By David Schuyler
As was once real of many American towns, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, followed city renewal courses within the postwar years to revitalize a downtown that was once experiencing financial 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 manageable back as a website for either companies and flats. yet as David Schuyler exhibits in A urban remodeled, redevelopment in Lancaster led to extra disasters than successes. starting within the Fifties, the Lancaster Redevelopment Authority carried out a complete revitalization application that modified the actual form of town. In trying to solidify the retail capabilities of the conventional important enterprise district, redevelopment dramatically altered key blocks of the downtown, changing good-looking turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts buildings with modernist concrete containers and a sterile public sq.. the tactic for getting rid of density and blighted constructions led to the demolition of complete blocks of dwellings and, might be extra vital, destabilized Lancaster's African American group. A urban remodeled is a compelling exam of a northern urban being affected by its historical past and the legacy of segregation. however the redevelopment initiatives undertaken via town, despite the fact that bold, couldn't triumph over the suburban progress that keeps 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 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 very important methods what occurred in Lancaster used to be the fabricated from federal guidelines and nationwide tendencies. As Schuyler observes, Lancaster's event is the nation's drama performed on a neighborhood degree.
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Additional info for A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1940-1980
Tom Hyson, formerly executive director of the Crispus Attucks Center and president of the Board of School Directors, vividly recalls his parents’ move to a house on the west block of South Duke Street two doors north of Howard Avenue. Chapter 1 5/14/02 1:53 PM Page 29 The Postwar Housing Crisis their new home was little more than a block from their former residence on Locust Street, in symbolic terms the move was significant because until that time Howard Avenue had functioned as the boundary separating an exclusively white area from a densely populated, racially mixed neighborhood.
The city bulldozed three other “shacks” in September, at which time only six dwellings stood. But even as the city neared victory in its struggle to eliminate Barney Google Row and Shantytown, the problem of substandard housing was becoming more acute. Residents vacating Barney Google Row moved into equally deplorable housing in Dunie’s Court, a series of dilapidated wooden structures located at the rear of lots facing Howard Avenue (Fig. 3). There, four families shared two outdoor toilets, both of which, while connected to the city’s sewer, were in poor condition.
Ber of registered automobiles increased dramatically in the early years of the century. 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.