Baptism by asphalt: how Emmanuel Episcopal handles its parking predicament.

I’ve blogged in the past—by this point, the distant past—about church parking lots, and what they indicate about religious life and the shift in denominational trends that took place during the twentieth century…trends that continue unabated in the twenty-first. I have no idea about the state of things at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in northern Virginia,

Crystal City surprises: a 1970s-era Edge City engulfs a streetcar suburb.

By this point, it is all but common knowledge that metro Washington, DC will greet the second headquarters for Amazon.com, the world’s largest soup-to-nuts Internet-based company. Less familiar, though, is its exact location, in an area called Crystal City, a mixed-use enclave directly across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, in Arlington County, Virginia.

Axonometric artistry: raising the bar for street art.

Despite the expansive array of urban imagery I have featured here at American Dirt, I have rarely covered graffiti as a topic. Perhaps it’s because I fundamentally respect private property and see it as an infringement. But not entirely: I have no problem recognizing graffiti tags if they are funny or creative enough. In many

Multifamily monotony: how to put a new design spin on an all-too-familiar housing type.

While almost all urban aficionados have heralded the revitalization we have witnessed in downtowns large and small across the country, the sticklers and control freaks among us have continued to cavil about one nagging shortcoming: the form of mixed-use and multifamily projects has disproportionately favored big lots with monolithic structures that, while certainly better than

Interpretive banners as makeshift urbanism: the Durham solution.

Durham, the second largest city in North Carolina’s burgeoning Research Triangle, has historically underperformed economically, at least compared to Raleigh and Chapel Hill, but the progress I witnessed from a visit last fall compared to 3.5 years earlier certainly bespeaks the rapidly growing economy here and elsewhere across the Tarheel State. While in 2015, the

Dirt turns 10!

It is this month, way back in 2009, that I inaugurated this blog, with a post on wildlife tunnels in a suburb of Boston. I wanted breadth. At that point in time, I thought it would just be an amusement—a hobby that would help me hone in on my photography skills, while giving me a

Axonometric artistry: raising the bar for street art.

Despite the expansive array of urban imagery I have featured here at American Dirt, I have rarely covered graffiti as a topic. Perhaps it’s because I fundamentally respect private property and see it

Dirt turns 10!

It is this month, way back in 2009, that I inaugurated this blog, with a post on wildlife tunnels in a suburb of Boston. I wanted breadth. At that point in time, I