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, June 26, 2012

Creating Places: Random tidbits

Some quick points as I ponder who is the more amusing chap: Don Rickles or the late Rodney Dangerfield.

* The under-construction Pine Street Flats in The Gulch is starting to assuming some nice definition. Once finished, the "contiguous building wall" stretching from Terrazzo on the south to Velocity on the north will be one of the most impressive of its type in the city (though not on the same level as some of the canyons in the central business district, the stretch of 21st Avenue along which tower the structures of Vanderbilt University and its medical center and a few pockets found in Midtown and along West End Avenue).

* For some reason, I'm a fan of this 1960s-era building (located in the 4200 block of Harding Pike and near Saint Thomas Hospital). Home to a SunTrust banking center, the structure's symmetry, materials, color scheme, signage and (yes) canopies create a collective tastefulness — the harsh asphalt surface parking surrounding the building notwithstanding.

* And speaking of Saint Thomas Hospital, there are few uglier major civic structures (which I'm defining loosely here) in Nashville.

* In contrast, I consider the NES Building one of the city's most underrated civic structures (Have you ever noticed how few folks mention it in the discussion regarding such buildings?).

* It seems more and more tasteful single-family residential construction is unfolding in Green Hills. Encouraging. I hope to take a few photos and post them soon.

* Whoever chose the eye-catching exterior night-time lighting for the Adventure Science Center deserves a tasty Yazoo Dos Perros.


  1. i've always thought the nes building was great.

  2. Glad to hear that, Eric B. It's a handsome building.


  3. I love the NES building too. My favorite in Nashville is still the Tennessee Tower. If only it was fully illuminated at night again (like in the days of the National Life & Accident Insurance Co.) with messages spelled out in the windows. Very nice building!

    Also love the L&C Tower downtown. I just can't understand why the Viridian was built right next to it as it's height partially obscures the L&C sign atop the west side of the building. The Viridian condo units that directly abut the L&C are dark and have very little view unless you crane your neck and look either right or left from the balcony. Odd location choice for two tall buildings so very close together.

  4. Rodney Dangerfield although really the funniest ever was Gracie Allen.