Field Notes : Sandwich Board

Isaac Kremer/ April 25, 2023/ Field Notes, Physical, storefront/ 0 comments

A sandwich board can be the first element for your store encouraging people to come up to it and touch to develop a connection with your store. For that reason, your sandwich board needs to be in an impeccable state of repair – no rusty wheels, peeling letters. Make your sandwich board of a high quality expressive of your story

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Field Notes: Two Sided Signs

Isaac Kremer/ April 17, 2023/ Field Notes, Physical/ 0 comments

This example of vehicular wayfinding sign in Albion, Michigan, is both attractive and also designates as people are “entering” and “leaving” the Superior Street Commercial Historic District in Albion, Michigan. There is one pole but two signs with a slight difference of messaging on either side. The Youngs Home sign in Oyster Bay, New York is identical on each side.

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Field Notes: Parklet

Isaac Kremer/ April 10, 2023/ Economic, Field Notes, tactical urbanism/ 0 comments

A parklet is not only a physical intervention but also an economic one. To transform a parking spot on average of 250 to 400 square feet into a place for people allows getting a greater return on investment. Various studies have shown that spending by parklet users can boost revenue at neighboring businesses by 2x or 3x. This spending is

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Field Notes: Pavement to Plaza

Isaac Kremer/ April 10, 2023/ Field Notes, Physical, plaza/ 0 comments

Pavement to plaza is a global movement to reclaim parking lots and repurpose them for use by people. William “Holly” Whyte famously said people are most likely to sit where there are places to sit. Food is among the best tools to attract people. Put these together then you have a formula for active, loved, and well used places. Related

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Field Notes: Flag Signs

Isaac Kremer/ April 8, 2023/ Field Notes, Physical/ 0 comments

Flag signs are the worst. They obliterate the human scale and are difficult to read… unless your business is on the highway and you are trying to catch the attention of drivers for half a second while speeding by 60 miles an hour. I encourage every design conscious downtown to eliminate flag signs, and work with owners on more appropriate

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Let the 2023 planting season begin!

Isaac Kremer/ March 3, 2023/ family, garden/ 0 comments

Note: the story of how our family garden came to be is here. Below are brief updates from the garden. 2023-Feb-26: We started a new grow operation with approximately 300 seeds of 12 different varieties. These included favorites that we re-plant from seeds collected, year after year. There were also at least three new varieties of tomatoes – one is

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How We Neglected Public Space in the US, and How to Make it Better

Isaac Kremer/ March 4, 2022/ Civic, Physical, placemaking, tactical urbanism, Writing/ 0 comments

Blame Vitruvius. In his treatise De Architectura around 27 BCE, the three elements critical to architecture were utilitas (function), firmitas (stability), and venustas (beauty). While so easy to articulate, in practice this harmony in buildings and places was and is so hard to achieve. Fast forward to Colonial America. Many prototypes for buildings and plans for cities hearkened back to

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Americans Return to Main Street – Review of Main Street’s Comeback by Mary Means

Isaac Kremer/ March 2, 2022/ Civic, Economic, Physical, preservation, Social, Writing/ 0 comments

By Isaac D. Kremer To purchase: Means, Mary. Main Street’s Comeback: And How it Can Come Back Again. HammonWood Press. 2020. The story of the revival of historic downtowns across the US is inextricably tied to Mary Means. In her role as Field Director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation covering the vast Midwest region of 10 states, she

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Noah Brown of Amelia County (VA) and Metuchen (NJ)

Isaac Kremer/ February 2, 2022/ preservation/ 0 comments

Portraits of Noah Brown and Lelia Anderson The origins of Noah Brown are not entirely clear, though a marriage record from 1888 gives a birthdate of 1860 in Amelia County, Virginia. Of interest in the same record is how his parents were listed as father “Johnson” and mother as “Betsy Ann Johnson.” Should this birth date be accurate, that means

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