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it's just dave

Symphony Center

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At dusk last night, I decided to take a downtown stroll. The fences at the Symphony Center have been removed and all but a little clean-up work remains to be done. Everything from the benches, the landscaping, the raging fountains, the building inside and out is ready to be admired. Walking the plaza not hindered by barriers made me think I was somewhere else, a place I'd never seen, a place I'd return often. I'm in awe.

I went up the Shelby bridge and saw some dear old friends who'd brought their son downtown to shoot photos for a school project. Our conversation was amid a new sound, the sound of a train as the Music City Star continued practice runs into the night. Just seeing the train arrive and depart, the smell of the diesel, the sound of the engines. Again, I was somewhere else.

How quickly this place changes, not just to the eyes, but to the other senses as well.

In a very short time, the strolls can include an open Court House Plaza which only gets more interesting and beautiful every day.

Just some morning thoughts.

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At dusk last night, I decided to take a downtown stroll. The fences at the Symphony Center have been removed and all but a little clean-up work remains to be done. Everything from the benches, the landscaping, the raging fountains, the building inside and out is ready to be admired. Walking the plaza not hindered by barriers made me think I was somewhere else, a place I'd never seen, a place I'd return often. I'm in awe.

I went up the Shelby bridge and saw some dear old friends who'd brought their son downtown to shoot photos for a school project. Our conversation was amid a new sound, the sound of a train as the Music City Star continued practice runs into the night. Just seeing the train arrive and depart, the smell of the diesel, the sound of the engines. Again, I was somewhere else.

How quickly this place changes, not just to the eyes, but to the other senses as well.

In a very short time, the strolls can include an open Court House Plaza which only gets more interesting and beautiful every day.

Just some morning thoughts.

Have you been inside the Schermerhorn yet? If not, prepare for a delight.

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Actually, I have, but not a major exploration. I hope everyone takes advantage of the open house planned for October.

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Dave, I love your description of your evening stroll. It sounds wonderful. I can't wait to experience these areas without fences myself.

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You, geek and I will have to start looking at other places to get booted out of pretty soon.

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A good read about cities really embracing arts facilities. There are some fine halls recently opening or opening soon. The Schermerhorn certainly earns a place in this report.

The Tennessean this morning has a feature on Martha Ingram. Her philosophy on community involvement, input and participation was inspiring. We're very lucky to have such leadership inside the private sector so vigilant and responsive to things that make Nashville a special place to live. I'm honored to work for the Ingram family and every day I see first hand some of what makes them special to our community.

Thanks, Martha, you've certainly helped turn us up a few notches.

My first experience with the Symphony Hall will be the 28th Sept. Frankly, I can't wait.

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Friends,

Speaking of the civic square at the courthouse, I checked the observation deck. Wonderful view. Talked to a security offficial who said security will be provided at night from this point on. That 's encouraing to hear.

As to the Schermerhorn...man, what a gem. Dave's right about all the changes. This does not seem like the sluggish Nashville I vividly recall in the late 1980s to early 1990s.

WW

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I would be interested in hearing what people think of Christine Kreyling's article in today's Scene, in which she asks whether the SSC is architecture or archealogy and suggests that it may be kitsch. Mostly the article is based on anonymous quotations of people (architects, appparently) who are supposedly afraid of being publicly critical of the facility. I am sure NewTowner will have something to say about her article!

I can't find it yet on the web version of the Scene, or I would post a link.

(For what it's worth, I disagree with Kreyling's suggestion that the building is "kitsch." If you can't build a perfectly decent, elegant building using the highest craftsmanship without being called kitschy then there's something wrong in the world. The building may be "safe" and conservative, but it's a perfectly pleasant building. I am looking at it out the windows of my office right now and its proportions and form are lovely to look at!)

