Jerry Gretzinger’s Map

Jerry Gretzinger’s map displayed at ArtPrize 2009 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Photo by Rodney Martin

ICity-building can be as much of an art as anything else, but Jerry Gretzinger takes that to a whole new level with his map. His map is really a world onto itself with cities, suburbs, farmland, forests, deserts, and oceans – and beyond that, what he calls the “void”.

Jerry’s map “began as just a doodle” in 1963. Almost fifty years and 2,000 panels later, he has worked or reworked one of his map’s panels every day. Like real-world landscapes and cities, his map has evolved over time as he has redrawn portions of it. To guide his map’s evolution, he has created an elaborate world-building system that features a card deck with instructions, the map’s “future predictor”. Each morning he chooses a card at random that determines whether he’ll add new features to a panel or completely void it out.

A close-up of the map showing one of the many urban centers. Photo by Rodney Martin

Jerry Gretzinger: Mapping the Void (Documentary)

The map is truly a life’s work. There’s an eleven-minute documentary on Jerry’s map by Gregory Whitmore that’s definitely worth a watch if you want to learn more about the map and his artistic process.

You can also follow the future of the map at Jerry’s Blog.

Photos by Rodney Martin


“Why I Love ULI” Video Contest

The Urban Land Institute is concluding its “Why I <3 ULI”  video contest tonight, and there are some really creative entries so far. The person whose video that gets the most Facebook likes will win an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles for the 2011 ULI Fall Meeting. Sweet deal!

Here are the top three Why I <3 ULI videos I’m loving:

Why Rachel Headings Loves ULI

Rachel takes the “love” of ULI to a whole new level in this hilarious video. Someone needs to book this ULI logo for the Fall Conference, I want a picture with it.

Why Stephanie Darden Loves ULI

If ULI was to run an ad campaign, this would be the video. Stephanie’s video is professional, whimsical, and even features a cameo by Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer. I’m definitely pointing prospective ULI members to this video in the future.

Why Rob Voigt Loves ULI

Rob made a really creative paper craft video that gets into the heart of why ULI is awesome: unprecedented resources, leadership, and inspiration.


The winner and honorable mentions have been announced on the 2011 ULI Fall website, congratulations to all the creative entries!


The Ghost Ranch Lodge, an Adaptive Reuse Success

The Ghost Ranch Lodge had its grand reopening several months ago, as I previously posted in The Redevelopment of the Ghost Ranch Lodge. Construction had just been completed a few weeks before the event, and the units were already 100% occupied with a waiting list for future residents. It has also served as a catalyst for redevelopment along Miracle Mile, and now the historic motor court Monterey Motel down the street is being redeveloped into an artist studio. The Ghost Ranch Lodge is truly an adaptive reuse project that shows a historic rehabilitation can be good for a community as well as financially feasible!

The developer of the Ghost Ranch Lodge, Atlantic Development + Investments, generously sent some pictures so I wanted to share a few of them here. If you are in Tucson and have a chance to drive by, it’s off the Miracle Mile exit east of I-10. The neon sign is awesome at night.

Ghost Ranch Lodge Sign
The iconic neon Ghost Ranch Lodge sign on Miracle Mile that has greeted visitors to Tucson for more than sixty years.
Ghost Ranch Lodge Clubhouse
Inside the Ghost Ranch Lodge’s restored clubhouse.
Ghost Ranch Lodge Furnished Living Room
One of the living rooms, beautifully decorated and furnished by the resident, at the Ghost Ranch Lodge.
Ghost Ranch Lodge Historic Cactus Garden
The Ghost Ranch Lodge’s fully restored historic cactus garden. Photo credit: Ladd Keith
Ghost Ranch Lodge
The Ghost Ranch Lodge on Miracle Mile. 

Photos, except where noted, were provided courtesy of Atlantic Development + Investments.