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Archives for April 12, 2016

Radnor BOC hears proposal for township gateway; approves change to Villanova University plan for sidewalk

SAC

The Save Ardmore Coalition

SAC is a grassroots organization dedicated to the revitalization of Ardmore, Pennsylvania’s business district based on community input, consensus building, sound and comprehensive planning, and the preservation of our architectural heritage.

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Article source: http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2016/04/12/main_line_suburban_life/news/doc570d2db0095dc725136567.txt

Trumping the competition? York businesses share, seek connection

Mike Trump’s family-owned West Manchester Township landscaping business shares no ties with the current Republican front-runner, but his employees have been subjected to political comments all the same.

When Trump Lawn and Land Co. was created 14 years ago, Donald J. Trump was just a real estate mogul in New York.

“We had no idea he’d ever run for president,” said Mike Trump, already president — of his company. “It’s been interesting.”

The business, at 1160 Zinns Quarry Road, is one of dozens of similarly named businesses across the country with no connection to a man known for putting his name on pretty much anything, according to an Associated Press report.

Mohammad Yousefi, owner of Trump Tobacco in Huntington Beach, California, told the AP he chose the name 10 years ago because he thought he’d get some extra business from the presumed connection, but now he wonders what he was thinking.

His strip mall storefront that sells mostly cigarettes and cigars has been struggling lately, a downturn he can’t say for sure has anything to do with the the name, according to the AP.

Plenty of comments: Mike Trump, whose family is traditionally Republican, said business has remained mostly steady since Donald Trump announced his campaign, but his employees have heard plenty of political comments while out in the field.

He surmised the comments were probably 50-50 between supportive and negative.

When Donald Trump first announced his White House aspirations, Mike Trump said his company considered utilizing the publicity for some creative advertising.

Potential marketing ideas included a caricature of the mogul with an emphasis on the hair, a slogan including the former Apprentice host’s famous “You’re Fired” quote, or a promotion of the fact that the company doesn’t use any migrant workers, which is in line with Donald’s anti-immigration stance.

“We all shut it down pretty quickly,” Mike Trump said, laughing, adding that they decided not to promote any more connection than already existed.

Look-alike: One York company without Trump in its name did elect to use the presidential candidate’s national polarity to its advantage in an advertising campaign.

Springettsbury Township’s NeFra Printing and Graphic Design paid for billboards throughout the county with a Donald Trump-look-alike in profile with the phrase, “Can you Trump this?” with Trump in all-caps, gold lettering.

Co-owner Frances Courtright said the marketing campaign resulted from employees just trying to have a little fun.

The company airbrushed Trump’s infamous hair onto images of all its employees, and the one of Courtright’s son, Brian, turned out “perfect,” she said.

Brian Courtright, who’s been featured on the billboards for months, now regularly gets called “Mr. Trump,” Frances Courtright said.

Frances Courtright said the response has been 95 percent positive, with just a few anti-Trump people complaining.

“We aren’t backing Trump (for president),” she said. “It’s just a marketing campaign, and it certainly worked.”

Business has improved thanks to the recognizable billboards, Courtright said, but they will be replaced this week with a new, “more artistic” image that also features one of their employees in profile and the slogan, “Dare to be Different!”

Sued: For some companies contacted by the AP, the Trump name and likeness was not exactly a blessing before the campaign began. Donald Trump has long been known for vigorously protecting the use of his name, which he licensed for use on other developers’ building projects and to market products including clothing, furniture, vodka and even steaks.

“He sued me over the name about 25 years ago,” says Claudia Rabin-Manning, whose Trump Travel in the Long Island community of Baldwin, New York, was initially named by a previous owner for the “trump card” used in games of canasta.

The case was dismissed after Trump’s attorneys demanded she post a disclaimer on the facade of the small storefront: “Not affiliated with Donald J. Trump or The Trump Organization.”

Mike Trump and Frances Courtright said they’ve never heard from anyone affiliated with Donald Trump. Courtright said she sent the image of her son to The Trump Organization before unveiling the billboards, but she never got a response.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com.

Article source: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/money/business/2016/04/12/trumping-competition-york-businesses-share-seek-connection/82929800/

Get the most from your landscaping efforts


This time of year always seems to inspire a frenzy of gardening activity.

People flock to nurseries, and trees, shrubs, ground covers, tropicals, perennials and bedding plants are sold by the truckload.

In the frantic rush to plant something in the landscape, however, don’t forget that the more thought you put into your planting decisions, the more satisfactory the results are likely to be.
 
First, analyze your landscaping needs to decide what planting needs to be done and the purpose it will serve.

