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Everything posted by Baronakim

  1. Do any of y'all think we could stack enough intermodal modules high enough to hide this monstrosity?
  2. One of the things most folks are not seeing about the CSX tracks has nothing to do with sharing the tracks with freight traffic. That is a non starter in my opinion completely. However, I have walked the tracks downtown for many years and know that the R.O.W. is perfectly adequate for additional tracks especially since the switchyard in the Gulch is likely to be closed down to two through tracks. It would be extremely expensive as far as having to construct new overpasses at major choke points and there is NO solution really for the swing bridge over the river. However... building a modern railroad beside the existing low trestles like at 8th and on Gallatin Pike could be built higher and longer span to also eliminate the chokepoints of the automobile traffic as well. There would have to be some design of switching for the swing bridge which I do not think is going to be replaceable (at least without shutting down river traffic of a height that would require opening the bridge so a new bridge could be built alongside. I don't think switching would be a big issue during construction and replacement as the trains cross the existing bridge at very low speeds. This would also be difficult at times of high water too. This is all IMO physically possible but these upgrades would vastly improve conditions for CSX as well as for commuter rail and highway traffic. These CSX rail lines through Nashville were first laid before the Civil War. All of these suggestions are technically similar in scale and costs to the BNA runway built over the highway at Murfresboro Pike. One thing is clear to me though, if these issues are not addressed and solved now, nothing will change for another century or two. This would be rather like Nashville's version (in scale of construction) of Boston's "Big Dig" I would think. It is time to bite the bullet and rebuild it now.
  3. iI visited my old office today and took the opportunity to snap some more photos. A lot has changed since I retired two years ago.
  4. There is NO reason to not recommend Eastern hemlock here in Middle Tennessee In fact it should be encouraged. The perceived threat stems from the massive die off years ago of the species in our Eastern mountains. The massive die off was because of the HUGE number of hemlocks accounting to over 1/3 of the forest species. When the woolly adelgid arrived conditions were perfect for explosive growth and survival of the insect. Now that the food supply is essentially just as massively reduced, the problem is negligible in the Smokies now. There are lots and lots of good sized hemlocks growing there again because the further spaced and smaller trees do not provide adequate food as the insects have difficulty finding the trees to infect. There is indeed a problem up North where large hemlock forests still exist, but the insect does not tolerate cold well, so it is not as bad as it was here initially. We should ENCOURGE specimen planting as this is a graceful native species and any infestation is easily treated with a spray of soapy water, whereas treating in thousands of acres was completely impossible. The insects were never a threat here in Middle Tennessee to any large extent. Likewise, ANY barberry, Japanese or European should NOT be on Nashville's list of recommended shrubs, All of them are non-native and severely invasive and have been classified as such for decades. It should be removed from the list. Russian Olive is by the way NOT a tree but an invasive shrub the should also be prohibited. Likewise an number of varieties of euonymus. I have no idea of the credentials of the author of this list, but I question their training. Honey locust should ABSOLUTELY not be recommended at all even though they are native. They lose leaves very, very early and shrivil to a nasty brown...and the THORNS are very dangerous ad the tips break off and have to be surgically removed many times in the flesh. The shed thorns are capable of going through your tires (or your shoe). A sad omission from the recommend canopy trees are the large deciduous magnolias native to our state. Magnolia macrophylla and Magnolia fraseri. I have no idea why these would be considered unsuitable. One of the understory trees I wish were planted more often is the serviceberry. They were used as landscape planting at the Nissan field parking lot and every May i would pick quarts of delicious berries that looked like blueberries with a reddish tint. Delicious.
