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 fiscal decline. because the advertisement and home infrastructure of the town decayed, humans and jobs migrated to the suburbs. city renewal used to be imagined to make the downtown doable back as a website for either companies and flats. yet as David Schuyler indicates in A urban remodeled, redevelopment in Lancaster led to extra disasters than successes. starting within the Fifties, the Lancaster Redevelopment Authority carried out a finished revitalization application that modified the actual form of town. In trying to solidify the retail features of the conventional significant enterprise district, redevelopment dramatically altered key blocks of the downtown, exchanging good-looking turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts constructions with modernist concrete packing containers and a sterile public sq.. the method for taking away density and blighted structures led to the demolition of entire blocks of dwellings and, possibly extra very important, destabilized Lancaster's African American neighborhood. A urban remodeled is a compelling exam of a northern urban suffering from its background and the legacy of segregation. however the redevelopment tasks undertaken by means of the town, even if formidable, couldn't triumph over the suburban development that maintains to sprawl over the geographical region, or the styles of residential segregation that outline urban and suburb. whilst the Redevelopment Authority ceased working in 1980, its legacy was once a urban with a declining financial system, excessive degrees of poverty and joblessness, and an expanding focus of racial and ethnic minorities - a urban greatly in danger. In very important methods what occurred in Lancaster was once the made of federal regulations and nationwide traits. As Schuyler observes, Lancaster's adventure is the nation's drama performed on a neighborhood degree.

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

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In the mid-1940s roads leading north from the city through Manheim Township had passed open fields and pastures; a decade later those same roads were lined with housing developments that reflected a startling rate of suburban growth even as the city was losing population. Alarmed by these trends, Mayor Bare initiated a community forum to focus attention on Lancaster’s future. 14 On the surface Mayor Bare initiated the planning of the Lancaster Looks Ahead forum to obtain the opinions of a diverse group of community leaders on the problems faced by downtown and on potential solutions.

14 On the surface Mayor Bare initiated the planning of the Lancaster Looks Ahead forum to obtain the opinions of a diverse group of community leaders on the problems faced by downtown and on potential solutions. The forum consisted of nine sessions, each devoted to a specific subject: Industry; Commerce and Retailing; Positions, Employment and People; Traffic, Parking, Highways, and Transportation; Housing; Public and Social Services; Health; Recreation; and Education. Chapter 2 5/14/02 1:53 PM Page 43 The Problem with Downtown izen, consisted of three speakers who presented their considered thoughts on the topics, followed by a question-and-answer session open to all in attendance.

4 percent of residential structures were determined to be inadequate because of the lack of plumbing, heating, and utilities. 3 The Great Depression and World War II were years of little investment in downtown Lancaster. Although population increased because of the labor demands of war industries, the additional number of residents crowded within existing structures or found makeshift accommodations. To smooth the transition from war to peace, in 1944 Lancaster’s City Council appointed a Post-War Planning Council, headed by businessman A.

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