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David Barlew Architects is a Chattanooga-based architecture firm founded in 1978 by David Barlew, Sr. Our diverse practice has experience in the design and renovation of mixed-use developments, schools, offices, commercial centers and medical facilities. Local projects designed by David Barlew Architects in the past 5 years include Renaissance Square, a two story, mixed-use building completed in 2008 on Martin Luther King Boulevard by The 28th Legislative District Community Development Corporation; the Temporary Twelve-Bed Intensive Care Unit at Erlanger Hospital; Sing It Or Wing It, a karaoke bar and restaurant in downtown Chattanooga (interior design by Christi Homar); and the Auditorium Building Renovation and Addition at Cleveland State Community College for the Tennessee Board of Regents. David Barlew Architects has also volunteered time for the Brainerd Road Corridor Master Plan, a nearly three year long community-led initiative to improve the Brainerd Community of Chattanooga.

David Barlew Architects, Inc. is a member of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.




The Barlew Blog

City View Chattanooga: Pandemonium in the City

by David Barlew, Jr. on 01/28/14

Approximately one quarter of an inch of snow has fallen in the Tennessee Valley, and the entire Chattanooga Metropolitan Area has been plunged into abject chaos.

Schools are closed.

Businesses are shutting their doors.

And, the roads... the roads in every direction have been transformed into linear, white parking lots filled with cars going nowhere.

This is winter in the South.

Sources:

Photographs by Adam Case

Road Work on Glass Street

by David Barlew, Jr. on 08/19/13

Attention Ahead! Big changes are coming to Glass Street!               

After more than a year of continuous hard work by a dedicated team of neighborhood residents, design professionals, city officials, and community organizers, Glass Street is being retrofitted with new sidewalks, new tree wells, and new pedestrian lighting!

In a first phase of streetscaping improvements, Glass Street is getting a make-over!

These significant public infrastructure improvements by the City of Chattanooga constitute a remarkable accomplishment for Glass House Collective and its partners and mark a turning point in the story of one of Chattanooga's most storied streets. They also illustrate the incredible power of citizens to make a difference in their community.

To mark this momentous time of change in East Chattanooga, Tennessee's very unofficial state flower, the orange construction barrel, is blooming all over Glass Street. These "blooms" herald the replacement of existing sidewalks along Glass Street and North Chamberlain Avenue.

Along Glass Street, the infrastructure improvements will take place between Awtry Street at the east end of the Glass Street commercial corridor and continue to Wheeler Avenue to the west. Similar street modifications will occur on Chamberlain Avenue between Appling Street and a point just south of the Glass Street/ Chamberlain Avenue intersection.

The new public streetscape infrastructure will completely change the appearance of Glass Street for the better. But, more importantly, the hope is that the benefits born out of this work will be more than just cosmetic. With any luck, this significant investment of time, money, and labor by the City of Chattanooga will encourage similar investment by the business community. The public sector is beginning a conversation of sorts by paving new sidewalks, planting new trees, and installing new lights; perhaps encouraged by the City's initial investment, the private sector will respond by renovating existing structures, leasing available space, and opening new enterprises.

 

As part of this work, tree wells are being installed in the area to provide a place for trees without taking up necessary space for pedestrians on the sidewalks. In addition, these tree wells will serve to demarcate parallel parking areas while potentially slowing traffic by narrowing the open expanse of asphalt on the roadway. The trees planted along Glass Street will play into a repeating and regular rhythm that also includes the light poles and parallel parking area punctuated down the length of Glass Street.

As I write this post, the work on Glass Street is underway, and it is progressing rapidly.

Like the facades improvement project I blogged about earlier this summer, the street improvements along Glass Street were also born out of the community meetings that Glass House Collective, Shawanna Kendrick, and I hosted in the late summer and fall of 2012. In those meetings, local residents, business operators, and property owners communicated to us that they wanted to feel safer on Glass Street: safer from the traffic that speeds so close to Glass Street's narrow and unprotected sidewalks and safer from the crime that can happen when people aren't looking and things are not well lit. But, these involved neighbors from around Glass Street wanted more than just safety. As the meetings continued, it became clear that Glass Street's residents and neighbors wanted Glass Street to be clean, safe, and inviting. Over time, "clean, safe, and inviting" became the mantra, which would guide Glass Street's future. Part of making Glass Street "clean, safe, and inviting" meant getting people---pedestrians---on the street, and that meant that Glass Street, with its narrow, barren sidewalks, was going to have to change. As Glass House Collective's productive series of neighborhood meetings drew to a close, I was tasked with devising a new schematic streetscape for Glass Street.

