps, the new-look McDonald's — are no more attractive than the human excrement that results from the consumption of the poison these places serve.

More to follow.

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