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 2, 2012

Creating Places: The Wall

The Sixth Avenue North limestone-clad building known for its Christian Science Reading Room space at ground level recently saw its blank north wall given a tasteful improvement. Previously, the wall revealed discolored bricks, rusted metal elements and unsightly cinderblock. Now the wall presents a freshly painted and streamlined appearance. True, this is not a major addition to downtown. But sometimes (as I've often noted) a minor improvement to the city's built environment, particularly when combined with numerous other under-the-radar changes, can deliver a positive impact. By the way, the building, designed in the art deco style, is one of the central business district's more underrated structures.


  1. Is this the best you got? A brown painted wall?

  2. A-Mous,

    Oh, I can do much, much worse. For example, I'm disliking more and more the new sign on Broadway that reads Frist Center 500 feet (with the little arrow). Visual clutter.


  3. A newly painted brown wall. Underwhelming info.

  4. Got any info on the underground garage that Parmenter is building for its Nashville City Center (1st TN Bank building) immediately adjacent to this property? The photo doesn't show it, but the building looks like it could topple into the hole excavated for the new garage. The garage is supposed to accommodate a 25-story building on top.

  5. WW: Good reply, 12/3 10:38

  6. That's pretty stark. Maybe if they painted the vertical thingies that look like they were once windows it would break up the look and give it more interest. Or maybe a nice mural of some kind.