At the outset, I contacted Sarah Weeks, Senior Planner with the City's Community Design Group. She provided me with incredible, detailed maps of East Chattanooga: figure ground representations, satellite views, street maps, and land use over lays. These drawings contain vast stores of information about property lines, set-backs, and right-of-ways that were necessary for schematically designing the streetscape for Glass Street.

The matter of scope came up early in the process, and deciding where to start and stop the recommended streetscape improvements was one of the first design decisions to be made. In the neighborhood discussions, residents defined the Glass Street District as filling the area from Missionary Ridge to the railroad tracks and from Campbell Street to Dodson Avenue. An enormous area!

Following the very wise advice of John Bridger, Executive Director of the Regional Planning Agency, and Karen Hundt, Director of the City's Community Design Group, Glass House Collective and I decided to limit our initial design scope to the commercial corridor between Awtry Street and Wheeler Avenue. Addressing any larger an area, reasoned John and Karen, would dilute our resources and actually result in less of an impact.

 

 

I began the design process by dividing the design area between Awtry Street and Wheeler Avenue into quadrants, envisioning each parcel of land as an independent commercial property development. For each quadrant, I took into consideration vehicle parking ratios, bicycle parking facilities, and building density. I also considered public green space, occupiable outdoor space, and public art sites for each parcel.

I tried to balance the components of each parcel. And, I chose to explore these components by hand, sketching each development in pencil. 

 

To encourage pedestrian activity in the district, it is important to have a high density of uses and occupancy types within a walkable distance. But, over-building has many negative consequences and should be avoided. Similarly, vehicle parking is a necessity in modern America, but too much parking can make an area feel suburban in character.

As I developed the schematic streetscaping plan, I established a number of rules for the district, most of which dealt with placing the safety of the pedestrian over the convenience of the motorist. According to the rules for this plan, off-street vehicle parking should be to the side or rear of any development, rather than in the front; on-street parallel parking should be provided for each development; and, on-street perpendicular parking is only permitted up to a maximum of eight cars. I calculated parking ratios for each parcel in the design area, keeping the ratio of parking between three and four cars per thousand square feet of leasable area.

Other rules concerned trees and tree cover in the Glass Street District. To make Glass Street more inviting, I called for trees to be spaced at sixty feet on center along Glass Street between Awtry Street and Wheeler Avenue. The trees alternate with pedestrian lighting and parallel parking areas at the same sixty foot interval, creating a repetitive rhythm on the street.

 

 

Ultimately, I compiled the rough pencil sketches into a final, hand drawn streetscaping plan for the Glass Street District; it was unveiled officially at the Glass House Collective Christmas Party in early December of last year.  The schematic streetscaping plan recommends locations for pedestrian lighting, on-street parking, public art installations, pedestrian seating, and bus stops. It also illustrates potential sites for new development, public green space, and occupiable outdoor space.

After I had completed the schematic streetscaping plan, Glass House Collective received incredible news: the City of Chattanooga had seen the plan, approved of most of its recommendations, and intended to implement many of the plan's components!

Image provided by the City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works

In the Spring of 2013, Justin Howell and Fritz Brogdon, Civil Engineers with the City of Chattanooga, began work on the construction documents for a complete renovation of Glass Street. Justin and Fritz did the very hard work of turning the schematic ideas produced for Glass House Collective into hard drawings with details and dimensions. With Glass Street's narrow proportions and numerous existing structures, this was no easy task.

Image provided by the City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works

Image provided by the City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works

Image provided by the City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works

Justin and Fritz were kind enough to allow me to post some of their drawings on this blog. The drawings are subject to change, but, for the most part, they show what will be installed on Glass Street during this first phase of streetscaping work.

These drawings are the preliminary versions of the Construction Documents used to actually construct all of the work discussed in this post. Without this invaluable contribution of professional assistance provided by the Civil Engineers with the City's Department of Public Works, none of these exciting improvements would be possible. The engineers have done a great service to Glass Street and East Chattanooga, and their contribution cannot be overstated.

 

Construction is still underway on Glass Street and seeing it take place feels like a huge milestone has been reached. The installation of lights and trees and sidewalks on Glass Street is one of Glass House Collective's most significant accomplishments. It is also a tremendous success for Glass House's many partners, Glass Street's nearby residents, and the district's local business owners. This exciting work points to a coming resurgence in East Chattanooga---and, one that is just beginning.

