Nuclear Plant to Revive Ghost Town

After sitting abandoned for more than three decades, the historic village of Frick's Lock in East Coventry Township, Pa., soon will show signs of life. Last month, Exelon Nuclear, the current owners of the empty village, signed an agreement with the township to stabilize, rehabilitate, and protect several of Chester County's oldest buildings.

Founded more than 250 years ago, Frick's Lock was a key stop along the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Schuylkill Canal. Most of the village's 10 existing buildings were built c. 1825, and one—built c.1757—predates the canal. Frick's Lock was a functioning village until the early 1980s, when Limerick Nuclear Power Plant moved in just across the river.

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Raising the Barn

Can a place that houses equipment to work the land be kind to its surroundings as well? De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop provides a simple, low-tech approach. Although they met as graduate students at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Roberto de Leon, AIA, and Ross Primmer, AIA, decided to practice in Louisville, Ky. Inevitably, the barn typology of the region has influenced the work of De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop, including its design for the Mason Lane Farm Operations Facility. This facility, which provides space for servicing and storing farm equipment, as well as seasonal storage for grain and hay, is a contradiction in the countryside: agricultural structures that house equipment used to work prime farmland but that also have a reduced environmental impact.

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Renew, Restore, Recycle

In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, The Allison Inn & Spa aims to cultivate the well-being of its guests and its land. Just outside Portland, Ore., the highway spills between rounded hillsides of vineyards and farms that until recently were rife with visitors and low on lodging. Roots run deep herenot only in terms of grapes, orchards, and generations of other agriculture, but also in pride for stewardship of the land. When Joan Austin, owner of the Allison Inn & Spa, decided to build an 85-room hotel, spa, event facility, and restaurant in the small suburb of Newberg, she brought environmental and contextual sensitivity to the table. Delivering a consummate guest experience remained a vital priority, however, and the resulting combination allows visitors to relax in luxury while treading lightly on the earth.

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