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, December 30, 2012

Creating Places: 2012 Highlights, Part I

As I wind down the weekend — and decompress from the energy expenditure I experienced while watching Django Unchained earlier today — I'll offer a few 2012 highlights  (listed in no particular order) regarding Nashville's manmade environment.

*  Various additions and updates were finalized on multiple Midtown buildings located on Broadway and Division Street between 17th and 20th avenues. The most significant project, obviously, was the Home 2Suites. But other buildings saw paint jobs (Hampton Inn, Aloft Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott), a video screen (the First Bank Building), a razing (the Church's Chicken building), an addition (Red Door Midtown) and facelifts (the buildings home to Soulshine Pizza, Hattie B's and Gigi's Cupcakes). This geographically small yet very important area likely saw more activity than any other single node within a Nashville urban district.

* Ellison 23 took full shape. The more I take note of this building, the more excited I get about seeing it finished. The brick color and detailing, the proportionality, how it plays off The Mayfair, etc., are all stellar. This is a potentially outstanding new addition. Likewise, I'm almost as pumped about Hillsboro Row, the three-story residential building currently being constructed at Wedgewood and 17th avenues.

* Ground was broken on no fewer than 15 projects. One in particular, Vanderbilt University's Kissam College Halls, has literally blasted out of the ground since June, in the process redefining the 21st and West End avenues intersection.

* The roundabout at Eighth, Lafayette and KVB  and the 28th/31st Avenue Connector opened.

* HCA divisions Parallon and SCRI announced they are taking space in West End Summit.

More to follow ...


  1. Yes WW, there is a whole lot more to follow. Hope to hear some detail about all of this, not just the typical year-end gloss over. 2012 has been a banner year for growth & development in Music City and the new year looks to be even stronger.

  2. Calendar year 2012 is almost in the books. 2012 will be the 4th strongest year in Metro's history based upon the value of building permits issued. Permits will top $1.6 billion.

  3. William - Do you think we'll see any progress on any of Tony G's three proposed projects in 2013?

    1. AMous 11:42,

      Definitely not on 505CST. I would say it's 50-50 on both SoBro (the residential tower) and the hotel building.


  4. Does the 'energy expenditure' at the theater mean you liked the movie or didn't?

  5. You can watch the Vanderbilt construction webcam at - complete with daily time lapses.