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One World Trade 'Outmoded'; Design for Car Dealerships

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Welcome to Curbed's weekly roundup of architecture, real estate, and urban planning-related feature stories. Please be in touch if you have a story to recommend.

1. "It's not so bad," says one anonymous architect quoted in critic Michael Kimmelman's review of the new One World Trade Center. That's about the kindest comment in the review—Kimmelman calls the building an example of "outmoded thinking and upside-down priorities":

I find myself picturing General MacArthur in aviator sunglasses when I see the building. Its mirrored exterior is opaque, shellacked, monomaniacal. An abbreviated obelisk, the building rises to 104 stories atop a square, 20-story, concrete bunker, only partly disguised behind butterflylike louvered glass panels. The tower's thick, chamfered corners produce octagonal floors and a facade of steep, interlocked triangles. From north, south, east and west, the building looks the same. 2. How has Nashville managed to turn the music industry into a city-grower where other cities with equally impressive musical histories have failed? Next City takes a look:

But there are plenty of affordable locales in the middle of the country that are not music industry capitals. Another often overlooked advantage that Nashville has is its own local musical language: the Nashville Number system. Literally a citywide musical tongue, the notation allows musicians who only know how to read the most basic of chord progressions to jam with other musicians. As far back as the 1950s, Nashville session musicians were given these numbered charts instead of traditional sheet music. 3. Writer Sarah Rich leases a car and digs into the history of car dealership design. General Motors released a manual for planning the layouts of automobile dealerships in 1948, instructing dealers:

In the section entitled "General Composition of a Storefront," dealers are told to attract customer attention through size, contrast, pattern, movement, color, and brightness, noting that daylight is superior. "On bright days, only showrooms shaped to use natural light can display cars effectively," the guidebook instructs, "It is impractical to provide enough artificial light to compete with natural light on bright days." · Recommended Reading archive [Curbed]