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UTgrad09

Urban Infill Concepts for East-West Connector

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I wasn't sure whether this should go in the coffee house or the main forum. These are just concepts and ideas, not solid proposals, so I chose to put it here.

 

http://www.nashvillempo.org/docs/UrbanInfillConcepts/UrbanInfillConcepts_011413.pdf

 

It starts out with an overview of the new BRT line as well as some examples in other cities.

 

Then there are 21 points that they picked along the route to show potential infill ideas (as well as a few already on their way like Elliston23, Park Central, WES, 5th & Main).

 

It also gives a rendering for a potential interstate cap from 12th to Church, and a large East Nashville roundabout in front of East High.

 

It covers potential zoning changes and ideas and possible future developments.

 

 

 

I just thought it was pretty cool. The designs are from the UT College of Architecture + Design. Some are pretty cutting edge, some are blah. 

 

I like 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. 

 

Quite a number of good ideas there. Many that I (and others) have thought about before ("Flatiron" type building at Broadway split, interstate cap, parking structure behind Union Station etc).

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I probably would have tossed it over to the main forum. This is good info, and some of the ideas are great. Of course some cannot happen now (Musica corner being occupied now by the Faison project) but definitely some great ones.

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I probably would have tossed it over to the main forum. This is good info, and some of the ideas are great. Of course some cannot happen now (Musica corner being occupied now by the Faison project) but definitely some great ones.

 

I thought about it...and if Ron or Timmay feels it would be best to move it, they are welcome to...I just didn't want it to get lost in the discussion of new projects or actual speculation/rumors.

 

It's more of an exercise in design and how just a few projects could transform the area.

 

Honestly, some of them are good enough where I wish some of these developers would pick up on some of these designs/ideas.

 

 

1 - "Flatiron" type building at West End/Broadway -- I like the idea of this building, but I don't like this particular design. Seems a bit 70s to me.

 

2 - Music HQ @ Roundabout -- Not a fan of the design. Not enough windows.

 

3 - Demonbreun mixed use building -- I find the outside interesting...but the inner courtyard just doesn't really do it for me.

 

4 - Hard Rock Hotel (where current Comfort Inn on Demonbreun is) -- seems like a pretty typical hotel design, though this works with the curve in the street for Music Circle East. It's 18+ stories. Not special, but looks nice...and I think it would "fit". It would look good from the interstate next to Rhythm and across from the Hensler/Eakin developments.

 

5 - But it would be obscured from the interstate with this interstate cap idea. Running from the 12th Ave overpass to Church St, it would be more than 2/3 of a mile long. Some very interesting plaza designs on top...some fountains, pathways, little "squares" that run the the length of the bridge -- 19 of them. The only thing I don't like is that the same number of ramps are maintained with this concept. I think the number of ramps need to be reduced. I want 13th and 14th to become more or less an urban boulevard, not an access road. 4 lanes, tree lined, and with a 200+ foot median for the plazas...I think keeping the number of ramps hinders the ability for the cap to serve as a mend between Midtown and Downtown/The Gulch. It would be nice to see mid/high rises line the cap giving it another canyon look -- but a pedestrian friendly one. 

 

6 - Mixed use complex on Demonbreun (Hensler/Eakin site) -- It would essentially serve the same purpose as the current proposed developments. While I am not particularly fond of "complexes"...I like the green roof idea. I like the varying heights and shapes of the buildings. 

 

7 - Parking structure/office building at old train shed site -- I've been thinking about something like this for a while. I like the prospect of building something with the old train shed roof...something that fits in with the station. The office building/courtyard idea is a good one, as is the potential relocation of the Tennessee Central Railway Museum (a site that actually has access/visibility).

 

8 - Mixed use on old Clement Landport site -- Sort of an odd, almost "Jenga"-like design. I kind of like it. It's vertical, so it wouldn't completely obscure Cummins Station (though they would need to move their signage). I think this, along with #7, would help spark up some life on that area of Demonbreun, helping bridge the gap between the Gulch and MCC.

