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153 articles

Road trips on I-70: looking for quirky Americana? Any red dot on the map will do.

As someone who enjoys long road trips (perfectly fine if they’re solitary), I can never get enough of the small, often amusing telltale indicators of the cultural composition that distinguishes a place.  The visual shibboleths, if you will.  Venturing across Interstate 70, one of the oldest, longest, and most heavily traveled segments of the original

A strip mall can house a tapestry of tenants. Including once-mighty churches.

About eighteen months ago I explored an isolated example of a trend that has become increasingly common: the vacating of old church buildings by their original founding congregations.  In some cases, the old church benefits from monumental architecture, making it suitable for adaptive reuse, particularly as an events planning or catering facility that can capitalize

A new spin on the wheels of an old ghost bike, along Indy’s Madison Avenue.

My latest article just went up at Urban Indy. It’s a familiar subject to those who know this blog well: another ghost bike, this time in the largely suburban, automobile dependent streets of the south side of Indianapolis. Unlike my very recent article on a ghost bike in Albuquerque, this one almost certainly signifies a

Circle Centre Mall’s silver anniversary: can we scrape away the tarnish?

I was recently quoted in an Indianapolis Monthly article celebrating the 25th anniversary of downtown’s Circle Centre Mall.  As anyone who has visited recently can attest, there’s not a great deal to celebrate at this point.  I’ll concede that my last visit was in early 2017, shortly before the closure of Carson’s (at that point the only

Empty airport: the consequences of a corona-driven collapse in air travel (MONTAGE).

Less than a month ago, I availed myself of a long-planned opportunity to travel from the mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, using a flight a purchased several weeks before the world’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic had set the turbulent economic and social course for 2020.  Obviously there are others before me—people who took this risk

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