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.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Creating Places: Ryman Lofts update

After pondering whether I prefer the frontman stylings of Nashville-based performers Jason Ringenberg or John Webb McMurry (a.k.a., Webb Wilder), I decided to visit Rolling Mill Hill last Sunday and took this photo of Ryman Lofts (included at the top is a rendering for comparison). Given various positive factors — the building's positioning close to Hermitage Avenue, its combination of traditional and contemporary elements, the design team of Smith Gee Studio, etc. — I am optimistic this will be a quality addition to Nashville's urban core. Of note, the under-construction RLofts offers a bit of brick variation, with mainly horizontal placements contrasting with some vertical arrangements above certain windows. To get a nice feel for Smith Gee Studio's work, visit here.


  1. The entire Rolling Mill Hill area is shaping up nicely and is going to be excellent when completed. The views of the Cumberland River, east bank and stadium, and entire downtown area are amazing.

  2. The views of the scrap yard are amazing too. Nothing like city on the patio looking at junked up scrap.

  3. When one seeks to live in the urban landscape, the views cannot always be pristine. BUT, the recycling operation (that you refer to as a "scrap yard") was there long before the residential element. That recycling operation provides much-needed jobs AND a service that many hold to an almost holy level of societal respect. Life in the downtown area is not like life at Disney's not all perfect and well groomed and sanitized. That's life in the big city!

  4. Seriously anonymous #3?!? You are playing the "green card" on PNC metals by calling it a RECYCLING operation? Do you realize all the hazardous waste and material that has been seeping into the soil throughout all these years? It's one of the red flags whether the site can even be redeveloped.

    As far as creating jobs, Im sure PNC can sustain the same number of jobs at a different location.

    PNC is Nashville's greatest eyesore. There is a difference between urban grit and just plain filthiness. So if you prefer the latter, I hear there are plenty of good deals in Detroit.

  5. Nashnative,

    Though you make some good points, I do think there is something to be said for recycling large metal.