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.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Creating Places: Tidbit time

Random thoughts as the soft strains of Bohren & Der Club of Gore elicit drowsiness...

* Look for Vanderbilt's College Halls at Kissam — currently under construction at West End and 21st avenues — to be one of Nashville's five most impressive architectural additions to be completed in 2013. Check here for time lapse peg's. And the other four... Perhaps this quartet, ranked in alphabetical order: Elliston 23, Fifth & Garfield, Hillsboro Row and the Music City Center.

* Work is progressing rapidly on the retrofit of Hill Realty's building formerly home to The Great Escape and located at the Broadway and Division split. I have high hopes for this project.

* Note 16 is open and the commons areas are quite nice (I've yet to see an actual unit). As to the exterior design, the soaring steps straddling the building's center facade are excessively out of scale. I'll take a photo soon.

* I'm not a fan of the new-look exterior of the Belmont Boulevard building home to PM.

* An example of buildings with exteriors that were basically outdated almost immediately after their completion: those home to the Nashville Farmers Market.

* Michael Roos' hyper-contemporary The Square at Fourth and Madison is looking stellar.


  1. You mentioned the Metro Planning Department's Development Tracker recently as a place to look at current projects. I looked, and it doesn't seem to have everything - in particular, it did not have Elliston 23. I wonder why?

  2. Josh O.,

    You are correct. I just checked and no E23. Perhaps once a planned project has received Metro Council approval (assuming a rezoning was needed), the info is dropped from the site. I thought all current projects were on the map. Apparently, none is.

    My apologies,


  3. I too thought it would show current projects (projects currently under construction). That is strange. They should add that.

    1. JO,

      I had forgotten that that is not how it work. But this map shows them all.


  4. I think once the project has passed through the Metro COuncil and all of the hurdles have been passed, then the project will not appear on D Tracker.


  5. "Impressive"...with bonus "ranking". "High hopes." "Quite nice." "Not a fan." "Stellar."

    With so much professed interest in architecture, you never provide reason for anything you think about a building or use vocabulary. This one's nice. That one is okay. That building is bad. Why? Dunno. Just because it is. The "thoughts" you offer are unjustified opinions at best. The profession of architecture deserves some actual thoughtfulness.

    Why doesn't Nashville have any architecture critics?