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Concrete's Role As A Building Block In History

In his book Concrete Planet, author Robert Courland discusses why the concrete first used by the Romans is more durable than the concrete used in most present day buildings. Plus, mineralogist Peter Stemmerman tells us about his invention, Celitement and why it is greener than Portland cement.
NPR

Building Better Houses For Wounded Soldiers

All wars bring innovation — primarily in weapons and medicine. But today's conflicts are also bringing advances in house design, to accommodate wounded veterans. On an Army post in Virginia, two new houses are being hailed as breakthroughs.
NPR

China's Demolition Derby Turns History Into Rubble

Historic buildings in Beijing are being demolished in the pursuit of quick profit. Even the home of the architect who urged Mao Zedong to preserve Beijing's old city has fallen to the wreckers' ball, sparking considerable outrage. And the epidemic of destruction is spreading to new buildings, too.
NPR

While Graceland Booms, Other Historic Homes Rot

Miles Davis was honored with a postage stamp, but his childhood home has fallen into disrepair. Only a few homes of the talented and famous become tourist meccas like Graceland or Monticello. Architecture, beauty and politics all play a role.
NPR

Silicon Valley Homebuilder Finds A Profitable Niche

The U.S. housing industry has yet to recover from the last recession, but you wouldn't know that by looking at rising home prices in California's still-prosperous Silicon Valley. By being conservative with his ventures, James Witt has made a successful business out of rebuilding Palo Alto homes.
NPR

Eisenhower Family Objects To Design For Memorial

The Eisenhower family has asked for a delay in the planning of a memorial for President Dwight Eisenhower. The family says they have differences with architect Frank Gehry's concept for the memorial.
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'Smart Decline': A Lifeline For Zombie Subdivisions?

With many boomtime developments now just dusty wastelands, Sun Belt suburbs like those outside Phoenix are shifting gears. Some planners argue for a radical option called "smart decline" — letting empty lots go back to nature and even, in some cases, tearing down infrastructure.
WAMU 88.5

Farmer Strives To Stay On School Land

After a long fight, a Montgomery County county farmer wins the right to at least one more growing season on land he leases from the county.

NPR

Nature And Design Meet In Lautner's Modern Homes

An artist with an idyllic childhood might be as rare as a house with walls made of air, but both play a part in the story of architect John Lautner. Aesthetically influenced by his Northern Michigan upbringing, Lautner's designs have been featured in several films, including The Big Lebowski.

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