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, January 15, 2012

Creating Places: An underrated church building

North Nashville's Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church ranks as a "hidden mini-gem" of sorts. Located on Herman Street between 21st and 24th avenues north, this modest religious structure is rarely seen except for those who live on the street or who attend services within its walls.

True, the mid-sized GMUMC is clearly no Christ Church Cathedral or Downtown Presbyterian Church. But compared to most churches designed and built today in the Nashville area, GMUMC's exterior design is quite handsome. A recent addition — contemporary in architectural aesthetic — respectfully modifies the traditional original building.

Any time Nashville loses an old-school church building (think Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ and the Masonic Lodge on West End Avenue), my appreciation elevates for those the city still has.

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