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, May 5, 2013

Creating Places: Congrats, ESa

The Spring 2013 edition of Learning By Design reports that Nashville-based Earl Swensson Associates, Inc., has received a Citation of Excellence Award for outstanding educational facility design for the renovation and adaptive reuse of Belmont University ’s McAfee Concert Hall,. 

ESa is one of only seven firms in the country to receive the award.

ESa repurposed an aging church sanctuary on the Belmont University campus into a contemporary music hall that serves both the campus and the surrounding community. Distinctive details were preserved, while ESa designed the facility to nearly double its volume by utilizing previously unused attic and floor space. (I've been inside and it's quite nice.)

In addition, Belmont's ESa-designed Randall and Sadie Baskin Center, College of Law, received an Honorable Mention Award. ESa is one of only three firms in the country to receive the honor. The center is one of the best examples of post-2010 traditional architecture in Nashville.


  1. Thumbs up. I look forward to some more contemporary work from ESa in the coming weeks.

  2. Now you have me curious, CAisles.