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smeagolsfree

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17 hours ago, Native said:

The area in front of the Fifth Third Center has been renovated again.  This time they have added many tables and chairs as well as planters.  Most of the furniture is made of unfinished wood and has a modern look.  When I inspected the plaza yesterday it was not fully open and no one appeared to be using it yet.  But soon it could accommodate dozens of Starbucks customers and other diners.

 

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Not sure how these structures are intended to be used.  Sunbathing?

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Here is a view of the front door looking up.

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And here are the Viridian and L&C Tower across the street and the old Third National Building next door.  (Rumor has it that Service Source is moving out and the building will become residential.)

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Finally we have the soaring 505 at Fifth and Church.

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I enjoy the activation. The look is okay - not bad, but not great - as it is a nice juxtaposition between the hard, stone material of the tower and then the soft, naturalistic feel of the wood and greenery is nice within an urban setting. My biggest compliant is the raised portion (first photo) makes it feel kinda temporary. 

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2 hours ago, smeagolsfree said:

My hope is SWVP will buy it.

Maybe they could even convince InterContinental Hotels Group to allow them to tear down that ugly thing and build a new structure to house one of their hotels?  I know they’d have to be careful not to build something that competes head to head with the Grand Hyatt.

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1 hour ago, titanhog said:

Maybe they could even convince InterContinental Hotels Group to allow them to tear down that ugly thing and build a new structure to house one of their hotels?  I know they’d have to be careful not to build something that competes head to head with the Grand Hyatt.

Highland Capital Management appears to be the owner of Holiday Inn Express on Broadway, having purchased it in 2019 for $117.5 million. They might entertain an offer. I’m a little short of cash this month. You want to get this one?

9 minutes ago, East Side Urbanite said:

My concern with the razing of the Holiday Inn building is that its replacement will be 15 to 30 stories. Our downtown needs to retain some buildings in the three- to 15-floor range for diversity. If every building downtown is "new" and 15 floors or taller, we will look like a certain city in North Carolina.

Despite its basic exterior design, the Holiday Inn building adds to the quirkiness of our downtown, kind of like the seven-floor residential tower The Westview (and in which Todd Bulgarino once lived). Those are two solid modernist buildings that, to an extent, deserve to remain standing and give our downtown a decent number of buildings from the modernist era.

I like a diversity of sizes, styles, materials and vintages for Nashville's downtown buildings. That  diversity is what makes any downtown visually interesting.

 

 

 

I don’t know who Todd Bulgarino is, but I toured a couple of the units in the Westview and it is (or was) a pretty swell conversion to residential. What is the status of that building?

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13 hours ago, East Side Urbanite said:

My concern with the razing of the Holiday Inn building is that its replacement will be 15 to 30 stories. Our downtown needs to retain some buildings in the three- to 15-floor range for diversity. If every building downtown is "new" and 15 floors or taller, we will look like a certain city in North Carolina.

Despite its basic exterior design, the Holiday Inn building adds to the quirkiness of our downtown, kind of like the seven-floor residential tower The Westview (and in which Todd Bulgarino once lived). Those are two solid modernist buildings that, to an extent, deserve to remain standing and give our downtown a decent number of buildings from the modernist era.

I like a diversity of sizes, styles, materials and vintages for Nashville's downtown buildings. That  diversity is what makes any downtown visually interesting.

 

 

 

Even if it is an ugly a$$ building.

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2 minutes ago, smeagolsfree said:

Even if it is an ugly a$$ building.

Yeah…it needs to come down.  Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it gives us any reason to keep it.  Saving something like the meat processing plant…Marathon Motorworks…etc…AWESOME.  50’s Style Holiday Inn Express?  Yuck.

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4 hours ago, titanhog said:

Yeah…it needs to come down.  Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it gives us any reason to keep it.  Saving something like the meat processing plant…Marathon Motorworks…etc…AWESOME.  50’s Style Holiday Inn Express?  Yuck.

