May 27, 2021


Even as young as 3 and 4 years old, twins Sam and Eli were fascinated with the downtown skyscrapers in Nashville.  Fortunately, my office was at the corner of 4th Avenue North and Commerce Street, and from my ground floor office, I had a beautiful view of the historic Ryman Auditorium and the AT&T office tower (constantly referred to as the Batman building). 

Each time they visited Nashville, we’d drive through downtown and I would point out each of the tall buildings by name. Soon they wanted many more details.  Questions for each building included, “when was it built?”—“how many feet tall is it?”— “which are the tallest buildings?” and more. I resorted to Internet searches on skyscrapers—and we prepared lists—from tallest to least tall, from newest to oldest.

By the time they were 6 years old, I’d exhausted all my online resources.  Suddenly I had a brilliant idea!  I would arrange a tour of some of the tallest buildings downtown for them.  They were spending Thanksgiving in Nashville that year.  I began contacting people I knew in some key locations to schedule a visit to their site for the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The Pinnacle office tower was a beautiful new building—and one of the best views was from the reception area of the Bass, Berry and Sims Law Firm.  They would be closed that Friday but one receptionist and a couple of the attorneys would be there.  The office manager arranged  our first tour stop there.  This photo shows Sam and Eli as they excitedly look across at the tallest tower of all—the Batman building—and point out others they recognize.

Patrick and Julia pushed little Ezra along in his stroller, and we all snapped photos of the excited Sam and Eli. Another stop on the tour was a penthouse at Viridian on Church Street.  Brenda Sanderson and her husband Ruble own several of the honky tonks on Broadway and live at Viridian.  In the second photo Brenda and I are with Sam and Eli on their penthouse porch.  From here they got another perspective on the downtown skyline.

Our final stop was a personally guided tour up into the tower at Bridgestone Arena.  Then they were able to have a genuine Music City experience—perched on stools with guitars.

It was a beautiful fall day and an exciting tour of some fascinating locations.  The only disappointment was that we couldn’t go to the top of the Batman building because it was locked up for the holiday weekend.  However, a few months later when the boys were back for a weekend visit, we went to the iconic Batman building top floor.  It was the first time I’d been there too as this floor isn’t open to the public.That Christmas I made a CD of the Tall Building Tour photos for the boys—and my friend Ashley animated it.  Nothing can fully capture the joy and excitement we all shared during this special downtown tour.  The views from a car seat just can’t compare with views from the top floors!

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