Although the evidence of ghost towns proves that they exist (or have existed) throughout the country, most Americans invariably associate them with the frontier West: the High Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada; the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran Deserts. We also customarily associate the emergence of ghost towns with mining, certainly more than
Chipotle bucks the struggling restaurant trend, by predicting the future. What’s so tricky about that?!
A year ago, the prevailing wisdom among urban analysts was that restaurants would serve as the lodestar for any further downtown revitalization. I shared this sentiment, particularly in recognizing the recent, fashionable emergence of the food hall–a smattering of diverse small-kitchen eateries under one roof. The reality seemed, then as now, that most other retail—certainly
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:
I was recently quoted in an Indianapolis Monthly article celebrating the 25th anniversary of downtown’s Circle Centre Mall. As anyone who has visited recently can attest, there’s not a great deal to celebrate at this point. I’ll concede that my last visit was in early 2017, shortly before the closure of Carson’s (at that point the only
I’ve spent multiple blog articles praising the colorful initiatives of Mural Arts Philadelphia in the past—including a very recent article—but it occurred to me that precious few of these articles have actually depicted the City-funded initiative in its full form. Up to this point, I have compared Philly’s influence on mural programs in other cities,
From buildings to benches: with enough ingenuity, anything in Lehighton can get the mural treatment.
In the mid 2000s, I engaged in a group research project that assessed the economic impact of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (now called Mural Arts Philadelphia), the longest-running and largest initiative in the country—probably in the world. Started on a shoestring City budget in the mid-1980s to address the widespread graffiti issue, Mural Arts
Café Dolci on Market Street: will defensive downscaling (and social distancing) pave the way for more microretail?
In the approximately eighteen months since I walked along the underachieving arterial of Market Street in downtown San Francisco, its character has changed far more than anyone might expect. For such a prime thoroughfare in such a densely populated city, it’s surprisingly mediocre in terms of the density of foot-traffic, which, not surprisingly, leads to
As the American public attempts to reconcile a steadily rising COVID-19 caseload with increasingly diffuse reports on the means to combat the scourge—peppered by occasional reports that many other countries are now also reporting a rise in cases—it is clear that most businesses cannot sustain the draconian conditions imposed by the spring lockdowns. And, with
On a relatively quiet block in the densely built, mixed-use Navy Yard neighborhood in Washington DC, a single structure stands out for its modest appearance. But in the Navy Yard, which, according to some measurements, has metamorphosed from a sparse and unsafe industrial zone of the 2000s to what is or soon will be