chapter  1
14 Pages

Introduction

I grew up in a first-ring, streetcar suburb in an old Northeastern city. For me, the metropolitan built environment always seemed a dense, finely textured place. It integrated the histories, purposes, and buildings of the wide range of people who had once inhabited it and did then. It was a living landscape that combined incremental and catastrophic change with spaces that appeared to be almost static: store fronts became flats; historic buildings got modern facades, then lost them; some neighborhoods were demolished and replaced, while others were just left to age quietly.