Monthly Archives: October 2009

Minor tweaks.

I have updated my own post on ADA Compliance at Indianapolis’ Hammond Block Building, including the photos promised that help clarify the accessibility issues. Plus these news photos feature the gingko at the peak of its fall colors! I have removed “identity” from my index under the “Terra Firma” category. I simply do not think …Read more…

The cosmetology behind civic art.

At a time of high unemployment and sharply declining property values (and their ensuing assessed values), nearly every large city is wrestling with budget deficits. Among the first programs frequently to face the chisel is public art. While relatively uncommon until the last 20 years, most civic leaders now perceive a public art program as …Read more…

With friends like the DPW, who needs enemies?

Other bloggers and I have routinely pointed out barriers to good pedestrianism in our respective cities across the country. Sometimes it requires a sea change in collective thinking on infrastructural priorities, land use, building design, and building regulations. But all too often it’s far simpler than that. It amazes me how mundane some of these …Read more…

In case it was unclear the first time, say it again.

Sometimes what seems like a message conveyed in an embarrassingly stupid manner actually belies a broader array of complicating cultural implications. Take this sign on the side of a private building in an urban neighborhood, for example: The universal symbol for female, coupled with writing emphasizing its exclusivity to that one gender. Was it really …Read more…

Retail goes “boo.”

In the spirit of the Halloween season, I can’t resist but to reference a recent article from Retail Traffic magazine, which observed that, amidst these prolonged economic doldrums, retail landlords who are suffering from extensive vacancies are succumbing to the allure of “pop-up” stores. These tenants earn this name because they tend to pop-up for …Read more…

Chicago keeps Carless Joe out of his own park.

Sometimes it’s impossible to determine the rationale of an urban infrastructure decision simply by looking at it, even though this blog has made it a habit of attempting to do so. I am totally at a loss for what might have prompted the City of Chicago to install this impediment at the intersection of Washington …Read more…

ADA: sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

Rest assured that this blog post is not going to rail against the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The few federal legislators who opposed the 1990 law are hardly clamoring to remind the electorate of the wisdom behind their decision. Their argument—that it could excessively burden small businesses by forcing them to change their building’s …Read more…

Windblown bronze.

Without the time for a lengthy blog post, I leave one that I honestly mean to have no political implications whatsoever. This statue of former president George H. W. Bush may be among the most widely familiar of my photographs; it comes from his heavily trafficked George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Regardless of whom …Read more…

Pause and rewind.

After having cleared the three-month hump for this blog, I am still going strong and enjoying every post—and particularly the comments. I can’t say how much I appreciate responses—criticisms, affirmations, elaborations. Thank you! It is this blog’s reason for being, and those who are viewing quietly, feel free to pipe in. In due time I …Read more…