The Banana Peel: Blog 5

The Banana Peel was a small, local, and community -based sandwich and desert restaurant in small town New Concord, Ohio. It was built in the early 2000’s and had been serving loyal community members and visitors of the area until it was closed down in October of 2015 due to a heartbreaking lack of business.

The Banana Peel gave me my first job. I was just 16 years old coming into a new reality of working for myself and my high-maintenance lifestyle. I was offered a position as a server nearly immediately. We served lunch, dinner, and a full-blown Velvet ice cream selection. Our unique little restaurant had just 8 black tables and an 8 seat bar. The floors were a diner inspired black and white tile. The walls were painted a calming cream and covered in college pendants from around Ohio, John Glenn school artifacts such as old jerseys and helmets, and Ohio State memorabilia. It is safe to say that my beloved bosses truly appreciated and honored our community, while implementing it into their restaurant.

The Banana Peel is worth saving because it is where our community came together. It was the only eat-in restaurant in New Concord. Just in my short time serving there I met members of my community that I became so extremely close with. For instance, The Banana Peel proudly served Ron Vessles, a highly respected New Concord resident of nearly 80 years, on a regular basis. Mr. Vessles and I acquired a once-in-a-lifetime relationship. Being a cheerleader for John Glenn for many years gave me a responsibility of doing a senior athlete scrapbook for every season. While I enjoyed doing this for my peers as they moved on to the next stage in their life, it became a quit time consuming task. Mr. Vessles helped me with that! He would personally bring in newspaper articles from all of the surrounding newspapers into the high school office in a Ziploc bag with my name on it every Wednesday. He knew who my assigned athlete was and would cut out the articles that would fit appropriately. That’s just one example of the community we have in New Concord. I also met so many other respected community members through my serving job at The Banana Peel.

Funding The Banana Peel would be easy with proper advertisement and communication throughout the area due to New Concord’s high support within the community. A highly influential factor in The Banana Peel closing was its location. It was just a mile off the interstate on Route 93. If travelers knew about the relaxing restaurant, chances are they would stop for a quick lunch and desert. If The Banana Peel could raise money for a spot on the closest billboard, I am positive that business would have been booming. To raise money for a billboard, I would suggest a Buffalo Wild Wings or Chipotle fundraisers where 25%-50% of sales goes towards to the organization. A spot on a billboard through Barnes Advertising ranges from $190-$300. That’s only 150 sales! Also for funding, I would suggest reaching out to community members for donations and offering a spot for their family name or business on a sign inside the restaurant. Our community is really heavy in supporting by means of donation. For instance, our basketball and cheerleading Disney tournament trip was completely funded by our community… within less than a week! If efforts like these mentioned were made sooner, I’m positive The Banana Peel would still be living in New Concord.

*Pictures will not upload*


First hospital in Lancaster

This Old Victorian style home is located in Lancaster Oh and should be saved by the historical society to ensure its preservation. This building is located at 632 North Broad Street and is currently a multi-family house that is vacant.

This building was built in 1900 and was originally used as the first hospital of Lancaster. Even though the amount of time this building was a hospital is uncertain,  it is safe to say that it was during the early 1900’s that this was a hospital. There was an addition added to this house in the late 1900’s but that addition is located in the back and is small in proportion to the original building. The architecture of this building can be described as Victorian with the structure built using brick.

This building should be preserved just because of the fact that it was the first hospital in Lancaster. Members of the community would feel great satisfaction knowing that this building was used as a hospital to possibly their ancestors. This building has major issues including chipped brick and old paint that should be taken care of to make the building more aesthetically pleasing.

The funding for this building should come from an historical tax credit so that it can be preserved by the historical society. Getting this historical tax credit should not be a problem because of the history of the building and the rehabilitation would not be that expensive compared to other buildings.

