Germantown Partners, Inc.
After Carden built the Germantown Cafe building, people kept asking the client when they had done the splendid renovation. And even though it was brand new, the project won an award from the Nashville Historical Commission for preserving the architectural heritage of Nashville. Carden found ways to solve modern problems while preserving the historical ambiance.
“‘The place looks like it has been there 100 years’ – that’s probably the biggest compliment you can get when you’re building in a historic area,” said Andre LeQuire of developer Germantown Partners.
But even if your project has to look like the century-old buildings around it, you need the benefits of modern construction know-how. For instance, these days, drainage has to be taken care of on the site itself – the runoff from the building and the parking area has to stay on the lot.
The pervious concrete parking lot Carden installed both drains and filters the water. And it adds to the historical flavor since it looks like the old oil and rock roads. “You’re starting to see more pervious concrete now,” said Andre LeQuire, “but this was the first lot in Davidson County.”
Scott Chambers, Andre’s partner, found the Carden team well-managed, receptive and adaptable.
“The Carden site foreman was great,” Scott said. “He ran the job well – was a great communicator. When there were problems, he would come to us and say, ‘We’ve got a problem. Here’s what I think might be a good solution.’ And so, essentially, it was no problem, because he had already dealt with it.”
A small but telling example of Carden resourcefulness involved an expansion joint, as Andre explained:
“We were trying to figure out how to even out the color – the grout was really too bright. Most people would have said, ‘Oh man, that looks fine!’ But instead, the Carden foreman picked up some sand and threw it at the expansion joint, and it tinted it perfectly. So that’s what we did. The whole crew was leaning out the windows throwing sand at it.”