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.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Creating Places: The new Blue (Bar)

The new-look building home to Blue Bar, located on Broadway in Midtown, is a dramatic change (and improvement) compared to its previous iteration. Of note, all that was required for this facelift was a paint job. Recall that the building formerly sported a hideous pinkish, raspberryish, reddish (I'm not sure what you would have called the color) exterior.

On this theme, it continues to baffle me that some folks think buildings can be attractive with exterior color pallets featuring pastels, hots (reds, yellows, oranges, etc.) and electric hues (recall the lime components of the 21st Avenue South building once home to Dooley's). Rarely does this approach prove effective (the painted ladies in San Francisco being exceptions to the rule).

With its earth tone colors, the freshly painted Blue Bar Building (its battered wood deck notwithstanding) nicely strikes a visually pleasing presence.


  1. A very slow, hot, sticky holiday weekend in Music City!

  2. It's crazy. Of all the hundreds of times I have driven by that building and also being a customer on several occassions, I have never noticed the mansker style roof with the dormers. Amazing how reducing all that color brings out the architectural details. However, it does have a different personality and vibe. And as much as I love the new neutral paint scheme, I do think a small accent pop of blue would be a nice touch. Just enough to brand it as the "blue bar"

  3. Nashnative,

    I like the blue accent idea.


  4. Maybe the bar is blue? The paint job is an improvement, and, yes, that roof does now stand out nicely. Now if they can just do something about that "deck" and the litter around and under it!

  5. Chuck Rota operating partnerJune 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I'm glad everyone agrees with us here at the Blue Bar that we have taken the strange scheme and transformed it into 2012 !! We have been making changes on the inside as well. We have given the bathrooms a much needed face lift and included private stalls along with full length doors for them and real locks !!!! every room has been repainted and the Rack Room bar has been totally redone as well. Flat screens abound as well. We are now serving lunch at our "lucy's country cafe" from 11am -3pm monday-friday if you haven't tried our meat & 3 please just give us one chance and you will be back. Your patience is appreciated on all of our improvements and yes we plan to address the deck.