The search "facades" yielded
58 articles

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”.

A business grows organically—the building is just its chrysalis.

It’s not easy to predict what, on any given day, might avert the eyes of a photo-driven blogger like me. Since empiricism generates most of my blog articles, usually it really does come down to what stimulates my own two peepers. Then I take a picture of it, often hastily. (Which is why I call

Second Street services in High Street storefronts.

A little while back, in a meticulously photographed post on the blog Urban Indy, I noted many emergent urban main street corridors that fall short of their full potential for a single simple reason: they can’t secure the optimal types of tenants. It was a challenging post, because I felt like I was taking two

Urban artistry comes in all forms.

Maybe it was the bohemian misfits converging in a once-floundering SoHo that prompted this approach. Perhaps it was the rediscovery of Classical values in 15th century Florence that spurred a continent toward unprecedented economic growth after centuries of stagnance. More likely it was neither. Quite simply, people operated on an hunch (mostly unconscious) that something

Helping downtowns meet demand and save face.

The façadectomy fan club hasn’t earned a lot of love over the years. Historic preservationists deride it because it cynically assumes that the only true value to a historic structure is the often three-foot-thick façade, while the remaining 99% of the building (not to mention everything that took place within it) is left to the

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

Second Street services in High Street storefronts.

A little while back, in a meticulously photographed post on the blog Urban Indy, I noted many emergent urban main street corridors that fall short of their full potential for a single simple

Urban artistry comes in all forms.

Maybe it was the bohemian misfits converging in a once-floundering SoHo that prompted this approach. Perhaps it was the rediscovery of Classical values in 15th century Florence that spurred a continent toward unprecedented

Helping downtowns meet demand and save face.

The façadectomy fan club hasn’t earned a lot of love over the years. Historic preservationists deride it because it cynically assumes that the only true value to a historic structure is the often