[sbs_tax tax="States"] [sbs_tax tax="Albany"]

Lake Dallas Main Street: a bedroom community doesn’t neglect its entrance hall.

I’ll concede at this point that small town revitalization has become sufficiently commonplace that finding a new example is hardly revelatory, even for those who aren’t really attuned to that sort of thing…because they never visit small towns, or because they just don’t care.  It’s even less of a surprise if the municipality in question

Forest Fair Village, Part II: a lesson in how not to create a regional mega attraction.

The previous half of this mega-blog post explored Forest Fair Village pictorially, showing what happens when an investment company is left wringing whatever remaining profit they can derive from an almost completely dead attraction.  This mall—98% vacant yet also 98% open to the public—is hardly unique, even by Cincinnati standards, which, like most metros of

The construction year: is it a building’s badge of honor, a brand, or both?

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

Fort Worth Stockyards get a slice of New York chic–but in the form of a ground beef patty.

From the looks of things, the Fort Worth Stockyards are in the midst of a slow-motion renaissance.  I’m hardly an expert on the subject, but I’d wager that the multiblock district–which is apparently the only surviving stockyard left in the country–is among the biggest attractions in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, certainly as far as

A construction staging area and a sidewalk: never a healthy pairing, but sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease.

For most of the 21st century, and certainly in the last ten years (since the Great Depression) the majority of American downtowns have enjoyed a reinvestment no longer measured merely in spruced-up old façades. The cranes, dozers and other construction equipment are all the evidence one needs. People are returning to central business districts, in

Small-town parking meters: when the knob doesn’t even turn over a two-bit solution.

I’ve seen some pretty remarkable cheats that allow people to circumvent paid parking, but this one has to take the cake. It comes courtesy of Carlisle, a well-situated, generally prosperous small city in south-central Pennsylvania. This meter sits on Pomfret Street, a remarkably well-preserved mixed-use corridor just a few paces away from Carlisle’s downtown civic

The pocket park: does a mega city need a mini playground?

The caliber of playground amenities in our urban parks has improved and diversified considerably in recent years. I can remember when I was a child: it was typical for each piece of equipment to sit in isolation, almost forcing the kids to decide between playing with one another or engaging with the equipment and making

Multifamily monotony: how to put a new design spin on an all-too-familiar housing type.

While almost all urban aficionados have heralded the revitalization we have witnessed in downtowns large and small across the country, the sticklers and control freaks among us have continued to cavil about one nagging shortcoming: the form of mixed-use and multifamily projects has disproportionately favored big lots with monolithic structures that, while certainly better than

Interpretive banners as makeshift urbanism: the Durham solution.

Durham, the second largest city in North Carolina’s burgeoning Research Triangle, has historically underperformed economically, at least compared to Raleigh and Chapel Hill, but the progress I witnessed from a visit last fall compared to 3.5 years earlier certainly bespeaks the rapidly growing economy here and elsewhere across the Tarheel State. While in 2015, the