Sunday, May 20, 2018

JB Jackson

Fleeting beauty, then, and occasional usefulness; how much more can be said of many other of our products? When high-minded groups vie with each other in bitter condemnation of the highway developments, devising legal and moral means of destroying them, those two glimpses come to mind. Would it not be better—fairer, that is to say, and more intelligent—to see if the potentialities of these road- side slums cannot somehow be realized for the greater profit and pleasure of all.
A liking for this feature of the human landscape of America should not blind anyone to its frequent depravity and confusion and dirt. Its potentialities for trouble—aesthetic, social, economic—are as great as its potentialities for good, and indeed it is this ambidexterity which gives the highway and its margins so much significance and fascination. But how are we to tame this force unless we understand it and even develop a kind of love for it? We have not really tried to understand it as yet. For one thing we know little or nothing about how the roadside development, the strip, came into being, nor about bow it grows. We know (and seem to care) far too little about the variety of businesses which comprise it. Why is it that certain enterprises proliferate in certain areas and not in others, why are some of them clustered together, and others are far apart ? Which of them are dependent on the nearby town and city, which of them depend on transients ? The modern highway is of course the origin and sustainer of them all, but what a complex thing the modern highway has become; how varied its functions and how varied the public which makes use of it! To the factory or warehouse on its margin it is essentially the equivalent of the railroad; to the garage or service station it means direct accessibility to the passing public. the local businessman thinks of it as a way to reach and exploit the outlying suburban and rural areas, the farmer thinks of it as a way to reach town; the tourist thinks of it as an amenity, and the transcontinental bus or trucking company thinks of it as the shortest distance between two widely separated points. Each of these interests not only has its own idea of how the highway is to be designed and traced; it brings its own special highway service establishments into being. Which of the lot are we to eliminate ? (p. 57-59)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Noella Costabile

Noella Costabile For a start, to gradually transform neglected and abandoned spaces/buildings in dwtwn Kgn and its environs into colorful residential, working, recreational, learning places with green areas and promenades with public art and installing trees/shrubs/plants...
Create zones within the map for specialized interests like needle craft/fabric, music, sports, art & craft
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Noella Costabile The long-term vision is to create a hub for Kingston's unique traditions, history and talents - an attraction for visitors to learn, be entertained and to support, like these places did -

Friday, May 4, 2018

M. M. Garvey, President of Africa


- St. Ann's Bay is the home and seat of power of the "living" president of Africa (as he and his followers define him).

- The African Empire defies analysis by the methodology of previous empires. It is an empire that works by judo, where it is the opponent's force that forms it.

- The conquest of nations was done by the African's opponents, who gave up and left the land to the Africans.

- The African empire plays by its own rules. It is "soft," leaving the middle of nations to their own devices and focusing surgically on the edges where they connect. It uses the very minimum of its own energy. It works through spirit and culture, not though military force.

- The African state is in no way concerned with skin color, but instead is set up to address and heal the trauma of the slave trade (and eons-long civilizational oppression) on a large portion of its people, on both victims and proponents of that oppression..

- Jamaica is another version of continental America. It corrects errors made by the latter, to which it is organically linked. Jamaica is, essentially, Jamerica. 

- So called African Americans are the identical people as Jamaicans--Jamericans with a different accent. 