Watch out ahead: big changes are coming to Glass Street!

Sources:

Written by David Barlew, Jr.

Unless otherwise noted, photographs are by David Barlew, Jr.

Permission to display the drawings by the City of Chattanooga solely for informational purposes was granted verbally by Fritz Brogdon. These drawings are the property of Fritz Brogdon and the City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works and shall remain under the copyright of Fritz Brogdon and the City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works. These drawings may not be reproduced, transmitted, or copied without the permission of Fritz Brogdon and the City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works. The drawings are preliminary and subject to change and may not be used for construction of any kind.

Urbanism in South Georgia: Cuthbert's Main Square

by David Barlew, Jr. on 07/26/13

Around this time last year, I had the pleasure of stopping for gas in the sleepy Southern town of Cuthbert, Georgia. It seems like a restful place. The kind of laid-back town where flowering baskets decorate the gas station canopy, swaying gently in the slow movement of summer air made thick with humidity. The kind of community where people sit on the shaded stoop of a gas station's front door to shoot the breeze over a shared bowl of snacks and a folded copy of the daily news.

Across Plum Street from the slow pace of Saturday morning business at the gas station, historic structures from the late 1800s (Cole) adorned with canopies and awnings surround and define a large treed square, creating a very well-planned urban space that is at once friendly to pedestrians, convenient to automobiles, and conducive to the commerce of successful small business. Cuthbert's Historic District, in other words, is an effective urban space.

Photograph by David Barlew, Jr.

Cuthbert's excellent town square illustrates that the urbanist principles associated with and most often applied to cities, particularly large cities, are universal to all human settlements, regardless of size or population. Whether the discussion centers on the Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta, Glass Street in East Chattanooga, or Main Street in Historic Rogersville, the guiding principles are the same.

 

Image by Rivers Langley. See sources below.

And, the result is typically an attractive, unique place where residents and visitors enjoy spending time, where pedestrians occupy and animate the street, and where a community's identity emerges and is maintained.

Photograph by David Barlew, Jr.

Image by Hermann  Luyken. See sources below.

Many of the principles advocated today by urbanist designers are on display in Cuthbert's main square, where their application gives rise to Cuthbert's special and robust Old South charm. Cuthbert's Historic District, for example, contains a mix of business types at a density that encourages walking. The historic commercial and mercantile buildings, which are similar to one another in terms of scale, height, and form, are built to the sidewalks of Pearl and Plum Streets to maintain a consistent urban street edge. In addition, most of the historic, two-story structures around Cuthbert's main square are appointed with features that enhance the pedestrian experience: retail storefronts, display windows, awnings, and canopies. The on-street parking is sensitive to pedestrian safety and urban character. And, most importantly, Cuthbert's historic district contains an attractive, occupiable, outdoor green space appointed with pedestrian infrastructure such as seating, lighting, walking paths, and shade trees.

In the briefest of moments---stopping for gas on a Southbound vacation journey, the small town of Cuthbert offers a warm, distinctly Southern hello with its comfortable green square, gracious shade trees, and historic mercantile structures. It is a unique place. The kind of place where timeless urban design principles employed long ago continue to infuse a small Southern town with character and identity. The kind of place worth blogging about.

Sources:

Langley, Rivers. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/Cuthbert%2C_GA.JPG/800px-Cuthbert%2C_GA.JPG>. 19 June 2012. Web. 25 July 2013.

Luyken, Hermann. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3f/2011.03.12.090141_Main_Sqaure_Cuthbert_Georgia.jpg/800px-2011.03.12.090141_Main_Sqaure_Cuthbert_Georgia.jpg>. 12 March 2011.  Web. 25 July 2013.

Cole, Dannis. Cuthbert Historic District. <https://plus.google.com/112329081942884123539/about?gl=us&hl=en> . Web. 25 July 2013.

Facades Improvements on Glass Street

by David Barlew, Jr. on 07/19/13

Drum roll, please!

It is my distinct pleasure to announce that, after an extended hiatus, the Barlew Blog is back! I'm ready to cover the exciting, novel, and thought-provoking projects, news, and events from the world of Architecture and urban design!

So what's been keeping this Architect, urbanist, and blogger away from his word processor? In a word, work.

Since I last posted to barlew.com about the amazing whirlwind that was Better Block on Glass Street, I've been working on a number of different design projects, both in Chattanooga and around the state.  Simply put, I've just been so busy that I haven't had time to blog. These posts don't write themselves, y'all!

