Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tropic of Capricorn.

No, not a reference to the lesser-known Henry Miller sequel here.As this blog goes to post, I am currently en route to Montevideo, Uruguay, where I will be living for a good part of the summer.  My blog posts, never frequent, will probably have to slide to just a few per month.  But I will …Read more…

Nordstrom brainstorming.

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My latest post is up at Urban Indy, focusing on what we can do with a huge vacant piece of real estate in the heart of Indianapolis’ downtown: the Nordstrom space to CIrcle Centre Mall, which vacated in summer of 2011. Still no plans for this space have materialized.  I recent post from the Indianapolis …Read more…

Main Street geniuses and the chain of fools.

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By now I’ve explored the visible evidence of main street reinvestment numerous times, through streetscape enhancements, creative infill development, improved access for wheelchairs, vintage iconography, or the preservation of the historic building façade at the expense of everything behind it (pejoratively called façadectomy).  Across the country, in towns both small and microscopic, palpable evidence reveals …Read more…

A room with twice the view.

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Downtown hotels seem can’t seem to get a break.  No matter how valiant the effort of local economic development directors in attracting that major chain (Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental) and no matter how unorthodox the architects’ designs, the closeted coterie of urban advocates never hesitate to lob their Molotov cocktails at the final proposal.   Perhaps it’s …Read more…

Contemporary infill gentrification.

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My latest post is at Urban Indy.  It focuses on two small multi-family apartment developments in Fountain Square and Bates-Hendricks, neighborhoods on the near south side of Indianapolis’ downtown that, while still very gritty, have become increasingly trendy in recent years.  Both neighborhoods still have their fair share of dilapidated housing and some vacant lots, …Read more…

Salvaging St. Louis, Part III: Biodiversity in repopulation.

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In the previous section of this three-part article, I began exploring some of the affordable housing initiatives of St. Louis that have helped it, to some extent, stem its precipitous decline, particularly in comparison to Detroit, its peer city in terms of population loss.  If this survey (you could almost call it “home tour”) seemed …Read more…

When the first one out the gate is also the last.

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Several weeks ago I explored one of the most obvious consequences of the veritable implosion of the commercial airline industry.  After several years of declining enplanements and repeated consolidations of the major airlines, we will inevitably confront many manifestations of what I saw at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport: virtually an entirely vacant concourse.  This blog article …Read more…