Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holidays at JKR

The peril of becoming callipygian is an inevitable consequence of the profuse stream of holiday treats gushing into the office. The assorted chocolates, chocolate covered assorted non-chocolate confectionery with chocolate chip and chocolate filling in every possible form have flooded every plain around. More importantly, this disaster is not a mere bodily concern; it washes away any remaining will power ensuring complete and permanent character decay.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Welcome to The Plaza at Chelten

site at intersection of Chelten and Pulaski avenues before

 site at intersection of Chelten and Pulaski avenues after

exiting plaza entrance from Chelten Avenue before 

new plaza entrance from Chelten Avenue after

 portion of existing retail (Fresh Grocer) before

 portion of existing retail after 

Save-A-Lot site before

Save-A-Lot site after

inside Save-A-Lot

 shockingly low prices all day, every day

Blake Here: Not sure if any of you have been following the disputes and community concerns regarding the Chelten Plaza project so the following is a quick and brief update (I urge you to search the web to get all sides of the story):
  • The existing Fresh Grocer which was described as poorly maintained was shut down and chopped into various retail spaces. The current lineup is as follows - Dollar Tree, Anna's Linens, Citi Bank, Wired Beans Coffee Shop (2nd location for the local entrepreneur), and roughly 8,900 sf to spare.
  • The Save-A-Lot down the street is closing and a new, larger Save-A-Lot has been constructed at the opposite end of the site.
  • Residents want a full service food store and not more dollar stores or food marts that don't meet their wants or needs.
  • On top of that there was a zoning issue regarding the proximity of the Dollar Tree and Save-A-Lot.  
But construction continued, zoning passed, and the new Save-A-Lot opened Friday December 9th.  While there is some site work at the Save-A-Lot and signage work to be completed on the former Fresh Grocer it's all starting to come together.  If you'd like to know more please click here:, for peoples' reactions regarding the newly opened Save-A-Lot and Plaza at Chelten, and here:, for some of the project highlights such as:
  • new ground-up Save-A-Lot 70% larger than previous site
  • new 24-hour Save-A-Lot adds 30 jobs to current 28 person staff relocated from previous Wayne Ave site
  • entire project has led to 200 construction jobs and about 100 permanent jobs
  • $1.8 million in employment dollars is expected to be brought into greater Germantown community
Click here:, for photos and reports on last Friday's Save-A-Lot grand opening.  There's also many discussion boards and an ongoing documentation of the site's development and community concerns by one of the local community groups at  Keep in touch with more updates to come in the near future.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Constructing Play Exhibit

NM: The Center for Architecture on 1218 Arch has a great exhibit on the history of construction toys starting from 17th century alphabet blocks to today's ultra-contemporary versatile modules, and everything in-between. Anyone with a somewhat decent childhood would not be left indifferent to seeing all the former longings and possessions assembled together at last, side-by-side, in one room. The displays are a pure joy. So much joy it can make one forget the purpose of actually going to the Center of Architecture which could in fact be a highly important and urgent task trusted upon by the authoritative forces of the architectural industry. And if that’s not enough, an overly enthusiastic staff will be thrilled to point out that John Locke was the one who invented the alphabet blocks in the late 1600’s. Not the guy from Lost, the actual John Locke.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Architecture in Vegas?

city center

city center

lou ruvo nuero center by frank gehry

the old strip
Izzo Here: Most people probably think of cheese when it comes to the architecture in Vegas.  On my recent trip there I would tend to agree.  There's lots of cheese; there's a fake Venice, a fake Paris, a fake pyramid, even a fake NYC.  But when it comes to the real deal, the new stuff is pretty impressive.  Even the old old googie stuff is pretty cool.