Determine, for instance, whether you need to screen unsightly views, remove overgrown shrubs, create shade or privacy, provide an area for children to play, create an area for outdoor living, give your home a more attractive appearance from the street or whatever else.
 
Once you’ve decided the function and location of new plantings in your landscape, consult landscaping books to help you refine your design ideas and gardening books written for our area to help you select the right plants.

Also, talk to knowledgeable people such as local gardeners you know, horticulture agents with the LSU AgCenter and staffs at garden centers and nurseries.
 
Consider the future maintenance requirements of any new exterior plantings. Select insect- and disease-resistant plants that are well adapted to our area to minimize the need for using pesticides.

And make sure that they will not grow too large for the location where you intend to plant them. Always ask how large a plant will grow before you purchase it.

This will reduce the need to constantly prune plants that outgrow their location.
 
Remember to select plants for your landscape that will thrive in the growing conditions of the location where they will be planted.

Study carefully the amount of sun the area will receive, for instance, and choose plants appropriate for
that amount of light.
 
If you feel you’re simply indulging yourself when you purchase trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants, here’s some information that will make you feel good: Landscaping your home brings quite a few economic benefits.

Most real estate agents will agree that a well-landscaped home often sells more quickly and at a higher price than does a comparable home lacking a nice landscape.

One reason trees and shrubs add value to a home is that, unlike many purchases, over the years they appreciate in value as they grow larger and more beautiful.
 
Choose the right landscape professional
 
Landscape professionals work with homeowners who don’t have a clear idea of how to create an attractive, functional landscape. One of the benefits of hiring a landscape professional is to have a chance to ask questions and receive advice, and no project is too small.

If your budget is limited, a professional can help you set priorities and schedule your plan in phases. They can also be as familiar with building codes and deck and swimming pool construction as they are with horticulture and the aesthetics of gardening.
 
If you’d like to hire a professional to help design your landscape but you don’t know where to begin, follow these tips from the American Association of Nurserymen and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America.
 
– Ask your friends, neighbors and colleagues for recommendations. Your best bet is to select an experienced, well- established firm with a history of completing projects similar to yours.
 
– Arrange a meeting with two or three companies. Don’t feel shy asking about the training and educational
background of the people who will be working for you. Get a feel for how well you could work with the individuals and how well they understand what you want. Ask for references and check with the Better Business Bureau.
 
– Make sure the company or individual you’re dealing with has a Louisiana Landscape Architect license or Landscape Horticulturist license, which is required by law. A licensed landscape architect has a degree in landscape architecture and can sell you an original design whether they do the installation or not. Landscape horticulturist may help you develop a design, but only as part of a package that includes the plants, materials and installation. The primary benefit of using any of these experts is to draw on their knowledge, experience and creativity.
 
– Before you make your decision, obtain a written estimate, including a projected date of completion. When you get ready to sign the contract for instillation, make sure it includes a detailed list of all plants, materials, work to be done and specifications, as well as any guarantees on plants and other materials used in the landscape.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Article source: http://www.arklatexhomepage.com/news/local-news/get-the-most-from-your-landscaping-efforts

How to build a rain garden

Stormwater is the No. 1 source of pollution in Puget Sound – damaging water quality and harming aquatic life like salmon, shellfish and whales. When it rains, water from developed areas flows downstream, carrying with it pollutants like fertilizers, toxic metals, pesticides and sediment.

Low-impact development techniques like the use of permeable pavement can be used on a large scale by municipalities and industry to blunt the effects of stormwater. Boeing, Washington State University and the Washington Stormwater Center are partnering to research and develop durable, yet permeable pavement that allows water to slowly percolate into the ground But individual homeowners can play an important role in protecting water quality, too.

Here in the wet and wild Pacific Northwest, we can create rain gardens to help reduce stormwater originating from our gutters, patios, roofs, lawns, and driveways. Rain gardens naturally filter the stormwater and slow its flow before it enters freshwater lakes, rivers, streams and the Sound.

Similar to a native forest, rain gardens collect, absorb and filter stormwater runoff from areas that don’t allow water to soak into the ground. Understanding the right combination of soil, plants and location that allows water to soak in serve as the starting point for designing an effective rain garden that will:

  • Enhance the appearance of home and yards
  • Provide healthy habitat for insects and birds
  • Filter oil and grease from driveways
  • Reduce flooding on neighboring property, overflows in sewers and harmful erosion in streams.

Experts from WSU offer tips on creating a custom rain garden at home.

