Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hall of Fame Park: A Review

Posted By on Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 6:25 AM

See? The roses look great.
  • See? The roses look great.
Location: Between the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Hilton
Size of park: medium
Crowds: light
Approximate age of patrons: middle-age tourists
Topics of conversation: the weather
Stray dogs seen: none
Types of vehicles in parking lots: n/a
Perceived safety: high
Number of gunshots heard: none
Dog Friendliness: low
Number of pit bulls sighted: none
Accessibility: fine
Incorporation of local history: There's a walk of fame.
Recommended patrons: people who are already there

One radio tower architectural element.
  • One radio tower architectural element.
I feel strange about calling the roof of a parking garage a "park," no matter how nicely landscaped. I mean, sure, on the one hand, I'd like to see more roofs — of garages, of buildings — designed with plants, and engineered to do more with rainwater than just run it into the sewer system. And if framing green roofs as "parks" is what gets that done, fine.

And I'd rather have an underground parking lot with a green roof than a parking garage right there.

But it still feels a little like cheating. It's not land set aside; it's a floor of a parking garage set aside. But fine. I think it's weird, but, if Metro says it's a park, I'll accept it as a park.

Is it worth going to? I'll say, I wouldn't pay to park just to go to this park. But, if you're already downtown, you should definitely stop by. The flowers are amazing. I mean, we've just come through a hot summer. Trees all around town are turning brown, not from autumn but from lack of rain. Yards look crispy. And the plants in the Hall of Fame park all look amazing. Even the roses are thriving.

The grassy area is beautiful. They had some huge mushrooms in the lawn due to the remnants of tropical storm Lee, but the grass itself is lush and not weedy. And you can stroll around perusing the Music City Walk of Fame while asking yourself, "Now, who is that, again?"

And another.
  • And another.
The best part about the Hall of Fame park is that it is a prime viewing spot for some of Nashville's most wayward architecture. We have not one but two buildings with a radio antenna motif, which will probably be inscrutable to folks 10 years from now. ("See, radio stations used to broadcast over the airwaves and they had these antennae and these are supposed to look like those.") We have the Batman Building. We have The Pinnacle, a skyscraper that, in most light, looks invisible. I guess the architect's concept was all, "The building will be huge, but camouflaged by the sky." And then there's the Hilton, which looks odd just by virtue of its bland normalcy. Not to mention the Music City Center, which, at the moment, has this weird bulge and, at the top of that bulge, a tiny jutting balcony, as if the thing is already giving us architectural raspberries.

I'm dying to see what kinds of weird shit they start building along Peabody and down towards Elm. What about a building that is shaped like a reclining woman? Or a building shaped like an inverse pyramid to stick it to Memphis? What about a building shaped like a coffee maker? Oh, right, John Rich has already given the city that. I'm just saying, there's no need for us to stop making strange, slightly ugly buildings. Now that we have a collection of them, let's just keep going.

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