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.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Creating Places: Fatherland Flats


A quick post as I tap the toes to Thin Lizzy's groovy live version of "Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed" ... 
Earlier today, I drove by Fatherland Flats, Chris McCarty's 48-unit apartment project taking shape in East Nashville. McCarty and his team, once finished, will have spent about $1 million on the multi-building effort (a photo of which is seen below). And though the rehab of what had been called 400 Fatherland (a painfully outdated utilitarian residential complex) will not render the exteriors notably attractive, the new-look FFlats structures should offer an acceptable presence as seen from the street. In addition, the interiors promise to be quite nice. 
No doubt, given the original design, McCarty would have needed to flatten the buildings and start afresh had he wanted to deliver an exceptionally handsome building(s). But the former Seattle resident prefers reusing buildings and I commend him for taking that approach in this case. 
The rehabbing will be concluded by the end of June with the development 75 percent leased (read more here).


12 comments:

  1. Highly unattractive! Looks like a rehab done on the cheap and it shows.

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  2. AMous,

    Are you basing your opinion on both the interior and exterior? I ask because the interiors will look very nice. They have been done on anything but the cheap.

    WW

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  3. The windows look very cheap. Like a botched rehab of a 60's era apartment building. Maybe inside they are nicer, but not very attractive exteriors.

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    1. AMous,

      The complex was likely built in the 1960s or 70s, so the redevelopment team started "in a hole" with their effort. It's not easy to transform such bland design.

      WW

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  4. This is a big upgrade from the existing condition.

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  5. From the exterior it's ugly. End of story.

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  6. Buildings with flat roofs are always a maintenance disaster.

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  7. In my eye, this project falls FLAT!

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  8. Just more boxes, but at least they're not gray!

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  9. There are plans for a 5-8 story condo building here in the next few years anyway. This is a temporary update until another project can take it's place.

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  10. Like it or not, budgets are budgets and you can't buy gold for 10 cents a pound. It's an improvement from previous.

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  11. I think they look nice compared to how they look before.

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