Three areas of work:
East Palo Alto, CA (EPA)
St. Ann's Bay, JA (SAB)
Santa Fe County, NM (SFC)
a) All three have in common opposition and alternatives to mainstream development programs that are extremely destructive for the environment, for heritage preservation, and for social justice.
b) All three might benefit from a simple development formula: change nothing fundamental--buildings, setbacks, trees, etc.--that can be seen from the street (where tourists in particular could view it), and locate all new structures in the backs or otherwise away from street view.
c) Where wood can't be readily salvaged, or is deemed a fire hazard, replace wood with treated cardboard or formed paper mache'. (See note)
d) Where woodwork is feasible, cultivate local carpenters and crafts people to do the work (See note)
e) Murals can be made of now-defaced historic buildings like the attached. It might also be feasible to impose written messages (as, possibly, on the printery facade where Marcus Garvey apprenticed in SAB) that somehow graphically mirror the now-lost architectural features.
I think we have it wrong to see racism so exclusively in terms of skin pigment. There is something that is like racism that is probably more important than skin tone. I'll call it "racism" of place. East Palo Alto (EPA) has always been the victim of this racism of place. The white people who were part of the Weeks Poultry Colony 100 years ago were treated like riffraff by Palo Alto. America and the world were turning their backs on agriculture and the nurture of land, and only the industrial and business worlds would thenceforth get respect. That helps explain the original 20's highway through EPA, later to be widened into the present freeway... And Whisky Gulch, the limit point of Stanfords' alcohol restricted zone. Put the drunks over there in the riffraff place. This was all pre-minority days.
This EPA pattern can be seen reproduced in various ways wherever you go. It is the prevailing system driving gross inequality, gentrification, land grabs and other forms of land-related exploitation. The myopic, zero-sum approach for immediate advantage--or perceived advantage--means there can be no rational land use planning on any scale.
Another aspect of the racism of land are undeclared ideological preferences based on aesthetics. A community wants housing. OK, what does demolition of exsisting structures , changing setbacks or cutting down trees have to do with that? Do you want housing, or do you want to wipe out what's there already? If you merely want housing, why not simply add it, inconspicuously, out of sight? No, you don't want to do that because you are confusing the appearance of a place, and what that appearance signifies, with the straightforward issue of housing. So if you don't like the appearance of a place, please address that as a separate issue. Explain what is wrong with the place. Often the supposed solutions to housing requires eliminating what's already there so as to pave over more land, build bigger-than-needed houses, widen roads so cars can go faster, and even for some other mysterious "improvements" that defy comprehension. One must conclude that they symbolize a purely religious belief in the superiority of paving over trees and topsoil.
I doubt that there is much difference in development paradigms anywhere anywhere you go within the hyper networked global environment we have today. What I see as housing solutions apply to every place I've ever lived in the US or abroad. The following applies everywhere.
Ensure that everybody has shelter, and that the shelter is not disruptive or unsightly. Since, in general, the rich can fend for themselves, my emphasis would be on shelter for the poor. And since we have an exploding population to share a finite pie, more and more people are among the poor...even well educated college students. So, yes, innovative and imaginative approaches to housing for all are needed all around the world.
St, Ann's Bay, the capital of the parish of St. Ann in Jamaica, doesn't have a chamber of commerce. OK. A chamber of commerce might require lots of formal structure that a now pauperized, marginalized town can't afford to tackle. But surely it can make a simple list of its businesses! And some of those businesses might even be able to use the English language to make a coherent and readable statement about the business, mightn't they? Or add a photograph of the place perhaps? Where I live in Santa Fe County in NM there is some sort of list, whatever simple programs for communication that may still be lacking. (I would be greatly challenged to find that list online.) My town and its business district lies on a federally designated scenic trail, and the lack of coherent thinking about the preservation of the trail's scenic character in the face of astoundingly inconsistent development affecting it defies imagination.
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Trevor Burrowes I'm trying to say that the same challenge to heritage (what was in a place historically) exists wherever the reader lives. In some cases, the reader may live in a brand new development that was formerly a farm or a meadow, or a ramshackle neighborhood....See More

Thursday, May 3, 2018


How are you? I hope well. I've been doing a lot of Facebook communication on the subject of "preservation.* And I'm very clearly centered on preserving architectural heritage...mostly re how to stabilize millions of structures through "arrested decay" strategies. This approach seems so urgently needed that I'm looking for ways to scale it up and turn into its own methodological field, with all the bells and whistles to make it an attractive and compelling discipline. Just sharing. Couldn't think of a better person to touch bases with. Do take good care. Will check in again if/when I have more clarity on the issue. :-)