The Pricks

Blog Post 7

Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico 2017


Hurricane Maria was a tropical cyclone that turned deadly when it came in contact with the Dominica and Puerto Rico. It is said to be the worst natural disaster since 2004 in this area. Hurricane Maria was a category 5 hurricane and was the worst of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The damage caused by Maria mostly in Puerto Rico is estimated above $91.61 billion. Maria was a hurricane for 10 days from September 18-28th before reducing back into a tropical storm. The storm was gone by October 3 leaving only wreckage behind. Maria caused an island wide blackout and killed an estimated 3 thousand people. The storm brought the issue of flooding which caused much of the property damage. Maria wreaked Puerto Rico’s power grid and people that had houses to go back to were left without electricity. The agriculture of Dominica was destroyed because of the storm and there was much worry about food shortages.


Hurricane Maria took down the power grid leading to limited communications. Families couldn’t get in touch with each other even if they were both on the island of Porto Rico. Telephone lines were down and people didn’t have power. One of the only forms of communication was radio. The stations would broadcast nonstop just so that the people could have a connection to something. For a long time the death count was listed in the teens, but after investigation thousands more were discovered. The lack of connection on the island led to massive amounts of misinformation, which intern, underestimated the amount of external help that was required. People had to survive on their own using what they had, so by nature those that were more prepared suffered less. Those that had generators were much more successful than those without and gas became that of huge necessity. It took a while for communications to be restored, but as soon as it was, what was required could be truly assessed and provided. sept 25 2017 sept 24 2017 sept 26 2017



Hurricane Maria was especially devastating to the Caribbean due to the fact that the area had just been hit by Hurricane Irma a couple weeks prior and were still in recovery. Before the hurricane, Puerto Rico was in poor financial standing. Around 2015, Puerto Rico was in massive debt to the US government, and the governor announced the island could not pay any of its debt. The markets crashed, savings were gone, and pensions dissolved. The corrupt and mismanaged government was largely at fault for why Hurricane Maria was such a catastrophic disaster. The area was already on its way to a humanitarian crisis before the hurricane. With the island in financial ruin, they began to close down hospitals and neglect infrastructure. Roads, bridges, water treatment plants, dams, and other important features of the country had already been in poor shape for years before the storm. Electrical grids were outdated and in need of service. This explains why some communities in Puerto Rico were without power for nearly a year after the hurricane.


Future Improvements

Three strategies for individuals and communities to be better prepared and protected from future hazards and events. Being an island country these strategies can be hard to obtain or achieve.

  1. Resource supply. Individuals should greatly consider having an emergency back pack filled with an extra pair of clothing, food, water and if possible invest in a generator if they live in an area with less risk of losing their home or keeping a supply of generators available at a community building for public use if the use is ever needed. Puerto Rico’s weak electric grid was lost and many were without power for as long as eight months. Not enough people or institutions had generators to use as a backup. Not only was their not a backup plan, which there should be one implemented for different situations, but local stores did not have adequate amounts of emergency supplies, even the government warehouses were no prepared. To be able to lessen the disaster people and communities needs to be prepared for anything and everything. Being an Island, its not easy to obtain all the necessities unless they receive help and aid.
  2. Before the hurricane hit, Puerto Rico wasn’t in the greatest position structure wise. The electric grid was vulnerable, homes were not stable and even hospitals could have been in better shape. Since the hurricane, power has been restored and roads have been fixed and the hospitals were as the were before, but housing still remains an issue. In the long run, better building will help to prevent major damage. When rebuilding, people need to take into consideration where to rebuild. Areas prone to less damage would be better for housing and making vulnerable areas safer but not for residential use. Priority needs to be given to the most desperate places because the most vulnerable are the least likely to recover..
  3. Get creative. Many resort owners and developers will want to rebuild in area with diminished property values. Rebuilding with the wrong intentions can jeopardize the culture and reap economic damage to the people who once lived there. Although tourism can greatly help the economy, the citizens of affected area in tropical climates need to be wary and smart about what can happen to their community. Discover Puerto Rico is a non-profit to help being back tourism and help aid in recovery. Another huge issue is government. The government needs to be a much better job putting the people first in these situations. Puerto Rico a colony of the US and it gets taken advantage of and pushed aside and that cannot happen.  Puerto Rico’s economy is suffering and as a result of that and the hurricane, they are losing citizen to the mainland, and with less people there are less to keep supporting the economy and culture.

Recovery strategies are not always possible due to lack of aid, money and other resources. Strategies like these are much easier said than done. If more people, especially the government care more, recovery would be a much easier path than what it currently is.



The most important part will have a plan. After the Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, there was the shortage for the resource supply, but the supply arrives on the island too late with the enormous amount that it became out of control in the area. Those supply impacts on the economy of Puerto Rico to restart the market in the area. If there is a plan for the Hurricane, the supply will come faster, with the right amount. To prevent in the future, the information and education of the Hurricane with how to pack the emergency backpack will be necessary for the area. After the Hurricane Maria, some of the places in the islands are out of electric more than eight months. To have better access to the infrastructure, there needs to be the improvement of the Electric Power Authority. Before the Hurricane Maria hits the island, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority was not working well in the area. Have better Electric Power Authority in the safe places in the island will be important. The many of power lines are temporally in the island so there need be ongoing construction for the powerlines.


