Entries by Chris Brown

stop 12 ~ utility in Bloomfield

To truly appreciate the mastery of centralized utility networks, just think about your house. When you wake up in the morning, it’s likely with the help of utilities. Your morning coffee, shower, quick scan of e-mail and social media, and the warm air blowing out of your register on a cool morning are all thanks […]

stop 11 – paving the way in Squirrel Hill

Concrete has been used as a paving surface for more than a century. Within that long history, many different finishes, colors, and patterns have been employed to make the paving more stylized and distinctive. Unfortunately in many communities, the breadth and depth of concrete’s versatility is put aside in favor of functional needs or just […]

Stop 10 – wide open space in the heart of Greensburg

For aristocratic Europe, park spaces were private areas available only to the very wealthiest of the community. The gardens of Versailles or the Villa D’Este were green spaces for their homeowners. That paradigm shifted dramatically during  the early formation of United States’ cities thanks in part to Frederick Law Olmstead (the father of landscape architecture). […]

Stop 9 – branding in the neighborhood in Latrobe

Knowing who you are is vastly important to building brand longevity. For most Pennsylvania communities, it would be very easy to lean on history to inform a brand or identity, because our communities are much older than some of our Midwestern or West Coast peers. It would also be easy to lean on natural amenities […]

Stop 8 – taking a seat in Ligonier

Consistency is overrated. Finding a comfortable seat  is not. Especially when the person to whom you’re related by marriage browses just one more store… Many downtown master plans will identify a consistent street furnishing palette as a critical element in enhancing the sense of place in a core downtown. There is certainly value in that […]

Stop 7 – putting Bedford on the map

A map is a  great way to show people where they want to go. And without exception,  communities want people to know where they are and possible destinations to explore. But this is a very narrow acknowledgment of the value of maps. For downtown revitalization, maps can be the most versatile tool in your belt. […]

Stop 6 – art smart in McConnellsburg

You probably have a photo in an album or on your phone where members of your family are posing in front of some piece of public art. Maybe it’s the LOVE sculpture in Philly’s JFK plaza. Maybe it’s smaller or more site specific like Marilyn Monroe in Kennett Square or the pretzel in Lititz. Perhaps […]

Stop 5 – ready, willing, and able to succeed in Chambersburg

What does it take to make a project succeed? Certainly resources are  helpful. Great leadership is most definitely necessary, as is a solid idea or vision. But what may be most important is volunteerism. Notice we did not specifically say volunteers, but rather volunteerism ”“ the  spirit and passion for helping out or lending a […]

stop 4 – covering Gettysburg

It is often said that you can’t judge a book by its cover. That may be true, but there is a reason why book cover design is still alive and well in the Kindle age. That cover is the first thing someone sees whether it’s in the library, the book store, or on their electronic […]

Stop 3 – green space not out of place in York

Green is good. It is really that simple when it comes to flora in the urban environment. The vision of landscape in the streetscape is frequently limited to expected concepts of planting street trees and potted plants. However, we contend that creative placement of plant material is absolutely necessary in any downtown. Vacant spaces, excessively […]