Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Obituaries of pro-urbanists

I only learned recently that Albert Boscov, patriarch of the Boscov's Department Store chain, died in February.  Boscov's is rare in that it remains family owned (there was a bankruptcy scare during the Great Recession, just after the company had expanded into Greater Baltimore, and to stave off collapse Albert Boscov came out of semi-retirement and saved the company).

-- "The fascinating life of retailer Albert Boscov," Easton Express-Times
-- "Boscov's emerges from bankruptcy," Philadelphia Inquirer, 2009
-- "Honoring Albert Boscov: His rescue of bankrupt department store chain ranks as retailing fairy tale," Harrisburg Patriot-News, 2013

Boscov's store in Binghamton, NY.  Photo: Bob Joseph, WNBF Radio.  

Besides initiating and supporting various community and philanthropic programs in the headquarters city of Reading, Pennsylvania--including GoggleWorks, a large multi-faceted arts center placed in a former manufacturing plant, the company is noteworthy for continuing to open/keep stores in city centers ("Mayor Working to Keep Boscov’s in Binghamton," WNBF Radio), not just shopping malls.

This distinguishes Boscov's from the other independent Pennsylvania-based department store, Bon Ton of nearby York, whose anti-city approach is discussed in a chapter in the book The Living City by Roberta Gratz.

Like how the New York Times Magazine runs a special issue towards the end of the year featuring obituaries of noteworthy people who died that year, it'd be nice to do that for people, "big and small" who have contributed to the maintenance and strengthening of urbanism in their communities,nationally, etc.

-- "The Lives They Lived," New York Times

For example, David Burwell died in February.  Not only was he the founder of Rails to Trails Conservancy, but he founded the Surface Transportation Policy Project, which pushed forward sustainable mobility practice in the early years of the 21st century.

-- "David Burwell, who saw bike paths where trains once ran, dies at 69," Washington Post


At 4:13 PM, Anonymous charlie said...

off topic:

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

thanks as always for upping my game.

At 5:44 PM, Anonymous charlie said...

Hey, you're the one who got me asking "Why do we have cities?"

Speaking on sustainability, we need better design in new buildings for HVAC control.

(If you want to depress yourself, look at the new skeletons that suggest that man in 200, 000 years older than we thought. Lots of crashed civilizations.)


Post a Comment

<< Home