On the Preservation of the Ace Morgan Theater

On December 12th of last year, the Granville Village Planning Commission approved the demolition of Denison’s Ace Morgan Theater. First opened in 1956 the building is dedicated to a Denison theater student, LeRoy Morgan, who was killed in combat during the Second World War. Posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Morgan’s classmates and friends raised the money and support necessary to persuade the Denison administration to dedicate the then-new theater to him. Since 1956, it has been used to host a variety of productions, in addition to the administrative and logistical support wings needed by the Denison Theater department.

While the Granville Historical Society has “after careful consideration” given their blessing to the demolition of the theater and the construction of its replacement, their focus was first and foremost on the historical significance of the building. In order to appease them, Denison administration has promised to both try to reuse material from the original building and “look into” dedications for Morgan. However, the author holds the opinion that when considered from a holistic perspective, including not just historical significance, but also its stylistic effects upon the area, the building should be preserved. The Theater has an architecture style that uniquely contrasts the rest of the nearby Denison buildings. This contrast helps to create a modern, but intelligent atmosphere in the adjacent green space where everything from concerts to graduation ceremonies are held. All of this will be lost with the demolition of the building.

Currently, the Ace Morgan Theater is being demolished as part of a larger project to create a new Arts Center and the building’s requisite access and parking needs. Instead of demolishing the theater, the $30 million allocated to the project could be used instead to renovate the existing buildings. If further funds are required, they could be raised through the Granville Historical Society, though such a situation seems unlikely.

As for its use, the building has been in use by the Dension Theater Department for years, as it should be. If they have outgrown it however, it could be reused as an administrative building, given to another department (perhaps it could be used to host their new Data Analytics major), or simply sold to a private entity. Though the latter is a touch extreme, it would be preferable to demolishing the building, its history, and the carefully cultivated atmosphere of the entire block.

The Michigan Central Station

The Michigan Central Station-Kailyn Gullatt

(Fig 1)

Michigan Central Station is located in Detroit,Michigan. When Detroit was still known as Motor City ,and bankruptcy was far from concern, the train station functioned to bring thousands through cross city transport. As the desire to live in Detroit and the desire to use trains declined, the Michigan Central Station’s necessity declined. The building has been abandoned since 1988,but has served as a landmark for Detroit in various films and its architecture,(see Fig 2), has remained astounding

This Detroit Landmark should be saved because it’s still generating revenue in its decrepit state and maybe because of it.This means the building is unlikely to be torn down by the owners ,but vacant buildings are often a source for crime. With Detroit’s notoriously high crime rate leaving the building open is not an appealing option for the city. Michigan Central Station is an emblem for Detroit’s peak as the motor city and should be preserved as a piece of history.

(Fig 2)

The main issue with this Detroit building is that a full restoration  is expected to cost around a hundred million dollars. There have been multiple plans to restore this structure ,but due to lack of funding or commitment the building has not found new utilization. The Moroun family that owns the building replaced the windows in 2015 and since then no plans to progress have been released.

With the whole building costing so much to rebuild, the best option would be to do something that would not require a total restoration to generate money. If some of the bottom floor was restored it could be turned into an market for artists and farmers. This would leave an option to temporarily close when enough money is generated to cover a fuller restoration. At that point there would be an option to turn the space into a multi-floor shopping mall,apartment/retail, ,or even a wedding venue. Funding could be provided by potential vendors and communities of farmer markets. The Detroit Community Markets or even Detroit’s Urban Craft Fair may be able to assist in restoration in return for the space.

The Factory

In a small town called Sunbury Ohio there is a building that sits empty, and partly destroyed.  When someone walks by this building they don’t appreciate that this building was once a thriving factory that provided jobs and other benefits to the community.  This old building is the former Nestle Factory, and it plays a critical role in the history of the small town of Sunbury.

