A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization by David Schuyler

By David Schuyler

As was once actual of many American towns, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, followed city renewal courses within the postwar years to revitalize a downtown that used to be experiencing financial decline. because the advertisement and home infrastructure of the town decayed, humans and jobs migrated to the suburbs. city renewal was once purported to make the downtown doable back as a domain for either companies and flats. yet as David Schuyler exhibits in A urban remodeled, redevelopment in Lancaster ended in extra disasters than successes. starting within the Nineteen Fifties, the Lancaster Redevelopment Authority applied a entire revitalization software that modified the actual form of the town. In trying to solidify the retail services of the conventional relevant enterprise district, redevelopment dramatically altered key blocks of the downtown, exchanging good-looking turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts buildings with modernist concrete containers and a sterile public sq.. the tactic for removing density and blighted structures led to the demolition of complete blocks of dwellings and, maybe extra very important, destabilized Lancaster's African American group. A urban remodeled is a compelling exam of a northern urban being affected by its background and the legacy of segregation. however the redevelopment tasks undertaken by way of the town, even though bold, couldn't conquer the suburban development that maintains to sprawl over the nation-state, or the styles of residential segregation that outline urban and suburb. whilst the Redevelopment Authority ceased working in 1980, its legacy used to be a urban with a declining financial system, excessive degrees of poverty and joblessness, and an expanding focus of racial and ethnic minorities - a urban a great deal in danger. In vital methods what occurred in Lancaster was once the made from federal guidelines and nationwide developments. As Schuyler observes, Lancaster's event is the nation's drama performed on a neighborhood level.

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Additional info for A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1940-1980

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Chapter 1 24 5/14/02 1:53 PM Page 24      Image not available .  Courtyard dwellings behind Howard Avenue. The American Caramel Company building, on the north side of Howard Avenue, looms over the small dwellings (Bureau of Planning, City of Lancaster). 22 The demolition of Striver’s house on August 26, 1957, marked the end of Barney Google Row. Several dwellings still remained at Shantytown. The city bulldozed three other “shacks” in September, at which time only six dwellings stood.

Based on reports submitted by bankers, appraisers, and real estate agents, the HOLC prepared Residential Security Maps that colored areas of cities according to the presumed safety of mortgages—from green (the safest, most homogeneous neighborhoods) to blue (stable) to yellow (declining) to red (hazardous). Areas designated red tended to be old, but the housing stock was not necessarily substandard: planners considered neighborhoods characterized by mixed use or racial diversity or large numbers of immigrants at risk for mortgages.

Handsome church spires punctuated the skyline, but it was the taverns, inns, and commercial establishments that complemented the public functions of the county seat and defined downtown, while most of the city’s industries were located adjacent to the railroad. By the early twentieth century, downtown Lancaster had acquired many of the attributes of a modern commercial center. Within one block of the square were the city’s three local department stores and the nation’s oldest Woolworth five and dime.

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