Former Imperial House apartment building might face demolition

Saint Thomas plan places future of quirky mid-rise in question

Saint Thomas Hospital officials are formulating a strategy to update their West Nashville medical campus — a move that might include the razing of one of the city’s most quirky modernist mid-rises.

“We currently are developing plans for a campus-wide project that could include demolition of the [former] Imperial House apartment building located on the hospital’s campus,” said Amanda Maynord Anderson, Saint Thomas communications coordinator. Saint Thomas owns the Imperial House, which has sat empty since the mid-2000s.

Anderson declined to provides specifics regarding the plan, a timetable for which has yet to be announced.

Designed by Earl Swensson Associates and opened in 1961, the Imperial House (seen courtesy of Google Maps) features the space-age exterior design aesthetic often seen with buildings constructed during that time. Some long-time locals affectionately refer to the futuristic structure as the “Jetson Building.”

Given the 11-story Imperial House’s height (more than 100 feet tall) and mass, an implosion might be required. The last tall building imploded in Nashville was downtown’s historic Sam Davis Hotel (to make way for the Nashville Convention Center and its accompanying hotel) in the mid-1980s.

 

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