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Blue Light Special: The Chicago-Area High School in an Old Kmart

CityLab Ι May 8, 2017 Belvidere Road is an unremarkable stretch of suburbia in Waukegan, Ill., north of Chicago, lined with highway-sign staples: gas stations, car washes, fast-food joints, and a low-rent motel. It was only after a previous deal to move his private high school into a converted office building fell through that Preston Kendall came up with the idea to slide into the abandoned Kmart here. Kendall saw t
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The Gateway Arch, a Global Icon, Reconnects to St. Louis

CityLab Ι March 12, 2018 Until recently, the grounds of St. Louis’ Gateway Arch were as hemmed in and isolated as the shimmering catenary curve that defines the city is grand and imperious. Walled off by a 1,200-car parking garage on one side and a freeway gulch on the other, the arch was a car-choked hub of tourist activity: good for driving to, parking, snapping a few photos, and driving out again. The city-scaled
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The Story of the Great Lakes in 8 Maps

December 11, 2017 Ι CityLab  Stretching across eight states and two Canadian provinces, the Great Lakes region contains the world’s largest freshwater system and is likely the greatest single surface aggregation of rare resources on the planet. If it was a standalone country, its economy would be the fourth largest in the world. Yet its natural resources and vibrant urbanity are seldom studied as a unified zone, and
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What Facebook Can Learn From Company Towns

CityLab Ι July 19, 2017  In the early 20th century, hundreds of company towns dotted America—quasi-public municipalities where the corporation you worked for built your house, taught your kids, maintained your roads and sewers, and even sold you groceries. Such towns once contained 3 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Economist. As the country’s workforce became more mobile and prosperity rose, on-site
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