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The Vue at Third has now completely replaced the former Barrington Place Apartments at Third Street and Guthrie Street with a modern, updated look. The Downtown apartment tower dating to 1962 when it opened as the Trinity Towers (hence the crosses embedded in the facade) was purchased last year by Nashville’s Covenant Capital Group for $12.8 million.

The rooftop terrace and common room at the Vue on Third. (Courtesy Vue on Third)
The rooftop terrace and common room at the Vue on Third. (Courtesy Vue on Third)

And there’s a lot to like about the Vue’s $3 million renovation. Especially 18 floors up on the roof, where you can gaze out on the spectacular, well, view. A former chapel has been transformed into a community room and a terrace with tables and chairs provides an ideal spot for a home-cooked weekend brunch. Similarly, individual apartments have also been updated with bright colors and updated finishes. Making the transformation complete, several large signs were installed around the building to mark its branding on the skyline.

Painting limestone at the Vue on Third. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)
Painting limestone at the Vue on Third. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

But there’s one thing we distinctly do not like: the new painted limestone along the sidewalk. We spotted crews up on ladders in late February applying a cold gray coat to the old limestone base. On a recent trip back, the job was complete and the paint dry.

Painted limestone at the Vue on Third. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)
Painted limestone at the Vue on Third. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

We’re not convinced this is an improvement at all. In fact, we’re not sure what to make of the new exterior look, with the building’s original light blue interstitial panels between windows, the royal blue of the new signage, and the dull gray paint. Sure the old stone was grimy with age (or should be say it had a patina?), but that’s nothing a good wash couldn’t fix. It feels like something here was lost.

We should celebrate limestone as a material here in Louisville. It’s the stone that makes up a good portion of the state, and it’s the reason our tap water—and our bourbon—tastes so good. Painting over such a local asset seems, well, superficial.

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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

4 COMMENTS

  1. It is not a pleasing mix of colors. Maybe it would look better if the owners painted the light blue panels between the windows a matching gray.

  2. We demoed the Water Co building because there’s no water history here (emoji ), noting water co architecture is referenced on the current building at third and chestnut . The paint will fail. But hey. Now it looks just like the Omni .
    The colorist is not amused .

  3. This must be a sick joke. Omni-ite painting over limestone – its like painting glazed brick (or some would argue, myself included) most any brick for that matter – and flirts more with cluelessness than absurdity.

  4. Good news about limestone is that it will shake off the paint job soon enough. Limestone breathes, it why it lasts so long. Once a little moisture finds its way in (or the moisture is already there) the paint will start peeling off.

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