Clarksville Tennessee MCM and Googie

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johnnyapollo
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Clarksville Tennessee MCM and Googie

Postby johnnyapollo » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:00 am

This is a continuation of the thread entitled "Nashville Tennessee MCM and Googie."

I split this part of my narrative out because it is a bit more personal - I grew up in Clarksville from the time I was in grade school though 2 years of college (I attended Austin Peay as a Computer Science major). I was able to experience a lot of change in the city through the 60's, 70's and 80's. We first moved to Clarksville in 1968 (I was 5) - Clarksville is primarily a military support town, being the closest city to Fort Campbell Kentucky - many of the businesses and the primary economy centers around supporting the army troops stationed at Fort Campbell. We ended up there while my father completed his military service and retired (he was a 21 year man). Because of the town's dependence on the military, the economy has fluctuated with our governments war (aka "peacekeeping") efforts. Through the Vietnam era, Clarksville prospered - thus quite a bit of construction occured during the 60's - prime time for MCM and Googie. Another aspect more related to architecture in general for Clarksville, is the cheap and abundant access to brick and concrete - much of it being processed locally (Clarksville is riddled with limestone - not good for an unprocessed building material, but great for the creating of brick and the like).

Between Clarksville proper and the northern end (where most of the military ended up - closer to the base), there is a strip that catered to the militarty - mostly cheap motels and the like - there were many Googie and MCM buildings here - many of the buildings of my childhood are still standing. Here are a few I thought might be of interest:

First American Bank of Tennessee:
This building originally held a bank (First American Bank of Tennessee if my memory hasn't failed me) - it was one of the first banks in Clarksville that featured drive-through service. The roofline forms a 4-sided diamond pattern to the rectangular building, with points jutting to the front, back and sides. The side "wings" formed the drive-through section to the left and a covered entry to the right. In now houses a motorcycle retail business.
Image

Slightly further North of the bank, is "The Mart" - one of my favorite shopping strip malls (it housed a "Houtchen's" store that had a great model and toy selection) - the sign is still standing (even though much of the neon is gone):
Image

South of the bank are two "Motor Inns" - The Vaction Motor Hotel and the Cumberland Motel:
Image
http://www.northcrestmodern.com/ModernImages/Clarksville/VacationHotel2.jpg
http://www.northcrestmodern.com/ModernImages/Clarksville/VacationHotel3.jpg

Traveling further South, you'll come across the Morgan Building Supply offices (they made concrete and concrete formed blocks, etc):
Image
http://www.northcrestmodern.com/ModernImages/Clarksville/Morgan2.jpg
http://www.northcrestmodern.com/ModernImages/Clarksville/Morgan3.jpg
http://www.northcrestmodern.com/ModernImages/Clarksville/Morgan4.jpg
http://www.northcrestmodern.com/ModernImages/Clarksville/Morgan5.jpg
http://www.northcrestmodern.com/ModernImages/Clarksville/Morgan6.jpg

Finally, there are a group of APSU (Austin Peay State University) Student Housing buildings that I thought were interesting:
Image
http://www.northcrestmodern.com/ModernImages/Clarksville/APSUStudentHousing2.jpg

I hope to take more pics, including some interesting MCM homes in the future.
-- Best, John
Last edited by johnnyapollo on Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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moderns-r-us
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Postby moderns-r-us » Sun Mar 27, 2005 1:40 pm

It looks like the Vacation Motor Hotel used to be a Holiday Inn from the shape of the sign.

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:20 pm

Note to architectural designers (Hindsight Quarterback Report): in the photo of the Morgan Building Supply offices, note the "dirty smudges" that appear on the underside of the folded-plate canopy, where it rests on that boldly-framed screen. While these are of course merely shadows caused by the lack of reflected light at these points, they don't add to the appeal, at least in photographs. They might have been eliminated or at least mitigated by separating the elements, perhaps via short pipe-column elements -- a desireable "articulation-of-parts" strategy associated with modern architecture, in any event?

Or, are these shadows not a "defect"?

SDR

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johnnyapollo
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Postby johnnyapollo » Sun Mar 27, 2005 8:12 pm

I've noticed something similar on those "zig-zag" roofs you see - I've got additional pics I'll post later.

-- Best, John
Last edited by johnnyapollo on Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:52 pm

Anyhoo -- Thanks for the cool pics -- it's always a funny feeling to go and see what things look like after a passage of time, no?

SDR


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