The generation that bore our baby boomers celebrated a new type of housing in the 1950’s, it was called suburbia. They had returned home from the war and moved from the cities. They had newfangled cars, financing supplied by the G.I. Bills and a brand new system of roads that allowed them to commute long distances to find their one acre lots. It was nirvana. (more…)
One doesn’t have to look hard to see that our health, as a community, is challenged. Take for example these three topics:
As the Markell Administration, Schwarzkopf House and Blevins Senate analyze the persistent stagnation that has plagued our state, it is our hope that they are soliciting ideas to ignite what I have coined, the “Economic Powder Keg” (in deference to our DuPont history) in Delaware. I would suggest that they don’t need to look further that their own history to understand the principles of focused deregulation when it is mixed with our state’s underlying assets, emerging market demand, and the innovation in the capital markets. The Financial Center Development Act of 1981 holds such history and demonstrates both the wisdom and potential that we should emulate.
Regions, towns, cities and small municipalities are looking for the “brass ring” of economic development to get them off of the merry-go-round of replacing tax burden and increased costs with an expanded tax base. Missing the ring requires leaders to raise taxes, eliminate important jobs or to throw “incentive’ money at potential employers. Maybe what we should look towards are areas that already have the brass ring because, well, they are great places. Maybe in addition to trying to find great employers, we ought to be spending our time and treasure creating economic development through envisioning great places (more…)
The Astra Zeneca restructuring in Delaware was a big blow, but it wasn’t news. When Delaware set out on an economic development strategy to encourage AZ, as did many other states, their motives were good and their logic sound. But nearly minutes after the strategy was launched, the market around the life science industry began to shift, much like when the market shifted the day Betamax woke up to a world filled with DVDs. And like the Betamax revolution, it looks like the changes in the life science industry are here to stay.
Mojo – it’s a word that has a few definitions. It gets tossed around in many social circles and walks of life. The younger generation uses it to describe cool style, charisma and essence, while older folks may use it to refer to self-confidence and talent. Moxie, if you will.
Next to stone, metal roofs are one of he most durable materials to last through the ages; they have been traced back as far as the third century, B.C.! Although metal roofing has changed over time, in modern times, steel has become the material of choice for metal roof systems. Steel is more affordable than copper, tin, aluminum, or stainless steel and, with the development of Galvalume coatings and high performance paint finishes such as Kynar and Hylar, steel roof systems can achieve life spans of 50 years or more. However, many of these coatings have only been used in the metal roof industry since the late 1970’s, which means there are millions of square feet of steel roofing with coatings that are at or past their life span. Just take an aerial tour using Google Earth and you can easily identify those older steel roof systems by their oxidized, rusted surfaces.
Being located on the Christiana River, we are reminded of our link to the environment and our water supply every day. Luckily, EDiS has the privilege of sharing our building with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE), which reminds us daily that everything we do in our office, on our project sites, or even at home, effects the environment. We are relieved to have recently learned that the PDE is able to demonstrate that programs all over the region, like the EDiS GreenSense program, are having a substantial impact on our watershed.
Over the course of the next year or so, I intend to blog about the topic “Architecture Matters”. From commercial structures to our homes, I don’t think there has been a more important time to reflect on the importance of good architecture and to push back on form, function, economy and ecology that doesn’t work for the user or the community. In the opinion of architect Paul Rudolph, civic architecture has been the grand omission for half a century. In its most simple terms, civic architecture means assigning a proper role to each building so it works in concert with its neighbors, thereby creating a comprehensible whole. This is the opposite of the Madison Avenue view, which thinks of each building as a billboard for its owner. It means that there must be the focal building, the foreground and supporting buildings, the building that acts as a base for the important building, the building that acts as a pivot, the gateway building, the transitional building, etc. (more…)
Whether it is a tin storage shed or a Greek temple, architecture should support, not only the function of the space, but define the space. An example of meaningful design can be found at the Wilmington Public Library on King Street, originally designed by Alfred Githens and Edward Tilton in 1922. EDiS is currently renovating and modernizing the Wilmington Library, while it is under construction, I would like to take the time to review key characteristic of the original design.