It’s become an all-too-familiar scenario all across America: A city’s downtown, once a thriving place to live and work, has slowly withered and become decrepit. Middle-income families flee to the suburbs to settle in planned communities, city buildings fall into disrepair, and empty weed-filled lots proliferate. So when retired couple Peter and Joan Bracher decided to sell their brick-sided traditional colonial outside of Dayton, Ohio, and build a new home on an infill lot in the Fairgrounds neighborhood just south of the city center, it was a radical departure from the standard palm tree–seeking relocation of most retirees and a pioneering move in terms of the area’s recent urban-regeneration effort.
A former editor at Dwell, Amara recently left the glamorous life of a magazine staffer to pursue her freelance writing dream. She has written for Sunset, Wallpaper*, the Architect’s Newspaper, VIA, and Apartment Therapy.