Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

it's just dave

SoBro: A Visual Perspective

Recommended Posts

I've really enjoyed the discourse on the Encore Tower. I'm guessing that many the ideas presented here have not gone unnoticed as designs and streetscapes continue to evolve. The design of SoBro is the project of hundred and hundreds of people who've spent thousands of hours working and studying how best to design a brand new urban experience for Nashville's residents, workers, leisure visitors, and tourists.

One only has to think back a year and "see" the area as it was. Now, one should take a nice Sunday walk and see what a difference a year can make. The changes are minimal at this point, but it's easy to see how the area is evolving. With some of the publically known things underway, or soon to be, and the things we know not ready to be announced, this is a crucial time for this area. We're essentially building a city within our city larger than many communities we read about on this forum. Study and discussion are required. Certain limits should be established, but I'm not going to discuss this here, as it's being discussed at length on the Encore thread.

What I want to do here is to give you a tour of the area as I saw it this morning. Using the powers of visualization, one can begin to "see" things that aren't there yet, but know they're coming. How these things will relate to the street, how the human scale will feel while walking, and the hope for a safe area all come into play.

Here are few shots from this morning, Sunday, 02/05/06. Remember these, for these will change dramatically in the coming months and years.

Here's how the Schemerhorn Symphony Center is taking its place on 4th Avenue across from the park at the Hilton.

AtSchermerhorn1.jpg

The corner of Demonbreun Street and 4th Avenue. Demonbreun St. is to be widened by 17 feet. If you'll look at the picture closely, the beige building behind the crane on the property where Encore is to be constructed.

Position1.jpg

The red brick building you see is the Market Street Apts. and the little white building across from that is being rehabbed into offices. I'm thinking 1910, but can't remember exactly when it was built.

DemonbreunSt.jpg

Looking north on 4th Avenue, the lot behind the new TRAILERS is Encore's location, the trailers are interesting additions. The fenced construction site at the right is the Hampton Suites site. They always landscape well, so this should look really good.

Trailers.jpg

Here's a view from high up on Gateway Blvd. The Hampton Suites construction is to the left, to the street at Gateway and 4th.

FromGatewayHigh.jpg

Here's a similar view with a VERY rudimentary addition of the Encore (I only had so much to work with). This should give at least some perspective of how the tower will fit at its location. No laughing at my Photoshop, please. That little street in front is Almond Street. The tower will contain street level shops and restaurants, all leading up to the center portion of the Symphony Center on Demonbreun.

FromGBwEncore.jpg

..and here's a few shots of the soon-to-be-completed section of Gateway Blvd. I felt good walking on it this morning, it's going to be a truly exhilarating experience not too long from now.

LongBridgeShot.jpg

Gateway Blvd.'s original design was to extend this to 8th Avenue. It's quite likely to 6th is imminent (with funding) and IF the new convention center study is successful and the center is built to 8th, I'm sure the boulevard extension will be assured.

GateWestView.jpg

Gateway4th.jpg

Gateway.jpg

I hope we'll be able to see a stadium in this shot before long, if not, something really cool on both sides of the bridge.

BridgeShot.jpg

...and of course, the obligatory Viridian shot viewed from walking down 1st Avenue, the Thermal site is to the right, and dead ahead, a very cool commuter rail station in progress.

Viridian1stAve.jpg

If this was all that was going on, I'd be excited, but thinking about the Courthouse, Stahlman, Germantown, Salem Town, Midtown, Gulch, West End...all within two miles or so from the central city core, it's almost too much to absorb. But, I'm truly trying.

Hope you enjoyed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Gateway Blvd.'s original design was to extend this to 8th Avenue. It's quite likely to 6th is imminent (with funding) and IF the new convention center study is successful and the center is built to 8th, I'm sure the boulevard extension will be assured.

GateWestView.jpg

Great stuff, Dave. :thumbsup: One question for you... If the boulevard is extended, won't these nice old brick structures in this picture have to be demolished ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Answer: Yes. They've been boarded up a long time. Sometimes we just have to lose some things for the better good.

Something interesting about some of the old buildings we lost. I was at the library yesterday in the Nashville room looking at old pictures and reading things.

It's amazing to read about some of the most spectacular buildings and when they were demolished. The 50s, 60s, 70s certainly weren't the only culprits. Some of the most interesting buildings were torn down in years like 1905, 1912, 1910 and so on. Some of these were major structures like office buildings and mansions. Not only gone, but gone for a century already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These pics are great, Dave. They've given me a good understanding of how things are shaping up. Unfortunately, I missed getting around that area and Gulch when I was in town a few months ago.

A few questions for anybody who knows:

1. Where those portable buildings are... are they newly placed there? If so, does that signal the start of the Encore sometime in the near future?

2. The footprint of the Hampton looks small... I recall hearing that it will be only 6 stories. So how many rooms? Underground parking? Do you know who owns the adjacent property that fronts on Gateway? Anybody know what/if any plans there are for that property? Is that Streuver Bros'.

3. In the shot towards the bridge (with site of future ballpark), isn't a 10-12 story office building proposed for the property across Gateway (on the right in the pic)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are some nice shots. Since I'm not in Nashville often I took a chance to walk around the downtown a few weeks ago while there with a buddy. I took the time to walk around the area of the new Symphony building. While I was there I took some pictures with almost the same angle as yours from the Hilton parking lot. While I was in the area I seen a lot of change and progress with streets upgrades and I had no idea I was standing where the new Hampton and Encore was going to be. Those two additions are going to make a huge change on the area visually.

