Author archives

I am an Indianapolis native who has lived in his HT off and on over the years, as well as the Deep South, the Northeast, and overseas. Trained in urban planning, I am less interested in macro/policy-level exploration of urban affairs. But when it comes to highly local and micro-level issues, you'll see me step up to the plate. The devil is in the details! My blog, American Dirt, explores landscapes urban and rural across the country (and a little bit abroad).

The Chatham Arch Question, Part II: What Are the Consequences of Low Density Just a Mile from the Heart of Downtown?

In the first half of this two-part series I looked at the prevailing mentality articulated by some of the most influential members of the Chatham Arch neighborhood, evidenced by the Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association (CANA) and its near-unanimous opposition to the redevelopment of a long-vacant charter school site at 9th and East Streets, into a mix …

The Case in Greenwood: Why America Deserves Its Retail Blight.

The local media thoroughly covered the City of Greenwood’s announcement that it had finally secured a developer for the site at the southeast corner of the I-65/County Line Road interchange—a tract where numerous proposals had come to light, most prominently featuring a Cabela’s. But, time and time again, none had materialized…part of the aftermath of …

Digital Archaeology through Google Street View

“The apple that’s fresh is ripe to the core, and I rot over time and I’m not anymore.” –Sloan & Pelling   I’m probably a day late and a dollar short on noticing the time-scroll feature available with Google Street View. Perhaps it’s been there for months—years even. I just figured it out its full …

From Art to Ads: Commodifying Space at the Indy Airport.

A few years ago, the still shiny-and-new Indianapolis International Airport (IND) found itself at the center of a mild controversy. The Airport Authority announced, after just three years in operation, what for some people amounted to a pretty significant concession: it was replacing one of the most prominent artistic installations with a large flat screen …

When the Best Preservation Efforts Go Up in Smoke

One of our Urban Indy bloggers recently pointed out this lovingly restored double with Victorian touches, easily visible on Google Streetview as recently as the last camera run-through, waaaaay back in the summer of 2009. Even from the Google photo, it’s obvious that the restoration just took place; the paint is flawless, landscaping efforts haven’t …

With the Marott Center in New Hands, Could the Property Use Some Elbow Grease?

Normally an announcement as modest as the sale of a small, well-maintained historic commercial building shouldn’t cause anyone’s pulse to race.  And, outside of this Urban Indy blogosphere, it probably hasn’t.  Truth be told, even within Urban Indy readership, nobody’s popping any blood-pressure pills.   But the change in ownership of the Marott Center on …