In 1901 John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil (now ExxonMobil) began purchasing hundreds of acres of land around the town of Lakewood, New Jersey an hour and a half south of New York. He then built a thirty bedroom, twenty bathroom country estate. Lakewood was a prosperous year round vacation destination complete with swimming, tennis, … Continue reading The Sacred Cul-de-Sac: Lakewood
I was recently invited to give a talk at a housing conference down in Los Angeles. Once again my fellow speakers engaged in the usual arguments. Aging Baby Boomers asserted that we need to keep building more 1957 style suburban homes on the edge of the metroplex because that’s what people want and can afford, … Continue reading Beginnings, Middles, and Ends
Garden apartment complexes do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to suburban affordable housing. Young singles, the elderly, married couples saving for their first home, recently divorced folks starting over, and people who tried but somehow failed to move on to other arrangements – these are the inhabitants of America’s low density rental … Continue reading The Apartment Complex
In the early days of the auto industry Detroit was a dynamic machine churning out huge numbers of cars with integrated supply chains clustered tightly together around Ford’s River Rouge complex in Dearborn or General Motors’ assembly plant in Hamtramck. But over time the industry spread out across the landscape, first to nearby states, then … Continue reading Bozeman: A Blessing and a Curse
I had a solar guy come out last week to see what my options were for photovoltaic electricity. It turned out to be more of a can of worms than I expected. Before he arrived I did some basic homework. Project Sunroof Google’s Project Sunroof is a tool that helps determine a property’s potential. Solar panels don’t … Continue reading Thoughts On Going Solar
A recent post about the regulatory and cultural dynamics in Thousand Oaks, California was reposted on various platforms on the interwebs and elicited some very different responses. Readers on right leaning sites were incredulous that anyone would criticize the hard working and already over taxed families who were merely defending what they’ve earned. What right … Continue reading Maids’ Rooms, Garden Pavilions, Coral Vanities, and Thought Experiments
I got a phone call a few months back from a woman in Arizona who sought my advice. Her town was receiving an influx of new residents from out of state and it was obvious the trend was accelerating. The resulting growth and economic distortions caused by an expanding population, more traffic congestion, less open … Continue reading The Californians Are Coming!