 

9 - 8th and Demonbreun (Credit Union site) -- Culinary Institute for women recently released from the penitentiary. Yeah -- not so sure about this one. The design of the building is OK. The location is too prime, though, for some strange idealistic social experiment. I'm not saying it should never be attempted -- just not at 8th and Demonbreun. 

 

10 - Demonbreun between 8th and 7th (old rescue mission site) -- ~12 story "Art Hotel"...2 north-south wings with about a 2 story roof cap/bridge across the top...creating a "frame" of the Custom's House, that sits behind it. Not a remarkable design, but a cool concept, and I think it one that would be unique for the area. It would be "different" for a hotel, too.

 

11 - Demonbreun @ 10th (surface lot behind Cummins Station) -- underground parking with a surface sculpture park.  I like this idea a lot, but it should be extended to include the area behind the Frist. That is a lot that just SCREAMS plaza/lawn. Also 2 stories added on the building at the south end (10th and Clark)...bringing the total to 4...closer in height to Cummins Station. Sounds alright to me.

 

12 - Demonbreun/8th -- mixed use development with Methodist Publishing House/Courthouse parking garage. Federal Parking Garage edged with housing. Interesting. The rest of the idea seems vague. Seems like it would potentially save the Keeble Building. It's billed as an artists community. Somebody tell these architects that artists and prison graduates probably aren't going to get prime real estate downtown...though it would be interesting to see them residing next to each other.

 

13-20 - real world examples/policy changes

 

21 - East Nashville Roundabout 

http://www.hodgsondouglas.com/east_nashville.htm

 

Roundabout concept at Main/Gallatin bend and 11th St. Could be very cool for the area -- no important structures would have to go.

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#5 = The cap over the interstate is great.  As for the ramps, I'm fairly certain that there will have to be Interstate ramps or at least access to Broadway because it is a US Highway.  So getting rid of the ramps to Demonbreun or Church would mean even more traffic on Broadway related to the interstate.

 

#7 is a good idea, but in my opinion not a good design..  Actually, I think that the Clement Land Port  would be the perfect place for a large, municipal parking garage to give a few floors of cheap/free parking more or less beneath the grade of Demonbreun, with a plaza at ground level off of Demonbreun that includes transit access and that is surrounded by other buildings on top/at the edges, such as residential, restaurants or retail. Before anyone gets on me about parking, just imagine having an additional large, inexpensive "underground" parking garage like the Public Square garage to take the place of many of the surface lots that are going to give way to new development :)

 

Maybe the plaza on top of the parking garage could connect on the south end to the proposed pedestrian bridge to provide even more cross connectivity to the Cummins Station area, which is now billing itself as "The Tenth Avenue District," and the 11th/Pine area in the Gulch?

 

I like this idea but not this design, which reminds me of IKEA cabinets or something, although they would only be facing the railroad tracks.  

 

The only thing about relocating the Tennessee Central Railway Museum is that they actually do run pleasure trips on trains there, such as trips to the Watertown arts festivals and even fall leaves viewing trips out to Cookeville.  I would hate to lose that option unless those trains could actually pull up to this station.

 

#21 The East Nashville Roundabout is something that the Mayor's capital improvements budget is going to have to fund, which means that it is not going to happen this mayoral term.  But who knows about the next mayor?  The irony is that with the BRT stopping at this exact spot, that it would be the perfect way to turn the BRT vehicles around:  simply have them go around the roundabout loop!  I do know that when this came up at the East Nashville meetings for the BRT, that it was specifically stated that Nashville cannot use federal funds associated with the BRT for the roundabout.  So essentially, the city would have to conveniently construct the roundabout just before or just in time for the implementation of the BRT.

