First and foremost, there are more AT&T Buildings than we can shake a stick at. Dangling prepositions aside, the AT&T building in Nashville, TN is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the southern United States. It is also known locally as the “Batman” or the “Batman Building”. One look at the AT&T Building and the mystery of the nickname is mostly solved, but the true history and significance of the structure goes far beyond the name alone. Today, we will be discussing the AT&T Building in downtown Nashville, TN, how the building got its now famous nickname, and some fast facts on some other famous Nashville skyscrapers.
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All About the AT&T Building in Downtown Nashville
According to Nashville sightseeing tours from Old Trolley Tours: “The 33-story AT&T Building is the tallest office tower in Tennessee with the antennae spire reaching 617 feet into the air. Completed in 1999 and encompassing 2.7 acres, the edifice includes a three-story winter garden atrium and a nine-story underground parking facility. The iconic landmark is known locally as the “Batman Building” because its distinctive design resembles the comic book superhero’s mask. In 2009, Le Journal de Net, a French online business publication, named “La Bat Tower” as one of the world’s 12 most original office buildings.”
The “Batman Building” is located in an area of Nashville known simply as The District nearby other landmarks such as One Nashville Place and Riverfront Park. The building was designed intentionally to be eye-catching for then financiers South Central Bell. The AT&T Building appears alongside other famous Tennessee landmarks including the Memphis Pyramid, Knoxville Sunsphere, and the Tennessee Aquarium of Chattanooga on new Tennessee driver’s licenses.
How AT&T Building was Named the “Batman Building”
There is no mystery as to why the AT&T Building is known as the “Batman Building.” Towering above the Nashville skyline, the architecture features two pronounced towers on either side of the broad ends of the building. These features resemble the ears of the iconic batman logo. It doesn’t hurt that the building was constructed during a decade that featured four films with the caped crusader (five if you count 1989’s Batman).
The AT&T Building is/was known as the Batman Building, BellSouth Building, and the South Central Bell Headquarters over the years. The “Batman Building” is the 343rd tallest building in the US, and features 33 stories.
Other Famous Nashville Skyscrapers
So what about some other skyscrapers in the Music City? One thing visitors often note is that Nashville has a shortage (pun intended) of tall buildings. While there is no one reason for this phenomenon, city permitting and zone restrictions have played a role in keeping the skyscrapers of Nashville relatively low to the ground. Most major American cities do have taller structures, but the Music City certainly isn’t short on notable buildings, including:
- 505 Nashville: also known as 505 CST and the Paramount, 505 Nashville is a major residential complex in downtown Nashville. 505 Nashville features 45 stories, the tallest building in the city when measured by that metric.
- Fifth Third Center: this 31 story, 490 foot skyscraper was completed in 1986. It’s reign as the tallest building in Nashville lasted only 8 years until the completion of the AT&T Building.
- Life & Casualty Tower: the 30 floor, 500 foot tall skyscraper was completed in 1957. It was the tallest building in Nashville for the longest period of time in the 20th century.
- The Pinnacle at Symphony Place: erected in 2010, the Pinnacle at Symphony Place is located in Nashville’s SoBro district. With 29 stories of office and retail space, this new addition has fast become a highlight of the city skyline.
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