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38 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

If you can’t remove the room with a view, build anew.

A thriving neighborhood in the nation’s (and one of the world’s) most densely populated cities should yield great promise. This is New York City we’re talking about, and, in any given hour, at just about every intersection, hundreds—even thousands—of people walk or drive by. And the high concentration of rooftops, housing units, office leases, and

Setting bounds for the bail bonds.

Imagine if you can that you’re in Frederick—Maryland’s second largest city (a distant second, after Baltimore). You’ve just passed through the resurgent downtown, where a variety of restaurants and specialty shops line Patrick Street, the primary east-west corridor. Now, as you make your way past the bustle, you encounter a few businesses that suggest a

MONTAGE: An abandoned building is bad enough. But what about an abandoned campus?

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a mostly photo-driven blog article, and I can’t think of a richer array from recent years than that of Dana College, a private educational institution founded in Blair, Nebraska. Originally affiliated with the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Association (the denomination and nationality of the original pioneer founders), various

Rising above the district dogma.

Normally I have come to the defense of historic preservation as a both a discipline and an economic development tool. But, inasmuch as I support almost any effort to cultivate, recognize and then save heritage, I also know that the most sincere efforts can go up in flames when couched in the liberal use of

A little piece of heaven—with all the bells and whistles.

In this day and age, with throngs of Baby Boomers approaching and entering retirement, quite a few are inevitably seeking to downsize from the comfy, commodious single-family detached homes where they raised heir kids. Some have already scaled back, and the exodus will only continue in the years ahead, as this unusually large and influential

Hate your neighbor? Groom your hedge.

Posting has been somewhat sparse the past few weeks, since I’ve been out of the country and have limited access to the internet, as well as limited time to write. But this time overseas has prompted me to pull out some older photos from a previous trip abroad.I spotted these notices taped to some utility

MONTAGE: When the pursuit of all things suburban becomes a religion, Part II.

Part I of this photo-heavy blog article provided an overview of the history of the Village of Kiryas Joel, a rapidly expanding enclave of Satmar Hasidic Jews tucked in the woods of Orange County, about 60 miles north of New York City. Surrounded by what would appear to most viewers as pretty standard post-war suburban

DUST: Bringing the basic training obstacle course inside the wire.

The integration of pedestrian infrastructure into the expeditionary base environment in Afghanistan has proven far less contentious than one might expect. A culture that prioritizes short-term efficiency over long-term functionality (at least partially evidenced by my article on building code violations from nearly a year ago) would seemingly focus exclusively on infrastructure that accommodates gargantuan armored

Drive-thru service…to (or at) your door.

One of the most intense work months of my career has just come to an end, and it’s been obvious that it has prevented me from devoting as much time and thought to my already meager average of two blog posts a month. And I conclude September with another short(ish) post on an observation I

Setting bounds for the bail bonds.

Imagine if you can that you’re in Frederick—Maryland’s second largest city (a distant second, after Baltimore). You’ve just passed through the resurgent downtown, where a variety of restaurants and specialty shops line Patrick

Rising above the district dogma.

Normally I have come to the defense of historic preservation as a both a discipline and an economic development tool. But, inasmuch as I support almost any effort to cultivate, recognize and then

Hate your neighbor? Groom your hedge.

Posting has been somewhat sparse the past few weeks, since I’ve been out of the country and have limited access to the internet, as well as limited time to write. But this time

DUST: Bringing the basic training obstacle course inside the wire.

The integration of pedestrian infrastructure into the expeditionary base environment in Afghanistan has proven far less contentious than one might expect. A culture that prioritizes short-term efficiency over long-term functionality (at least partially

Drive-thru service…to (or at) your door.

One of the most intense work months of my career has just come to an end, and it’s been obvious that it has prevented me from devoting as much time and thought to

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