The factory was built in the late 1800’s and sold to the Nestle company in 1919.  Nestle used this factory to create butter, cheese, and evaporated milk.  The factory would eventually become known for a specialty product it made, instant coffee and instant tea.  The factory was actually the first Nestle factory to make an instant tea product known as Nestea, a product still sold today.  The factory continued it’s growth, including a 27 million five story addition in 1981, to perform an additional function of decaffeinating coffee beans.  However the good times would come to an end.  In 1993 the factory closed it’s doors as Nestle deemed their decaff coffee was no longer popular.  With the closing of the factory, Nestle took with it its many jobs it provided for the community and its large income tax for the community.

The factory is now partly torn down  and other than one small steel manufacturing plant, sits empty.  The factory leaving had left a huge hole in the village of Sunbury as many people where now out of a job and many businesses started to suffer.  It took Sunbury a while to recover from this, but from the ashes the phoenix will rise.  Sunbury is now a thriving community once again, and is still expanding.  The addition of an outlet mall, and several new schools, Sunbury’s population and businesses are on the rise.  Yet the factory still sits there like a scar on the community.  But all that can change.

The plot where the factory sits is in a great location.  It’s right by the Sunbury square, which is really the life of Sunbury and its very close to the middle school, high school, and several elementary schools.  An apartment complex built on the lot would make perfect sense.  Sunbury’s current problem is the population continues to expand, and they are running out of homes, an apartment complex would help that problem.  Sunbury also doesn’t have a lot of apartment buildings within the city.  It really only has one, and the rest are houses that are probably out of many peoples price range who might want to move to Sunbury.  An apartment complex would bring more teachers, police, firefighters, and many other crucial jobs that are necessary for a growing community.  With the addition of new businesses to Sunbury, finding the funds for the creation of this building wouldn’t be difficult.  The building will need fixed up a lot too, as many of it fell apart as it was not properly maintained.

An apartment complex on this location would also be somewhat poetic.  The disfigured empty factory is a painful reminder of the rough stretch Sunbury had when it closed its doors.  Especially it being so recent that many adult residents of the town remember the time when it used to be open.  But Sunbury bounced back and building this apartment complex would show how far the town and community have come since then, and showcase that Midwesterner never die spirit that Sunbury has.



KEK Design’s Latest Project Unvieled

KEK Residentials

Newark is a small traffic friendly city that has been expanding rapidly in recent years. Currently, Newark’s city center is being restored, driving up property values and attracting a far wealthier demographic than those who have lived there in recent history. It is in this setting that KEK Designs has decided to unveil KEK Residentials. The overall goal with this project is to capitalize on the future influx of wealth and overall lack of upscale housing. KEK Residentials is a three floor gym-apartment complex hybrid, designed to offer a modern, upscale alternative for wealthy tenants.


Figure one demonstrates an aerial view of the plot that the new residency intends to cover. Figure two demonstrates the floor plans of the three story building with underground parking. Figure three is a rough sketch of the front of the building.


(Fig 1)


(Fig 2)

(Fig 3)

Proposal Justification:

After discussing a number of different ideas of varying seriousness (see appendix for a sample), KEK Designs decided on a hybrid gym and upscale apartment complex for a number of reasons. The principle reason for the gym part of the project is the lack of a nearby, upscale gym. There are a handful of gyms sprinkled liberally throughout Newark, but many would feel unfamiliar to a wealthy Columbus expatriate. Furthermore, income can be supplemented by selling gym memberships to the general public, with the intent of providing an alternative source of revenue to the owners to insulate the project from fluctuations in the housing market. The upscale apartment portion of the project was decided upon after the gym portion, though the gym is supposed to supplement the apartment complex, rather than the inverse. This portion of the project is a bit of a gamble, reliant on Newark doing well financially in the relative long term. While finding investors at this moment would be extremely difficult, KEK Designs is confident that funding could be secured within a few years, as long as Newark’s growth continues to accelerate at the same rate it is now.

