Discovery

A place to share our ideas, expertise, and lessons learned.

Common Myths about Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse

Whether you’re a commercial developer, public entity or homeowner, it can be daunting to consider how to make your historic property work for your needs yet remain feasible for future generations. But let’s be clear – much of what you may have heard about restoration projects probably isn’t true.…

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Community Planning – Seeing Through The Lens of GIS

GIS, also known as Geographic Information Systems, is a software platform bringing understanding to our projects. This platform provides a variety of tools to perform data manipulation. For us at RDG, GIS is a foundational tool utilized in all of our community and regional planning work.…

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Architecture After School – Shaping Our Community Together

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Omaha facilitated the “Architecture After School” program with 12 Omaha Public School students from Gilder Elementary School in Bellevue, Nebraska. This program sponsored by RDG, AIA Nebraska Omaha, Kaneko, and Kids Can consisted of eight weekly after school training sessions on discovering architecture and design through Nebraska nature, history, exploration, drawing exercises, and hands-on building activities. …

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Designing a Revitalized Community

A community isn’t magically revitalized by spiffing up a building or two. Creative vision, thoughtful planning, and revived key places and structures can impress and energize locals and visitors alike, enhancing pride of place and making further changes seem not just possible, but desirable.…

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The Dam Plan: A Place For All

Throughout history, we’ve had a love/hate relationship with the rivers we settle around. Here, we look at one plan that helped bridge the divide and connect people back to the river.

There’s been an urgent call recently to connect people back to natural places, especially in urban settings.…

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Clear Strategic Principles to Planning

This is first in a series of articles sharing insights from our work with St. Cloud State University’s (SCSU’s) Comprehensive Facilities Planning process – a rich experience, full of learning for all!

It’s a basic tenet of planning that clear, aligned, strategic principles, articulated and understood from the highest level and throughout an institution, are foundational for a successful plan.…

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Creative Placemaking: Storytelling About People and Culture

To design and create meaningful and memorable public spaces where people want to be, the growing awareness related to Placemaking initiatives must be centered on both the functional and aesthetic challenges.

The term “Creative Placemaking” has become one of those overused phrases or buzzwords that has either lost its meaning or perhaps, never achieved the significant denotation that would help establish a common language.…

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What’s So Special About that Farmhouse?

And what does it take to preserve its history?

A one and a half story, wood-framed structure sits just off Highway 141, south of Coon Rapids, Iowa. It could be a farmhouse on almost any Iowa country road: unassuming, practical, a cobbled-together mass of additions and renovations that have served hard-working farm families throughout the years.…

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When there’s too much and not enough

In 2014, St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota had too much, and not enough. Like many institutions of higher education, SCSU found itself with too much aging infrastructure competing for limited deferred maintenance dollars, too much capital wrapped up in facilities that didn’t meet current and future needs, and – maybe surprisingly – just too much real estate.…

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Why Does a City Invest in Restoring an Historic Property?

Hotel Maytag in Newton, IA Offers Great Reasons

“The City realized the building was going to go further downhill unless something was done. We stepped in, bought the building and began to search for a developer.”

So says Craig Armstrong, economic development specialist for the City of Newton, Iowa, about the distinctive and once-grand Hotel Maytag.…

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