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, September 26, 2012

Creating Places: Mural musings

A quick late-night post as I listen to the tasteful Of Monsters and Men album "My Head is an Animal," ...

While motoring north on 21st Avenue recently, I caught a quick glance (photo coming soon) of a mural on the north wall of the Hillsboro Village building home to H Cue's. From what little I could determine, it looked very colorful and playful. Seeing the art piece was interesting timing in that I just learned the SoBro building with the Johnny Cash mural (below is a photo of a segment of the building) will be redone in October. I fully favor enlivening massive blank building walls — which can brutalize the built environment as they can be intimidating to pedestrians  — with large art pieces. The prominent images on the Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame Building are fine examples. For comparison, Dayton offers some downtown buildings with murals and "high-impact signs" (check this story). Let's hope Nashville gets on board with the mural and large sign approach.


  1. That massive block-long white wall that forms the rear side of the Green Hills Kroger would be a good candidate for some type of art, or at least a paint job to help eliminate its blandness. It butt ugly and does not create a good impression when entering Green Hills from Abbott Martin Rd.

  2. I agree there is certainly a big need for large scale art on the sides and backs of buildings that are along sidewalks and streets that are easily seen by the public. I'd rather see art than billboard type art unless of course the building occupant can do a tasteful and artsey style promotion.

    WW: Not to steal your thunder, but I'm sure you be writing about the West End Summit finally taking off ground after years of an empty hole sitting on West End for the long awaited Intercontinental Hotel, Office Tower and Condo complex. Well, it appears HCA will be growing and has decided to locate new offices in that location. I believe the development now calls for twin 20 story towers planned for the site. I think that will be a wonderful addition to the mid-town skyline. I hope it brings even more development to the area. I think the land mass between Charlotte Pike and West End needs more development.

    1. Yes, can not wait to learn more about the West End Summit! This is a huge development for Nashville. So glad to see HCA has such a huge commitment to this city.

      I've always liked the modern look of the towers. The elevation of this site will work to its advantage. The rendering looks alost identical to the original plan for an office building, condos, InterContinental Hotel and retail.

      Drain that lake and let these two towers rise!

    2. No thunder stolen at all, PTalk4. In fact, I'll be writing about it on this site this weekend.

      Drain the lake, indeed.