Carthage Redux: 1817, and the Three Elishas

The narratives - the stories - that any place has to offer us often occur in multiple chapters. We need to find ways to keep listening as these stories slowly unfold before us. So it is with Carthage - another installment. 1817 was quite a year in this part of the world. For example, in 1811, Nathaniel Rochester began laying out … Continue reading Carthage Redux: 1817, and the Three Elishas

Mark Your Calendars

On September 6th, at some o'clock in the evening, it is very likely that you can view a film entitled "Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City." Here in Rochester, our local PBS station, WXXI, will carry the film at 10:00pm. I know - it's late. But it's worth it. To take a … Continue reading Mark Your Calendars

The National Mall: Images of Change

As we watch history unfolding yet again on the National Mall, we should remember the transformations of this vital space over the last two centuries. The Plan of Washington, Pierre Charles L'Enfant, 1791. A view drawn shortly before 1885, when the Washington Monument was completed. A late nineteenth century view. A view of the Mall in … Continue reading The National Mall: Images of Change

American Urbanism: Shovel-ready

 Image from flickr. "Once we accept that our cities will not be like the cities of the past, it will become possible to see what they might become." Witold Rybczynski, City Life. When he wrote those words in 1995, Rybczynski was actually "glimpsing the urban future," and seeing it as a low-density and low-rise city, amorphous and … Continue reading American Urbanism: Shovel-ready

Skeptics and Scarcities: Next Urbanism 101

I have been reading my usual array of favored websites, and have run into an interesting string of comments in the last couple of days. It seems that Michael Pollan's piece in the NYT Magazine, which I recommended in the last post, has ignited a furor in some quarters. Pollan is being accused of "eco-armageddonizing." Notwithstanding … Continue reading Skeptics and Scarcities: Next Urbanism 101

Some Policies for the Next City

  Carol Stream, Illinois. Photo by Alex MacLean. Happily, a long time Chicago friend joined us here for dinner last night. We sat on the porch to watch and listen to the city, fired up the grille, and enjoyed catching up - it was a treat. We were surprised and pleased to hear that he has … Continue reading Some Policies for the Next City

A Baltimore Visit

  South Washington Place, looking north to the Washington Monument We hopped on the MARC train the other morning, and journeyed from Capitol Hill to Penn Station in downtown Baltimore. Destination: Mount Vernon Place, home to the 180 foot tall Robert Mills designed Washington Monument, the Peabody Library, and the Walters Art Museum, where we attended a … Continue reading A Baltimore Visit