Tom's Diner: Googie architecture in Denver

Googie gets guardianship: conserving the Atomic Age through Tom’s Diner in Denver.

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:

Circle Centre Mall’s silver anniversary: can we scrape away the tarnish?

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

More than just murals: Philadelphia’s distinctive and superlative legacy of public art.

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,

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

Regal Cinemas closes in Alexandria: a casualty of corona or a sign of bigger things to come?

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

Ann’s Beauty Supply: a serenade to small biz stubbornness.

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