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[11 Nov 2013 | No Comment | ]
Photo Tour: St. Joseph Byzantine Church in Cleveland

St. Joseph Byzantine Church was the second church that St Joseph’s parish built on the site in the Union-Miles neighborhood. The first was built in 1913; in the early 1930s, it became a parish hall and a new structure erected next to it. By the early 1970s, the parish decided to move to Brecksville, and sold the church to Zion Baptist, which abandoned the main building a few years later.
The first time I encountered it was on a photo drive with my partner in early …

Art, Featured, The Big Urban Photography Project »

[27 Feb 2013 | No Comment | ]
Photo Essay: Minneapolis’ Lowlights

I moved to Minneapolis from a college town in Iowa two and a half years ago. I was surprised to find that it was a lot like where I used to live, only there was more of it: more roads, more cars, more buildings. The more I found out about the history of the places I traversed on a regular basis, the greater my dissatisfaction with how they had changed.

I may not be old enough to remember a time when Minneapolis was any different, but I still feel a visceral sense of regret when I take stock of the city today. I found the most cathartic way to deal with my resentment of the recent past was to turn a withering photographic eye on the landscapes that came out of it.

Crime, Economic Development, Featured, The Big Urban Photography Project, The Media, Urban Poverty »

[11 Feb 2013 | No Comment | ]
Burned: A Photo Essay on Arson in Toledo

Why should we, as a community, care about arson and its impact on the Rust Belt?

Architecture, Art, Featured, Rust Belt Blogs, The Big Urban Photography Project »

[27 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]
Pittsburgh Pics

Some great photos of the Steel City from my pal Estelle Tran at her new blog, Pixburgh N’at.

Recognize this spot in Oakland?

Another great street scene.

Love this one.

Make sure you read the sign.
Check more of ‘em out here.

Featured, Good Ideas, The Big Urban Photography Project »

[19 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]
Return of Youngstown’s Idora Neighborhood

For decades, Youngstown’s Fosterville Neighborhood, located on the city’s south side, was a vibrant residential area. It played host to the booming Glenwood Avenue commercial corridor and the legendary Idora Amusement Park, whose Wildcat roller coaster was consistently ranked among the top roller coasters in the country.

The collapse of the local steel industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the closure of Idora Park in 1984, signaled the area’s long decline.

In recent years, the area now known as Idora has begun a turnaround. The creation of the Idora Block Watch and then the Idora Neighborhood Association sparked increased community involvement. A decline in crime and the increasing removal of blight continues to give residents hope. That hope was celebrated this past weekend with the first annual Idora Fest.

Featured, Good Ideas, Real Estate, Regionalism, The Big Urban Photography Project, Urban Planning »

[5 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]
Urban Hiking in Pittsburgh

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of joining a group of Pittsburghers for an Urban Hike in Swissvale, a borough just outside the city with an interesting history.
Some stops along the way included the Trundle Manor, Kopp Glass and some affordable housing for sale from the Mon Valley Initiative.

Also on the journey: The Triangle Bar, home of the famous “Battleship” (giant sub sandwich).
Urban Hike is a group that regularly organizes hikes in the city’s various neighborhoods and surrounding communities, with stops along the way so participants can learn about what …

Featured, The Big Urban Photography Project »

[9 Aug 2011 | No Comment | ]
Summertime in Clevelandtown

Author’s note: This post is alternatively titled “Angie’s Best-O-Cle, Part Deux.”

Summertime in Clevelandtown. No one ever wrote sonnets about it, but maybe that was because they were having too much fun! Ew, besides, sonnets are boring and pretentious. And ode to Cleveland in the summer would be a good punk rock song.

But I digress …

If you live in Clevelandtown, like me, you probably don’t have central air. But Cleveland gets hot in the summer. So, when I am in need of a cool down, I hop on my bike and head down to the Lake.

Featured, The Big Urban Photography Project »

[4 Aug 2011 | No Comment | ]
A Detroit Tour, Courtesy of Let’s Save Michigan

Our Friend Matt Bach at the Michigan Municipal League sent us these photos, showing the sunnier side of Detroit. They were taken on a recent league staff tour led by Let’s Save Michigan campaign founder Sean Mann.
From Bach: “Mann, a Detroit resident and avid supporter of Detroit, showed League staff all around Detroit including stops the Detroit River Walk near the General Motors Headquarters, the historically stunning Guardian Building, the famous Heidelberg Project neighborhood and the old train depot. Our day started off with lunch at Slow’s BBQ. It was …

Featured, The Big Urban Photography Project »

[28 Jul 2011 | One Comment | ]
Pittsburgh is Beautiful, A Photo Tribute to the Steel City

Alaina Cauchie, creator of the Pittsburgh is Beautiful website, sent us these photos.

“I started Pittsburgh is Beautiful as a visual expression of what makes Pittsburgh so awesome – ‘gritty is the new pretty’, basically,” she said. “I love the juxtaposition of the old versus new that happens so frequently in our town. Although Pittsburgh has gone through some hard times in the past few decades, it is enjoying an urban revival and I am so glad to be here for it.”

Alaina is constantly updating the site. But she shared a few of her favorites with us.

Architecture, Featured, The Big Urban Photography Project »

[19 Jul 2011 | No Comment | ]
Photo Essay: The Lonely Caverns Where Clevelanders Used to Work

These photos were taken by Cleveland photographer and urban explorer Kevin Smith. He writes at BornCirca1979.

Below is the Warner and Swasey building on East 55th and Carnegie in Cleveland. For 100 years, they made telescope parts in this building, before closing in 1980. There have been talks about making it into a tech center.

On to Westinghouse Electric, on East 58th Street. This building employed 560 workers in 1960, according to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. At the time it was Westinghouse’s world headquarters for lighting. It relocated in 1979.