The US earns its reputation for encouraging urban auto dependency, largely by eschewing any good provisions for pedestrians and reducing far too many of its streetscapes to vehicular sewers. Nonetheless, now and then we can come across some remarkable little pedestrian provision that surprises us. And it doesn’t have to be in a historically pedestrian
If bar trivia offered a question, “What American city has the single largest grocery store?”, would any team get the answer right? One might expect the answer to be a sizable metro area like New York City or Los Angeles, with their high population density and proximity to major shipping ports. Good guess but no
Multidirectional sign at a mall restaurant: a guide to the restroom, but why not steer people back to the mall itself?
I rarely feature a one-photo blog article, but this post is an example where I have no real choice. I took a single photo on a lark, not realizing at the time that it would generate a significant analysis that justifies other photos to help flesh out the argument. Thankfully, as is often the case,
By far the most common keyword I’ve used in this blog is “signage”. At the time of this post, I have written 205 articles that feature the topic. This should come as no surprise. After all, it’s a blog on the built environment, and signs are ubiquitous anywhere humans have a presence; additionally the fundamental
Manifestation portal: on a fateful day in February, the twos have it. (What they have is anyone’s guess.)
I rarely indulge in this sort of thing, mostly to keep my blog’s focus. But I’m not so dour that I need to avoid it altogether, even here on the site. And I might as well crank out a short article while I work on a two-part feature to conclude the month. Many people noted
By this point, after two years of intermittent lockdowns and the ensuing impacts on businesses, we can all see it with our own eyes: retail is fickle. I’ve written about this more times than I can count, since the very onset of this blog, waaaaay back when the biggest issue I could see was that
The fate of interstate highway rest areas in the 21st century has been checkered, to say the least. As privately owned service stations become larger and posher, state-operated rest areas have found it increasingly difficult to justify their existence. In the eastern US, familiar names like Wawa, Sheetz, Pilot, and Love’s have expanded their convenience
It’s been over a decade since I wrote about the fish, chop, and steakhouse known as Kincaid’s, a chain with a location in Carmel, Indiana (an Indianapolis suburb) that, based on my fleeting observations, was doing everything it could to downplay its very chainy-ness. And that was the point. The interior of Kincaid’s included
Party walls in college towns: campus culture can shift building form, punching holes or tearing them down.
I haven’t contemplated on party walls in quite some time, but it used to be a subject that vexed me. It’s a tricky one, because there’s no universally understood term for what I’m describing here, which makes it harder to pin down. Is there a better label than “party wall”? Simply put, the old commercial
Even as a child, I can recall the family trips down to Florida or South Carolina, witnessing all those high-rise apartment and condo buildings, each one of which had its own balcony. Sometimes two. And I remember noticing how there never seemed to be anyone out using them. Needless to say, I didn’t understand real