Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nashville Yesterday: Restaurant Before the Bound'ry Was also a Late-Night Imposition on Residents

Since I wrote last night's post on problems Midtown residents are having with the Bound'ry after midnight, a couple of commenters have compared Midtown to Downtown with respect to the noise level. As one friend pointed out to me today, such a comparison is one of apples and oranges. Downtown is primarily and unmistakably an entertainment district that has only recently become residential. Downtown probably has very loud decibel allowances.

Midtown was largely residential until more recently; now it is more mixed-use. One would expect a greater tolerance for sub-woofers (and jacked, wall-shaking sub-woofers are nothing like just turning the volume up on your garden variety music) in Downtown and less tolerance in a more traditional mixed-use neighborhood like Midtown.

There is a residence hall right across 20th Avenue from The Bound'ry, and that hall has been in operation since the 1950s. So, the commenters who suggest that loud venues have been around longer than residents and that new residents should realize what they are getting themselves into are not being entirely correct. The history of the place is not that restaurants got built first and complaining neighbors came later. The recent Adelicia complaint is probably one in a long line of complaints over the decades of commercial encroachment. Midtown wasn't born in the 1990s when The Bound'ry was.

In fact, I was given a note today written by a resident back in 1987 regarding the restaurant that stood where the Bound'ry does now:

Last night The Third Coast played music until 1:40 a.m .... residents confronted the manager at least five times and called the Cafe numerous times as well. Metro police visited the Cafe three separate times but to no avail.

The city ordinance states an 11:00pm silence, yet the Third Coast has not obeyed the ordinance ....

[another resident] picks up at least one large size garbage bag full of beer bottles, etc. which are thrown out by patrons of Third Coast & Marty's .... Third Coast and Marty's do nothing to help keep the neighborhood clean.

That hardly sounds like someone writing in a predominantly entertainment district like Downtown. I don't believe that it serves the communities that have called Midtown home over the decades to compare them to new urbanism's residential communities (like those springing up around Downtown). And I don't think it's too much for neighborhoods outside Downtown to ask that their noise levels be kept well below Downtown's (like at a middle range of decibels?); otherwise, Midtowners would live in Downtown.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said. They guys over at the charrette had some good comments as well. I think everyone is going to have to adjust a few things, compromise here and there, and well, get used to downtown living.