Anatomy of a rain garden

Rain gardens are usually just 12 to 14 inches deep. Water remains in a rain garden for one to two days at the most (not long enough for mosquitos to breed). A rain garden includes:

  • A dug depression that is flat on the bottom, with sloped sides
  • An inflow and overflow area (with piping and rock for overflow drainage)
  • A rain garden soil mix (if the existing soil will not suffice)
  • Plants selected for their ability to tolerate both wet and dry conditions (typically native plants)

Rain garden do’s and don’ts

  • Don’t install a rain garden over a septic tank, or in a septic drain field.
  • Do keep at least 50 feet between a rain garden and a septic system.
  • Do call to check the location of utilities before you begin to dig (800-424-5555).
  • Don’t plant in areas where water often puddles longer than 24 hours.
  • Do stay 10 feet away from building foundations.
  • Do stay at least 100 feet away from steep slopes or bluffs.

To learn more about how to create an effective rain garden, visit www.12000raingardens.org

Learn more about how Washington State University researchers untangle complex problems to enrich quality of life for us all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article source: http://www.seattletimes.com/nwshowcase/washington-state-university/how-to-build-a-rain-garden/

The Lousy Urban Design Of America’s Most Innovative Companies

When Apple finishes its new $5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, California, the technorati will ooh and ahh over its otherworldly architecture, and Apple will pat itself on the back for yet another example of “innovation.” Countless employees, tech bloggers, and design fanatics are already lauding the “futuristic” building and its many “groundbreaking” features. But few are aware that Apple’s monumental project is already outdated, mimicking a half-century of stagnant suburban corporate campuses that isolated themselves—by design—from the communities their products were supposed to impact.

In the 1940s and ’50s, when American corporations first flirted with a move to the ‘burbs, CEOs realized that horizontal architecture immersed in a park-like buffer lent big business a sheen of wholesome goodness. The exodus was triggered, in part, by inroads the labor movement was making among blue-collar employees in cities. At the same time, the increasing diversity of urban populations meant it was getting harder and harder to maintain an all-white workforce. One by one, major companies headed out of town for greener pastures, luring desired employees into their gilded cages with the types of office perks familiar to any Googler.

Though these sprawling developments were initially hailed as innovative, America’s experiment with suburban, car-centric lifestyles eventually proved problematic, both for its exclusiveness and environmental drawbacks: Such communities intentionally prevented certain ethnic groups and lower-income people from moving there, while enforcing zoning rules that maximized driving. Today’s tech campuses, which The New York Times describes as “the triumph of privatized commons, of a verdant natural world sheltered for the few,” are no better, having done nothing to disrupt the isolated, anti-urban landscape favored by mid-century corporations.

Louise Mozingo, the chair of UC Berkeley’s Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department, detailed the origins of these corporate environments in her 2014 book, Pastoral Capitalism: A History of Suburban Corporate Landscapes. From the 1930s designs for ATT Bell Laboratories in New Jersey to Google’s Silicon Valley campus today, Mozingo traced the evolution of suburbia’s “separatist geography.” In contrast with the city, Mozingo writes, “the suburbs were predictable, spacious, segregated, specialized, quiet, new, and easily traversed—a much more promising state of affairs to corporations bent on expansion.” It also didn’t hurt that many top executives often already lived in the affluent, low-density areas near where they wanted their offices built.

Like the expansive headquarters of many companies who fled dense downtowns, Apple’s new office falls into the architectural vein Mozingo dubs “pastoral capitalism,” after a landscaping trend made popular more than a century ago. In the mid-19th century, prominent figures like Frederick Law Olmsted promoted a specific vision of the natural environment adapted to modern life, beginning with urban parks and university campuses and eventually encompassing suburban residential neighborhoods.

“There was this whole academic discussion around what defined the picturesque, the beautiful, and the sublime,” Mozingo told me when we spoke recently. “Landscape gardener Andrew Jackson Downing had written extensively about it in American publications, but Olmsted went beyond that, and called his ideal park landscape ‘pastoral.’ He was well-read enough to understand that this combined elements of wild nature with agricultural nature.”

The most famous version of Olmsted’s manicured natural world was New York City’s Central Park, completed in 1873. “The vast majority of Central Park was intended to be pastoral,” Mozingo explains, “meaning it was supposed to induce a tranquil state of being for the mind, body, and spirit.” Across the country, major American cities constructed public parks following in Olmsted’s pastoral ideal, from Fairmount Park in Philadelphia to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Following World War I, as the United States grew into a more industrial, urbanized country with a diverse immigrant population, this pastoral ideal became associated with places where the white upper classes would go to retreat from the realities of the city. “Eventually,” Mozingo says, “it became associated with middle-class values, turning the single-family house in the pastoral suburb into an aspirational American object. It’s still quite powerful.” At the time, most corporate offices were still in large skyscrapers near a city’s central business district or in a nearby industrial zone alongside the company’s manufacturing facilities. “Executives were often cheek by jowl with their blue-collar workers,” Mozingo says, “even though they were in generally a nicer building of some kind.”

