When I mentioned to some friends that I would be vacationing in Washington, D.C., most of them told me about the Smithsonian museums which offer free admissions. While I did end up visiting a few of these amazing museums, I also went to one that nobody suggested: the National Building Museum. This museum is dedicated to the interpretation of the history and impact of the built environment, and is perfect for architects, planners, landscape architects, and designers. (I knew about the museum because it helped to organize a symposium on Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. that I attended a few years ago). Here are some highlights of the museum:Continue Reading A Museum for Architects and Planners
Rest is defined by the Oxford Dictionaries as “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength” (verb) and “an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity” (noun). While it may be obvious to all what “rest” is, I started this article with the above definitions to get us on the same page. In particular, I want to make sure that we do not simply equate “rest” with taking a nap or getting some sleep; if we did, this article would be very short! But what I want to focus on are some ways that planners can use to relax, refresh ourselves, or recover strength. After all, even though Business Insider listed urban and regional planners as one of the top “15 High-Paying Jobs for People Who Don’t Like Stress,” those of us who work as professional planners know firsthand how stressful and challenging our work can be. Continue Reading Rest for the Weary Planner
Ever since the removal of the double-decker Embarcadero Freeway after the Loma Prieta earthquake and its replacement with a graceful boulevard, high quality development has been replacing empty piers and parking lots along San Francisco’s northern waterfront.
Think the Ferry Building, Pier 1, Piers 1½, 3 and 5 (Coqueta, La Mar Cebicheria, Hard Water), the Exploratorium, and the new Cruise Terminal to mention a few. Fisherman’s Wharf has a going Community Benefits District, a brilliant streetscape plan, and some quality new buildings housing such uses as the flagship Boudin bakery/restaurant and a new Madame Tussauds.
For years, it has all fallen apart when one hits Van Ness. But a brilliant new plan for the non-profit Fort Mason Center is about to change all that.Continue Reading Completing San Francisco’s Northern Waterfront
Do you think of Los Angeles as a museums capital? As I have shared in two previous articles (Los Angeles as a Museums Capital: Parts I and II), Los Angeles has much to offer in terms of museums and other cultural attractions. Over the past few months, I visited a few more of the fine cultural institutions this area has to offer, including: MOCA Pacific Design Center, Pacific Asia Museum, and Los Angeles River Center and Gardens.Continue Reading Los Angeles as a Museums Capital: Part III
Los Angeles is indeed a museums capital. As I shared in a previous article, there are hundreds of museums and art galleries in L.A. County. Continue Reading Los Angeles as a Museums Capital: Part II