Some of that work includes an exciting project currently underway on Glass Street: the Building Facades Improvement Project.

Beginning in November of last year, Glass House Collective and I began collaborating to develop a grant program to renovate and rehabilitate the existing building facades along Glass Street's commercial corridor.

Image provided by David Barlew, Jr.

Because most of the buildings on Glass Street are vacant and because most of the existing building facades on Glass Street are boarded up, we wanted to develop a grant program, which would bring some life (both literally and metaphorically) back to these largely abandoned structures. We realized that the free market was not going to bring the funds, businesses, and individuals necessary to return Glass Street's unoccupied building stock to functional use. At least not with Glass Street looking the way it does now, anyway. Therefore, the initiative to renovate the commercial corridor had to be a grant program. I envision the Glass House Collective Building Facades program functioning as a means to lower the bar of financial entry such that an individual or business could purchase one of these buildings and develop it.

Ultimately, we settled on a matching program where building owners would supply some of their own funds and Glass House Collective would match their contribution at a predetermined rate.  With all of the paperwork and logistics (mostly) settled, it wasn't long before Glass Street's building owners started applying to be part of the program.

In April I began work on the Construction Documents that will guide this work.

Image provided by David Barlew, Jr.

I started by sketching the existing buildings. I noted what materials I reasonably thought made up the buildings' facades, and I tried to ascertain how the buildings were assembled. I measured as best I could the faces of the existing structures, and I recorded those dimensions on my sketches. Field conditions, though, make it impossible to verify all dimensions, materials, and assemblies, even in an existing building.

Image provided by David Barlew, Jr.

After returning to the office, I converted my loose, hand drawn sketches into hard-lined, digital drawings using a drafting program. Some of the information is approximated because neither my measuring in the field nor the buildings being measured are perfect.

With the buildings documented, I initiated the creative process, creating schematic designs for potential improvements to the main face of each structure.

Image provided by David Barlew, Jr.

After arriving at schematic design drawings, I sought the assistance of a local Contractor; per Glass House Collective's request, I asked him to prepare preliminary cost estimates so that Glass House Collective, the building owners, and I could evaluate the "ballpark" cost of each design.

The Building Facades Improvement Project is currently moving through the Construction Documents stage, during which the final building plans are being produced. It's an exciting time, knowing that we are so close to the construction of this project, which holds so much promise for the revitalization of Glass Street.

With the possibility of this project opening up for bid so close at hand, I reached out to James McKissic, the City's new Director of Multicultural Affairs. Because it is of the utmost importance to Glass House Collective that minority and women owned businesses have a chance to bid on the construction of this project, I sought James' invaluable assistance in making this project known to those segments of the Contracting sector. His suggestion was that Glass House Collective and the City's Office of Multicultural Affairs host a free, optional, non-mandatory pre-bid meeting open to the public to announce the project and field questions from the attending Contractors.

Image provided by Glass House Collective

So, that's what happened.  James created an announcement, released it to the public, and---boom!---we had a room filled with construction professionals!

Image provided by James McKissic

Image provided by James McKissic

Contractors, subcontractors, and product suppliers filled the first floor of Glass House Collective's headquarters on Glass Street to learn about the project, review the in-process drawings, and submit their questions. The meeting James organized was a really informative and helpful event, and the attendees provided us with a lot of really beneficial feedback.

Due to some of the helpful responses to the project we received, there are some details and logistics yet to work out before I release the plans for this project. But, be on the look-out for changes coming to Glass Street.

Boarded-up buildings may soon be replaced with shiny, new storefronts as we work to bring life back to Glass Street and Glass Street back to life.

Urbanism in Chattanooga: Better Block on Glass Street

by David Barlew, Jr. on 02/26/13

On  February 23, Glass House Collective and a small army of dedicated volunteers hosted the most impressive, successful, and smile-inducing block party I have ever seen, been a part of, or attended: Better Block on Glass Street.

Better Block Chattanooga was weeks in the making; hundreds---if not thousands---of man-hours were invested in preparation for Chattanooga's most remarkable "previtalization" event ever. To orchestrate Better Block Chattanooga, Glass House Collective hosted planning meetings and work days. And, on Martin Luther King Day, Glass House Collective and volunteers took part in the National Day of Service, devoting the entire day to revitalizing Glass Street. In addition to these efforts, Glass House Collective commissioned a colorful television advertisement to generate awareness of and excitement for the event.

After weeks of planning, preparation, and hard work to bring life back to Glass Street, Glass Street was ready to come back to life.

And come back to life it did!

