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 22, 2012

Creating Places: Random Tidbits

Driving about this weekend, I noticed the following:

• A tower crane is on the Elliston 23 work site.

• Midtown Place is topped.

• The former Wehby Plumbing building (located on the northeast corner of Pine Street and 12th Avenue across Pine from Station Inn) in The Gulch now has a very generic wood deck with white posts and latticework. The addition suggests a suburban vibe. Given the little building is a bit industrial and gritty — not to mention all the other Gulch buildings are adorned with decks, patios and/or outdoor spaces featuring concrete, metal and dark colors — I simply have no idea what the person who hit upon this design option was thinking.


  1. RE Gulch deck: Sometimes it's simply a business owner with a specific vision for their business and not a designer's choice, and not a consideration of fitting in with their surroundings. The person spending the money gets to dictate and that's not always a good thing.

  2. Wow! Unbelievable!!!! I knew that building was to be a convenient mart (which is needed in the Gulch), but that deck is HIDEOUS!!! Most c-store owners just want to sell cigarettes and beer. They have no concern for aesthetics. Look at every corner store in every major urban city. Even look at our own downtown! They don't care! They just want to do it themselves and take the cheapest way out. If the Gulch doesn't already have one, they desperately need a design guideline and overlay.

  3. A-Mous,

    You are so correct. Just wish the person who had the final decision regarding the deck had at least painted the railings and latticework charcoal, for example, instead of white.