Downtown – Cranford, New Jersey

Isaac Kremer/ June 9, 2024/ Civic, downtown, Field Notes, garden, Physical, placemaking, plaza, storefront, Writing/ 0 comments

Cleveland Plaza is a level of architectural intervention unusual for an older building. The canopy on steel and reinforced concrete armature gives a neat hat to this building. i was fortunate to get a peak into St. Michaels church down the block. The stained glass, while narrow and compact had themes and coloration that made them stand out. Religious statuary

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Downtown – Toms River, New Jersey

Isaac Kremer/ June 8, 2024/ beer, downtown, Economic, Field Notes, Physical, public art, Writing/ 0 comments

Toms River proudly displays how they are one of approximately two dozen Main Street New Jersey communities in the state on the entry signage to their downtoen. As the county seat for Ocean County there is a preponderance of offices here for the county, the Municipality, various organizations, and many lawyers. A small entertainment and restaurant scene is here also

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Main Street Now – Birmingham, Alabama (2024)

Isaac Kremer/ May 31, 2024/ Civic, Economic, Field Notes, Physical, placemaking, public art, Social, storefront/ 0 comments

Over the past decade I have attended every in person Main Street Now conference. Through that experience I have developed both expectations and an appreciation for the unique strengths and lessons that each host city has to offer. Birmingham was no exception. In a post spanning two parts I will share about my experience with the leadup to the conference

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Terminal A – Newark, New Jersey

Isaac Kremer/ May 5, 2024/ beer, Economic, Field Notes, Physical, placemaking, public art, Writing/ 0 comments

Recently Terminal A in Newark, NJ, was named the best new terminal in the world. Almost immediately upon arriving it was apparent why. Great thought went into designing an environment worthy of the travel experience. From the way finding, to seating, to public art, and retail mix with many local businesses – comfort of travelers was front of mind. It

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Double-Diamond Design

Isaac Kremer/ March 4, 2024/ Civic, Field Notes, Physical, Writing/ 0 comments

There are two phases of design work: to define a problem and develop a solution. Each phase has a diverge and converge element. Defining problems begins by understanding of space and the awareness that all problems can’t be solved. Then it converges on how to best serve customers in a distinctive way. For solution development we also can’t build all

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Field Notes: Utility Box Covers

Isaac Kremer/ June 26, 2023/ Field Notes, Physical, placemaking, Social/ 0 comments

Utility boxes are among those necessary features of modern life that add little to the built environment – in most cases. Some have been painted, others have been wrapped. They can convert a message artistically or philosophically. In Seattle the boxes were used for neighborhood branding and wayfinding. Recently when I was visiting New Brunswick, New Jersey, I found a

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Field Notes: Ongoing Program

Isaac Kremer/ June 23, 2023/ Civic, Field Notes, placemaking/ 0 comments

Over the last few years I observed how the next town over from where I live has been trying to jumpstart revitalization efforts. The town is Edison and the neighborhood is called Clara Barton. There are a few multi-story buildings but most are single story and spaced out typical of a suburban neighborhood commerical district. In years past planters were

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Field Notes: Pop-up Bocce Court

Isaac Kremer/ June 21, 2023/ Field Notes, Physical, placemaking, public art, Social, tactical urbanism/ 0 comments

Never underestimate what some green astroturf and timbers can do to activate an empty or underutilized public space. We loved stumbling across this pop-up bocce court in Millburn, New Jersey. Something else they got right was clustering movable furniture, planters, and public art elements. Altogether it made a nice unexpected outdoor gathering space. Only thing lacking is to get the

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