The site where Nashville’s Main Library sits has a storied history. Located in the heart of downtown, the city block was once home to Nashville’s original synagogue before the Church Street Center, a shopping mall frequented by suburban residents in their Sunday best, opened in 1990. Built before its time, the mall was demolished but the parking garage stayed, and the site became home to Nashville’s current public library in 2001.

To keep pace with Music City’s booming population growth and tourism demands, Metro Nashville and the Nashville Downtown Partnership called on Gresham Smith to expand parking at the library. Working with Centric Architecture, HWA Parking and Messer Construction, our team designed a three-story vertical expansion to the existing garage, adding 350 additional parking spaces for the growing city.

Client

Metropolitan Government of Nashville

City

Nashville, TN

Services

Engineering

3

story expansion

350

additional parking spaces

$10M

project

A Storied Site

A Storied Site

Thanks to the site’s long history and many uses, we didn’t have much to work with besides basic floorplans. We needed to learn all we could about the site’s structural condition before determining if a vertical expansion was even possible, so we worked with a local geotechnical firm to conduct forensic analysis. After a year of testing the site’s bedrock and the garage’s foundation and concrete, we had the information we needed to move forward with the design.
Made of Steel

Made of Steel

We used steel, rather than concrete, to frame the garage expansion. As a lighter weight material, steel didn’t require as much support from the foundation, and it also allowed us to work faster without the need for concrete formwork. While we did have to block traffic lanes with a crane, we were able to lift steel to the top floor of the garage and move out of the way relatively quickly. Steel also allowed us to use a state-of-the-art steel frame connection technology, rather than traditional welding to construct the additional levels efficiently.
A Pleasant Parking Experience

A Pleasant Parking Experience

Gresham Smith also improved the garage’s overall lighting and circulation and installed new signage and wayfinding on the upper floors. Additionally, our team of structural engineers worked with the project architect to install large panels with angled fins on the exterior of the garage, blending the new steel structure and the existing concrete garage together seamlessly. The brightly colored panels create an identifiable and iconic structure, making it virtually impossible to forget where you parked.

Gallery

Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion
Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion
Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion
Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion
Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion
Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion
Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion
Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion
Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion

Metro Nashville Public Library Parking Garage Expansion

Project Contact

Our team is committed to improving the places we call home.

Bring genuine ingenuity to your community.

John Horst, P.E., LEED AP, CPD
John Horst, P.E., LEED AP, CPD
Senior Mechanical Engineer