The building is offset from the sidewalk by the green space located in front of the building and this is approximately 412/192 feet. This offset and the associated green space is designed such as to both draw the eye into the front of KEK Residentials while simultaneously being consistent with the setbacks of the surrounding buildings. KEK decided the green space would also be a beneficial touch to the apartments as it adds a backyard like feeling to the space and thus inspiring a notion of home.The green space contains three picnic tables for outdoor lunches and meditation. The gazebo outside of the residence has a stone path and serves as a great place for pictures or simply enjoying the view.   The first floor houses half of the gym, a small indoor track and basketball court (as currently proposed) as well as a lobby area, mailroom, and offices.The first floor is designed to be a common area, where the public gym goers mix with residents freely. One heavily debated feature of this floor is the indoor basketball court and track, with concerns about the resulting noise being the main complaint. In any case, much like the underground parking, the basketball court is an addition that may or may not be realized, depending on other external factors. The second floor encompasses the other half of the gym and features the first set of apartments. As currently planned, there are ten spacious apartments, each with private bathrooms and pseudo-balconies overlooking their respective sides. The remaining space is reserved for a common area, which serves as a buffer between the gym and apartments. The third floor offers penthouses and larger sized rooms to accommodate families while the second floor consists of smaller rooms for those who want a more solitary space.

The strengths of this proposal include an adaptable plan that allows the residence to adjust to threats,a potentially substantial return on investment,easy access to downtown Newark, and nearby access to necessary utilities. The weakness of the proposal are the proximity to other gyms and less appealing infrastructure of Newark’s downtown. However, these weakness may be overshadowed by the opportunities that the residence provides and may take part in. Opportunities include expansion to vacant lots that may be easy to acquire and the opportunity to attract millennials to its downtown creating a diverse generations for the city of Newark. Threats that may impede the implementation of KEK residentials are limited demand for high end apartments, assumption of Newark’s economic expansion, competition of smaller high quality lofts in the area, and the surrounding buildings not tailored for high end clients.


Appendix: Rejected Ideas

  • Shopping Complex
  • Public Park
  • Space Elevator
  • Parking Lot
  • Tannery and Rendering facility
  • Low cost housing apartments
  • Vertical Shooting Range
  • Low cost gym



Pinewood Park

Our plan for the vacant lot was to create a new park for the city of Newark called Pinewood Park.  The main function of this park is to develop the existing community and also bring the youth and young adults of Newark more involved in the community through the art scene.  The goal for this park is to not only be a traditional city park, but to also give the artists of Newark a place to work and display their art, as the park will have a focus on the local artists of Newark.  The park will display the works of local artists all throughout it.  The park will also feature numerous pine trees planted, including lining the alley way.  The alley will be kept in the park to divide it in half and a crosswalk will connect the two halves of the park.   The park will also include an amphitheater for local artists and musicians to perform in.  The park will also have two small food stands, one will sell ice cream and the other will sell natural food, like vegetarian burgers or organic food.  The park will also hold many various community events, for example during the cold months of an Ohio winter the park could be changed to a winter festival, so the park doesn’t sit empty for several months during the winter.  The defining feature of the park will be the Mural wall.  This wall will be a blank white wall where anyone is encouraged to spray paint, color, paint whatever they want on the wall.  It will be cleared every month and people can start all over again.

We selected a park for this lot because it fills a need in the city of Newark.  Downtown Newark needs more green space, and this park will provide it.  There is a park across the street, but its small and the land is going to waste.  This park will help make downtown Newark more scenic, and beautiful.  Downtown Newark has a gray , dark feeling to it and this park will help add character to the downtown area and improve it.

This park is also a good choice because it will attract a new youthful demographic into Newark, which will be great for the town as a whole. Newark is continuing to grow and this park will certainly help the community develop.  This park’s focus on local art in Newark will hopefully help develop Newark in a similar way that the Short North developed in Columbus.  The inclusion of an amphitheater in this park will also open up the possibilities of events, like concerts or other shows to take place, which would bring more business to the downtown area.

We have decide to keep the ally way in the middle of the park to prevent future traffic in major sections of the city . the ally runs parallel from the two side roads on the parcel and it would make it more convenient for park access or possible parking.  The ally would have a boulevard feel to it with pine trees on either side of the road to keep people more immersed in the park.  A park would be a good choice with the alley way, because the park can still function with the alley way in tact.  Putting a building here would probably require removing the alley and disrupting traffic.

