Days ago the state signed off on the preliminary designs presented for a new Sulphur Dell ballpark for the Nashville Sounds. The architects' gift to the Jefferson Street corridor:
|Sulphur Dell as the architects see it
These concepts for a new ballpark strike me as vintage-rest-stop. 1950s-style modernist flat top roofs bolstered by geometrically spartan metal poles: I recall such shelters along highways providing rustic rest for weary automobile drivers in the wonder years of my childhood.
|Get your kicks
|On the road
|Keep on truckin'
Nevertheless, the Sulphur Dell design does not make me feel nostalgic. Some things from our past should not be revived.
If the ballpark design does not strike you as a hangover of the glory days of Route 66 and automobile road trips, then it may well convey a certain prêt-à-carport:
|The sheltered car look
Rather than communicating the history of baseball at Sulphur Dell, the preliminary design seems deliberately introduced at odds with that history. It looks more like a stripped and spartan homage to modernist car culture, which I guess seems appropriate, since the Mayor has introduced no plans for moving people safely around Sulphur Dell except in their own cars. If the preliminary designs have nothing to do with car culture, then I have no idea at what the architects are driving, given that it is not a recognizable baseball aesthetic.
And how does the design remotely fit with the downtown and North Nashville community plans?