Category Archives: Urbanism and planning

Hometown honey in ol’ D.C.

I grew up along a somewhat downscale edge of the upscale Washington neighborhood of Cleveland Park. The Bureau of Standards was nearby, and so was WTTG Channel 5, a local TV station. Our house, a relatively plain but lovable semi-detached, … Continue reading

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Brief interlude at the DNA

When I was “Dr. Downtown” – my nom de plume at the Providence Journal – I was there at the creation of the Downtown Neighborhood Alliance, which met at the Regency under the presidency of my friend Maria Ruggieri, the … Continue reading

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“In the Modern tradition …”

Here is some more from High Rise, by Jerry Adler, a description of the process of erecting a skyscraper in Manhattan during the 1980s. Here Adler describes the design philosophy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – the modern era’s McKim, … Continue reading

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A new Kennedy Plaza plan

A new plan for Kennedy Plaza is described in this morning’s Providence Journal. “Kennedy Plaza plan envisions ‘true civic heart’,” by Donita Naylor and Jacqueline Tempera, describes a proposal that makes a lot of sense. It does not seem to … Continue reading

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History survives in Houston

For many people, I suppose, Houston brings to mind tall glass towers sitting cheek by jowl with small gas stations and grandfathered (if not exactly grandfatherly) shops. Its historic character was submerged long before Hurricane Harvey. Zoning is a free-for-all … Continue reading

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Is this architecture school?

What is architecture school? Metropolis has published a fine essay asking that question, written while a student by Miguel Córdova Ramírez, a 2014 graduate of the School of Architecture and Urbanism at Ricardo Palma University in Lima, the capital of Peru. … Continue reading

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Graffartists are not people

Okay, if Brutalist architects are people (see previous post), then I must admit graffartists are, too. Yet how sad and appalling to read in today’s Providence Journal that David Macaulay’s delightful mural near the State Offices exit from Route 95 … Continue reading

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Sic transit beautiful? Not!

The race is on to see whether British Prime Minister Theresa May or American President Donald Trump will win the bilateral infrastructure beauty sweepstakes. At least we know Britain has entered. May’s Transport Minister John Hayes recently gave a speech, … Continue reading

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Changing cities in China

Over a half century or so, China has changed from a largely rural to a largely urban country. The communists had brutal power and used it brutally, a sort of cultural revolution without the violence. China went from cities of … Continue reading

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Market town, New Zealand

Not so long ago, I wrote a blog post and received a comment in reply from “leveveg.” (I am not sure that’s his name, or even whether he’s a he.) Anyway, I visited his Norway-based website, dedicated to sensible urbanism, … Continue reading

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