Also: When a Trump donor owns stuff you love in cities, and the new underclass of urban servants.

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What We’re Following

Futurist flapjack flap: Since 1967, a funky local coffee shop called Tom’s Diner has served breakfast to Denver residents at any hour. But when the diner’s current owner announced his plan to sell the building, things got sticky. Some locals, it turns out, aren’t ready to see Tom’s Diner go—and they don’t like a developer’s plan to replace the space-age coffee shop with an eight-story multi-use building. To block the changes, a group of residents applied for a historic landmark designation for Tom’s Diner, against Tom’s wishes.

(Shannon Schaefer Stage)

The building is a rare Denver example of the Googie style of postwar modernist design, the building’s fans say; it’s a landmark worth saving from the wrecking ball because it tells a story about the city’s history and growth. But the owner is ready to hang up his apron, and he’s counting on selling the building to fund his retirement. There could be a way for both sides to get what they want here—but the clock is ticking, and they’ll need to see eye-to-eye before the month ends. CityLab’s Kriston Capps reports: The Battle to Landmark This Denver Diner Can Have a Happy Ending

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

When a Trump Donor Owns Stuff You Love In Cities

SoulCycle investor Stephen Ross faces criticism for hosting a Trump fundraiser. But he also funds sustainability research and urban mobility. It’s complicated.

Laura Bliss

The New Underclass of Urban Servants

“Wealth work” is one of America’s fastest-growing industries. That’s not entirely a good thing.

Derek Thompson

The Map That Made Los Angeles Make Sense

For generations in Southern California, the Thomas Guide led drivers through the streets. Now apps do that. Did something get lost along the way?

Laura Bliss

NYC Will Track Its Vanishing Retailers

A first-of-its-kind law will give the city data on small businesses fleeing the city as retail rents skyrocket. But skeptics fear that won’t be enough.

John Surico



What We’re Reading

Former Charlottesville mayor shares painful lessons from fight against hate (NPR)

Can cities grant nature the right to exist and thrive? (Next City)

Fraud case against Los Angeles bus maker shows risk of pay promises in city contracts (New York Times)

The war on drive-thrus has begun (Jalopnik)

Co-living, the hot new trend of 1898 (JSTOR Daily)


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