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165 articles

Dolphin House revisited: they’re turning it into apartments!

Two articles in a row that resuscitate topics from less than a year ago…am I losing my edge?  Maybe.  But when you’ve been hacking away at this for twelve years while using little more than social media to promote yourself (but swearing off Twitter and Patreon and Youtube), it’s hard to say what constitutes an

Adult-oriented businesses in the burbs: a veritable lion’s den for innocent impalas.

Several years ago, a perfectly ordinary drive-thru Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Indianapolis flourished, collecting business both from locals in the area (near the south side enclave of Southport), and, most likely, people passing through the city along Interstate 65, for which there was an exit ramp from Southport Road just a few hundred feet

Gas stations that lack that certain human touch, yet still strike gold.

I am by no stretch anywhere near the most well-traveled person in this fine country—that’s a singular achievement, and I’m many tens of millions of ranks below that elusive, eternally unknown #1.  But I’m not badly traveled: in 2021 I finally made it to Alaska, my 50th state (a pretty clichéd 50th state if you

Corner commercial lots: are they worth more? You can bank on it.

As recently as my last blog article, I alluded to an unusual dichotomy in the value of corner parcels: for the most part, residences on street corners are less valuable than homes on the rest of the block.  People don’t the reduced privacy one expects when a property fronts two streets, when they can easily

Dolphin Mansion: the country’s ugliest house hits a fascinating planning snag.

The Dolphin Mansion is up for sale again!  Indianapolis’s most notorious home has struggled to find an occupant for the last seventeen years, but it’s not for lack of trying.  Actually more of a campus with six structures on a mega-lot, surrounded by mid-century middle-class housing that’s a lot humbler (and I mean that in

Whitestone apartments: when low-lying land is for the dogs…and that’s a good thing.

As evidence mounts that the prime child-raising generations at the moment seem to prefer raising pets over children, it should come as no surprise that a growing number of residential developments host dog parks as a predictable amenity.  I’ve covered the topic numerous times before: from a forest clearing in a tucked away corner of

Georgetown Circle: cutting the corners out from the old courthouse square.

Where I grew up in the Midwest, most county seats enjoy an almost overbearingly consistent urban form at their historic core.  With few exceptions, they feature the archetypal courthouse square.  The four blocks fronting this courthouse—the four sides of the square—serve as the commercial core, with a variety of different sizes of 19th century buildings:

The Starbucks logo gets entrepreneurial elevation near the lowest point in the world.

It should come as no surprise that a successful brand, once vindicated through repeated growth and revenue amidst expansion, should explore its opportunities in other countries.  This tendency is such common knowledge that it influences global consumer culture almost unconsciously.  Long gone are the days where we might have pondered, “[McDonald’s] is everywhere I go