Meanwhile, as the labor movement gained steam, corporate leaders were struggling to prevent employees from unionizing. “In the early 20th century, there was a limited but influential set of companies engaging in what is commonly referred to as ‘welfare capitalism,’” Mozingo explains. “The idea was to prevent turnover and control workers better by making factory sites that were tidy, safe, and well-ventilated with good lighting and all those things.” Many factory grounds were also carefully landscaped with play fields, gardens, and other outdoor spaces for workers to use.

When World War II left Europe’s economy in ruins, American corporations grew exponentially, requiring a massive increase in management staff and office space to handle thousands of new employees. The largest company headquarters were typically housed in several older buildings, leading those flush with cash to start thinking about constructing new spaces tailored to their needs. Executives also knew their preferred workforce (white, educated, married men) was moving to the suburbs and increasingly preferred to drive rather than use public transit.

In response to these shifts, major corporations embraced the notion that suburban pastoral settings were beneficial to their workers and their business. “I was surprised how much corporate executives absorbed this Olmstedian vision of the pastoral context being conducive to clear thinking, decision making, happy employees, and so forth,” Mozingo says. “It’s amazing to me—it was repeated over and over again in their public statements, writings, and internal memos. By the 1950s, we had this idea that everyone could work and think better in the country, and the pastoral ideal became one of the primary justifications for moving these offices to the suburbs.”

Mozingo identified three major forms that dominated these novel projects: the corporate campus, corporate estate, and office park. Corporate campuses were initially developed to house research-and-development divisions, in a decidedly collegiate environment that would allow them to compete with major universities for job candidates. However, all kinds of suburban office sites are sometimes called campuses for their use of low-rise buildings, quadrangles or courtyards, and pastoral greenery.

A “corporate estate” was typically the site of a company’s executive headquarters, along with sprawling landscaped grounds and high-end amenities. “There was usually a long, sweeping driveway, a centrally set palatial building, and big blocks of parking, which was later tucked away so you couldn’t see it,” Mozingo says. “The ability to impress visitors was very important.” In contrast, office parks were designed as speculative developments to be rented to smaller commercial tenants, like branch offices for major corporations. Areas like Route 128 near Boston and Silicon Valley south of San Francisco were developed from farmland into office parks.

ATT Bell Telephone Laboratories pioneered the first corporate campus, a process that began in earnest during the 1930s. Because of its acoustic components, Bell Labs needed a particularly quiet space for research, so the company started acquiring land where it could expand its Manhattan offices in the sleepy suburbs near Summit, New Jersey.

When the plan was first made public, local residents balked at the idea, mostly because they feared the site would become a noisy, dirty factory. Their fears were assuaged by a carefully orchestrated publicity campaign, which emphasized the number of ATT executives who already lived nearby and succeeded in changing local zoning to accommodate research and development. After more than a decade of planning and construction, the new Bell Labs—resembling a leafy college campus—opened in 1942 to much critical acclaim. (“BusinessWeek” later ran a story headlined “At Bell Labs, Industrial Research Looks Like Bright College Years.”)

General Foods, a processed-food manufacturer that ballooned in size after World War II, was the first company to relocate its entire headquarters from the city to the suburbs. Previously, General Foods’ offices had been spread across three buildings in Manhattan, and after searching all around New York City for a new site to consolidate, they selected a plot in Westchester County. “Moving a major office from Manhattan to White Plains was so remarkable that it was covered by ‘Life Magazine,’” Mozingo says. “It’s so funny—the article actually just covered the movers.”

For its new facility, General Foods chose a spot adjacent to the Central Westchester Parkway, which would allow employees easy driving access and give their new grounds an envious audience of daily commuters. General Foods emphasized the superior environment in White Plans on employee pamphlets, which used the phrase “Out of the city … and into the trees.” Working with the same architects used for the Bell Labs project, the new General Foods campus was finished in 1954.

Another highly influential project was commissioned by Connecticut General Life Insurance, which moved from Hartford to Bloomfield, Connecticut, in 1956. “Connecticut General wanted a very horizontal space with lots of light because they would literally pass these pieces of paper with policies or settlements or whatever down a long line from one desk to another so each necessary employee could process it,” Mozingo explains. “It was this clerical factory, if you will.” The company selected the renowned firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill to design its building in partnership with landscape designer Joanna Diman and artist Isamu Noguchi, who created sculptures for the grounds.

