ruminations about architecture and design

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

and watch your parking meter

The ongoing drama with Market Basket is still being played out. The Globe has done a pretty decent job of reporting the events of the past month, but since it is a family affair, I'm sure that there are things that will never come to light. I'm impressed that the ousted CEO has inspired such loyalty in his staff and customers and I think that the scorched earth policy being pursued is something that General Grant and Sherman would understand. The family members that fired Arthur Demoulas probably want to sell the business and sail off into the sunset even richer than before. The impact on workers and patrons would be negative because a larger company would not be as generous with wages and prices.

Supermarkets occupy a special place in architecture. I have trouble seeing how food could be distributed efficiently to the urban American population without them. In most respects, they are critical infrastructure rather than buildings. But, and this is a point not covered in depth by the public media, they have a large real estate footprint--both literally and symbolically. A good supermarket defines a good neighborhood, and lack of a supermarket represents a severe deficiency for a community.

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