Forgive me here, but I’ve had this post saved since November of 2013 (kind of gives you an idea of how far my drafts go back…). Anyway, it’s a post over at Gizmodo about the death of Alex Calderwood in 2013. For those who don’t know the name, Calderwood was the founder of the hugely successful Ace Hotel chain and a major supporter of the revitalization of down-and-out neighboroods in cities across the US.

His Ace Hotels were known to move into not-quite-there-yet neighborhoods, dragging along some of Calderwood’s signature partners like Rudy’s barbershops and coffee shops with an already cult-like following (Stumptown anybody?). By doing this, he helped boost local economies and spurred people and businesses into moving into an area that might otherwise have been passed over. He was cool in every sense of the word and he made places cool by staking claim there and bringing local shops, people, and products to the travelers’ eyes.

As Gizmodo writes:

But it was also about the entire streel-level package that the Ace brought to any city. A development would bring not just a walled-off hotel but an immersive cultural experience: a ground-floor restaurant, a Stumptown Coffee, sometimes a branch of Rudy’s, a boutique, a gallery or a performance venue—each carefully branded and curated by Calderwood’s creative team, Atelier Ace.

Fast Co. has a more in-depth article about how Alex helped change small parts of the globe.