 

On the one hand, the only buildings that would have to go would be the former Payless Shoes that is now home to Calypso Cafe, and the former Mrs. Winners that is slated to be a Jet's Pizza complete with a beer garden, both of which could be accomodated in almost any commercial property fronting Gallatin nearby.  Heck, they could displace a Hair World or something!  On the other hand, there is a lot of federal sensitivity to altering anything about the grounds for the East Library or East High due to their historical protections, which apparently also apply to the grounds.  So this one is complicated and expensive but doable.

Edited by bwithers1

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I think that the idea of #7 is a good one.  Actually, I think that the Clement Land Port  would be the perfect place for a large, municipal parking garage to give a few floors of cheap/free parking more or less beneath the grade of Demonbreun, with a plaza at ground level off of Demonbreun that includes transit access and that is surrounded by other buildings on top/at the edges, such as residential, restaurants or retail.

 

Maybe the plaza on top of the parking garage could connect on the south end to the proposed pedestrian bridge to provide even more cross connectivity to the Cummins Station area, which is now billing itself as "The Tenth Avenue District," Demonbreun Street, and the Pine Street end of the Gulch?

 

As the Gulch fills up and parking becomes more scarce, I think the need for a large municipal garage in the area makes good sense. Steps down to 11th Street would be needed, though. I don't think that would be too difficult.

Like I said, I like the concept of recreating the old train shed look (maybe with some modern twists) covering a good sized parking garage. Perhaps with plantings on the side to cover the concrete levels. The idea of having small office space on top intrigues me, though...I hadn't really thought about that. It would play off the same idea as what you have at Cummins Station. A funky lowrise small office district would be good for attracting some of these small tech firms that we are currently seeing sprout up in the SoBro area.

This, along with turning the surface lot at 10th and Demonbreun into a sculpture park (with underground parking) would leave metro the opportunity to develop the back side of the Frist into an open space (with possibly a continuation of the sculpture park). It would give it more of the look and feel that an art museum deserves.

I'd like to explore the idea of a plaza connecting to a pedestrian bridge, but I'm not sure I want to cover up too much of the side of Cummins Station. If done right, though, I think it would look good.

The extra parking (I'm thinking something along the same lines as downtown library cheap parking -- to encourage visitors to come downtown without having to spend a lot to park) would serve both the Gulch and the MCC well. It would also give that section of downtown/SoBro a much needed facelift and help fuse that area to the hot Gulch development.

I like this idea but not this design, which reminds me of IKEA cabinets or something, although they would only be facing the railroad tracks.  

 

The only thing about relocating the Tennessee Central Railway Museum is that they actually do run pleasure trips on trains there, such as trips to the Watertown arts festivals and even fall leaves viewing trips out to Cookeville.  I would hate to lose that option unless those trains could actually pull up to this station.

Yes. Good point about the railway trips. There's not a connection to the east side railroad tracks without a rather large detour through Radnor Yard. And if you believe that CSX would be hard to deal with for a pedestrian bridge, I can't imagine using their busy rail yard as a switch track would be very easy at all. Perhaps that aspect is a little too far into the future.

It would be nice, if we ever get some level of passenger rail service on the downtown tracks, to have some cool attractions built in to the area. The Clement Landport location would obviously be ideal for a transfer between train and bus if we ever get a downtown station going again.

From things I have read online, freight rail traffic is running near capacity in the area, so I think it would be a good idea to start working with the railroads to expand capacity enough to accommodate passenger rail along those lines. It will take a great deal of federal help, though...I wonder if Congressman Cooper has the stomach for it.

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I wonder if Congressman Cooper has the stomach for it.

 

The sooner we get rid of that useless fool the better for Nashville. 

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I decided to move this to the main forum.  I tend to miss things in the Coffee House for some reason.  Great discussion.

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Good find Kevin. This does need to be here and I too ignore the coffee house most of the time as it was for topics not related to the built environment, such as star sightings (Taylor Swift or Robert Plant), and other adhoc topics.

 

We created the coffee house back in the day we had more traffic for that time but not as much as we do now.

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