The Pricks : Blog 6- Creative Living Center



Name of the property: Creative Living Center

Owner/ Manager: David Berentz, President

Type of funding: 1/3 from donations are accepted, 1/3 project-based section 8 contract with HUD rent subsides, and 1/3 from rents at the property are based on tenant incomes which are monthly contributions equal to about 30% of their adjusted income

Population Served: Housing to physically disabled people, specifically wheelchair bound

Year Built: 1974

Number of Buildings: 2 buildings

Number of Units:  18 units

Land Use Classification: R4H35, labeled as multi-family on Columbus Zoning Map

Square Footage of building: 14,000 SQFT or ½ an acre

Total Assessed value: N/A


Aesthetics: The building is a simple single story rectangle to accommodate the wheelchair handicap residents. The building is brick with dark wood fencing to enclose the back patios of each individual units. The building is simple and is definitely works well to accommodate the residents. Unfortunately while the building works well in its isolated function in context for the surrounding neighborhood the building is visually out of place on the edge of Victorian village.

Maintenance: The property is kept up nicely. The front lawn is mowed and the office door is freshly painted. The courtyard is fresh cut and has a central fountain running to keep out any traffic noise.

Nearby Businesses and type: The Ohio State University Medical campus is on the north side of the property. On the west side is the franklin county corners office and to the south and east of the building is Victorian Village. There are restaurants within the Hospital building that is close for food.

Transit: Bus stop near, but uphill from location of the housing units. There is also Uber and Lyft available in the area.  


Crime: Closest Crime was fraud three blocks away. The next closest thing is robbery at the hospital. Overall the property is quite safe and so is the surrounding area.

Property Values and Education:  The property value according to is between 48k-71k and the surrounding properties are between 180k-429k. There are a few schools on the southeast side of the property. Unfortunately the ratings of these schools also according to Zillow are 3/10 (Hubbard master School pk-6), 6/10 (Columbus Collegaite Academy 6-8), 4/10 (Indianola informal k-8), 2/10 (Weinland Park Elementary pk-5). These are not great scores and the schools lack any upper level education around the property.











The Pricks: Blog 5


The goal of the University District is to make sure that the neighborhood improves through urban design and future land use. The University District is also a way that the community can be involved in the development of their area. The main goal of the University District plan is to guide the board on deciding if proposed changes are appropriate for the area. The University District Planning area is approximately 2.9 square miles. While the University District is a framework for plan proposals it cannot solve issues such as health care and public safety as these fall outside of the built and natural environment. The University District zone is currently subdivided into 12 sections such as OSU, Glen Echo, Old north Columbus, etc. This area has developed over the last 200 years in relation to the proximity and growth of the Ohio State University. Within these 12 neighborhoods there are 4 that are historic districts. These four has varied, stricter standards when it comes to renovating the properties within these districts. One current plan that the University District has implemented is A Plan for High Street: Creating a 21st Century Main Street (2002). This plans goal is to help improve the public realm and revitalize 19 High Street locations with focus on Gateway. This plan has improved the gateway area and allowed it to become a hotspot for daytime and evening attractions.


The land use goals presented by the University District Plan are reasonable and retain the value of urban space. The FAR of 1:1 is smart to have in the university district because the area can become over populated with the return of college students after the summer and maximum housing is necessary to hold Ohio States students. While the adjustments to FAR are smart the changes will require a Code Change which is something that can take a substantial amount of time. The minimization of parking is a good thing for those living within the University District and walking distance, but I worry that with such little parking people will be discouraged from visiting the area from farther away locations. The 5th goal about striving to be a sustainable community and utilizing green building practice is a great idea and will keep this area current and a clean place people want to be.


The recent development on the southeast corner of High St and Lane Ave is consistent with the land use goals of the new plan. A High-density apartments just went up with commercial space on the first level. This follows the projected use of the area and follows the height requirements too. The new plan encourages parking garages to be built and this building also has a parking garage built underneath the residential spaces on the first two stories.


The plan addresses the minimization of green space around campus. With the implementation of FAR the green space is accounted for on properties and is strongly encouraged for new developed sites. There are also areas of land that have remained unused for some time and this land plan will help to define those spaces, so development may start on them and the land will not be vacant longer.


One suggestion our group has is more focuses outlines of sidewalks within the Neighborhood Mixed Use area. This land use category does not touch on sidewalk requirements for the buildings and while there are codes that state it including it within the land proposal will help to make this topic less obscure. To properly encourage walking and biking adequate sidewalks and bike lanes are necessary to make pedestrians comfortable.

