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, May 9, 2013

Creating Places: Saving Ben West

Christine Kreyling, inarguably the most skilled and experienced journalist covering this city's manmade environment, has penned a strong Nashville Scene piece regarding downtown's Ben West Building. Read here.

The following two-sentence flourish from Kreyling is a particular highlight:

"City officials should have learned by now that surface parking is toxic to downtowns. The lots erode the street wall and the pedestrian experience, bring walkers into conflict with cars accessing the lots, [and] contribute nothing but ugliness to the streetscape and little to the tax base, even if privately owned."

Perfectly put, Ms. Kreyling.


  1. I don't think the (now postponed) deal was anything but a shortsighted attempt to stop paying rent for NSA. Here's hoping the Council rejects the deal and finds some reuse for the building.

  2. This one is good, too.{%2210151428798452183%22%3A286943311439991}&action_type_map={%2210151428798452183%22%3A%22og.recommends%22}&action_ref_map={%2210151428798452183%22%3A%22artrectop%22}

  3. William - Would this be an opportunity for you to do a CP feature? Maybe take a tour of the building with someone who is very knowledgeable of its construction and details. Also include a quality photo gallery showing off the building, views, etc. Nashville rarely has such coverage about it's buildings, unfortunately.

    1. AMous,

      An interesting idea. I wish I had the luxury to take the time to do so.
      But it would be difficult for me to pull that off.


    2. Two phone calls or less, I bet you could do it. Either way, I wish the CP would do more in-depth pieces on Nashville's built environment. I just see missed opportunities, I suppose.