Monthly Archives: July 2010

MONTAGE: The Main Street of America goes Kansas.

“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.” ~Charles Kuralt The federal government might have decommissioned U.S. Route 66 twenty-five years ago, but you don’t have to be middle-aged to recognize the name, or even to appreciate it. In fact, the Mother Road seems …Read more…

These lumps are always benign.

This blog post may be the closest I ever get to a real-time narrative. It’s not purely real-time, of course, any more than this is an online journal. But everything that this blog features occurred within the past few days, and fortunately I was able to document it photographically as I was experiencing it, including …Read more…

In an economic hell, a house is but a shell.

“Developers have to eat too.” We have tacitly organized to demonize land developers for their perceived role in wrecking metropolitan America. Their greed often supersedes concern for the environment, they cut corners in construction quality, they cater to a lowbrow design culture—and these are just the criticisms chimed by many on the left. While the …Read more…

REWIND: From Silos to Steeples, Painting the Town Green.

Several months ago, I featured two examples of integrating sustainability and conservation into the built environment through civic participation in a blog post. The Greensburg, KS example that I featured has been relatively high profile. By most measurements, it remains the most ecologically friendly small town in America: since recovering from a catastrophic tornado, it …Read more…

Suburban heaven may await, but you can’t take it (all) with you.

The decentralization that has virtually turned our cities inside-out over the past 60 years continues, for the most part unabated. Throughout the country, it’s not difficult to spot the aftermath of this outward migration, in the moribund downtowns and impoverished urban neighborhoods that it left in its wake. That many central business districts are visibly …Read more…

Updates and downgrades.

Occasionally—maybe even frequently—I am apt to represent something incorrectly in one of my blog entries. While the underlying claim to most of my posts is an analysis based on observation and opinion, the road to my final destination is always paved with on-the-scene reports, research, or even press releases, and sometimes it is based on …Read more…

Not quite the corner store.

By this point, you’d more or less have to depend on a private jet for transport not to encounter the occasional—or frequent—dollar store. No longer just the mainstay in communities with a median income below the national average, the ultra-bargain store is one of the few retail segments that has done not just well during …Read more…