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.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Creating Places: Tidbit time

On a crisp and sunny Thanksgiving morning, a dear old friend and I took a one-hour drive through Nashville's urban core, a jaunt that allowed us to see many of the projects currently taking shape. With all due respect to my family, the excursion was as enjoyable as the feast later that day. My chum, a reserved gentleman who does not seek attention, will go unnamed. However, he was very pleased with what he saw as, too, was I. Here's the breakdown — as I ponder which funny lady made me chuckle more, Phyllis Diller or Estelle Getty:

* The Courtyard by Marriott building located at 19th and West End avenues has seen its exterior painted and is being re-roofed. Looks good overall.

* The brick color for Elliston 23 is outstanding. I've got great optimism for this building.

* Work is nearing completion on 700 Wedgewood Park (read more here). The brick facade (see rendering below) looks nice overall but the structure's sides and back, dominated by siding, are painfully plain. Of note, 700WP plays fairly effectively off the adjacent, and handsome, Glass Factory Lofts.

* I acknowledged many 12South residents will not want to read this but I truly believe 12South Flats will be attractive and function in an effective manner. I like that 12South is getting a building with some height and bulk. In fairness, I'll reserve judgment until the building is completed. But I this point, I am optimistic.

* Belmont Close, a five-unit residential building currently under construction on the northeast corner of the 14th and Wedgewood avenues intersection, is framed and taking shape. I don't have a good feeling about this project as I anticipate a very pedestrian design.

* In contrast, and a few blocks west via Wedgewood, Hillsboro Row is framed and strikes a nice presence fronting 17th. I predict that both the exterior design and the manner in which the building addresses the two streets will be very successful.

* Fifth & Garfield in Salemtown is looking stellar. (For more, check this previous Creating Places blog post.)


  1. i can't place my finger on it, but for some reason elliston 23 is just fantastic in my eyes.

    eric b

  2. Eric B,

    Yes, the building offers so many positives. I strongly look forward to seeing it in its finished state.