Last year I was contacted by the curators of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. They wanted to feature some of my work in an upcoming exhibition. Nos Jours Heureux. Our Happy Life. So here I am in Montreal. It’s nice to be asked. I was immediately tickled when I arrived at the museum and found … Continue reading Nos Jours Heureux
There was a time not all that long ago when ordinary people built simple small scale mixed use buildings on Main Street in every little town in North America. This was completely normal. Of course the family that owns the corner grocery store lives upstairs. Dah. But we almost never see such structures built new … Continue reading The Stealth Triplex
Last year I was looking at property in the Cincinnati area. I realized that many of the old forlorn city neighborhoods were rapidly coming back to life and this was a good time to buy and improve property. I found a small historic building with a shop on the ground floor and three apartments upstairs. … Continue reading Who Really Controls Which House You Buy?
Historically, most people had to fend for themselves when it came to supplying their homes with water. A well or a nearby stream did the job in most cases. A cistern held water for dry spells. The water wasn’t necessarily safe to drink, but boiling it into tea or soup rendered pathogens harmless. Adding grain … Continue reading Water, Water, Everywhere
I’m not a “fight City Hall” kind of guy. I can’t be bothered with the imperial intrigue of Washington or state politics. I avoid anything done on a large complex scale. Instead, I look for local affordable rational work-arounds that get the job done under the radar in places that the big boys just don’t … Continue reading Slack Haven: Slow Urbanism
This post will explore what I like to call “alternatives to the alternatives” in housing. This story demonstrates what’s possible if you’re willing to try something new and a bit out of the ordinary. Many years ago I became friends with a couple in San Francisco who migrated to Hawaii. Partly they loved the islands, … Continue reading The Green House
I’m a long time member of the Strong Towns organization which advocates for financially solvent municipal governance. I’m also a member of the Congress for New Urbanism which strives to build walkable mixed-use neighborhoods of the kind our great grandparents would have taken for granted, but are rare indeed these days. I often ask myself … Continue reading Strong Towns and Strong Households