If First Lutheran Church, the subject of my previous blog post, seemed like familiar territory, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Here the once-mighty retailer Sears Roebuck and Company—AKA Sears—for at least the tenth time. I first started featuring this retailer over a decade ago, back when Sears was a staple in most middle-tier malls. Even
Red shingled roof: even when detached from the brand, we know what it was. But why is it what it is?
Some companies embed their brand into the very architecture of their locations. Prominent ornamentations or physical features on the structures assert themselves, almost as their own logo. Sometimes they ascend in importance to become the logo. After all, the famed golden arches of McDonald’s didn’t always simply hint at the letter M atop a pole-mounted
Memories of Marsh Supermarkets: Kroger tries (half-heartedly) to fill the void of a once-mighty chain.
My latest post is on Urban Indy. It comes with the local news (WISH-TV) announcement that it has now been five years since Indianapolis grocery store chain Marsh Supermarkets closed all of its 44 remaining locations, having been run by private equity firm Sun Capital for the last 15 years. The chain, a staple of
The US earns its reputation for encouraging urban auto dependency, largely by eschewing any good provisions for pedestrians and reducing far too many of its streetscapes to vehicular sewers. Nonetheless, now and then we can come across some remarkable little pedestrian provision that surprises us. And it doesn’t have to be in a historically pedestrian
Surely I’m not the only one who remembers learning about the tragic story of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius onto the ill-fated Roman city of Pompeii in 79 AD. I think it’s something many of us in the Midwest learned even in elementary school. Our teachers described to us, in vivid detail, how it all
My images of urban devastation in Camden, New Jersey were one of the earliest of my articles to go “viral”, a term I use in quotes since it’s only relative to my blog as a whole. But the article about the 100% abandoned Arlington Street in Camden still has more quotes than just about any
Many years ago, on this blog, I postulated that, in vibrant downtown areas with lots of small, family-run businesses, an aging, outdated exterior sign might actually be a selling point. Even if the paint is a little chipped or the letters a bit rusty—a tiny bit (not too much!)—a visibly old sign is a tacit
Billboard blight for the bridge-and-tunnel crowd: there’s nothing to promote when the commuters stay at home.
Just a few days ago, I left Manhattan for Astoria via the recently renovated Queens-Midtown Tunnel—not something I have ever done, but a route that I would think thousands of other people travel on a daily basis. Something tells me, though, that this routine experienced a staggering drop approximately one year and four months ago.
The streetscape of downtown Martinsburg, the largest municipality (population 17,500) in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, doesn’t exactly boast an occupancy level one would rate as thriving. But it’s hardly plagued by persistent plywood in the windows of the commercial buildings, and the majority of them look like they benefit from regular maintenance and upkeep. I
So it’s not quite the great Evelyn Waugh novel—in fact, sociologically it’s about as far as can be—but it’s the closest I can come up with on this side of the pond that offers a proximal pun. It’s rare that I revisit an old post so shortly after the first time around, but I found