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, June 12, 2011

Creating Places: Bad West End Design Part 3

From the Courtyard by Marriott building and geographically moving west, we next visit the handsome strip center located within the 2300 block of West End Avenue and anchored by Office Depot. (Do recall the theme of this exercise is to skip all freestanding buildings home to fast-food joints; otherwise, I would have to spend too much time in this post lambasting the buildings home to, among others, Checkers, Jack In The Box, Taco Bell and Qdoba).

For the strip center, notwithstanding the below-level parking (which effectively minimizes some surface parking needs) and the eye-catching exterior for Pinkberry, this structure could have been the creation of a group of preschoolers. Absolutely hideous. The scary thing is that — if I recall correctly — this flimsy excuse for a building is an improvement compared to the previous collection of structures the site once accommodated (I clearly remember a Burger King building). I don't anticipate the strip center (which dates to the early 1990s, I think) to stand five more years. The exterior alone suggests a elderly person in poor health. Plus, the general area is in line for some upscale development, perhaps providing incentive for the owner to redevelop or sell for redevelopment.

With the strip center's looming death, a replacement would nicely complement the adjacent, and attractive, building home to Pinnacle. We must hope.

1 comment:

  1. I believe that shopping center is owned by Vanderbilt... If so, then shame on them. Shame on whoever put it up!