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.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Creating Places: Bad West End Design Part 8

From the building home to the Extended Stay America, we conclude our tour of West End Avenue with the one-two punch of West End Square and the adjacent building home to Tenno. The former houses, among others, Dairy Queen and Wolf Camera. By the standards of typical suburban strip retail centers, WES is decent in that it offers a second level, thus minimizing full-fledged horizontal sprawl. But beyond that, the building is generic, seemingly of cheap materials and marred by various unsightly signs. Next door the "Tenno Building" looks like a roof masquerading as a building. In fact, the lack of roof-to-overall-building-proportionality is almost shocking at first glance. Visualize a 2-year-old child donning a magician's top hat. Very odd. And very ugly.


  1. The building that now houses Tenno used to be an International House of Pancakes. One can still see the architecture in the roof style. Next door to it was a Krispy Kreme donuts store. Both were there until about 1980 I think.

  2. A-Mous,

    Interesting bits of Nashville history trivia. Well done.