In these economically fraught times, it’s not always easy to find an urbanized restaurant/retail district where one can comfortably kick back a burger and a brew and feel safe, either from crime, civil unrest, or inconsistent enforcement of COVID precautions (depending on what you perceive is the greatest threat). In 2021, the suburbs of large
Mothballed marvel in Northwest DC: how does Chesapeake House stay neglected in such a wealthy part of town?
On a nondescript corner sits perched a mothballed little building, seemingly vacant for years. With plywood on all the windows and doors, it fits the standard characterization of blight. It’s hard to imagine any city with a population over 100,000 in this country that doesn’t have at least one structure sharing this forlorn appearance. Okay,
For much of the twentieth century, it was an all-too-common occurrence: an old commercial structure in a declining downtown struggles to compete with the strip malls cropping up everywhere on the outskirts. Over time, the old building—retail on the first floor, office or warehousing on the next two/three/four levels—becomes functionally obsolete. It’s drafty, the plumbing
McConnellsburg, PA: population barely above the triple digits, and parking meters on the main street.
McConnellsburg, a borough in south-central Pennsylvania with a population noted as not much over 1,000, has managed to find a way to monetize parking in its downtown—that is, the three blocks that comprise its main street (Lincoln Way). Do you see them there in the distance, next to the sidewalk? The village hosts a tidy
Sure it’s weird, but I know I’m not the only one who has romanticized oil refineries. The way their size generates its own skyline, their incompatibility with the natural world, their unparalleled aptitude at point-source pollution: air, soil, light, probably noise. We witness the staggering cruelty to the dilemma that forms the basis for their
It’s not every day that a person stumbles across a location that he or she had recently read about in the news, completely unintentionally. But that’s exactly what happened earlier this year as I nudged my way forward, from a side street onto Colfax Avenue, the main east-west arterial in Denver. And low and behold:
It’s rare that my work is “hot off the presses”—or, in this case, that it features a subject brand new to the world. But that is most certainly the case with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, unveiled on the 17th of September and, needless to say, still as fresh as a daisy. Over twenty years
The well-preserved center of Old Town Albuquerque offers at least a hint of surviving evidence of its Spanish colonial heritage, featuring one building from the late 18th century: San Felipe de Neri church. Settlers constructed this church approximately 90 years after the original founding of the Spanish villa of Albuquerque in 1706—a hamlet using the
Am I the only one who has noticed the growing presence, particularly in the last few years, of restored advertising banners on the sides of brick buildings, like we used to see in days of yore? Most people know what I’m talking about; here’s an example in a well-preserved historic district a few blocks east
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