Monthly Archives: February 2010

Rethinking the Behemoth, Preserving the Banal, Part III: Mundane microbuildings have a place in contemporary urban life.

Evansville Arena 03 edit

This post concludes a three-part series on a high-profile new development in the southern Indiana city of Evansville. The city’s Mayor and Council have approved (and now completed) the demolition of a block of century-old commercial buildings on the historic Main Street to make way from a new sports arena, after negotiations floundered for buying …Read more…

Extreme makeover—small business edition.

If it’s built to last, the conventional middle class American home may be a far more versatile structure than we credit it. As homes age, if their interior layout falls out of fashion, or the neighborhood around them declines economically, all too often they eventually face neglect, abandonment, and, eventually, the bulldozer. What a shame, …Read more…

Lifestyle main streets.

Edinburgh Columbus 005

In this widely suburbanizing nation, it is enough that our historic urban centers must continually seek assert their viability through new methods of socioeconomic or political re-branding in order not to implode. But what about the small towns, far removed from metro areas? In many cases they imploded long ago, devoid of a raison d’être, …Read more…

An ecoburb before the word existed.

“Nor has science sufficient humanity, so long as the naturalist overlooks that wonderful congruity which subsists between man and the world; of which he is lord, not because he is the most subtile [sic] inhabitant, but because he is its head and heart, and finds something of himself in every great and small thing, in …Read more…

Storefront diagnosis? Down but not out.

Carson Square fatigue 002

Retail fatigue is generally easy to spot in both urban and suburban settings: it typically involves a high vacancy rate, occupancies that comprise undesirable tenants, or a combination of the two. But what are these “undesirables” exactly? They usually fall into two categories. The first one is predictable: strip clubs, adult video/novelty stores, windowless package …Read more…

Retroactive land banking—urban and suburban.

Despite the fact that I always include images in my blog posts, more than a few have been on the wordy side. So I am going to try to include at least one post each month that is dominated by images, with just enough accompanying text to provide some background. I’ve already done this once …Read more…