My tribute to small town urban architecture – long may it live


It’s been an interesting week in eastern North Carolina, full with relaxation and great photo opportunities. I have a lot more to write about New Bern, about life along the estuaries, sounds, and inlets – including yesterday’s fascinating visit to Bath – but I’ll save those for later and continue with some more images from the community of Washington.

DSC_2419I was so taken with the downtown architecture here that I went back with my Nikon to take some more photographs. I don’t believe there was an architectural review board when these buildings went up, but the balance of design, style, texture, materials, scale, color (and a host of other variables) makes for a most marvelous – and essentially inimitable (I wanted to use “irreplicable” but my dictionary says it isn’t an actual word) – urban landscape.

As I noted before, there are a few unfortunate instances where architectural mayhem has been committed via thoughtless rebuilding, and tasteless remodeling of storefronts and facades; but, for the most part, the character of Washington’s downtown has been preserved. The local realtor we talked with said the empty Louise Hotel building recently sold, and will hopefully be renovated with some class and imagination, then there are a couple more structures I believe would make stunning downtown condos with restaurants or coffee shops on the ground floor.

I’ve limited this photo essay to 15 slides, so if your favorite building isn’t featured I’m sorry! Regardless, please peruse the images and enjoy. I certainly did – DEREK


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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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