Thursday, October 26, 2006

Another Developer Trying to Call the North End "Uptown"

Will Sanford has already dealt with the flawed logic of recent attempts by Metropolitan 8 developers to call the North End, "Uptown." But at Tuesday night's Salemtown Neighbors meeting, I was approached by a different developer about calling this area "Uptown," based on the logic that north is "up" from downtown. I used Will's argument that Uptown should be adjacent to Midtown (which is adjacent to Downtown), so technically "Uptown" should be somewhere on West End, rather than here. That seemed persuasive to him. Then I mentioned that I prefer to refer to the Germantown-Salemtown-Buena Vista-Hope Gardens area as the "North End," because we truly are an "end" (unlike West End or the East End) cut off from sprawl by the I-65 loop and the river, while still oriented to Downtown. He told me that he liked that idea, so I believe that I made my own small contribution to turning back the "Uptown" moniker.


  1. Uptown generally means the northern part of downtown. However there are a few cities that use it as a way to classify the more affluent areas.

    Steve Yokley, Jr.

    -Real Estate Developer
    UP LLC
    -General Contractor
    Integrous LLC

    I grabbed the following excerpts from

    Uptown Toronto is the north central section on Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Uptown Chicago is a diverse neighborhood located north of Chicago's downtown.

    Uptown in Manhattan, New York City, refers to the northern part of Manhattan; generally speaking, north of 96th Street

    Uptown Houston, or the Uptown District, is mainly centered around Post Oak Boulevard and the Galleria, the largest and most prestigious shopping mall in Houston.

  2. But if we follow this logic, then Midtown is going to have to be moved out of the West End area to Bicentennial Mall, since Midtown is literally between Downtown and Uptown. The old northern cities that you mention called the northern parts "Uptown," when it was literally referring to "Up." The term "Uptown," when used now is merely symbolic, rather than literal, and intended to make property (in Salemtown, especially) more marketable, rather than to refer to a literal place.

    Also, there are alternative meanings for "Uptown," as in "a residential part of town away from the central commercial district." In that case, any residential neighborhood could be called "Uptown," which is closer to the way neighborhoods get named now anyway. Symbolism rules. Look at Germantown, which rides on its marketable name, even as there are no original German families left as far as I know.

    The "North End" suits me fine. It still says "Up" without resorting to symbols that could be applied anywhere. And nobody is going to confuse north with south, east, or west.

  3. There's evidence of another explanation in Wikipedia: "All of Upper Manhattan is contained in the larger area New Yorkers know as Uptown (above 59th Street)." Manhattan's north might be considered "Uptown" because the street numbers literally go up as one travels north and go down as one travels south. Such is not the case in the North End here in Nashville. Also, according to Wikipedia: "The Bronx, though not in Manhattan, is often colloquially referred to as 'Uptown.'" That latter point supports my earlier point that "Uptown" has become a floating symbol.

    Finally, look at what Wikipedia has to say about North End, Boston, which is north of Downtown Boston. There is no "Uptown" in North End, Boston.