As these huge companies left the city, they often attempted to outdo competitors by hiring famous architects and upping the office amenities. “The first reference I found to a company cafeteria being really desirable was a 1929 memo about the new building for Bell Labs,” Mozingo says. “It said they had to have a ‘decent place to eat.’ They also had employee lounges where the scientists could casually interact, like the current trend for collaborative space.”

Connecticut General’s new corporate estate included snack bars, ping-pong tables, shuffleboards, bowling alleys, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a barbershop, beauty parlor, game room, media library, meditation room, and gas station, as well as offsite services like dry-cleaning, shoe repair, flowers, and grocery delivery—more than half a century before Google and Facebook added such benefits. “All these perks had a certain element of welfare capitalism,” Mozingo says, “this idea that the all-inclusive physical environment is going to foster certain kinds of behavior, which are profitable for the company.”

The focus on amenities for office staff was also a way to prevent them from organizing, particularly the legions of low-paid female employees needed to maximize profits. “They were terrified that female clerical workers were going to unionize,” Mozingo says, “In the era before computing, companies ran on vast amounts of paper, and that paperwork was almost all done by women. That was one of the reasons they wanted to get out of downtown—if the secretaries unionized, they’d all be sunk.”

Even the shift to personal vehicles rather than public transit was hailed as a perk: Private cars were supposedly more reliable and allowed for more flexible work schedules, particularly in an era before highways were clogged with traffic. In actuality, this encouraged employees to extend their workday past the standard hours of nine-to-five, and helped isolated workers to ensure company loyalty. “This is something that Silicon Valley companies still do—they capture the employee for the entire day,” Mozingo says. “The descriptions were extremely explicit about this, about solidifying corporate culture, instilling loyalty, and minimizing happenstance meetings with people from other companies who might steal you. It’s about making the corporation your entire life.”

Beyond keeping staff complacent, the benefits of welfare capitalism provided good PR for powerful businesses that Americans had grown skeptical of. Their modern architecture, landscaped greenery, and latest office amenities were all praised in magazines like Life, Newsweek, Fortune, and Architectural Digest, presenting Americans with a rosy view of the country’s biggest corporations. As Mozingo writes, “The pastoral landscapes of corporations aptly, and vividly, reiterated in everyday physicality the way corporations wished to be understood—as seamless with traditional American culture.”

It was important for executives to put the right spin on the story since many were avoiding external pressures to diversify their workforce. “There were absolutely racist motivations,” Mozingo says. “The executive classes were still largely male and white, but the secretarial workers in center cities were increasingly diverse. So the euphemism they used was that they were looking for clerical workers or secretaries ‘of a better type.’

“Birmingham was one of the core cities that was targeted during the Civil Rights Era, and it’s in Birmingham that you have the very first office park,” Mozingo continues. “It wasn’t built just anywhere; it was in Mountain Brook, Alabama, which is among the most exclusive upper-class white suburbs, a profoundly segregated area with the covenant codes and restrictions disallowing anybody who wasn’t white to live there.”

By the 1960s, many of the country’s biggest companies—including General Motors, Deere Company, General Electric, and IBM—had followed suit and created their own suburban fortresses. The corporate campus had also been exported to the West Coast, beginning with the booming aeronautics industry in Southern California.

As more and more companies created their own pastoral digs, mid-size cities like Hartford, Cleveland, Birmingham, and St. Louis were left with huge commercial vacancies in once-bustling downtowns. “These cities lost their tax bases at the very time when their infrastructure had started to fall apart and they were dealing with the increasing social problems of the 1960s and ’70s—homelessness, expanding drug use, all that stuff,” Mozingo says. “When these corporations moved out, there were many serious academic studies and journalistic accounts of these devastated downtowns.”

Eventually, suburban communities would come to rely on the money generated by large office developments, since residential property taxes rarely cover the cost of public services in low-density areas. In the 1970s and ’80s, as mergers and acquisitions closed campuses in wealthy suburban communities like Greenwich, Connecticut, residential taxes skyrocketed to cover municipal budget deficits. (This conundrum is one that Silicon Valley residents know all too well, as regional city councils continuously work to encourage corporate expansion while preventing residential densification, resulting in an extreme imbalance of housing and jobs that exacerbates real-estate prices and traffic problems.)

