As usual, I'm somewhat fascinated by the closeness of significant commercial buildings to actual houses. Modern building doesn't seem to do this in any way. I guess the goal of suburban development is to keep the two at more of an arm's length, save for the deli or drycleaner you can walk to. It's also, obviously, a result of carcentric planning. Cars allow you to build the something like the old Penney's Plaza on Forest and Barrett and assume the people from West New Brighton will go there. They don't need a major shopping and dining area outside their door. I'm surprised no one seems to be suggesting this sort of old fashioned building as an antidote to heavy traffic. I would much rather walk to a store than have to take the bus or ride a bike any day of the week. Is this sort of pedestrian friendly development even allowed anymore? Seriously, does anyone know?
NYC 1924 Aerial Map
2012 Google Maps