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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Creating Places: Update on Fifth & Garfield

Before a quick built fabric note ... props to Gaelic Storm (a fine show tonight at 3rd & Lindsley) percussionist Ryan Lacey for both quality skin work and his showing respect for Nashville by wearing a Third Man Records T-shirt.

Ron Brewer, my good friend and the esteemed forum co-moderator for Urban Planet Nashville, recently took this photo of the under-construction Fifth & Garfield project (located at the intersection of the same name) in Salemtown, and I wanted to share. The brick color, roof line, window-to-facade proportionality, vertical windows, arched stone touch above the door ... stellar. I am particularly pleased with the verticality of these buildings. Of note, these are single-family homes, which renders the three-story aesthetic all the more distinctive (particularly for Nashville). The urban model is to "go up" and not "horizontal" — as we see in the suburbs. This is the type urban residential infill you see in the bigger cities. So for Nashville to land this type project is extremely encouraging. Kudos to developer Jim Creason. Read more here


  1. I love everything about this project. I hope it sells like hotcakes and they build more!

    Question: If a project like this was built on cheaper land, and without some of the "deluxe" features (e.g. roof terrace, private garage), could the price point be lower? Seems like this could be a big hit in some of the lesser known neighborhoods where the land is still affordable. I'm thinking along or near corridors such as East Wedgewood, 28th Avenue North, Foster Avenue in Woodbine, and McGavock Pike between Gallatin and Riverside Village. Thoughts?

  2. Great use of land and space. I hope they include garages from alleyways to minimize on street parking as that becomes an issue in some of the bigger cities with these type of developments. But it is indeed the right type of development for the urban core of Nashville. They also add character when done right. I also hope they realize that landscaping as well as streetscaping also plays a key role in how they fit into the location. Nashville has plenty of areas that would benefit from such developments. But they need to be done at affordable pricing to meet the demands of varied economic situations. Nashville should not price urban housing at a level to where it causes gentrification, but rather creates diverse communities within the urban core.

  3. thanks for sharing..

  4. Pillow: Yes, parking will be accessed from the alley in order to minimize the need for street parking. We would LOVE to build a scaled down version of this development in other locations in Nashville. If you have a line on some land that is reasonable, please do not hesitate to email me: