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80 articles

Cumberland MD: where ancient Americana rolls out a welcome mat to trendy townhomes.

There was probably a point in history when virtually every American had heard of Cumberland, Maryland.  Not only that, it’s reasonable to surmise that a significant proportion of Americans had passed through it.  Aside from the fact that, for most of Maryland’s history, it was the state’s second largest city (its “Queen City” behind Lord/King

Bicycle boulevard in a crunchy college community (Ithaca)—and good at getting over gorges.

Bicycle boulevard: it’s not just another alliteration that’s fun to say (as they usually are).  It’s a topic for which aficionados have more answers than there are people asking the questions, which I recognize isn’t exactly a selling point .  But since this isn’t always a blog for dilettantes, i’ll posit those questions nonetheless.  What

Wildlife fences in Western Colorado: are they keeping out or letting out the elk?

The fencing that line both sides of Interstate 70 in western Colorado may lack the iconic character of those creosote-lined barriers that flank the highways surrounding Lexington, Kentucky’s horse country.  The green of those rolling Appalachian hillsides offers a critical backdrop to the black-as-pitch (literally!) wood that lends structure to the fences in the Bluegrass

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

Falls Church, Virginia: an independent city asserting its identity through…stop lights?

After seventy years of steady and often astronomical growth—from 1940 to 2010—suburban Fairfax County Virginia finally slowed in the 2010s to a more modest pace.  It had no choice.  This county opposite the Potomac River from Washington DC is developed across about 75% of its 390-square-mile land area.  Even more impressive is that isn’t even

Sign regulations: gotta be something to protect us from spam on two legs.

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

Analog Memes, Part II: a memorable trip down Christmas Card Lane.

As a successor to my post on a bumper sticker bedecked guardrail in Wilmington, I offer a second example of what I must at least partly attribute to meme culture, for which the World Wide Web exerted little to no influence.  This second example of memetic behavior that is anti-digital is probably a bit more