"Old alone" is not a valid reason to save a building. Agree fully. I also agree there are unattractive elements of this building's exterior design and how it oddly "turns its side" to Broadway.  I'm with you, Shay. But similarly, "ugly" can be defined many ways. I think the building is "suitable in that it both offers solid verticality and is sited at the sidewalk. Those are characteristic of the "urban model" that were often missing during the modernist era. And our CBD has only a handful of modernist-era, medium-sized (five to 15 floors) structures. Do we want to obliterate them all because they are not as attractive as, say, the Customs House? I mentioned The Westview earlier. Admittedly, not a strong exterior design. But the building was one of the first in the CBD to offer residential spaces. So its history is as important as its design. Often, it is the intangibles that make buildings valuable. I'm not a fan of what most of us still call Palmer Plaza (in Midtown). But that was the first Nashville building located outside downtown to eclipse the 250-foot mark. That's the type "intangible" I'm talking about. Sometimes it's the usage. Or it could be the decade built, the architect, the specific location, etc.

Many on this board were excited to see the Methodist publishing building (a Keeble design, no less) felled for the JW Marriott in SoBro, VU's Carmichael Towers demolished, etc. I simply take a more broad view of this. There are subtleties, context, intangibles, etc. that can make a building interesting and "worthy."

As to the Holiday Inn building ... if it's razed (and I would be fully fine if it never comes down), I would like to see a brick building of about 10 stories (much like the Hampton Inn in Capitol View) and NOT another 25-floor glass box. At least with that type building, our CBD will continue to maintain some semblance of building diversity.

Again, and to stress, ... the most interesting cities offer buildings of various vintages, styles, materials, sizes, usages and histories. If you want the opposite, check Charlotte's CBD.

(And by the way, I would love to see the Holiday Inn building with the charcoal color scheme you used for the Renaissance Tower.)

 

 

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1 hour ago, East Side Urbanite said:

 

Many on this board were excited to see the Methodist publishing building (a Keeble design, no less) felled for the JW Marriott in SoBro, VU's Carmichael Towers demolished, etc. I simply take a more broad view of this. There are subtleties, context, intangibles, etc. that can make a building interesting and "worthy."

 

 

 

"Subtleties, context, intangibles" huh?  As a young architect working for Street and Street Architects when CarmichaelTowers was under design, I KNOW there were no such considerations involved. It was well known to the staff that the building was an ugly stepchild among the firm's réparateur at the time due to the constraints of Vandy to produce the student housing cheaply.  I condered those ugly towers a scar on the face of Vanderbilt University for decades and was delighted to see them come down.  While the Methodist publishing building was a building by Richard Keeble and a substantial  structure, it was no architectural prize either IMO.  Now... demolishing the L&C tower would be a greta tragedy as it was a vey unique design for the period which IMO rivaled one of Frank Lloyd Wright ( though like Wright, it failed to include adequate stair exiting originally).  Sorry East Side, I do not agree with a museumism viewpoint.  Old buildings should be preserved not because they are old and familiar, but are of outstanding beauty and design, of which the Holiday Inn Express is neither.  Next door to it is a lovely old Gothic church to which I had the privilege of designing an addition years ago on the west side.  I assure you I did consider "subtleties, context  and intangibles" in  designing the modest addition to the extent of actually reopening a decades closed  quarry of Crab Orchard stone from which the original building was clad in order to as closely match the original as possible.  Many decades of weathering and pollution made this unlikely to be a perfect match at the time, but several decades now have made the stone much more matched.  I feel that "a brick building of about 10 stories"  is not particuarly a good  solution for a replacement any more than reconstucting the old streetcar barns on 3rd Avenue N. would be now in its resurgence of residential complexed around the ballpark.   Your "glass box" statement is a very tired argument as design of glass boxes varies enormously. Is the Batman Buiding any less worthy of being a Nashvile icon as it is sheathed in glass?  IMO, Nashville has a very reasonal number of "glass boxes"  of many varying designs and appearances.  I understand that you agree that the Express is ugly, but I do not  fully agree about building low to medium height buildings back per se.  Keeping buildings like the nearby Standard and the Frost are important but it is not necessary to surround them with duplicate scales and materials.Our city is evolving its own look and need not be constrained by any preconcieved prejudice of material or style.  We, as citizens, live in an environment that changes as we live our lives and should not expect anything other than the best of our architecture should survive past our own lifespans.  Room must be made for our successive generations experience.

