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Friday, January 30, 2015

Demolition of the Green Wall in Durham, Day 2

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 8:02 AM

Yesterday the bricks and paint and asbestos started falling, flaking and flying as demolition began on the Green Wall in downtown Durham. By the end of the day, one of the fish was losing its tail. I circled to the storefront facing Main Street because I knew an old upright piano had been stored in there. I wondered if anyone had hauled it out or if it would be consumed by the jaws of the excavator. I shot the photo very quickly—from the public sidewalk—because as I did so, one of the construction workers immediately got on the phone,...

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

In downtown Durham, the Green Wall is tumbling down

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 12:26 PM

We knew it was time when the Bobcats and steam shovels and Rent-a-Fence arrived. The dismantling of the Green Wall and the de facto green lawn at Main and Corcoran streets began in earnest today. Workers wearing white haz mat gear are spraying water on the site to keep down the dust (and mold and God knows what other airborne particles dating from the 19th century). This is where the City Center project, the 26-story skyscraper is going. Plus, Austin Lawrence Partners is erecting new, and reportedly, historically appropriate structures in place of the burned-out, roofless buildings. The company...

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Friday, January 9, 2015

New condos to flank Durham Farmers' Market

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 9:18 AM

If you're a mapping, planning, urban policy geek—or if you care about the future of Durham—you need to bookmark two sites: the city planning department's development tracker and Durham Neighborhood Compass. The tracker shows what's being proposed where throughout Durham, which, considering Wednesday's lengthy affordable housing discussion at City Hall, is important to follow. The Joint City-County Planning Committee discussed how to create and preserve affordable housing within a half-mile of each of the 11 proposed light-rail stations. This stipulation is necessary not only for Durham residents who rely on public transit to get around—or like me, prefer it—but also for...

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Let us praise dangerous playground equipment

Posted By on Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 9:48 AM

At the risk of sounding like a drill sergeant or a very, very old person, playground equipment of yore was better. It served as a butt-blistering, splinter-stabbing, tooth-loosening rite of passage that introduced us kids to the realities of life. If we did not bleed from a fall from the monkey bars, then we were ill-prepared for our first job, just decades away. But today's playground is designed to absorb the impact of a child's fall and to cushion a city against the financial impact of lawsuits. Now slides are made from plastic that coddles a kid in a...

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