The whole SoBro area is going to be beautiful. You did a great job on the pictures. Maybe if you get a chance you can add some more pictures and information of the area toward the river and the proposed ballpark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome thread Dave. The pics are great too. I share your feelings about SoBro. I feel like its a new chapter in the life of Nashville both from a development perspective and from a lifestyles one too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ATLBrain's questions and my answers as best I can.

A few questions for anybody who knows:

1. Where those portable buildings are... are they newly placed there? If so, does that signal the start of the Encore sometime in the near future?

Yes, they are newly placed surrounded by a fence. Start of Encore, probably.

2. The footprint of the Hampton looks small... I recall hearing that it will be only 6 stories. So how many rooms?

I think around 140-150.

Underground parking?

Yes.

Do you know who owns the adjacent property that fronts on Gateway?

No. But I bet I can find out. My friend who owns Sole Mio Restaurant is just on the other side. That's her red roof sticking out. She and husband bought the property and built the new building a couple of years ago. One of my favorite restaurants.

Anybody know what/if any plans there are for that property? Is that Streuver Bros'.

Probably not Streuver, too far from the river. Would make a nice restaurant site.

3. In the shot towards the bridge (with site of future ballpark), isn't a 10-12 story office building proposed for the property across Gateway (on the right in the pic)?

There are several things planned for the area and the grassy area in front of the DCS. That site was mentioned for an office building, but I don't know now if that's still the case. In fact, there's not much land there where there aren't plans for something. We'll see what shakes out after tomorrow night's council vote on the stadium.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Answer: Yes. They've been boarded up a long time. Sometimes we just have to lose some things for the better good.

Something interesting about some of the old buildings we lost. I was at the library yesterday in the Nashville room looking at old pictures and reading things.

It's amazing to read about some of the most spectacular buildings and when they were demolished. The 50s, 60s, 70s certainly weren't the only culprits. Some of the most interesting buildings were torn down in years like 1905, 1912, 1910 and so on. Some of these were major structures like office buildings and mansions. Not only gone, but gone for a century already.

Those buildings may be of little consequence, but they're about the last ones of its kind in the nearby blocks, and it will be sad when they're cleared for a street.

I know exactly what you mean by the horrendous loss of major structures over the past century, especially mansions, for which there remains not a single solitary one left within the CBD. Only the old Federalist-style house across the street from the Arena and the old Doctor's Building, the last remaining townhouse, are the only two that I know of (although I believe part of St. Cloud's Corner was an old pre-Civil War house, but hard to tell because of remodeling later on in the 19th Century converting it into a commercial structure). I own several old postcards from the early 20th Century, and you just feel ill looking at all of what was deliberately taken down (what had to be cleared, for example, to build the War Memorial Structure included the Governor's Mansion, and a spectacular block-long set of mansions of no peer today). Probably the only major structure that was lost by accident, rather than through deliberate means, was the Maxwell House Hotel. It's truly sad that if you are to see any of these types of buildings, you have to go to places like Richmond. Richmond's collection of mansions comparable to what we used to have is very spectacular.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Gateway had to decide between the church EOA is located in or the building across the street, the smaller less architecturally significant buildings lost. I have never looked at this in detail, so I not sure if both could have been saved, but with the widths TDOT required, I am sure it was not.

it's just dave, thanks for posting the images. I always love the photo tours everyone post. One image in this set where I took a second look, was the one with Encore superimposed. I am not sure if you realized that the building is shown less than 25% of its actual size. Could you repost with it scaled larger. The bottom four floor should be at least the height of the Symphony Hall. It looks like the first 10-12 floors are the height of the Symphony Hall. I pulled something together a rough copy on my computer to see it, but thought since it was your image you may be able to post it at a little better resolution if you had down sampled it for posting. Is this possible? Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one where the imagination just has to be somewhat of a simple, crude illustration. I do realize the "out of whackness" of scale, but I'm afraid doing a better one will just have to be up to someone else.

I'll be happy to send you the photo, I still have the 180 dpi original. Not the best, but those are settings I used on my snaps. I'd love to see what someone who really knows how to do this would do with the possibility. Let me know, bzorch. I'm rotten with scale and perspective. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is rather crude, but using the floor relationship with the Symphony Hall (4 stories at the most), I think this is pretty close. It may be a little bit larger. Obviously it look even larger to the skyline because it is closer to you in the photo.

Encore_Sobro.jpg

It's a monster of a building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad you took these photos Dave. In another year we will not remember what this area looked like before. Its about to change radically. Maybe in a couple of years we can have before and after shots of all that is going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dave for a great post. I know I'm speaking for everyone when I say we appreciate the time and effort to put together these great pictures, explanations, etc. This helps us all in understanding what is happening in this area, and what it may look like in the future. Awesome work! The next several years years will produce a vast change in SoBro. I am confident that the result will be thriving neighborhoods, much more retail, and entertainment options such as a wonderful new ballpark, and symphony hall...basically a vibrant, livable downtown area which will be a prime desired location for people to live. :yahoo:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're all very welcome. I don't get on my photo/essay kicks too often, but if you enjoy, I'll sure do more. I do enjoy doing them.

I plan on working on a thread probably in the summer with pix from the past couple of years. I need to print the photos so I can get the same points of reference, but it will involved taking the same shot of many of the projects...then and now, in the present (whenever that turns out to be). I want some things to start coming out of the ground first. One can only look at so many empty lots. But, just wait till summer...ooo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.