Archives

Along the road to Calvary, a bingo parlor.

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I’ve ruminated multiple times on this blog about how we spatialize ourselves through religion—a subject of great interest to me, but one of which I haven’t plumbed any great depths. And this is not the time. I’ll keep it superficial, while at least adding a little texture to the layer. And here’s that texture: a …Read more…

As ambition grows, the menus shrink.

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The destiny of generally unregulated markets is one of intensifying competition. In an ideal world, these markets spawn a trajectory that impels producers or service providers to innovate so they can achieve that competitive edge. As a result, the consumer reaps the benefit of products and services that continuously improve in quality and efficiency. One …Read more…

Second Street services in High Street storefronts.

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A little while back, in a meticulously photographed post on the blog Urban Indy, I noted many emergent urban main street corridors that fall short of their full potential for a single simple reason: they can’t secure the optimal types of tenants. It was a challenging post, because I felt like I was taking two …Read more…

Rising above the district dogma.

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Normally I have come to the defense of historic preservation as a both a discipline and an economic development tool. But, inasmuch as I support almost any effort to cultivate, recognize and then save heritage, I also know that the most sincere efforts can go up in flames when couched in the liberal use of …Read more…

When a vintage sign is like a fine wine.

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While I suspect virtually every adult has at one time experienced some sort of nostalgia, we all have different stimuli. It’s that much more appealing when it’s unexpected, which was exactly the case when I was out recently along a major highway in Dover, Delaware’s rapidly growing capital, and I saw this sign. Unexpected and …Read more…

Breaking the rules to enforce them.

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Whimsical signs in unexpected places are so commonplace these days that it’s difficult even to use to the word “unexpected”. But signage in general is ubiquitous, and since most signs communicate their messages in a no-frills manner, any notification with a slightly different tone still comes across as atypical. Which, most likely, is precisely the …Read more…

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…

Predicting the future by turning back the clocks.

In an essay from the past, I shamelessly stretched the definition of the term “land banking” to suit my own purposes.  How?  By showing two examples of the deliberate assembly of contiguous parcels with the purpose of building something new, but the problem is, neither attempt at parcel assembly consisted of vacant land, as is …Read more…

A signal to turn.

My apologies for this latest dry spell in postings.  While I am still working on a large essay that has taken me several weeks (actually, over two months) to assemble, I recently took on a new professional assignment that forced me back to 60+ hour work weeks, giving me a lot less time to devote …Read more…