Undone by the dome.

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Strolling through the town of Bowman, North Dakota last summer (which is how one gets around if one finds oneself in Bowman…obviously), I came across a pretty slick looking geodesic dome home. We see these from time to time. After all, they were quite the fad for a few years, peaking around 1970. While I …Read more…

MONTAGE: An abandoned building is bad enough. But what about an abandoned campus?

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It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a mostly photo-driven blog article, and I can’t think of a richer array from recent years than that of Dana College, a private educational institution founded in Blair, Nebraska. Originally affiliated with the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Association (the denomination and nationality of the original pioneer founders), various …Read more…

Boundary battles over sparklers and smokes?

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We always look for the better deal first. It goes without saying. When two neighboring jurisdictions apply different regulations to a specific good or service for which great demand exists, the industry that financially depends on that good/service will gravitate toward the less stringent side of the boundary line. I’ve pointed this out before when …Read more…

GUEST POST: Monuments of the City – Part I.

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And now a first (at least for me): a guest blog post. Two posts, actually. Steve Polston has followed my blog tirelessly over the years, and, though we have only occasionally lived in Indianapolis at the same time, he has long been generous enough to share with me his insights on landscapes, both in writing …Read more…

When your domain is compromised, how do you take the high road?

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The impacts of government policies can be subtle, far-reaching and antithetical to their original good intentions. Identifying examples of this is part of my duty as a blogger. Sometimes, though, the evidence of a policy is right there in your face…called out by the person most affected.   This former home in Greenfield, Indiana (about 20 miles …Read more…

Is it time to peel back our provisions for parking?

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With few exceptions, any time a person living in a less urban area must patronize a business in a more urban area, a single question emerges… “What’s the parking situation like?” But this commonplace consideration masks an underlying predicament that’s a lot hairier: what is the perception of parking at the destination? And, as is …Read more…

Biblical Flooding on a Biblical Floodplain, Part I – The recipe for natural disaster.

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Whether wildfires, tornadoes, power plant meltdowns, explosions, epidemics, bankruptcies, school shootings, Godzilla invasions, or roving bands of undomesticated alpacas on the loose, the essential agreement for a disaster to capture the public eye is magnitude. This isn’t brain surgery. Size is generally the variable that semantically distinguishes disaster from catastrophe, or separates predicament from setback. …Read more…

Tipping the hat to heritage.

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It sneaks up on us again: a cultural curiosity in the most unexpected of places. And, as is often the case, the object in question is not an overt landmark. The setting this time? Lewes, Delaware.This town of under 3,000 people sits just northwest of the flourishing Delaware Beaches region—on the opposite side of Cape …Read more…