The search "Pennsylvania" yielded
74 articles

Picking the nits when we’re stuck in a rut.

The phrase “built environment” appears regularly in this blog, and for good reason. It’s general and all-encompassing enough that it typically summons large images, which is what it should do. The blog has an expansive scope, and only with individual articles—and the photographs that accompany them—does the real precision come into play. And through those

Communion for Camrys.

In a quiet residential area of a town that I will leave anonymous, I found this unusual marquee.I’ve certainly heard of “blessing of the animals” events, but cars? Apparently I’m not as well-traveled as I’d like to think I am. Since car-blessing seems even more quintessentially American than valet parking at a strip-mall nightclub, I

For moribund malls, there’s redemption in restaurants.

Amidst the prosperous expanses of suburban Philadelphia, we encounter a mall.Let’s get real here. This the eighth largest metro area in the country. Of course there’s a mall—quite a few, actually, and this blog has covered more than its fair share. This one, heretofore unexplored and located within Montgomery Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, is appropriately

Still towing the line…150 years later.

Driving southward on Pennsylvania State Route 134, one encounters a run-of-the-mill rural intersection, indicated by the streetlight in the distance of the photo below.Doesn’t look like much, does it? If you get a little closer, it turns out it’s one of the most candid indicators of what may be the country’s most culturally significant interior

Boundary battles over sparklers and smokes?

We always look for the better deal first. It goes without saying. When two neighboring jurisdictions apply different regulations to a specific good or service for which great demand exists, the industry that financially depends on that good/service will gravitate toward the less stringent side of the boundary line. I’ve pointed this out before when

Kmart: Blue light specials have left them in the red.

It’s happening again! Sears Holding Corporation (SHLD) has announced yet another wave of closures for its two flagship brands, Kmart and Sears.  This time it looks like ten Sears stores will be closing, including one in the Southland Mall in Houma, Louisiana—a mall that was already struggling when I blogged about it in 2012. I’d speculate

Mall history at Plymouth Meeting—a possible seal of disapproval?

I’ve predicted the implosion of malls—along with my reasoning as to why they’ll implode—many times on this blog. Though my predictions have yet to come to widespread fruition (and I really don’t want them to), it remains obvious that malls claim a much smaller swatch in the tapestry of American consumer culture than in the

Second Street services in High Street storefronts.

A little while back, in a meticulously photographed post on the blog Urban Indy, I noted many emergent urban main street corridors that fall short of their full potential for a single simple reason: they can’t secure the optimal types of tenants. It was a challenging post, because I felt like I was taking two

Power centers: where beauty is in the eye of the consumer.

Particularly in the last few months, this blog has honed in on retail trends that usually point to the slow demise of the conventional, enclosed, middle-class shopping mall. I just can’t get enough of the topic. And most evidence suggests that, with the possible exception of the high-end ones, the mall is typically failing to

Turning up the heat by removing the kitchen.

How do you know when a commercial area is—to use a phrase I hate—“going downhill”? Take a good look at who the tenants are. Sometimes it’s merely a matter of rising vacancy levels, but if the occupancy levels are high while those tenants are radically different from just two years prior, something’s afoot. It’s usually

Picking the nits when we’re stuck in a rut.

The phrase “built environment” appears regularly in this blog, and for good reason. It’s general and all-encompassing enough that it typically summons large images, which is what it should do. The blog has

Communion for Camrys.

In a quiet residential area of a town that I will leave anonymous, I found this unusual marquee.I’ve certainly heard of “blessing of the animals” events, but cars? Apparently I’m not as well-traveled

For moribund malls, there’s redemption in restaurants.

Amidst the prosperous expanses of suburban Philadelphia, we encounter a mall.Let’s get real here. This the eighth largest metro area in the country. Of course there’s a mall—quite a few, actually, and this

Still towing the line…150 years later.

Driving southward on Pennsylvania State Route 134, one encounters a run-of-the-mill rural intersection, indicated by the streetlight in the distance of the photo below.Doesn’t look like much, does it? If you get a

Boundary battles over sparklers and smokes?

We always look for the better deal first. It goes without saying. When two neighboring jurisdictions apply different regulations to a specific good or service for which great demand exists, the industry that

Kmart: Blue light specials have left them in the red.

It’s happening again! Sears Holding Corporation (SHLD) has announced yet another wave of closures for its two flagship brands, Kmart and Sears.  This time it looks like ten Sears stores will be closing,

Second Street services in High Street storefronts.

A little while back, in a meticulously photographed post on the blog Urban Indy, I noted many emergent urban main street corridors that fall short of their full potential for a single simple

Turning up the heat by removing the kitchen.

How do you know when a commercial area is—to use a phrase I hate—“going downhill”? Take a good look at who the tenants are. Sometimes it’s merely a matter of rising vacancy levels,