The Pricks- Blog 4


The south wall of Dunkin Donuts is a plain beige concrete brick siding that is UGLY.  In front of the wall is a four-person wide side walk that allows for the heavy foot traffic of college students and professors that come in from the east side. This wall is around 10 feet and could have a demanding presence if it was not beige and I’ll say it again UGLY. There is no true problem with the space except for that it is a missed opportunity for the community to come together. Through the addition of art this wall could become a photo hot spot for the community and E Woodruff could become safer because of the increased presence of people to this area. A second problem space we noticed was close to the Dunkin wall. It is the area directly in front of the coffee shop. Well in front and below. The inlaid courtyard in front of ChaTime is the second problem area our group found. The massive stone steps while appropriate on a Renaissance Villa are out of place in this small area. Not only are the steps taking up absurd amounts of space, but the space is even more cut down by ChaTime having a fake façade two feet out from the actual edge of their building. The area of the courtyard that is left over is inhabitable because while it is inlaid, outside of having walls, there is no resemblance of a roof or protection against the elements. Through a redesign of the stairs to a more modern design and implementation of some sort of roof element the space could become a hot spot and an off-campus getaway.

Art Revitalization:

To change the wall space, we could follow the outline given by the concrete blocks and invite the community in to take a block and color in it. In the horizontal lines of filler between the blocks some light feature could be introduced to bring the space alive at night and also increase safety as people walk home from high street at night. Another way to revitalize the space would be to invite a local artist to create a mural for the wall, again will some sort of  lighting feature.

The inlaid courtyard could be fixed through a plethora of artists instillations. One artist could be brought in to add overhead lighting, to avoid this being simple outdoor lights the artist could take influence from the shops around and design the lights as donuts, coffee cups, Chinese food, etc. Or any other idea they could come up with to light the space at night and tie the area together. Another artist could be invited to design a modern set of stairs that allow access to the area while not being as bulky as the existing steps. The newly opened area could be revitalized with tables and umbrellas to allow protection against sunlight and rain. The umprellas could be a simple navy on the outside but once opened would have different artists work painted on the inside. This allows artists to come in and individualize the space while not overpowering the small area with too much. The building itself could also be painted a new color (not beige) to bring new life to the space.



This project while covering a small area is one that would take some time to fully complete. To ease the business owners’ minds about this issue of a loss of business off of the main street there would be signs posted around the construction of the inlaid entrance stating where the side entrance is for the underground complex. The signs would then continue on the path much like road detour signs work. This would diminish the loss of customers because the signs along with the construction would intrigue people and then the business would be on their mind and they would go to check it out. The mural on the side wall would go up first and be finished in a couple days because it is simply a change of façade. This new mural would catch the public’s interest and be a way to excite people for the upcoming newly revamped store fronts/courtyard. To finance this project, we will go to the businesses whose store main entrances are in the courtyard. Through strong presentations with data about the increases in business seen for these shops post construction we will gain profits to start and pay for these projects. Another group we may be able to approach for money to implement this plan is the City of Columbus. The courtyard is not currently handicap accessible and through the use of the city policies that state all public places need to be accessible to those with disabilities we could gain funding to redo the stairs to allow for all people to access the shops and areas.

The Pricks- Blog 3

Building use: Mendoza House on north campus is a building that looks out of place by location and style. The campus housing building looks like a building that should be in south campus that retains its late 1800s charm instead of the new modern buildings of north campus. Also is strange to have this housing next to class room building and along Woodruff Ave, where many people and cars pass by creating noise issues for dwellers living on street level.

Traffic flow: Ohio state has tried to alleviate traffic through there cabs service. Without the bus service everyone who works or commutes to school would have to park on campus creating more traffic and parking issues. The bus allows traffic to stay outside of campus and helps with parking.

Street Safety: All around campus there are street lights and pedestrian crosswalks to allow students to safely cross busy roads. Many cars go through campus while simultaneously many people walk around campus going to class. Cross walks show when people can cross and how long the light will stay red.

Sidewalks. All throughout campus, sidewalks are well spaced with enough room for two or more people to walk side to side. This sidewalk is a fail. Only one person can safely walk through. Many times multiple people are walking by or crossing at the cross walk at this point and because it’s so tight it comprises peoples safety because this is a decently busy road and many people have to step into the street or go one by one.

Setbacks: Supposedly until November, most of the oval is closed for underground construction and because of that many people traveling from south to north or north to south have to find alternate, long route to get around. The oval is the center of our university where people walk, run, hangout and congregate. As of now no one can do that and are forced to find other areas like the south oval which is much smaller and has less sentimental value.

Blog Post 2- The Pricks

Hopeful: with all the new development on high street, a new tree instills a sense of hopefulness. It shows that with the construction going on, there is also care being taken to beautify our campus area.

Pride: seeing that our school has the influence that a company utilizes our mascot as the main point of their name instills pride into us when we see buckeye donuts on high street.

Fear: the broken window made us wonder how the window was broken, potentially some bad things such as a fight

Dread: unseen danger lurk in the dark and fear of the unknown resides in dark alleys

Happiness: Both Chik-fa-la and Target bring so much happiness to so many people on this campus. We cherish that we now can shop and eat a great places that were not here before.

The Pricks

The Pricks Members:                    Nicole Sladoje, Grace White,        Serin Kim, Alena Kowalski,    Julianne Alford