Better Block Chattanooga officially kicked-off at eleven a.m., and within minutes Glass Street was filling with people.

The weeks of planning, preparation, and hard work put into creating the Better Block event really paid off. By midday, Glass Street was awash in a sea of pedestrians occupying the street from sidewalk to sidewalk.

Part of what the Better Block party-goers came to see were the adorable pop-up shops installed for the day down the length of Glass Street. The Glass Flea, conceived and operated by neighborhood resident Gail McKeel, was one of them. The Glass Flea sold clothes, jewelry, household accessories, and other items throughout the day. Gail and her volunteers thoughtfully appointed the Glass Flea's storefront with eye-catching graphics, greenery-filled window boxes, craft signage, potted flowers, and pedestrian seating. The Glass Flea's storefront was an overflowing urbanist cornucopia bursting with the components of a healthy street. The Glass Flea perfectly created the ambiance vigorously sought by urban designers for pedestrian environments across the country.

Farther down the block, other strategies were employed to activate the street.

Despite our best hopes, not all of the existing structures along Glass Street are currently safe to occupy. So, instead of infusing life into the neglected building with a pop-up shop, Owl Hill and Michael Goins transformed the boarded-up storefront into an imaginative canvas where children could decorate and enliven the street with stencils and paint.

Public art was utilized to enliven other Glass Street storefronts as well. This temporary PPRWRK installation is one of many by illustrator Mary Margaret LaVoie and photographer David Ruiz along Glass Street. These whimsical works are wheat paste mural "meant to make people smile by being a temporary change of scenery" (PPRWRK). Applied to this building and others along Glass Street, the murals are removable and intended to be impermanent.

Photo by Glass House Collective (Photo 1)

The Yarn-Bombed Trolley by artist Olga de Klein at the intersection of Glass Street and North Chamberlain Avenue is perhaps the most colorful and tactile piece of public art installed as part of the Better Block celebration. Assembled from wood frames and knitted---yes, all of that is knitted!---skeins of yarn, Olga's trolley is meant to celebrate East Chattanooga's historic Beltline.

Olga's fantastic piece of public art served as a fabulous backdrop to entertainment throughout the day.

In the afternoon, belly dancers enlivened the street with their performance art. They also got kids into the act.

Not all of the art on Glass Street that day was outdoors. One of the coolest Better Block installations was the Bank Art Center conceived and orchestrated by James McKissic.

Photo by James McKissic (Photo 2)

James and his volunteers transformed the old, cluttered Hamilton National Bank at the corner of Glass Street and North Chamberlain Avenue into a contemporary, swanky, and sophisticated art gallery featuring live music and a quarter of James' own private collection of African-American art. The end result was simply astounding: the lighting, the music, the art. The Bank Art Center was perfection realized.

To really understand the incredible accomplishment that is the Bank Art Center, one has to see a before and after comparison. During the National Day of Service, I was in charge of cleaning out the former Hamilton National Bank. I'm not kidding: it was like an episode of Hoarders. In fact, when I was rounding up volunteers for the task, I described it as such. The entire space was filled with old mattresses, clothes, dead appliances, toys, and furniture. The ceiling tiles were sagging and stained, the dust and the debris of abandonment coated every surface, and graffiti (the ugly kind) tagged the interior walls. Throw in a bunch of dead cockroaches, spider webs, and a box of old razors, and you can pretty well guess how this place looked. On the Day of Service my team of volunteers and I cleaned the mess, but, despite its new shine, the building was still lifeless when we left. To see how James and his volunteers infused the space with life is just inspiring.

Photo by James McKissic (Photo 3)

Near James' Bank Art Center is one of my contributions to Better Block: the Creative Cross Walk.

Applied to the roadway with sprayed chalk paint and regular chalk with the help of Joshua Jorgensen and other volunteers, the cross walk is meant to be a whimsical addition to the street.

The design for the cross walk is intended to reference the Glass Street logo while adding a punch of color and fun to the surface of Glass Street. The G was added at the last minute, but I think it is a nice compliment to the overall composition.

Speaking of the Glass Street logo, a huge version of it was painted on the building at the end of the built-up portion of Glass Street during the Better Block event.

During the most recent Better Block work day, I nearly froze to death pressure washing the side of that building so that this logo could be painted. I am so happy to see that the painting of the logo turned out so well!