But perhaps even more damaging was the way this architectural trend turned residents away from one another and reduced their engagement in the public sphere. From the 1950s onward, the vast majority of suburban office projects relied on a model Mozingo refers to as “separatist geography,” where people were isolated from their larger communities for the benefit of a single business entity.

Mozingo’s concept of a separatist landscape builds off the ideas of geographer Allan Pred, who describes how our daily path through the built environment is a major influence on our culture and values. “If you live in a typical suburban place,” Mozingo explains, “you get in your car and drive to work by yourself, then stay in your office for the entire day seeing only other colleagues, and then drive back home alone. You’re basically only interested in improving highways and your office building.” Even as big tech touts its green credentials, the offices for Apple, Facebook, Google, and their ilk are inundated with parking, discreetly hidden below ground like their savvy mid-century forebears, encouraging employees to continue their solo commutes.

Today, this segregation isn’t only aided by architecture—it’s also a function of the tech-enabled lifestyle, with its endless array of on-demand services and delivery apps that limit interactions with people of differing views and backgrounds (exposure that would likely serve to increase tolerance). A protective bubble of affluence also reduces the need for civic engagement: If you always rely on ride-hailing apps, why would you care if the sidewalk gets cleaned or repaired?

“This is an extraordinarily different context than the way people lived in the 19th and early 20th centuries,” Mozingo says. Before the development of mid-century suburbia with its isolated residential, retail, civic, and office zones, cities were built with a highly varied, walkable fabric where encountering strangers was the norm. Even in smaller towns, people walked or took transit to work, could grab coffee or lunch at a neighboring restaurant, or pop into a public library, plaza, or park. “You’d have a vastly more complex set of people, places, and experiences to deal with and think about,” Mozingo says.

In her influential 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs celebrated this complicated urban landscape, which encourages what she called the “ballet of the good city sidewalk.” At a time when cities were being deserted by wealthy companies and residents for more homogenous suburban towns, Jacobs pointed to evidence that communities need walkable, diverse streetscapes that foster unplanned interactions with others in order to thrive.

While many modern office developments specifically include lounges or multipurpose zones where employees might randomly interact with one another, these spaces are entirely limited to office staff—with the aim that conversations would further relationships or spark ideas beneficial to the business. “I look at Apple’s Norman Foster building, and it’s 1952 all over again,” Mozingo says. “There’s nothing innovative about it. It’s a classic corporate estate from the 1950s, with a big block of parking. Meanwhile, Google is building another version of the office park with a swoopy roof and cool details—but it does nothing innovative.”

“There are a handful of companies who are finally doing interesting things in the suburbs,” she continues. “For instance, there’s a developer in Silicon Valley, Kilroy Realty, building a development called the Crossing/900, which is the new Box headquarters, and it’s going to be high-density and mixed-use near Caltrain, so everybody’s excited about that one.” Mozingo also sees potential in a future Facebook project, since they’ve purchased a large plot of land near a disused rail line. “It’s supposed to be mixed-use with explicit public space, and a farmer’s market, and there’s the potential to actually service this area with rail,” she says. “I’m skeptical but hopeful.”

Clearly these modern suburban offices can’t resolve all of a community’s planning issues on a single, isolated site. But even companies that do try to affect change on a larger municipal level are often turned off by the required public process, which Mozingo calls “long, arduous, boring, and annoying.” Despite these misgivings, Mozingo’s understanding of urban history gives her faith that suburban corporate architecture could remedy the problems it has wrought.

“One of the reasons cities function really well,” Mozingo says, “is that in the first few decades of the 20th century, after industry had its way, there was a coalition of progressives who said, ‘We want good lighting, good transportation, and clean water in our cities. We’re going to have sidewalks and streets with orderly traffic, and we’re going to do some zoning so you don’t have a tannery right next to an orphanage.’ They put in big public institutions like museums and theaters and squares with fancy fountains. It cost everybody money, but was agreed on by both the public and private sectors. This is the reason why we still love San Francisco and New York City. Even if we don’t live there, we like going there.

“Believe me, in 1890, cities in the United States were just dreadful–but by 1920, they were much better, and everybody could turn on the tap and drink some water. This was not a small victory,” Mozingo emphasizes. “Suburban corporations have to realize that they’re in the same situation: They have to build alliances with municipalities, counties, state agencies, and each other to come together and spend the next three decades figuring it out—and it is going to take decades.”

This article was republished with permission from CollectorsWeekly.com.

Article source: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3058823/how-apple-google-and-facebook-are-stuck-in-the-20th-century

Dreamy ’30s Brick Tudor in the Bay Area Asks $1.25M

Have a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We’d love to see what you’ve got.