  5. About 100 years ago or so on 5th Avenue. The building to right is where the plaza of 5/3 bank is now.
  6. Pretty much 90%+ of the buildings in this are GONE!!!
  7. Are we running out of prime sites in the core? Absolutely not! This past six months or so, folks on the forum have been gushing about "clusters".... and it is true; there have been many great surprises all close together recently. Y'all know what they are; I don't have to list them. However we have really not take a recent inventory of vacant sites ripe for the pickin' of new towers without the frumps at City Lights throwing in their 3 cents. These sites have been vey quiet and I would like some possibilities to be examined for consideration. Pretty much we have seen next to nothing proposed on any of them. The closest we have seen of "historic" concerns is over on Rutledge Hill and the rebuild of Second Avenue, because we still have a plethora of vacant lots and junk buildings waiting for new buildings of the scale that has left us all salivating. Let's look at them in light of all of which we have seen lately near them. First , there are TWO vacant BLOCKs of surface parking on Second Avenue that have been there for decades. First, the one at Church and Second is an obvious site with the excellent proposed rebuild of the demolished buildings destroyed by the bombing and the proposals over on 3rd Avenue like Bankers Alley and the additions to the historic buildings up on 3rd near the Square. The block could benefit from a 5 story faux Victorian rebuild like that proposed for the bombed out shells. The site could match the old Victorians with street activations on three streets and have a very large underground parking much needed on both 1st and 2nd. The upper floor could certainly house a Boutique Hotel. The other vacant block has had little to no news as we have all been bedazzled by Asurion's new building over in the Gulch. Once that opens, the vacant block AND the present four story office become a premier prime site for 40 story+ construction without the hoopla of the Rutledge 4 having any say whatsoever. Across Korean war BLVD, we have two sites of which there are proposals which come and go like the Fairmont proposal and the tiny triangle at 1st. I really don't see why that tiny bit of 1st Avenue S. really needs to remain in existence any longer as both sites could benefit from a green park space between them. It doesn't align with anything after all. IMO it would be a wide alley for all practical purposes. Both sites would benefit from internal site parkland like proposed at the Cumulus site. Now looking further down KW BLVD, there is the huge 3/4 of a block by the Margaritaville Hotel. I am quite surprised that I heard nothing happening there, especially with the massive happenings at the roundabout. As to the Roundabout, there are SEVERAL prime sites nearby, though not fully vacant. The Rescue mission seems to be the most tantalizing. Huge and completely underutilized, a sellout here could be potentially as developable as the Reed or Beaman sites. Likewise the Sherman Williams properties on 6th and Drexel cry out for development as they would rub shoulder with the high cotton projects at the Styx Roundabout. Likewise the whole triangular block defined by 6th, Peabody and Lafayette. Too much of our attention has been focused on the Division corridor. Smaller, but still prime lots to consider with the Cannery area looking to be an active area again is the parking lot in front of Cummins Station and the second half of the JW Marriot lot. A second tower matching the first would be sweet. Then there is the big surface parking lot on the corner of 8th and Demonbreun ... PRIME+ land! Finally, I point out the large parking lot at Polk and Church which has been vacant for DECADEs since the demolition of the Tulane Hotel back more than 5 decades ago. If these parcels were developed with appropriate height proposals, the core would no longer have "clusters" but this would unify the existing city core. Of course I ignore the massive state parking lots over below Capitol Hill ... they will NEVER be developed by our backwards state government. until the cows come home IMO. I exclude the parking lot block behind First Baptist as it will certainly be for the expansion of the Convention Center. There are more smaller surface lots surely, but it is time IMO to fill in the blanks and rid the core of the surface parking and the underutilized sites right by all the elegant new construction happenings. What do y'all think?
  8. Here is another area that has changed unbelievably since I was a kid. The soccer stadium is just part of the changes in the fairgrounds. For those of you who are fairly new to Nashville or too young to remember much of what was there except some tired buildings and a big flea market. The site has been the fairgrounds for well over 100 years with a racing track (horses) and stately Victorian exhibition buildings. This photo is from 1903 when the first autos showed up on the dirt track. The old postcard shows how rural the fairgrounds were fairly distant from the city. This 1940s aerial shows the fairground track which was quite larger than the present speedway track. The large parking areas to the left are the site of the new soccer stadium. Note the large oval building below the track in the photo. This was the Colosseum a large indoor equestrian show ring. below it were the agricultural exhibit buildings. In the center of the photo are the Victorian exhibition buildings and grandstands. as you can see the fairgrounds were barely past the creeping suburbs and everything across Nolensville Pike was completely agricultural. After WW2 the area around the fairgrounds had significant housing built surrounding it. By mid century, motorcycle races were popular, but during the Tennessee State Fair, surrey horse racing was the popular venue on the still durt horse track The track was larger and the center of the track was a big staging area . This where the carnival midway was located during the state fairs. There were two tunnels under the track to get to the midway rides. These were totally not wheelchair friendly