Other painting was underway during the Better Block celebration on Glass Street as well. Across from Glass House Collective's building, DJ Scuba Steve blasted out a non-stop stream of party jams while artists Deep Space Art Studio, Kingdom Graphica, Kevin Bate, and Devon Kronenberg created The Urban Renaissance Mural Project. "A community improvement project that utilizes street art as a means to uplift community pride and enhance the appreciation of graffiti as a legitimate art form", The Urban Renaissance Mural Project gave these artists an opportunity to "showcase their creative talents" (Better Block Glass Street).

Work (in progress) by Deep Space Art Studio & Kingdom Graphica

Work (in progress) by Kevin Bate

Work by Devon Kronenberg

The Urban Renaissance Mural Project also gave kids a chance to get involved in making temporary---in the case of the kids' wall, VERY temporary---art.

And, when DJ Scuba Steve took breaks, live music from just down the street filled the sonic void.

Local Architect Heidi Hefferlin is responsible for the most permanent installation of the Better Block festival: the community space at the corner of Glass Street and North Chamberlain Avenue.

The idea for a community space at the intersection of Glass and Chamberlain was initially raised by several teams at the AIA design charette held back in July of last year. Then, after the idea received such an emphatically positive response from Glass Farm Neighborhood residents during the community meetings that Shawanna Kendrick and I hosted, I included a schematic representation of the public space on the streetscaping plan for the Glass Street District.

I never imaged, though, that the as-yet-unnamed public space would become a reality so soon! Through a great and meaningful contribution of her time and skill, Heidi produced the construction documents for the Glass Street public space. She also helped construct the canopy for the space along with a team of dedicated and hard-working volunteers. The result of their labor is marvelous, and I am so happy to see this addition to the Glass Street built environment!

The public space may be the most permanent thing to emerge from Better Block Chattanooga, but artist Charlie Brouwer's Rise up Chattanooga is the tallest.

 

Charlie Brouwer, shown on the left, assembled the enormous, soaring sculpture, Rise Up Chattanooga, from hundreds of ladders donated by Chattanooga residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations. As I understand it, the sculpture is intended to show how we all, collectively and together, help each other rise up to meet life's challenges. That's an optimistic and uplifting message, and I hope it is one that we continue to use as we revitalize Glass Street and other neighborhoods in Chattanooga.

Photo by Our Ampersand Photography (photo 4)

Late in the afternoon on the day of Better Block, Charlie attached the last ladder to his sculpture.

The late afternoon also found people just hanging out on Glass Street, enjoying the ambiance of the street fair.

A number of subtle components went into creating this genial day-long urban environment.

There were planters made by Travis Yeagley.

There were pots of flowers assembled lovingly by other volunteers.

There were also attractive chalk-written sidewalk signs.

All of these components go a long way in creating the warm and welcoming street environment essential to a healthy urban neighborhood.

Food also played a prominent role in the success of the Better Block event on Glass Street.

As I had to explain to a non-Southerner, in the South, deep-fried Oreos are an essential component of any street fair.

Glass House Collective filled the center of Glass Street with tables and chairs, turning the domain of the automobile into a temporary pedestrian plaza. Here, Better Block party-goers could sit, relax, eat, and converse while enjoying the excitement of the day.

Better Block Chattanooga was the most enjoyable and diverse street fair I have ever experienced, and I am so happy to have been a part of it.

I have read that, in order to be successful, an individual must do what he or she is passionate about or finds worthwhile. Well, revitalizing urban neighborhoods and communities through Architecture and Urban Design is what I am most passionate about and what I find most worthwhile. Working with Glass House Collective towards the revitalization of Glass Street has been a joy and a privilege, and I am so looking forward to continuing the effort to "bring life back to Glass Street and Glass Street back to life".

Sources:

Photo credits:

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are by David Barlew, Jr. Photographs not by David Barlew, Jr. are enumerated and referenced below.

Photo 1: Glass House Collective. <https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/602217_488879817841769_1823298107_n.jpg>. Web. 26 February 2013.

Photo 2: McKissic, James. <https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/538246_10200246561860559_1211327546_n.jpg>. Web. 26 February 2013.

Photo 3: McKissic, James. <https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/48121_10200246563780607_69280636_n.jpg>. Web. 26 February 2013.

Photo 4: Our Ampersand Photography. <https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/406174_582667763440_1097145406_n.jpg>. Web. 26 February 2013.

Additional sources:

Glass House Collective. "Better Block Glass Street". <http://www.betterblockglass.com/>. Web. 26 February 2013.

PPRWRK. "What is PPRWRK". <http://www.ppr-wrk.com/who-is-pprwrk/>. Web. 26 February 2013.