In Appalachia both the people and the place have long been treated as disposable. National forests are patched together from worn-out, used-up property riddled with abandoned coal mines. In the Hocking Valley of Southeast Ohio, environmental restoration has been funded through a series of obscure land swaps under the auspices of a highway project. It’s a strange way to make things right.

In the coal country of Southeast Ohio, the past is a renewable resource, growing larger every year.




  • Naomi Stead
  • Belmont Freeman

Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern is a columnist for Places. She is Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York.

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Naomi Stead

Naomi Stead is a columnist for Places. She is an architecture critic and a professor of architecture at Monash University.

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David Heymann

David Heymann is a columnist for Places. He is an architect, and the Harwell Hamilton Harris Regents Professor in Architecture at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Belmont Freeman

Belmont Freeman is a columnist for Places. He is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City.

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