at all though. By 1959 , the track was used for automobile races . There was an adjacent small permanent rides center called Fair Park down the hill off Wedgewood called Fair Park with a huge pool called Cascade Plunge. As a small child in the 1950s, it was a real treat to go there on Saturdays. You can see how popular the pool was in the 50s as air conditioning was not very common. The old Victorian Woman's exhibition building is seen up the hill above the pool. In the early 60s, you entered the fairgrounds by the Fir Park entrance or the one by the Colosseum and auto races were well established as a popular fair event This is the fair I remember about 1963 as a teenager climbing the hill from fair park up to the grandstands and the splendid Victorian Exhibition buildings. . This was the last day of the old Fair, September 20, 1965. I did not attend because I was a new student at Auburn University, but I had my mother enter a very large pen & Ink I had made for her into the art competition. It was 30 x 40 inches and took me all summer She phoned me that night and told me I had won a huge Grand Award purple ribbon. The next day the fair burned to the ground. After the fire the speedway was reduced with new stands, and new buildings and sheds were built that lasted until the new soccer stadium replaced them after new ones were built over by Nolensville Pike. The Colosseum burned in the late 60s and the area is now the dog park over by the Coke plant. Pretty much this is a brief history of the old fairgrounds site for the new stadium and the speedway rebuilding. I show this mainly for folks unaware of the long history of the fairgrounds. It will very exciting to see the further developments planned. As a side note, for forum members fairly new to Nashville, I will post further old photos and memories in the future. If y'all enjoy these trips down memory lane here in Nashville, you may have missed a whole number of big photo posts I posted a couple of years ago under the threads "The Nashville I Remember" and "Old Nashville Treasures". As I created the threads, these history photo essays will be very early in the threads. The posts are photo heavy and cover a good many subjects like the Arcade, the Maxwell House, Downtown hotels and shopping so if you enjoy posts like tis you might want to take a look at them. Thanks, BaronAkim
  9. Since y'all liked the old photo of the area at the location of the Horizon ball field, I thought this would be a really good photo to show newer folks the massive changes since I was a teenager in the heart of the core. The first is looking up 4th Avenue N. from Church Street. This was taken in about 1960 before the Maxwell House Hotel burned Christmas Eve 1961. The lovely old First American Bank you see beyond the sign was sacrificed with the 6 city block "urban renewal" demolition in the 1970s. I would prefer to still have it rather than the POS they built back. The 3 buildings in the second photo enlargement are still there, but have suffered "improvements". The large building with the Liquors signage was demolished for a Wells Fargo building with an open plaza in front. It was converted to the Bobby Boutique Hotel some years ago. The turreted Southern Turf building thankfully is still there and is restored. Likewise the next group of buildings had their facades lovingly dismantled and restored as part of the the Dream Hotel. the 6 story Climax Saloon was taken down entirely and rebuilt and the old Utopia was gutted and restored as part of the new hotel. It is interesting to see the room windows of the Noel Hotel all had window air conditioning units as central air conditioning was still a decade away. I hope y'all like these vignettes of the city as I remember it 60 years or so ago; I have quite a few others to post.
  10. Thought some of y'all younger folks might like to see what the was there before First Horizon Park. This is about 1965 or so showing the original Sulphur Dell Park just before it was demolished after failing to attract fans as a Demo Derby track. The cloverleaf track is almost exactly where the field is today Of course there was no Bicentennial Mall, just lots of junk warehousing and surface parking. The City Auditorium was new and the vast demolitions on Union, Commerce and Charlotte were soon to happen. The James Robertson Parkway had already nuked the old hell's Half Acre housing, but the huge parking ring around Capitol Hill had not been removed. The huge natural gas tank is now the site of many apartments and condo complexes.
  11. As an architect speaking, this reminds me of the old ESa apartments that were imploded a few years back over by White Bridge Road. If I were designing for Nashville, my druthers would be more like 21st century like this rather than a POS design from the 1970s. The first design proposal was infinitely better.
  12. Cleaning out boxes of old papers, I found this rendering of a proposal I designed back in the early eighties for a concept called Eurosphere. The highway on the right is I 65 and the other is Briley Parkway at Dickerson Pike. This was a massive complex of shopping , hotels and condos based on all European stores...No American stores allowed.. The central areas with the Brandenburg Gate with fountains behind is approximately where Skyline hospital is today. Other features include the Crystal Palace, the Arc de Triomphe, Harrod's of London with Big Ben, the Ponte Vecchio housing jewelers, a working windmill, the Hôtel de Ville and other famous European landmarks. On the far right is a full scale Flavian Amphitheatre for a proposed Olympic to be held in Nashville in 1996. All the parking was under it with elevators and escalators ascending directly into the mall.It failed but inspired the creation of an Atlanta Olympics committee which did succeed. The Eurosphere proposal was designed in the early eighties to open in 1986. If you look carefully, you can see Haley's comet in the rendering. The proposal got fairly well along including getting engineers on board (Gresham) along and Harrod's tentatively agreeing to open it's first NA store. The project was scuttled with a bad downturn in the economy.
