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.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Creating Places: Encore shines with black awnings

I continue to maintain — much to the displeasure of those readers of this blog site who want more substantive posts — that it is often the "little touches" that, collectively, can make a huge impact on the public realm. 

Case in point: Encore's new black awnings.

Check this photo courtesy of my good friend, and built environment madman, Ron Brewer.



Now compare the black awnings — and how they nicely meld with the blue-tinted glass and light gray concrete —  to the red, green and blue awnings that previously pockmarked Encore.



The black awnings offer a uniform, sleek and cosmopolitan vibe. Conversely, the multi-colored awnings delivered a garish and hodgepodge aesthetic that rendered a slightly Crayola crayon effect. As a resident of Encore, I am, admittedly biased. But the improvement is significant, both for the building and for this particular pocket of SoBro. 

 





24 comments:

  1. I actually liked the colored ones better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of the folks I've talked to prefer the black. More dignified and sleek. But it is very subjective.

      Delete
  2. Somewhat better, but the colored awnings were actually not bad at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem was the red awnings were fading and, as such, taking on a slight pinkish hue. When black fades, it looks like medium gray, which is acceptable.

      Delete
  3. WW, well of course you prefer black on everything! I would not say the colored version "pockmarked" the building.

    The important thing would be that the retail space at street level is filled with businesses. What's going into that space?

    Are there any plans to build on the parking lot across from the Encore? It would be a pity for a tall building to block the views.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another restaurant next to Etch. Should be announced very soon.

      I assume your talking about the lot bordered by Second, Third, Demonbreun and Molloy. Tony Giarratana plans a 32-story apartment tower. Views will always be blocked by tall buildings. The L&C Tower, when it opened, blocked some of the views of those in the Noel Building. But I'm glad the L&C Tower was built.

      Delete
  4. Tony Giarratana owns that parcel and has plans for a 17 story hotel on that property. If a hotel is not built, then something else will be at some point.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do they still have the stupid exclamation point as part of the logo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and I'm not a fan either. Seems cartoonish.

      Delete
  6. I've always thought the Encore was a bland structure. It reminds me of a Holiday Inn built in the 1970s. Agreed about that exclamation point too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Encore is like the Empire State Building compared to any Holiday Inn of that era. You can say the Encore exterior is bland (and many might agree with you). But to compare Encore to a Holiday Inn is a rather bold statement.

      Delete
    2. It reminds me so much of the old Holiday Inn Rivermont in Memphis on the bluff near downtown. The balconies especially remind me of that Holiday Inn.

      Delete
  7. Never mind awning colors, how about some street trees ? How can a modern high rise get built without them ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure the city code requires trees for new construction. But good point.

      Delete
  8. The black awnings just draw attention to the fact that there is no retail in the building.....way too many vacant store fronts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another restaurant is on the way. Will be next to Etch. What draws even more attention to the vacant storefronts is the massive surface parking lot.

      Delete
  9. Sorry for the delay in responding to everybody. I took off the weekend from this blog site. Some interesting dialogue here. I appreciate the feedback.

    WW

    ReplyDelete
  10. Awnings = Yawnings.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Basic black: yay!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Funny, but the Encore does resemble the old Rivermont Holiday Inn in Memphis. I think it was converted to apts or condos years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AMous,

      You've got me intrigued. I'll try to take a look.

      Delete