Monthly Archives: January 2013

Reviving with the wave of a wizard’s wand.

Earlier this past fall, I featured the accomplishments of the City of Kokomo, Indiana in reinventing itself over the past few years, after two decades of rust-belt, deindustrialized stagnancy.  Civic leadership successfully elicited a certain degree of buy-in among its constituent, all toward sundry capital improvements, the likes of which most similarly sized cities still …Read more…

MONTAGE: Stratification across the river.

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Late last year I featured an article on the unusual Oxford Valley Mall in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a mostly upper-middle income suburban region of Philadelphia.  It’s a distinctive mall because it’s simultaneously both low-rent and affluent: it has such high-end tenants as Williams Sonoma or Swarovski, but it also has Five Below, Dollar Hut, and …Read more…

Sustainable Mayberry.

Impeded by byzantine zoning regulations, compliance with historic preservation standards, or anti-density community activists (aka NIMBYs), infill development is typically challenging enough to implement in an urban setting.  Auto-dependent cities in America—which are the majority—remain littered with parking lots wedged between two older, surviving structures that pre-date the car.  Those lots serve as a reminder …Read more…

The state house makes the laws; the state takes it for granted.

I’ve observed in the pasthow, almost instinctively, we come to expect a certain degree of monumentality in major seats of government, usually the prominent display of a central building that hosts those administrative offices.  In the typical Midwestern county seat, the courthouse provides that landmark—an elaborate masonry building resting in the center of a park-like …Read more…