Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Recycling the Strip on Miamisburg-Centerville Road

Noticed this demolition underway. It was a McDonalds, and was there when i moved here in 1988. So its been around for 20 years until last week, when demolition began.

Some might say this is just architectural kleenex; forgettable. Use it and throw it away. I see it as "history" coming to the ahistorical eternal present of suburbia, where something is physically changing, and a new use (or no use at all) is coming to the site.

This process or aspect of urbanism is called building subsitution in urban morphology, and it's noticed more in older parts of the city, where there is an ongoing process of substitution going on through time,

This brings into question the concept of 'historic preservation' or 'neighborhood conservation;, as true physical history is one of ongoing building replacement (or, in the case of dying cities like Dayton, no replacement at all).

One doesn't think of this happening in suburbia due to the "everyday" nature of suburban space. The next few posts will demonstrate that suburban landscapes have history too, as they evolve through time, and these histories have parallels with 19th & early 20th century urban developement, particularly with the expansion of the centeral business district and commercial encroachment into residential areas.

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