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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

At the ballpark, a patch of the outfield gets left unmowed.

The transformation of Washington DC’s Navy Yard over the last fifteen years has been astonishing, and though I cannot account for it from firsthand experience, I don’t need to: a quick trip using the archive tool with Google Street View will show how much development has taken place since 2007, when Google first introduced the

Brutalist behemoths in a friendly mountain town: will Asheville salvage the seventies?

For those who haven’t been there, my words can at least serve as a testimony to the vibrance of Asheville, North Carolina. The heart of the city, along Patton Avenue near the triangular Pritchard Park, is teeming with local establishments, resulting in sidewalks packed with visitors from mid-morning until late at night. The older, less

Altamont, Illinois façades: where the upgrade is older than the original.

Whether we measure it in square miles or a single street corner, the average American downtown is enjoying an unprecedented new life. Century-old commercial buildings—underutilized at best, mothballed or abandoned at worst—have comprised the most visible beneficiaries of this revitalization, since investors have reassessed their value as critical signals to the municipality’s historic origins, determining

Now that we’ve commercialized the facelift, it’s time to domesticate it.

Most of us who have spent any time in a city have come across at least one of these before, even if it didn’t necessarily stand out. It’s a building (or cluster of buildings) with an aged façade, concealing a much more contemporary structure behind that wafer-like sheath. The preferred label (morphologically incorrect though it

The Great Recession and its undead discontents.

In the immediate years following the housing market’s catastrophic implosion, it was common to find half-finished suburban developments, where a handful of homes splayed out across a tangle of curvilinear streets. In most of these zombie subdivisions, the developer had already installed water/sewer, at least some of the paved roads, streetlights, road signs, maybe even

Is Danbury the next emerald city, or is it just the color of money?

Brokers and real estate analysts have known this for years: our country has way too much space for retail. More than any other country by a wide margin.   Now, as the predicament escalates to the point that the even the average citizen can spot the oversupply—it’s empirically obvious—mainstream journalists have branded it “the retail apocalypse”.

The Great Recession and its undead discontents.

In the immediate years following the housing market’s catastrophic implosion, it was common to find half-finished suburban developments, where a handful of homes splayed out across a tangle of curvilinear streets. In most