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it's just dave

Nashville: Thermal Goes Down

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As the discussions about what should be developed on the 11-acre site of Nashville's Thermal Plant continue, today was the day the 199-foot cooling tower toppled. Some thought it should be preserved and incorporated into the scheme for redevelopment, and that wouldn't have been a bad idea, but it was was not to be. I had no strong feelings one way or another. Now, since I watched it come down and the landscape of downtown continue to change before my eyes (and ears), I won't miss it.

At 7:45 this morning the crew from Baltimore set the charges that sent the tower to the ground. Perhaps it wasn't as thrilling as a major skyscraper going down, but the immense blast was an incredible feeling and the continuation of some very exciting plans for creating a very livable downtown took another giant step forward. The crowd was larger than I expected...perhaps a thousand people lining the various bridges. I took a few shots. And my body is still feeling the vibrations from the blast. Very cool indeed.

Perhaps the continued removal of the plant will help the site task force make the best decision for the use of this land. We're assured a new urban neighborhood, and it's looking for ballpark component. Whatever they choose, the possibilities are exciting.

BNA, these are for you.

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That is great news for nashville. What about the abandoned factory on the other side of the bridge? Is there any news on that? They should turn it into condos if they could. It would look great!

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B, I love your panos. It's getting fun to chronicle changes around here. I was just looking through some of my old photos of the construction of the arena, Bicentennial Mall, BellSouth, the Coliseum and others. I'm beginning to understand why I go on my Sunday drives now. Amazing stuff.

Wolf, what factory are you asking about? The only one I can think of is the old Neuhoff Packing Plant north of the Jefferson Street bridge (on the northside, Thermal/Gateway is on the south end). If that's the one, there's been a lot of talk over the years about future use. I think there's a film commission office there and some artist lofts already. It has served as a soundstage and site for many music videos. I'm sure it's still being discussed, but as far as exact plans, I can't offer much. As much as I'd like to see that old place used, it just looks like a fire hazard to me. Since it was a meat packing and rendering plant for so many years, I'm afraid it would go up like bacon grease on high heat. But I'll leave that call for someone else. If it's declared safe, then I'm all for a creative re-use project.

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Wolf, it's definately still on the docket. I tried to get close to it to get some pictures yesterday, but it was gated and posted. Ironically, I was talking to a fellow at work who's a member of the Neuhoff family who operated the old packing plant for decades. He didn't know his great-grandfather, but he still hears the plans and said that good things are planned for this old place. He said the structure is very sound since most of it's existence the entire structure was refrigerated with virtually no decay of integrity. I find that pretty fascinating in itself. From the Jefferson Street Bridge, it's looks pretty dark and frightening...all the more reason it should be turned into something extra special. It's location so close to downtown and literally on the riverfront adds to it that much more. If anything happens, I'll be sure to let you know. It may be years away, but I'm sure it will survive.

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