Many years ago, on this blog, I postulated that, in vibrant downtown areas with lots of small, family-run businesses, an aging, outdated exterior sign might actually be a selling point. Even if the paint is a little chipped or the letters a bit rusty—a tiny bit (not too much!)—a visibly old sign is a tacit
When green means stop: the impact of classic neon lighting in the wireless era, from West Virginia with love.
If a good sign is worth more than its weight in canvas, plastic, fiberglass, cardboard, or whatever material helped birth it, a good old sign earns even more accolades, as multiplied by the number of years it has done its job. (Weight of the material multiplied by its age?) The perseverance of a good sign
Corona goes corporate: how the service sector faces a disease, as measured by the local friendly office park.
As the recovery from the economic ravages inflicted by COVID-19 lumbers haltingly forward, it’s obvious even to the unattuned that some industries are bouncing back more nimbly than others. Having chronicled the malaise of retail numerous times, including well before anyone knew that coronavirus would define the year 2020, it’s obvious that the imposed lockdowns only…
Luxor Las Vegas: an architectural and structural marvel, if you don’t notice the dust swept under the rug.
Does anyone remember when the Las Vegas Strip was best known for its relentless and elaborate barrage of light displays on all the buildings and their signs? Chances are, if you’re under the age of 25, the answer is a resounding “NO”—at least not from firsthand experience. Maybe you get a sense of how things
In the Baltimore exurb of Aberdeen, Maryland, a brand-new strip mall sits on a corner at a moderately busy intersection, awaiting a tenant.Aberdeen XChange is not bad looking, as strip malls go. It aligns with contemporary architectural standards for this type of thing: its chief cladding materials consist of tan fake stucco (probably EIFS) and
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
In 2018, many smaller cities—those under 100,000 people—can boast revitalized downtowns, offering an array of jobs and shops during the day, complemented by restaurants and entertainment at night. But not every smaller city has yet attracted both a vibrant nightlife and a steady core of permanent residents. And some prominent hotels to boot. Only a
By this point, it isn’t just the major metropolises—the big coastal hubs—that have sewn the seeds for a renewed and seemingly enduring interest in our town centers. The little kids have joined in on the fun of downtown revitalization too: not just the smaller cities but even rural towns. Suburbs are getting in the game
As I prepare for some upcoming significant changes to my blog, I provide a sort of “placeholder” article as make the final modifications, which I will soon publicize. The placeholder motif extends to the content of this blog entry, where a window sign serves much the same purpose within its respective storefront. It’s simply announcing
Downtown hotels seem can’t seem to get a break. No matter how valiant the effort of local economic development directors in attracting that major chain (Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental) and no matter how unorthodox the architects’ designs, the closeted coterie of urban advocates never hesitate to lob their Molotov cocktails at the final proposal. Perhaps it’s