Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Introduction and First Shot at a Thesis Idea

               For my first blog entry I would like to introduce myself, my first thesis idea, and just some general notes for the beginning of this semester.  I'll begin with my story.  My name is Tyler Dunahee, born and raised in Centralia, IL, just a quick hour drive north on 51 or on the train.  I was a Centralia Orphan and will forever be one (the Orphans is Centralia's high school mascot and it just won USA Today's contest for most unique mascot in America).  After graduating from CHS, I attended Rend Lake College in Ina, IL, again, about 45 minutes north-northeast of Carbondale, where I earned my Associate in Applied Science in Architectural Technology along with a few certificates.  After two years at RLC, I transferred to SIU to pursue my Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Technology, which I received this past May. This summer, I, along with my fellow graduate students, started our trek on what is sure to test us in a number of ways, the Master of Architecture program. I currently have a number of jobs outside of the classroom, I work at Kohls here in town, as well as do some landscaping work, but most importantly, I'm a Graduate Assistant in the architecture computer lab.
                As contemplation of what I want to do for my thesis project begins, my thoughts first come to my hometown of Centralia. Centralia was once a bustling, busy, and important city in southern Illinois.  Centralia was built primarily on coal and the railroad, however, as those two technologies have  become more dated and other methods developed, Centralia has started a steep decline in the past few decades.  The downtown has suffered total losses due to numerous fires and businesses have failed and/or moved out of town.  The population fell nine percent between the 2000 and 2010 censuses and continues to fall.  There is still a great sense of community and a grand history to the town. It is for this reason and a number of others that my thesis is a plan to revitalize the downtown of Centralia.  As I contemplate how to do this I have considered developing a master plan for the entire town, rather than just a revitalization of the downtown area.  I'm sure I'll change my mind numerous time before coming to a final conclusion on just what I want to do.
                For those students who are new to SIU, welcome to Carbondale and SIU, hopefully you'll find your time here enjoyable and enlightening, both inside and outside the classroom.  To those of you returning, we've done it before and we can do this all again, keep those goals in sight, as each beginning is one step closer to the end goal.  For those of you in the architecture program, it's time to buckle down, I truly believe no other major understands the work, dedication, and late nights it takes to succeed or even make it in this program, and I wish you all the best.
Until next time,

Tyler Dunahee

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