  13. Thought it might be interesting to see these old aerial photos of a similar view together Approximately 1940s, 1962, 1970s and 2010s. I'm not sure of the exact dates though.
  14. Thought this old photo of the May Hosiery building was interesting.
  15. Here is my favorite view of the Custom House taken in about the 1960s (no trees). Also shows the First Baptist Steeple. Lovely photo.
  16. Not exactly concerning the rebuilding, but I had always wondered what occupied the gap between the Silver Dollar Salon and the tall Victorians which is part of Hard Rock Cafe property now. I looked around in the archives and found these old photos.
  17. Found these old postcards of Church Street from 1914. the first shows the 45 degree corner of the Cain-Sloan Building at far right. On the left we see the original location of the Princess Theatre before it moved a block further east. The indenture in the center is not a street, but the front lawn of the McKendree Methodist Church. The present facade though was added towards Church Street decades later. One thing I have not been able to find is the identity of the handsome brick 10 story tower at the far left seen in full on the second card. It was torn down perhaps for the new Cain-Sloan in the 60s? It now is the site of the 505 tower. Anyone know? Here is a night view from around 15 years later.
  18. Thought this was an outstanding photo from WZTV Fox. I don't think it has been posted before.
  19. The floor plans for this project do not seem to have an appreciable amount of parking above ground. it would have been beneficial to include the two underground levels. of parking in the post. However, the number of parking seems consistent with the eleven floors of fully residential use. Is this going to be open for public parking? The layout of the first floor seems to preclude that. Automated lifts and similar mechanical systems are really not used for public parking very much as vehicle sizes vary considerably and extra large, tall or long vehicles that the public may attempt (There are few cures for stupid.) can damage the systems. It would have been beneficial if the initial post had included floor plans showing the parking and residential for the high rise portion of this project rather than just the six story total parking even though the above ground parking is fairly inconsequential. I must assume that portion is what Nashvillain has issues with. The area shown on the development map does not appear to be in sinc with the whole project. IMO, if this project really intended promoting "an influx of cars", I would be charging the obscene parking fees prevalent in the area to the absolute hilt with as many extra parking levels and spaces as possible.. I applaud the designers of this proposal for their innovative parking solution and an extremely exciting project.
  20. Here is Nashville's very first high rise tower, the 30 story Life and Casualty Building at 4th and Church. Now over 60 years old I remember seeing the weather forecast on it's crown for many years, which sadly they no longer do. The card of the first photo explains the beacon operation. The second is the steel framing going up in 1956. The building was designed by a local architect Edwin Keeble, who also was known for several tall churches in Nashville. The crown is very unique and housed an observation deck that had outstanding views of Nashville until it was closed due to a suicide jumper in the 1990s I recall as a boy scout having our troop taking a trip to the tower as a treat. As the elevators to the observation deck was very small (the building only has 2 passenger elevators), the leaders gave permission for three of us to take the stairs. Even at 10 years old, it was very exhausting to reach the top. The tower was particularly visible after the Maxwell House Hotel burned in the early 60s. The tower dominated the city streets until other towers were built in the 60s.
