Dan Bluestone’s new book “Buildings, Landscapes, and Memory: Case Studies in Historic Preservation” is available. The author is pictured above at a book release gathering at Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, 12/3/10.
Meanwhile, the urban renewal era highway through Charlottesville’s central park presses ahead by a 3-2 margin and buildings fall.
Maybe our leaders can do some reading and think again.

“The process whereby individuals, institutions and communities choose to wield both private and public power to highlight certain histories, and to ignore or render invisible others, is a critical dimension of historic preservation and public history.”–Bluestone

The religion of progress has a central role in driving the predicament of industrial civilization because the dead end of dependence on rapidly depleting fossil fuels can’t be escaped by continuing on the path we’ve been following for the last three centuries or so.–John Michael Greer, The Long Descent, pg 69


doing errands in the Capital City. Longing for the heyday of banking. These days it is as if a neutron bomb had been detonated, leaving the physical structures of the banks untouched but all the personnel gone. There is the bank, the money, the cubicles, but the staff has been reduced to Frosty and he is famously immobile. So the several of us waiting hatched a plan.
We unplugged Frosty.

The response was gratifying. The branch manager instantly appeared, spoke to us all. Checked on our health and that of Frosty. We laughed. We waited. The service was as expeditious as possible. We did business, left longing for the goodle days, before bank officers were replaced with inflatables, before quantitative easing, before securitization of mortgages, back back back to the days of silver coins, copper pennies, silver certificates and savings account passbooks.

(should any of you banking center types be lurking… while your boards of directors and CEO’s plundered the American economy, while we do not like you… you have great employees. Truly. Nice people to do bidness with. Hire more of them!)


Richmond, Virginia, bounded by Azalea Avenue and I-95 to the north, Brook Road to the east, Westbrook Avenue to the south, the once shiny and new Azalea Mall, now 40+ acres of crumbling asphalt.
The proposed Albemarle Place in Charlottesville/Albemarle will be about this size.
Some commercial developments prosper for hundreds of years, some stumble and fall after a few decades.