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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Kremer Family Garden – 2023

Isaac Kremer/ March 3, 2023/ family, garden, Writing/ 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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Downtown – Manchester, Vermont

Isaac Kremer/ February 19, 2023/ downtown, placemaking, plaza/ 0 comments

Northshire Bookstore is one of the best merchandized book stores I’ve seen. The store is arranged as a series of rooms to conform with the irregular floor plan of the building. Still it manages to have ample open spaces for displays. Makes it very easy to bump into the perfect book or gift item. Merchandizing with clear product groupings and

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Old City – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Isaac Kremer/ January 15, 2023/ downtown, garden, museum, plaza, preservation/ 0 comments

Crucial moments in the American Revolution are told through artifacts and interpretive text. Two examples are the Wait Monument on the Boston road was near where the first shots were fired and the reproduction of the “Rising Sun” chair that George Washington sat on when he was President of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Of particular interest to us as

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Downtown – Trenton, New Jersey

Isaac Kremer/ November 10, 2022/ downtown, preservation, public art/ 0 comments

Trenton Battle Monument. Opened in 1896 to commemorate the American victories at the Battles of Trenton. St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 140 North Warren St. Built 1747-48; used as a hospital after the Battles of Trenton; buried in the churchyard is David Brearley, a signer of the U.S. Constitution. Quaker Meeting House, 142 East Hanover Street. Built 1739; during the Second

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Downtown – Salem, Massachusetts

Isaac Kremer/ September 3, 2022/ downtown, preservation, public art/ 0 comments

Salem has a wonderful mix of historical sites and unique public art to fill in many of the gaps in between. The two primary stories are related to the Witch trials and the lives tragically lost, and maritime activities that supported literary pursuits and an ambitious building program. Most notable is Nathaniel Hawthorne who lived in Salem and for many

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

Isaac Kremer/ March 4, 2022/ 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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John Noble Pierson & Sons

Isaac Kremer/ October 1, 2021/ preservation, Writing/ 2 comments

John Noble Pierson (1855-1930) was an accomplished terra cotta modeler and architect. He attended the Cooper Institute, the Boston school of Art and the Boston School of Sculpture. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston was founded in 1870 and initially located on the top floor of the Boston Athenaeum. In 1876 the museum moved into a Gothic Revival building

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