Location: Oakland, CA

Price: $1,249,000

Any regular house in San Francisco proper will easily set you back $1 million, but a bit farther out across the bay, there’s a lot to be had for a similar amount of money. Over in Upper Oakmore, a well-off East Oakland neighborhood developed in the 1920s for commuters to San Francisco, $1.25 million buys a gorgeous 1936 brick tudor designed by Chester H. Treichel and surrounded by gardens and redwoods.

Past the 2,410-square-foot home’s arched brick entrance, there’s an airy living room with stunning redwood vaulted ceilings, a stone fireplace, and second story balcony. The ground level also contains two bedrooms with garden views, the dining room, and remodeled kitchen featuring updated appliances and large casement windows looking out to the outdoor patio. The master suite upstairs is a bit fancier, sporting beautiful wood panels on the walls and ceiling. Wood panels also cover the lower level family room, which comes with a full wet bar.

According to the listing, the original owner of the house was an “avid horticulturalist,” which would help explain the splendid gardens on site, plus special features like a garden casita (“little house” in Spanish) and two decks.

Article source: http://www.curbed.com/2016/4/12/11413406/oakland-houses-for-sale-bay-area-oakmore

Spring Gardening Tips and Recipes from Chef Tim MacKiddie of Jackson-Triggs Winery

Chef Tim MacKiddie heads the kitchen at Jackson-Triggs Winery, located in beautiful Oliver, British Columbia.

With a passion for utilizing seasonal and local ingredients, Chef MacKiddie grows a variety of herbs and vegetables on site in the kitchen’s garden. With Spring finally upon us and many looking dusting off their green thumb, Chef MacKiddie has put together some recipes and wine pairings, along with a few helpful gardening tips that include ideas on how to use the entire plant, from root to leaf.

1. Plant Vegetables that turn over quickly, such as radish and fresh herbs. This will allow you 2-3 plantings per summer.

2. Pick root vegetables, like beets, when they are small. Large leaves can be bitter, so using them when they’re young means leaves will be tender and full of flavour.

3. Radish, baby greens, beets and herbs are best planted in the springtime.

4. When planting, be sure to allow enough space between vegetables. This allows them to spread their roots and grow properly.

5. When cleaning garden-grown vegetables, be sure to wash the dirt toward the leaves. This ensures that small dirt particles don’t get lodged in the small creases in the vegetable’s skin.

6. Try not to refrigerate you fresh garden vegetables, as this mutes the flavour. Instead, pick herbs and veggies just before using.

Root To Tip Radish Salad - The Food Gays

Root To Tip Radish Salad (Serves 6)

Radishes are fast-growing, with the seed germinating in three of four days and the crop maturing in three to four weeks. Appreciated for their crisp texture and mild, tangy and sometimes peppery flavour, radishes are great in salads like this one that pairs nicely with Jackson-Triggs Reserve Riesling-Gewurztraminer VQA.

  • 10-12 radishes, greens attached
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 6 cups baby kale
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons truffle oil (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons truffle paste (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the radish greens from the root, rinse and place the greens into a large bowl with the arugula and kale. Slice the radish root very thinly, preferably using a mandolin. Gently pick the basil leaves, and slice the chives very finely. Toss the greens with sliced radish and herbs.

To make the vinaigrette; melt the butter in a small pan over low heat. Once melted, whisk in vinegar, mustard and honey. If using, add truffle oil and paste at this time. Add the vinaigrette to the greens while still warm, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Asparagus with Goat Cheese Aioli - The Food Gays

Grilled Asparagus with Goat Cheese Aioli (Serves 6)

Asparagus is among the earliest and tastiest crops indicating that Spring has sprung. It is actually a perennial and the tender spears are the shoots. Look for bright green stalks with tightly closed, compact tips. Jackson-Triggs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc VQA is the perfect match, with its citrus, grassy and gooseberry aromas and bold, refreshing taste. 

  • 1 large bunch of asparagus
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup crispy shallots (available at most Asian grocery stores)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your BBQ to high heat. Break off the bottom of the asparagus stalk, roughly 1” from the base. This lower portion of the stalk is “woody” and needs to be removed. Clean the asparagus by rinsing in cold water and drain.

In a large bowl, toss the asparagus in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat for roughly four minutes, or until just tender. Remove from grill and cut into bite size pieces.

To make aioli; add yolk, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of warm water to a food processor. Turn on low, and begin to add the olive oil slowly, in a very thin stream. Next, add the goat cheese and garlic, and continue to blend until well combined and smooth. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. To finish, top the asparagus with crispy shallots and serve with goat cheese aioli on the side.

