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 was once experiencing fiscal decline. because the advertisement and home infrastructure of town decayed, humans and jobs migrated to the suburbs. city renewal used to be purported to make the downtown doable back as a website for either companies and apartments. yet as David Schuyler exhibits in A urban remodeled, redevelopment in Lancaster led to extra mess ups than successes. starting within the Nineteen Fifties, the Lancaster Redevelopment Authority applied a complete revitalization software that modified the actual form of the town. In trying to solidify the retail capabilities of the normal imperative enterprise district, redevelopment dramatically altered key blocks of the downtown, exchanging good-looking turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts buildings with modernist concrete bins and a sterile public sq.. the method for taking out density and blighted constructions led to the demolition of entire blocks of dwellings and, maybe extra vital, destabilized Lancaster's African American group. A urban reworked is a compelling exam of a northern urban suffering from its background and the legacy of segregation. however the redevelopment initiatives undertaken through the town, even though bold, couldn't triumph over the suburban progress that keeps to sprawl over the nation-state, or the styles of residential segregation that outline urban and suburb. while the Redevelopment Authority ceased working in 1980, its legacy used to be a urban with a declining economic climate, excessive degrees of poverty and joblessness, and an expanding focus of racial and ethnic minorities - a urban greatly in danger. In vital methods what occurred in Lancaster used to be the fabricated from federal guidelines and nationwide traits. As Schuyler observes, Lancaster's event 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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Speaker after speaker implicitly assumed that with the successful implementation of solutions to traffic and parking problems the central business district would remain unchallenged, despite H. M. J.

13 During the early and mid-1950s, the City Planning Commission, operating without professional staff, approved hundreds of subdivision plans for adjacent suburbs. The Lancaster City Authority extended water and sewer lines to some of these new residential developments and industrial complexes either recently annexed to the city or located nearby, but adjacent municipalities lacked either a planning ordinance or effective zoning. The very problems the Baker plan had attempted to address worsened as unregulated suburban growth sprawled over hundreds of acres surrounding Lancaster City, transforming prime farmland into residential subdivisions.

If all roads led downtown, many of the city’s streets dated from the eighteenth century, and the Germanic tradition of building attached houses close to the sidewalk made the widening of roadways prohibitively expensive. The volume of local traffic was augmented by Route 30, the Lincoln Highway, which became King Street and brought thousands of cars and trucks destined for other places through downtown Lancaster each day. Railroad tracks crossing city streets at grade not only impeded traffic but were an omnipresent danger to vehicles and pedestrians alike, while trolleys also competed with cars and horse-drawn vehicles for space on the narrow streets.

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