This plot of land also works really well for a park.  This plot of land is right by two major roads and is in the heart of downtown Newark, so the park will be walking distance for a lot of people and the park is in walking distance from other businesses in Newark, like coffee shops and restaurants.  Being by two major roads in Newark will also allow people who drive by to notice the park and stop by. The park would also not need to have much additional parking, because there is already a lot of parking around the park.  The fact that the park doesn’t need to have a huge parking lot is very nice, because it allows for more green space.  The park has all the basic utilities needed, which will make the inclusion of a public restroom, drinking fountains, and things of that nature easy to create.  One thing to note is when the park is first developed it won’t match with it’s surroundings, but the goal of this park is to develop Downtown Newark so the park may be out of place at first, but hopefully in the near future it wouldn’t be so out of place.

Finally the park is a good choice for what it’ll bring to the community.  The park will include a few businesses, but making a profit isn’t necessarily the primary function.  The park really has a focus on bringing the community together, by hopefully hosting many community events and also the inclusion of the mural wall will hopefully help build a sense of community.  The park by bringing in the local artists to participate in the goings on of the park will also hopefully help develop the community.  This park is building on the purpose of the community garden in Newark which happens to be just across the street from this plot of land.


The other alternative our group considered for the plot of land was to instead make an organic grocery store, like a Whole Foods.  This organic grocery store would have captured a similar demographic to the park, hopefully bringing in 18-28 year olds to Newark.  This organic grocery store would have also attracted new businesses to the downtown area.  The grocery store would also give the people of Newark an alternative grocery store to go shop at, since the traffic getting to the current grocery stores is a mess.

History in Jeopardy by: Michael S.

Older building tend to get overlooked in terms of importance in the cities history. These buildings get neglected, demolished, then replaced by something new that erases what truly built the city. The site that is in danger of demolition is the Arcade building located on 800 Olive Street in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri.  The building has a tremendous amount of history that unfortunately has fell victim to abandonment and is now in danger of being demolished. Demolishing this building would devastate the area because it would not only erase the history of the area, but also eliminate the infinite amount of possibilities that could be done with this One-of-a-kind building.

The story of this building began before 1913 when it was designed by Tom Barnett. The building originally had a multi-functional use with retail at the ground floor and office space above.  The Arcade building was later conjoined with the Wright Building next door but today only the arcade is left abandoned. The arcade served many previous functions ranging from small companies to large, to a post office, to even a hotel but now has be vacant for decades.

The building is an important piece of history and therefor it should be saved. It was one of the first skyscrapers in the country being post World War and really set the foundation for the city’s architecture. There is mostly Gothic architecture in this building with lots of arches and pillars especially at the very top. There are also lots of windows indicating an old workspace and the building appears to be made mostly out of brick and concrete. Many older and some newer buildings have similar architecture aspects as the Arcade, leaving a lasting mark on the city.

The outside of the building looks to be in excellent condition but the inside could be in question. Funding could be needed in order to fix the interior of the building. The Arch grounds developed by CityArchRiver have greatly expanded the grounds to showcase not only the Gateway arch but also the city as well. In the process of the expansions over the decades they have demolished older unused buildings much like the Arcade to make room for the park. City tourism could help fund the Arcade building and since the site is close to some of the parks,  fixing the damages could be beneficial to both parties.

There are lots of possibilities that could occupy the building. One possible solution is to keep retail at the bottom and have apartments at the top. the location has two important roads on either side so some shops could be a good attraction to the area. Also putting in residence would be a good way to improve the economy especially since there is a university a few miles west of the location also it is in a decent location because of all the shops and parks it is next to.

