Elevating our transportation options: the Personal Rapid Transit of Morgantown.

In the affable college town of Morgantown, West Virginia—home of the WVU Mountaineers—the unsuspecting visitor encounters a very strange viaduct-like structure presiding over some of the most prominent downtown streets. What is it?  It’s certainly not on the same scale as the Chicago Transit Authority’s rail system—the “el” (short for “elevated rail), but then, does

Briar Cliff Townhomes at Kutztown: a credible snapshot of life after students.

A lazy Sunday drive along a rural limited-access highway in east-central Pennsylvania yielded an unusual surprise: a sizable residential complex that looked completely abandoned. But we were going fast enough that we could only catch a glimpse. It was so atypical that we had to pull over to investigate further. The background in the photo

Landfill diversion: the California approach is gentler than it’s ever bin.

By this point, it’s not unusual to encounter a series of trash receptacles in public places, each with distinct labels, allowing passers-by to sort and separate recyclable from non-recyclable waste. On a college campus, it would be far more surprising if a row of receptacles weren’t standing sentinel at every prominent node; the opportunity to

Another defunct college campus, cleft in two.

If I call this article my third installment in a trilogy on abandoned campuses, I guess that implies that I’m done with the subject for a while. And I am. But after exploring old campuses in small cities (or perhaps “big towns” is the better term) in Nebraska and South Dakota, it’s time to take a

A new life for an old campus…where the students cannot leave.

As I blogged about recently, the uncertainty following the closure of Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, has left a sizable portion of the town’s incorporated limits in a state of escalating neglect. While the downtown and residential districts of Blair remain tidy (if not exactly teeming with life), the small city’s most prominent institution is closed, most

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

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

Biblical flooding on a biblical floodplain, Part II – Post-Diluvian Ponderings.    

The previous part of this lengthy blog offered the essential background on Zarephath, a small religious community in northern New Jersey, originally known as Pillar of Fire Church, built entirely on a floodplain. In 2011, every building in Zarephath suffered devastation from flooding induced by Hurricane Irene. But that wasn’t the first time. Hurricane Floyd

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

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.

Students or cyborgs?

It goes without saying that college campuses are usually hubs of pedestrianism. Even the most car-oriented, pavement-saturated, commuter-dependent academic environments will still harbor more bipeds than one would typically see in just about any other workplace. It’s unavoidable. This association owes much to the etymology of the word “campus”: a derived from the Latin word

Testing the mutability of murals.

Urban murals, once a rarity outside of a few pioneering cities such as Philadelphia, have emerged in the last decade or so as a sine qua non for any big-city civic art initiative.  Philadelphia might still be the national (or even global) leader through its Mural Arts Program, but many other cities are trying to

Another defunct college campus, cleft in two.

If I call this article my third installment in a trilogy on abandoned campuses, I guess that implies that I’m done with the subject for a while. And I am. But after exploring

Students or cyborgs?

It goes without saying that college campuses are usually hubs of pedestrianism. Even the most car-oriented, pavement-saturated, commuter-dependent academic environments will still harbor more bipeds than one would typically see in just about

Testing the mutability of murals.

Urban murals, once a rarity outside of a few pioneering cities such as Philadelphia, have emerged in the last decade or so as a sine qua non for any big-city civic art initiative.