Finding you in that room changed my life and stirred my soul. You had been waiting a long time, when the librarian showed me back to a large public meeting room and opened the door. There were some large colorized prints of the neighborhood places hanging around the room on the wall, and you were featured in one of the images. It was the coolest thing I had ever happened upon.
Does absence make the heart grow fonder? It has been over a year since writing about my new duty with Colorado Main Street and a lot happened in 2018, just not so much blog writing! I am sorry for such a lengthy break. The move to Colorado was a challenging transition for my family, and spending time acclimating and adventuring together has taken priority.
Moving is like uprooting a plant and putting it somewhere new. Our life-connections (the people and places in our daily lives) are radically altered, and we have to adjust and figure out our place again.
Modern dads have learned to balance bringing home the bacon with living a full family life. Although dads have long been hardwired to provide financially, the satisfaction of being a breadwinner and advancing in the business world comes at a cost. I witnessed it firsthand and through a series of providential events have been finding balance in my own life, with my family.
In late February 2018, I will begin serving as the new Colorado Main Street Architect. The Colorado Main Street Program is housed in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), Division of Local Government (DLG) and rests at the absolute heart of DOLA’s goal to “Strengthen Colorado Communities.”
Having grown up in a small town in Oklahoma, improving the quality of life in rural communities is something I care about deeply. My love for rural community development really blossomed during my 6 years with the Oklahoma Main Street Program.
Since its kick-start in 2011, the Colorado Main Street Program has been providing high-quality, state-wide support to...
After more than 6 years working my state's historic downtowns, I am resigning from the Oklahoma Main Street Program (OMSP). My time as the Main Street Architect with OMSP has been a life-changing opportunity where I have been able to serve and work alongside some of the best people that I have ever met.
It was a great blessing to find a meaningful, non-traditional path in the field of architecture. When I was hired, I did not comprehend the depth of the opportunity, but now I can share a few highlights:
There is not a leaf that has fallen without promise. The promise of renewed life and the coming spring. Underlying this is an order that connects all things. Sometimes, architects have a sensitivity toward nature, but it is something that we could all explore further.
Sustainable communities, like the blood and flesh of our own bodies, are made from living parts. Just as the human body regenerates its own cells regularly, it also experiences entropy. In a similar way, we should not forget...
Last night, I realized that I wasn't going to make it through the Holidays. After nearly 8 months of blogging, I had fallen short, publishing last week's post on Quality Infill Development two days late. This week looked like it would be similarly disappointing, but I then I had a great idea.
Could George Costanza’s alter ego, Art Vandelay, have invented the LED light? Jerry Seinfeld added a lot of street-cred to the architecture profession when he decided that his best friend George had always wanted to become an architect, but never made the leap.
Comedians like Jerry are astute observers of reality and the particular quirks carried by our culture. He’s right too! In social settings, when I meet new people and tell them I am an architect, the responses range from, “I always wanted to be an architect”, to “my uncle is an architect”, to “have you ever watched Seinfeld?” Yes, the circle is complete.
My air-conditioner is killing me! Modern technologies like the car, color TV, air conditioning and the Internet have been creeping up over us slowly since the 1950's. They have been slowly killing the Earth, homogenizing our beautiful, regionally-specific design styles, and breaking up our communities. It's Creeping Death! (music reference).
New technologies (e.g. the IPad) have taken away the American traditions of walking to the corner store, watching the kids play in the street, and visiting with neighbors from porch to porch. These slices of American life used to bring us together, but modern technology seems to be pulling us all apart. All our computers and robots are making us soft.
American culture has rejected sustainable community development for too long. Even though many of us want make our community stronger, the historic heart of our towns are often weak and perforated - due to the sins of our fathers. Some of us are guilty too! Like a dead whale launched to the beach by a tidal wave, many of our communities' best properties lie broken, abandoned, and steadily decaying. How did things get this way?
Through my work as the staff architect for the Oklahoma Main Street Program, I have come to find resonance inside the bowels of the past. Often far from revitalized, our historic downtowns broadcast your town’s self-concept - just like a neon sign.
Last week my family and I left town, and have been staying in a vacation rental by owner (VRBO) in town of Golden, Colorado. So, this week I thought I could give you a (reading) vacation too. I want to share some pictures of the magic we are finding in and around Golden. It is such a vibrant place!
Next week we will continue exploring how to implement “Design Charrettes” in your home, neighborhood, and downtown. The idea for this topic has grown on me, and I need the time to put some new thoughts together.
From my family to your's, we wish you a wonderful summer!
Do you want to live in a Green Heart Town, where there is a sense of health, community, and legacy? This kind of town can only be a product of community-wide sustainable development, which takes thoughtful planning and action. At the center of the effort, I see each one of our lives as a common thread skillfully used to create better places for everyone to live, work and play.
The transformation begins by loving our family and community well, caring for our neighbors, and becoming more future-minded. The wonderful paradox is that being future-minded also makes our lives better today, too!
Since last month’s Earth Day launch, I have been learning about the blogging process. Writing had been something that I always wanted to try, and thought I might pursue if I had to switch careers. If only I was a natural at it.
First of all, I want to thank everyone subscribed for bearing with us through a rough start.