The search "Virginia" yielded
77 articles

Storefront movie theaters are icons. So why is it so hard to keep the lights on?

It’s hard to imagine any American town of a certain size—small enough that most would still consider it just a town, but big enough that it probably fits the political classification of a city—that doesn’t have, or at least had, an old storefront movie theater as part of its main street.  Everyone knows the type:

Demo cluster in Alexandria: why tear down respectable homes in a prosperous city?

Alexandria, Virginia, a place I cover frequently in this blog, is a medium sized city of considerable affluence.  Sitting directly across the river from the District of Columbia, it predates the founding of our nation’s capital by a good forty years, meaning it never intended to function as a suburb.  Neither a national capital nor

Excess parking in strip malls: is it necessary to build out enough space for Black Friday?

Urban planning, like most disciplines, endures its fair share of fads and passing fancies, many of which the advocates manage to elevate to temporary orthodoxy.  And if “temporary orthodoxy” seems like an oxymoron, it shouldn’t require a great deal of introspection to realize that many orthodoxies remain doctrinaire for about a decade.  And then they

Closed bank building, but with a twist: can it thrive with robo-tellers?

I promise—cross my heart and hope to die—that I didn’t plan this blog article in light of recent events.  A single closed bank branch is hardly cause for alarm, especially compared to what’s been happening to the entire operations of some fairly large banks these last few weeks.  And we may still be fully in

One-way streets downtown: are they really a revitalization dead end?

Among transportation planners, it is almost universally acknowledged that two-way streets are healthier for downtown vitality than one-way streets.  Storefronts on two-way streets tend to command higher lease rates, indicating that demand among prospective tenants is greater than a similar storefront that fronts a one-way street.  It’s not because one-way streets get less traffic; in

Jones Point Virginia: where two states diverge in a wood. Take the retrocession less traveled.

Many years ago, I met up with a friend in Belgium who took me to the nearby Dreiländerpunkt, where Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany converge, with boundaries lines vaguely resembling the logo for Mercedes-Benz.  How appropriately German.  The glories of the Schengen Agreement have, since 1995, eliminated the fortified boundaries that straitjacketed these small countries for

Clandestine kitchens: restaurants that showcase their greatness by being obscure.

“Don’t be so humble.  You’re not that great.” ~Golda Meir Ever come across a business that seemed to go out of its way to hide its presence?  One that didn’t announce itself prominently from its front entrance, but instead seemed to downplay its own name, its logo, its fundamental identity?  It’s hard to understand why