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, January 20, 2013

Creating Places: My type of building Part 4

It is no secret this built environment enthusiast generally prefers darker brick to lighter brick. A fine example of a building clad in handsome brick color tones is The Glen, the DA|AD designed condo structure that sits on the northeast corner of the 18th and Wedgewood avenues intersection. There are multiple characteristics of The Glen that I find attractive, with the building's overall clean windows-to-doors-to-balconies symmetry and its effective height-to-width proportionality perhaps the most noteworthy. Regarding the balconies, notice they are inset (almost always a good thing as opposed to "tacked on" to a surface) and offer tasteful metal railings.  Though very smallish in this image (courtesy of Google Streetview), the light fixtures framing the stair-stepped entrances are a very classy touch. Also note the base of The Glen features a brick darker than that of the main section, with the two segments discretely "divided" by a linear concrete (it might even be stone) piece.  I even like the little beige squares (seen here on the left section of the building and to the left and right of the top corners of the second-level windows), as they contrast with the darker brick and add a subtle flourish. Grade: A-minus.


  1. In my view, the windows used on this building look very cheap. Perhaps its just the pic, but these flimsy windows really take away from an otherwise decent building. I'd give it a B- because of the windows.

  2. A-Mous 8:18,

    I can definitely see how you, or anybody else, might argue that point. Thanks for commenting.


  3. Agreed about the windows. They could have recessed them back a bit more more to make them look more substantial. It's the frame that looks odd IMO.

  4. I prefer using brick that at least looks like it has some texture and more substantial looking rather than the shiny contractors type pictured here. Roof line count use some type of cornice too. Windows do look like a budget variety. Too bad. I'd grade it a C.

    1. That's an interesting point about the shiny brick texture. I like it but can see how others might not.