By Jenny Ciali, Guest Blogger | 2.2.17
When you approach the brick two-story building in East Nashville, formerly known as Riverside Drive Church of Christ, it looks from the outside how it has since 1950.
But inside, it’s a whole new world.
The walls are buzzing with activity. Construction crews are busy hanging sheet rock, pouring concrete, and wiring electricity.
It’s the sound of progress, which is great, because it’s a word that also describes SnapShot Interactive. (Full disclosure: SnapShot is a NAMA Sponsor.)
“SnapShot’s culture lends itself to something beyond your typical corporate environment,” says co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Ben Rigsby. “In conducting our hunt for a new home due to our growth, nothing really felt ‘right’ until the church presented itself as an opportunity. There is life within those four walls, stories that go back decades, and a warmth and history that our team can build off of as we continue to grow.”
The church’s history began in 1937, when the bottom floor (now the basement) was constructed. It was the first Church of Christ in the neighborhood and quickly became very popular. Plans were made to expand the building to accommodate its growing membership, but were stalled with the onset of World War II.
When the war ended in 1945, the church’s expansion moved forward with a few tweaks to the designs that were representative of post-war life in America. Red trusses were built into the ceiling, running in one continuous piece down the length of the building, which allowed it to be supported without columns.
(Fun Fact: the trusses were actually designed for use in an airport hanger during the war!)
A balcony was installed to increase occupancy for the church’s 400 members and the windows were fitted with stained glass (a new trend at the time).
Riverside remained prevalent through the ’50s and ’60s, but rapidly declined in the past few decades as more families moved out of the city and into suburbs farther away. Its doors closed for good in 2013.
That is, until SnapShot came along.
“I’m most excited that we were able to restore it and make it our own at every turn in the process,” says SnapShot co-founder and CEO, Mark Scrivner. “ It will be our own in every aspect of the word. We designed it, built it, and will grow in it for many years to come. Plus, it won’t hurt that it will be one of, if not the most, inspiring creative spaces in Nashville.”
Nearly everything salvageable from the building is being incorporated into SnapShot’s renovations.
“We have decided to utilize what we can out of the original church structure to help maintain the church’s historical significance,” explained Alyce Scrivner, who is managing the building’s renovation.
One of the first tasks was to pull up the original wood flooring, which is being used in a number of unique and exciting ways throughout the building.
“The reclaimed flooring wood will be seen as you enter the building at the receptionist stand, wrapping the walls of the ‘center stage’ lounge and in the employee break room as a finish for a phone recharging bar,” she continued.
The wood will also being used on top of a 32-foot long custom table that is being made from steel beams originally used to hold up the church’s main floor. The table will serve as the centerpiece for SnapShot’s open workspace.
“Lastly,” she added, “the stained glass from the building has all been removed pane by pane to allow a local glass artist the opportunity to create a 5-foot-by-7-foot triptych depicting what we are translating into an image of our new growth, new horizons, and full potential – likely a piece that will garner a second look!”
The project is on track to be completed at the end of February.
The roof has been completed and brand new windows have been installed. Concrete has been poured and additions have been made to the back of the building including the shaft for an elevator that will be installed soon. And the main level features a lovely reception area that will welcome guests arriving through the double church doors.
Farther into the main room (formally the church auditorium), you’ll find the company’s open work space. Along the back wall (where the alter was) will be a stylish lounge area featuring local artwork. Behind that are a number of editing suites, a curved wall studio and office space. Additionally, the elevator will take you down to the company break room and green space where creative minds can go to collaborate and get inspired.
“For years we have had our creative teams split between two office spaces. The new building will allow us to restructure our team interactions and how communication ebbs and flows between all of us,” Rigsby said. “In the end, this will make us faster and more creative for our clients and allow more eyes on any given project at any given time. Plus, it will be fantastic for making a tight group even tighter.”
For the time being, there are two spaces within the building that SnapShot will lease to other companies in need of creative space: above the main room (what used to be the church’s balcony); and a 3,200-square-foot space on the building’s ground floor. Both are being renovated along with the building, and will be furnished for the benefit of its future tenants. To learn more about the space for lease, see the flyer here.
“The new location is substantially larger than what we are in today,” Rigsby added. “However, as we look out three years, we need to be in a position where we can proactively grow and not be constrained with how we are going to fit new talent in. This allows us to plan and think unhinged of current restrictions so we can create the best products for our clients.”
In another clever move by the SnapShot founders, the company took advantage of two unique incentive programs being offered through Mayor Barry’s office. The first is an infrastructure investment incentive for choosing to revitalize an existing property instead of building new. The second is an employment incentive that requires the company to add 10 or more jobs within one year that pay more than Nashville’s average wage.
Read more about the incentive programs by visiting the Mayor’s website.
SnapShot Interactive, and its sister company Ecos, are looking forward to a grand opening in March.