Edited by Baronakim
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4 minutes ago, Baronakim said:

"Subtleties, context, intangibles" huh?  As a young architect working for Street and Street Architects when CarmichaelTowers was under design, I KNOW there were no such considerations involved. It was well known to the staff that the building was an ugly stepchild among the firm's réparateur at the time due to the constraints of Vandy to produce the student housing cheaply.  I condered those ugly towers a scar on the face of Vanderbilt University for decades and was delighted to see them come down.  While the Methodist publishing building was a building by Richard Keeble and a substantial  structure, it was no architectural prize either IMO.  Now... demolishing the L&C tower would be a greta tragedy as it was a vey unique design for the period which IMO rivaled one of Frank Lloyd Wright ( though like Wright, it failed to include adequate stair exiting originally).  Sorry East Side, I do not agree with a museumism viewpoint.  Old buildings should be preserved not because they are old and familiar, but are of outstanding beauty and design, of which the Holiday Inn Express is neither.  Next door to it is a lovely old Gothic church to which I had the privilege of designing an addition years ago on the west side.  I assure you I did consider "subtleties, context  and intangibles" in  designing the modest addition to the extent of actually reopening a decades closed  quarry of Crab Orchard stone from which the original building was clad in order to as closely match the original as possible.  Many decades of weathering and pollution made this unlikely to be a perfect match at the time, but several decades now have made the stone much more matched.  I feel that "a brick building of about 10 stories"  is not particuarly a good  solution for a replacement any more than reconstucting the old streetcar barns on 3rd Avenue N. would be now in its resurgence of residential complexed around the ballpark.   Your "glass box" statement is a very tired argument as design of glass boxes varies enormously. Is the Bat man Buiding any less worthy of being a Nashvile icon as it is sheathed in glass?  IMO, Nashville has a very reasonal number of "glass boxes"  of many varying designs and appearances.  Our city is evolving its own look and need not be constrained by any preconcieved prejudice of material or style.  We, as citizens, live in an environment that changes as we live our lives and should not expect anything other than the best of our architecture should survive past our own lifespans.  Room must be made for our successive generations experience.

Carmichael Towers were an abomination in many respects. If anything, the fact alone that the four buildings "turned their backs" to West End Avenue was troubling. But how many cities offer a university that offers four high-rises (110 feet or taller as defined by Emporis) on a major street? Ugly or not, that WAS a distinctive element of Carmichael Towers. That said, I much prefer the new buildings.

The "subtleties and intangibles" I reference often have little (if anything) to do with great design and functionality and are more focused on distinctiveness, usage, history, design firm involved, events that took place within, etc. I think the Avon Williams TSU building is horrid on most levels. BUT, I'm glad our downtown has a brutalist building for variety. Plus, I both taught and took classes in the structure back in the day. Lots of folks dislike the Municipal Auditorium. But I respect its history and am glad we saved it.

I have no problem with "glass boxes" in a general sense. I simply don't want every new building of 10 floors or more to be a glass box.  For mid-sized and recently opened brick buildings, I like the Virgin Hotel, the CapView Hampton and the Towne Place Suites at Third and Gay. A building of that nature could almost "honor"  the concept of having a mid-sized brick building (hideous though the Holiday Inn structure is) remain at that Broadway site. 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, East Side Urbanite said:

Carmichael Towers were an abomination in many respects. If anything, the fact alone that the four buildings "turned their backs" to West End Avenue was troubling. But how many cities offer a university that offers four high-rises (110 feet or taller as defined by Emporis) on a major street? Ugly or not, that WAS a distinctive element of Carmichael Towers. That said, I much prefer the new buildings.

