More than just murals: Philadelphia’s distinctive and superlative legacy of public art.

I’ve spent multiple blog articles praising the colorful initiatives of Mural Arts Philadelphia in the past—including a very recent article—but it occurred to me that precious few of these articles have actually depicted the City-funded initiative in its full form.  Up to this point, I have compared Philly’s influence on mural programs in other cities,

The construction year: is it a building’s badge of honor, a brand, or both?

Although a freestanding municipality, the City of Harrison in far southwest Ohio also functions fully within the orbit of metropolitan Cincinnati.  And although the two-block commercial main street appears small for a city of 11,000 and growing, it owes this lack of proportion to the surge of population after 1960, prior to which Harrison lingered

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

Mid-century modern in main street Yankton: where everything new is old again.

Multiple times in the past I’ve compared building design to clothing styles, and while such an analogy may gall both architects and fashion designers, I’m going to hold my ground on this one. The two professions clearly fall within the discipline of design, and, as such, they rely heavily on the transitory nature of prevailing

Joint Base AT&T: brutally fortifying our downtown, in preparation for the past.

For those who still need evidence of the Brutalist architectural movement’s effrontery—if my recent article on the two ungainly banks in Asheville wasn’t enough—I offer this leviathan in Worcester, Massachusetts.The barely visible logo in the building’s spire to the left—just behind that stoplight—suggests that this is an AT&T property. Regardless of who owns it (and