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I concur with you BNA. Didn't read Kreyling's article, but I think I understand the point. I'd respond to her by saying that it's perfectly fine for architecture to employ the best elements from one period with the more advanced technology of later periods. If this weren't so, then the classical revival buildings of the early 20th century shouldn't have been built either. After all, they were "adaptations" of styles from earlier eras and civilizations. OK, now that pretty much sums up how deep I'll go in the study of architecture.

Actually I wanted to get to my 890th post.

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I concur with you BNA. Didn't read Kreyling's article, but I think I understand the point. I'd respond to her by saying that it's perfectly fine for architecture to employ the best elements from one period with the more advanced technology of later periods. If this weren't so, then the classical revival buildings of the early 20th century shouldn't have been built either. After all, they were "adaptations" of styles from earlier eras and civilizations. OK, now that pretty much sums up how deep I'll go in the study of architecture.

Actually I wanted to get to my 890th post.

I agree with you. I feel that the "kitschy" arguement is just code for stopping the revival of some great architectural styles. Anyway, Nashville's torn down so much old, why not rebuilt a little that looks like it :thumbsup: .

Btw, I believe the online edition of the Scene comes online a day after (Thursday) the print edition for those that are out of town.

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I concur with you BNA. Didn't read Kreyling's article, but I think I understand the point. I'd respond to her by saying that it's perfectly fine for architecture to employ the best elements from one period with the more advanced technology of later periods. If this weren't so, then the classical revival buildings of the early 20th century shouldn't have been built either. After all, they were "adaptations" of styles from earlier eras and civilizations. OK, now that pretty much sums up how deep I'll go in the study of architecture.

Actually I wanted to get to my 890th post.

I haven't read Kreyling's article yet--but I have to admit, I will be surprised if she trashes the Schermerhorn simply because it uses some forms and proportions that are older than she is. After all, I have one of her books on my bookshelf, and it is called Classical Nashville--not exactly the literary pursuits of a acid-scored Progressive Modernist. We'll see.

In the meantime, I wanted to voice my opinion that ATLBrain has a big point--why would classical buildings be acceptable in 1840 but not 2006? Come to think of it, why would they be acceptable in 1467 or 211 BC? Classical architecture was old long before the Romans even learned how to forge iron. It is timeless, and shouldn't be arbitrarily regarded as "expired" just because it preceded automobiles. So did motherhood, you know. Some things never go out of style--take bread, musical chords, good storytelling, and tabernacle windows. As long as architects use the beautiful, strong, and useful properties of classicism in such a way that is respectful to the tradition's other values--namely, variety and creativity--there is no valid reason to disqualify a building that ties us to both our ancestors and our descendants. Classical architecture does this in a way that a passing stylistic fad, one that depends on an inevitably temporary "newness" for its value, never could.

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When I walk into the building for my first concert on the 28th and the orchestra tunes up and begins play, absolutely none of this, from "kitsch" to quirky Egyptian symbols is going to matter. I can't enough of this building and I'm sure that feeling will transfer to my emotions once inside. All of this is fascinating, but in my mind, at this point in time, it's rather trivial. Call me selfish, but I don't feel inclined to care much one way or another for a repeat of all the intricate details so eloquently discussed about this hall over the past few weeks. I've got tickets, I'll be there, and that's all I care about right now.

You discuss till you're blue in the face. I'm stopping off there on the way home just to admire the fountains and sculpture in 3-D. And if there's ANYTHING amiss about any of it, I doubt I'll even notice.

NT, I hope you can get tickets for your visit. We want you to love this place. And I mean that. The music from within will mean everything.

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Dave, you're a lucky man. I can't wait for the day that I can see our symphony.

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I really look forward to making a visit to the center when it's done, and I really want to hear a concert in there. It's so beautful, and it shows the progress of Nashville in such a beautiful embodyment.

PS. Does anyone know why they didn't have the front facade of the Center face the little park?

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Seems like I read that the architect thought that the front was too narrow to face the park. Also, they didn't want the front steps to line up directly in front of the ramp down to the parking under the park.

I think the portico facing the park is a wise choice. I can't wait to see this building.

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