Suburban development is consuming our cultural heritage. Yet, the problem here is not the presence of suburban development per se. Nor is there a real viable means to halt capitalist propensities that occur on a global scale. Suburban development and the rumble of the capitalism is inevitable. For those cities which have a viable local economy, the Central Business District and the suburban shopping center can co-exist. For smaller communities, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to support both the identity-rich CBD and the suburban shopping center.
This is cause for serious concern. A strong case can be made that the small towns of America are America. Developing new economic strategies for the CBD of small town America to preserve identity and reinvigorate notions of community is the purpose of this endeavor. And yet, a certain type of paradox is introduced when undertaking this challenge; how to return to heritage while positioning a community for a healthy economic future, and consequently, the process of modernization. Using architecture as an instrument of intervention and change, a mesh-work of interrelated economic catalysts are introduced in the project to adjust the “economic footprint” of the CBD in the small Maine timber community of Bangor.
Ervin Architecture is presently looking into the development of a trolley system linking Hollywood Slots to the CBD and on to Eastern Maine Medical Center and the Bangor Mall area. The downtown Market Station will have an open market, focusing on supporting local industries. Seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, beer and wine, and artisan products will all be offered in a lively, open market. Also on site will be a much-needed downtown hotel, and a cinema. Investors are being assembled at this moment. Please contact Ervin Architecture if you are interested in learning more.
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