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, July 17, 2012

Creating Places: The Terminal Tower

The Terminal Tower, a downtown Cleveland landmark, ranks among my 10 favorite U.S. skyscrapers. As such, the opportunity to marvel at this architectural masterpiece (read more here) while I visited Ohio's most misunderstood — and most underrated — city last week was greatly appreciated. The photo below (taken from Wikipedia) shows the iconic highrise looming over Lake Erie, with Cleveland's gritty warehouse district (note all the vintage red brick buildings) clearly visible to the right of the tower's midsection. I walked a good bit of downtown Cleveland and noticed many other interesting buildings (both old and new). Yes, there are some empty once-grand gems, and random surface parking lots (though not nearly as numerous as those found in downtown Nashville) don't help matters. Still, downtown Cleveland is worth experiencing if you enjoy urban design and vibrancy. A major highlight: the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, located in the heart of downtown and in the shadows of the Terminal Tower.


  1. Cleveland is NOT the largest city in Ohio. Columbus is larger. The Cleveland metro area is slightly larger.

    Same thing applies to Tennessee, where Memphis is the largest city, but the Nashville metro area is far larger.

  2. Nashville Metro is not "far" larger.....slightly larger

    1. Nashville metro area is approx. 1.6 million.
      Memphis metro area is approx. 1.3 million.
      300,00 people is significant.
      I would agree that the Nashville-Middle TN area is indeed "far" larger than Memphis. The difference is even more pronounced if you add in the population of Clarksville.

  3. A-Mous I,

    My bad. Per U.S. census, Cincy has a slightly larger metro population than Cleveland. I typically go by metro (and not city) figures.

    As to the Nashville vs. Memphis population numbers, I believe the MSA for Nashville is significantly larger geographically, which explains some of the differential.


    1. The Memphis metro includes neighboring DeSoto County in Mississippi and Crittenden County in Arkansas plus Fayette County in Tennessee. All in all a large geographic area, but not as big as Nashville's metro area in population.

      The City of Memphis is declining in population. Not sure if that applies to their metro area as well. People are leaving Memphis because of the crime and poor economy which is especially bad.

    2. I'm pretty sure that Columbus is the largest metro area in Ohio. Not Cincinnati or Cleveland.

  4. A-Mouses,

    Per U.S. Census Bureau stats, The MSA rank by population as of July 1, 2011 (see link below):

    Cincy MSA is slightly larger than Cleveland MSA. Both are a bit more populous than Columbus.

    Memphis MSA grew from 2010 to 2011 an estimated .72 percent.

    City of Memphis population was 662,897 in 2010 census and an estimated 652,050 in 2011 (a slight loss).

    Memphis MSA is 3,013 square miles. Nashville MSA is 6,868 square miles. That land mass differential is a MAJOR reason why Nashville's MSA population is larger than that of Memphis.

  5. As a former Ohioan, I am pretty sure Cincinnati is the largest metro area in Ohio, population wise. Columbus and its surrounding suburbs create the most expansive metro area, but the other two cities' growth is limited by their geography.