  21. As I only get to visit downtown about once a month from the Columbia area between being retired and the Covid mess, I have been posting recently photos and memories of what areas were like when I was growing up. West End is a very special part of town as I visited often as a kid and worked in the Loew's Office tower next to the hotel for almost 2 decades. I am extremely impressed and pleased at the magnificent tower proposal at the split and the final demolition of the nasty dorms that cursed West End for over four decades. The area is transitioning from the early 20th century into the 21st. There is a lot of hand wringing and pants pissin' over "losing" some of the remaining 'treasures" by a bunch of Nashvillians who waited until the horses had left be barn before shutting the doors. Here are some of the buildings that should have been saved and what junk replaced them as well as some which were worthy to be razed. First, here is the site for the new tower about 100 years ago and about a decade ago when it was still useful as a pharmacy. Now of couse it has been vacant since Walgreens closed it several years ago. The tiny covered space has been used for a photo shop and now an ice cream shop...pretty useless IMO. The site is at the junction of Elliston Place and West End Avenue. The photos I have to show are of the two streets as they were before and during my growing up. I do not need to show the south Vanderbilt side or the blocks down by the Soda Shop; I think we on the forum are pretty familiar with whose areas historically. So let's visit West End Avenue first with some really old photos, then some of the buildings from around 2000 to those there now. I am going to guess the first one is about 1910 or so as there is only one tower on Kirkland hall and there are a few cars only. I would gusss this is from a vantage of about 19th Avenue, but this street of homes has completely vanished. I estimate it once ran through what is now the site for the Vanderbilt Graduate Village. West End would have been very like this in the blocks between 19th and 22nd looking west just before the Methodist Church. You can clearly see the Cathedral and St. Thomas in these 1960s photos. The first taken from 17th Avenue shows the single surviving stone home with the two big magnolias in the center of the photo. The next one is also from 17th showing the two houses on the right which would be the Daily convenience store next to the Broadwest Hilton. You can see the early car dealerships begiining to show up at the area of the Broadway split. Back down West End, here is the old Governer's mansion where now the Catapillar tower is sited. Nearer to the Elliston split was this very classy Packard dealership which became a literally ritzy women's clothing store, in the 1950s. I recall mom dragging me there shopping as a teenager. Then it became Tower Records for several decades before being razed for the current boutique hotel building. On the other side of the split, there was the Hippodrome where I mispent a great deal of my youth. The Holiday Inn Express replaced it in the 1980s. Another survivor at the split ids the funeral home at the corner of Centennial Park and 26th Avenue. This is at the end of Ellistom Place which was named for theqwnersof this graceful home in the late 1880s. This was demolished to build th beautiful Father Ryan High School in a magnificent English perpendicular style. Regretably, the Catholic dioscse of Nashville sold the property out for the current nondescript Hampton Inn and eventually the Elliston 23 apartment blook. lastly, here is an 1950s photo from the gass station right across from Rotiers. This is now a small strip center and a automobile lube change. Hopefully they will go away soon as the new tower will make the land to valuable for such piddling uses. I hope y'all enjoy these jaunts of mine into the past. let me know if there are other places in Nashville you would like to see me post. I hope to finish the series I started last years of the big demolition in the 1960s and 70s around Union, Deadrick and Charlotte soon.P.S. Here are three more I found. West End from the tower site looking west in the earky 50s. sorry about the small size. An aerial view probably mid 1930s from the trees in the great lawn of the Parthenon. And the Old Women's Home right across from the Piggly Wiggly, now a strip center with the Honey Baked Ham Shoppe.
  22. Here is an old photo of a prime lot on 8th Avenue N. right by the Cambria Hotel of what is now the Custom House surface parking lot. This was in the 30s. When I was a teenager, the station was gone and the building was an S&H Green Stamp redemption center. The cross street is McGavock which has largely vanished except in a few remaining blocks.
  23. Thanks Sean for those photos of the present site. Thought y'all might like to see what that area was like when I was a kid . The first photo is taken a bit more than a decade or so before I was born, but it was not too much changed when my grandfather drove us down every Saturday or so in the early 50s to get barbeque at Charlie Nicken's at the foot of the bridge on the west banks. This was at Jefferson Street and North 1st. looking toward the Titan Stadium area. The ramp to the bridge was at right. The Esso is now a U-Haul center witha a newer junk building. This was the original bridge, torn down and replaced decades before Top Golf. Charlie Nickens... great barbeque! This was at the SW corner at Jefferson and 3rd Avenue N at the foot of the bridge.
  24. You know, we have all gotten used to seeing the typical riverfront photos with the terraces of Riverfront Park, but I remember when it was very much undeveloped except for Fort Nashborough and the concrete warehouse which was by then owned and operated by Osborne -Hessey. When the river flooded, they just moved the goods to a higher level. Y'all have seen photos of this before as it was back in the 50s to the 70s. I was very pleased to find a photo of it under construction around the end of the 19th century and also it in 1927 along with a good photo of 1st Avenue North from the river. I'm not sure of the dates precisely but you can see the tall buildings )the Stahlman 1907?) in the later photo going up by the Square. Also the old walls on the bank where the train station is now is interesting. I wonder what building were there around the Civil War. I thought it might be interesting to y'all.
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