Image result for Arcade Building stl address



Blog Post #3

During the DNA project in the downtown area of Newark, The group was given the opportunity to wander around Newark and collect data on how the are was planned. The group visited several locations such as the the market, jailhouse, park, community garden and several of the buildings in the area. The group found it interesting that Newark maintains an open air market building that is open every Friday with a collection of different merchants and bands giving the area a more old-fashioned, classic feel while right next door, a McDonald’s attempts to masquerade the “old town vibe”. While the group agrees that the McDonald’s being placed where it clearly doesn’t belongs messes with the feel of the downtown area, they also can agree that Newark has done some good things with their downtown as well. One of these “good planning” things was the replacement of all the roads in the main square in order to reduce the crashes that were a result of the confusing layout of the streets. The group also feels as though the green space that is labeled as a park is nice to have, it doesn’t quite serve the originally intended purpose of having a public green space. The group believes that this area could be improved with the addition of the some benches and greenery in order to make it more inviting to the public. With the few exceptions of what is listed above, the group does believe that Newark has an attractive downtown area and that it will likely become even more attractive once those previously mentioned additions are made as well as the completion of the roadways.

Cluster zoning: Alec

Cluster zoning is used by a developer who can use greater flexibility in designing and placing structures, as long as the total density requirement is met. We see this used in the DeSisto development process that is going to be underway soon where they take an abandoned school and turn it into a hotel and residential properties.

Inclusionary zoning: justin Nguyen

Inclusionary zoning is a type of zoning where a city accommodates all economic and social classes of people. Inclusionary zoning divides up the land by including subsidy housing and apartments in proportion to the higher income housing within a city or region. This type of zoning creates a more balanced city and allows for social diversity, which is a main component in creating an accepting community. An example of inclusionary zoning can be found in California. With high volumes of people in California, inclusionary zoning allows for mixed-income people to be able to settle down along with the Californian elite.

Incentive Zoning: Logan Benson

Incentive based zoning is a useful tool for certain governments who know how to use it and can afford it. In Seattle, Washington, a Workforce Housing Incentive Program was issued in order to trade increased zoning height to developers with a certain portion of housing reserved for families falling under the Seattle Median Income. In Middlesex, Virginia, a program was issued to allow rights to high density developments to developers of open spaces and retirement homes. Both of these are good examples of the roper use of incentive based zoning because they have clear and reasonable requirements in exchange for bonuses that developers want, more density means more possible money.


Westerville, Ohio is the second largest suburban city around the state capital. The city of Columbus and Westerville have a symbiotic relationship as more people move to Ohio for jobs downtown, they tend to settle down in houses in the surrounding areas such as Westerville. In order to accommodate new people, Westerville also has to expand. Westerville has room to grow, but the problem arises when the natives of Westerville conflict with their different visions of how the city ought to be.

There are many attractions that already exist in Westerville such as its economic base being located so close to Columbus, parks and recreation facilities, and Westerville’s historical context. The people of Westerville had outlined these as their main concerns with what should stay in the community. In order to capitalize on these assets, a vision of the new Westerville will have “a city within a park” feeling. This vision relies on Westerville’s already prominent park and bike path system. With new additions to the parks and recreation area of the community would allow for Westerville to have a unique natural woodland feel that is different from the concrete jungle of downtown. This improvement would allow for people commuting from the city to have a change in scenery instead of always being in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the city.

With all of this expansion happening in Westerville, many people of the existing community are skeptical of the growth and development. Another concern for existing residence is that with the expansion and the thought of seeing strangers everyday would defeat Westerville’s pre-existing sense of community. In order to prevent saturating the community, Westerville plans to build complete and whole neighborhoods. By completing neighborhoods in whole instead or erecting houses spread out throughout the city allows for the new community members to interact with each other, and in turn their neighborhood with the rest of the community. This also will allow for fresh eyes to see and experience the community. This is important because in 20 to 30 years the ones that were living in the once new homes will be seasoned veterans of the community and will be able to give a renewed perspective of what should be done to update Westerville. In another 20 to 30 years, the whole process will start over again. Though residents may come and go, their thoughts of the community are crucial to the longevity of the city.