Hindsight really is always 20/20. It’s easy to inveigh against anything that retroactively appears to be poor decision making by asking, “What on earth were they thinking?” And that’s precisely what disability and accessibility activists are likely to do if they ever roam the perimeter of the downtown Hartford’s XL Center, a massive events complex
For a commodity as market-sensitive as petroleum (let’s call it “gas”), a featurette on pricing is less likely to be indicative of market trends than, say, certain perishable goods (which induced considerable hardship on dairy and grain farmers these last few years) or certain appliances (in which the decline in demand has bankrupted several high-profile
Brokers and real estate analysts have known this for years: our country has way too much space for retail. More than any other country by a wide margin. Now, as the predicament escalates to the point that the even the average citizen can spot the oversupply—it’s empirically obvious—mainstream journalists have branded it “the retail apocalypse”.
Southeastern Connecticut boasts a flourishing, well-preserved hub of commercial activity, popular with tourists but hardly neglected by the locals. This hub is not New London, historically the largest city in the region, a former shipping center and home to the Coast Guard Academy. It also isn’t Norwich, a mill city up the Thames River that
After crossing the Thames River along Interstate 95, speeding westward past the compact, archetypically New England central business district to New London, Connecticut, a visitor will encounter an exit ramp leading directly to the city’s economically recovering downtown. Generally speaking, this should be the preferred trajectory for those of us obsessed with old town centers.
Has urban America learned its last lesson on downtown parking? After forty years of declining fortunes, have we deduced that giving people cheap, abundant, convenient places to park their cars failed to save our city centers? Have we finally realized that demolishing 100-year-old buildings to form new garages and lots did not stem the vacancy
As I try to increase my volume of monthly blog posts, I owe it to both my readers and myself to bring back something I used to do regularly: a mini-post, which for me amounts to something less than 1,000 words. The fact of the matter is that I often try to write less, but
The façadectomy fan club hasn’t earned a lot of love over the years. Historic preservationists deride it because it cynically assumes that the only true value to a historic structure is the often three-foot-thick façade, while the remaining 99% of the building (not to mention everything that took place within it) is left to the
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a meta-post (blogging about my own blogging), but I’m due for one this time around. Back in May, I blogged about the Brass Mill Center, a very suburban-styled mall in the heart of Waterbury, Connecticut’s inner city. I’m generally happy with how the article turned out, but most of
When it first opened in 1997, local and regional media acclaimed the Brass Mill Center of Waterbury, Connecticut for transforming a long-blighted, desolate, contaminated old industrial site. And, considering that the retail hub replaced an expansive collection of derelict buildings visible along Interstate 84, it probably improved Waterbury’s image not just to its natives but