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.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Creating Places: The West End — an update

I learned today that of The West End's 72 units, only 12 remain. This is encouraging news as The West End (check this site for photos: is a highly unusual condo building for Nashville. The building, located next to Walgreens at 31st and West End avenues, combines height (the structure rises about 140 feet) with a predominantly brick cladding (rare for post-1960-constructed local buildings of seven floors or more) and very traditional units. Indeed, The West End is vastly unlike the city's six other multi-unit condo towers of 10 floors or more and that have been constructed since 2000. Given the distinctiveness of the building and a 2009 auction, there were some questions as to the long-term viability of The West End. With only 12 units remaining, those questions now seem to be answered.

Interestingly, I was lukewarm regarding the building when it opened, finding it a bit too understated (particularly with its exterior color scheme). Since then, I've toured the building's interior (very elegant) and taken time on numerous occasions to observe its exterior features. I'm increasingly liking the luxury condo tower's interesting exterior forms and shapes — and even its light brick color has grown on me. Overall, The West End has earned my respect.

It's also good to see John Coleman Hayes, the lead developer of the project, is seeing his vision being realized. There are few developers in the city as likable and classy.

1 comment:

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