Interested in more? You can view the entire selection of Chef MacKiddie’s recipes and Jackson-Triggs wine pairings here.

Image Credits: Jackson-Triggs Winery 

The Food Gays are Jeremy and Adrian, two Vancouver men who love food. For more info visit our blog, and get social on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Article source: http://blogs.theprovince.com/2016/04/11/spring-gardening-tips-and-recipes-from-chef-tim-mackiddie-of-jackson-triggs-winery/

Spring and summer gardening tips from UBC horticulturist Egan Davis

Spring has sprung in many parts of the province, and now is the time to start thinking about how to get one’s garden in full bloom for the summer, says the chief instructor of UBC’s horticulture training program.

Davis sat down with North by Northwest host Sheryl MacKay to discuss those pesky chafer beetles as well as what plants to grow, and how to best grow them.

1. Sow seeds directly

“Direct sowing plants is the best way to grow plants,” Davis said, adding that it is better than transplanting plants from a nursery or another garden.

“If you transplant something then you’ve got a little root bulb and that root bulb will have to establish itself in the soil,” he said.

“When you grow a plant from seed directly, the roots just tunnel down into the soil, and they don’t grow as a root bulb, it’s a well-branched established root system.”

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Davis says directly sowing seeds is a good way to grow plants, instead of transplanting something that has already developed roots. (Getty Images/Radius Images)

Davis said that now is a good time to direct-sow plants in the Lower Mainland, as the region has been experiencing a lot of sunny weather and highs up to 18 C. Any warmer, he adds and many seeds won’t germinate.

He said leafy plants grow well at this time of year, but said to wait on tomatoes and other plants that require more heat to grow.

West Coast Seeds have good information on what to plant and when, depending on different regions of the province, Davis said.

2. Don’t use too much water

“When you over water plants … they get soft and juicy, and those soft juicy leaves actually lose water more easily, and so they become more dependent on water,” Davis said.

“If you water all the time for 15, 20 minutes, the roots develop at the surface of the soil, and then when the sun cooks that surface then they are dependent on the water.”

Supervivum

Hen and chicks (sempervivum) are able to live on sunny rocks and stony places because they can store water in their thick leaves. (Brent Hine)

With much of B.C. experiencing drought last summer, Davis also urges people to consider selecting plants that don’t need much water, and to also start with growing plants when they are small and young.

This will also allow them to establish a root system that is more like what you’d see in nature, he said.

“We often see native plants that are drought tolerant. They establish  themselves as seedlings, and when the seed germinates the first thing that happens is the root tunnels deep into the soil then branches out.”

3.  Keep grass healthy, long to ward off chafer beetles

Davis also advises letting grass grow to combat chafer beetle infestations.

“The adults in the  summer have to lay  their eggs into the turf grass, and if the turf is thin or if the grass is very short then they have no problem getting their ovipositors [organ used to lay eggs] into the grass,” Davis said.

“If your lawn is mossy or thin, or if you over water, over fertilize that makes the grass really soft, really easy to rip up, so those kinds of things make lawns susceptible to chafer beetle.

“Really if the grass is healthy and the roots are deep and your grass isn’t cut too short, then chafer beetle is not a big problem.”

With files from CBC’s North by Northwest


To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Tips for spring and summer gardening from UBC horticulturist Egan Davis

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/spring-and-summer-gardening-tips-from-ubc-horticulturist-egan-davis-1.3529386

Midday Fix: Spring garden tips from Chalet Nursery’s Tony Fulmer – WGN

Tony Fulmer, Chief Holticulture Officer

www.chaletnursery.com

Event:
Pocket Prairies in 6 Easy Steps
Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Chalet Landscape, Nursery and Garden Center
3132 Lake Avenue
Wilmette

Tony’s Tips:

If putting seed down for grass, fertilize and cover with a fine dusting of topsoil, leaf mulch or compost.

If planting a perennial, tree or shrub that was grown in a container and has heavy, tangled roots, you can comb or cut the root system to expose interior roots that will help the plant to grow and thrive.

When adding plants that tend to take over, like mint or beebalm, dig a hole in the garden large enough to place a large plastic nursery pot with drainage holes and plant your “aggressive” plant in that pot to contain its root system.

For containers and window boxes, determine how many standard 4” pots are needed to fill it by measuring the pot diameter in inches and dividing by two. The answer is the number of plants you’ll need to buy.

Article source: http://wgntv.com/2016/04/11/midday-fix-spring-garden-tips-from-chalet-nurserys-tony-fulmer-2/