The "subtleties and intangibles" I reference often have little (if anything) to do with great design and functionality and are more focused on distinctiveness, usage, history, design firm involved, events that took place within, etc. I think the Avon Williams TSU building is horrid on most levels. BUT, I'm glad our downtown has a brutalist building for variety. Plus, I both taught and took classes in the structure back in the day. Lots of folks dislike the Municipal Auditorium. But I respect its history and am glad we saved it.

I have no problem with "glass boxes" in a general sense. I simply don't want every new building of 10 floors or more to be a glass box.  For mid-sized and recently opened brick buildings, I like the Virgin Hotel, the CapView Hampton and the Towne Place Suites at Third and Gay. A building of that nature could almost "honor"  the concept of having a mid-sized brick building (hideous though the Holiday Inn structure is) remain at that Broadway site. 

 

 

 

 

Well stated rebuttal East Side.  We are in basic agrrement.

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I wish I could find a photo of the Holiday Inn Express building when it was new, as Sheraton Nashville, I believe. Seems I recall it was a dark brick. I’ve had no luck finding anything so far, but perhaps someone has better Google search skills (or luck). I suspect it looked better before it was painted.

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53 minutes ago, East Side Urbanite said:

No doubt, B-kim.  I agree with about 95 percent of all your posts and your general approach to design and urban planning. You know your stuff.

:tw_thumbsup:

 

Thanks.  Over 50 years as an architect and working for many good firms has a lot to do with it though.  I doubt I would have fared as well being a principal on my own.  I only wish I had the time and energy to work another 3 or 4 decades to share my experience, though this forum keeps me involved and current at least about Nashville.

 

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5 hours ago, East Side Urbanite said:

"Old alone" is not a valid reason to save a building. Agree fully. I also agree there are unattractive elements of this building's exterior design and how it oddly "turns its side" to Broadway.  I'm with you, Shay. But similarly, "ugly" can be defined many ways. I think the building is "suitable in that it both offers solid verticality and is sited at the sidewalk. Those are characteristic of the "urban model" that were often missing during the modernist era. And our CBD has only a handful of modernist-era, medium-sized (five to 15 floors) structures. Do we want to obliterate them all because they are not as attractive as, say, the Customs House? I mentioned The Westview earlier. Admittedly, not a strong exterior design. But the building was one of the first in the CBD to offer residential spaces. So its history is as important as its design. Often, it is the intangibles that make buildings valuable. I'm not a fan of what most of us still call Palmer Plaza (in Midtown). But that was the first Nashville building located outside downtown to eclipse the 250-foot mark. That's the type "intangible" I'm talking about. Sometimes it's the usage. Or it could be the decade built, the architect, the specific location, etc.

Many on this board were excited to see the Methodist publishing building (a Keeble design, no less) felled for the JW Marriott in SoBro, VU's Carmichael Towers demolished, etc. I simply take a more broad view of this. There are subtleties, context, intangibles, etc. that can make a building interesting and "worthy."

As to the Holiday Inn building ... if it's razed (and I would be fully fine if it never comes down), I would like to see a brick building of about 10 stories (much like the Hampton Inn in Capitol View) and NOT another 25-floor glass box. At least with that type building, our CBD will continue to maintain some semblance of building diversity.

Again, and to stress, ... the most interesting cities offer buildings of various vintages, styles, materials, sizes, usages and histories. If you want the opposite, check Charlotte's CBD.

(And by the way, I would love to see the Holiday Inn building with the charcoal color scheme you used for the Renaissance Tower.)

 

 

I 100% agree we need to keep some of our “old stock” and that it makes for an interesting city…but I just think it’s debatable on whether or not that particular building (Holiday Inn) is worthy of saving.  To me, it’s the type of architecture that retracts instead of adding to the environment.  Almost anything that will built in its place will be better at that location.  Of course, that’s just my opinion…so it’s totally subject to my own likes and dislikes.

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