Monday, August 18, 2014

Salutation from the Blue Hen State

Downtown Market Street, Wilmington, Del.
I am in Delaware the next two weeks, visiting my mom, who turns 82 on the 26th, but I don't want you to feel like I'm not thinking of you. I will keep posting as the spirit moves me.

While walking to the Dunkin Donuts on French Street (I know, I know), I saw this Walgreen's at Market and Ninth (it was Woolworth's when I was a youngster.) The architecture reminded me of downtown Idaho Falls, the Salisbury Building perhaps, and it made me feel a little low that we can't have something like this. The reason is simple, I've been told. There aren't enough people living downtown to support development like this. Wouldn't it be nice if there were to change some day?


  1. Funny you should mention that! My wife and I were walking in the historic downtown area looking at buildings and deciding which ones would make great living quarters! There is a bunch of possibilities in the area, that is for sure.

  2. As long as there's cheap land to build on, and a yearning to have open space, cities like IF will never have a viable downtown with a great live/work/shop balance. The fact that Snake River Landing even exists is a symptom of the status quo. If it really was something everyone wanted we wouldn't have to manufacture it. I would love the same thing, but the settlement pattern of the west will live on, and the need for a dense urban core will never be there.

  3. Thanks for your comments. Bryan, what's interesting is that my mom, who sits on the city of Wilmington Design and Review Committee, just told me that the building's owner is developing apartments upstairs. As for you, Anonymous, I agree that westerners tend to think their space is limitless, but I am still waiting to see what happens with the "new urbanism." As downtowns go, Idaho Falls has a lot more going for it than many other places. We hit bottom in the late '80s and early '90s, after J.C. Penney and the Bon Marche decamped for the Grand Teton Mall.

  4. When ever Ive been downtown I have seen people "hanging out" that I would not want on my front porch! I would love to have a loft by the river as a summer home in retirement. but I don't think the culture is conducive to it.
    It looks like there's a bunch of couch surfers downtown. which is great if your looking for that "Portland "feel. I'm past that and am usually looking for a good nights sleep!