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Old 11-12-2013, 07:38 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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I've noticed that I really like cities that have a lot of historical charm, but also cities where everything is modern and brand new.

I think there is a difference somewhere between a city that is historic vs one that just feels old and lacks the historic charm. I think places like New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston SC, and San Francisco are the most charming historic cities in the US.

But what about places that just feel "old"? My list would include

Baltimore
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Wheeling WV
Charleston WV
NYC (especially outside Manhattan)
Cleveland
Buffalo
A lot of smaller cities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, upstate NY and the rest of the Rust Belt.

Now of course places like Baltimore have their modern downtown areas, and some historic neighborhoods, but overall these cities just feel "old" yet lack the historical charm of places like Savannah and New Orleans.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Keizer, OR
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Portland actually looks and feels somewhat old in a lot of areas, though that's changing due to gentrification.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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I'd disagree strongly that mid-Atlantic cities like Philly, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh don't have a lot of historic charm. I think older brick buildings age quite well, as provided they haven't been totally ruined through things like improper window patching, they're pretty easy to bring back to their former splendor.

In contrast, I think 19th century architecture north of this belt (in New England, Upstate NY, and the Upper Midwest) tends to age much more poorly. Since wood was the predominant residential building material, most city houses have long since had it stripped off and siding put in its place. Worse, these houses have often had all interesting wood trim around the windows and doors removed, resulting in an ugly siding box.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:48 PM
 
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Tom Lennox how do you feel about Richmond Va, does it seem old with charm to you, and i disagree with you about your list maybe with the exception of the WV cities and maybe Cleveland.

Last edited by Diff1; 11-12-2013 at 07:51 PM.. Reason: mistake
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:59 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portlanderinOC View Post
Portland actually looks and feels somewhat old in a lot of areas, though that's changing due to gentrification.
Surprised by this actually. I've never been to Portland but most cities in the West seem relatively new with the exceptions of San Francisco and Los Angeles given that most of the west was only developed in the 20th century. Kansas City is the easternmost city that didn't feel super modern to me. Wasn't most of the Portland area built up in the past few decades?
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:01 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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I used to live near Baltimore and always felt the city was old and depressing for the MOST part (I do qualify Fells Point as historic and maybe Hampden but that's about it). I don't think Baltimore has anywhere close to the charm of historic cities like Charleston or Savannah. I love the historic charm of the old South, and also the modern cities of Texas and the Southwest. The Southeast is actually a good mix of charming historic cities and bustling new cities like Charlotte and Atlanta. Atlanta WOULD be more historic if it wasn't burned down and pillaged during the war. But as a result its a more modern city like Charlotte despite its antebellum history.

Might add St. Louis as an "old" city despite the very impressive waterfront there. But once you get past the downtown waterfront the city is pretty gritty. Baltimore really was the same way. And Detroit too.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:03 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
Surprised by this actually. I've never been to Portland but most cities in the West seem relatively new with the exceptions of San Francisco and Los Angeles given that most of the west was only developed in the 20th century. Kansas City is the easternmost city that didn't feel super modern to me. Wasn't most of the Portland area built up in the past few decades?
Portland's downtown has a palpable late 19th century feel in parts, particularly Old Town/Chinatown and other various blocks (like this area - https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Portl...307.68,,0,7.85). The many bridges over the Willamette River have an old school industrial river city look, kind of like Pittsburgh. Much of the cities neighborhoods around town pre-date WWII and have early 20th century craftsman bungalows. Not old compared to Boston/Eastern cities, but much older feeling compared to newer sunbelt cities for sure. It's the suburbs that have been built up within the last few decades.

Migrant wagon trains crossing the Oregon Trail started settling the Willamette Valley in the 1830's for agriculture, and the timber/forestry industry developed shortly thereafter as well.

a century ago - 1910 census
Portland, OR: 207,000 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland,_Oregon
Atlanta, GA: 155,000 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta
Houston, TX: 78,000 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 11-12-2013 at 08:59 PM..
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:11 PM
 
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Yet another "I think the northeast sucks and the south is the premier region of the US" thread huh Tommy?

Philly is less historic than Savannah....yeah ok. I forgot that time that Savannah had served as the capital of the US, the largest city in the 13 colonies, the birthplace of the constitution, and had the oldest continually-inhabited residential street in the US.

Give me a break. Please travel more or at the very least open a book and brush up on your history.

The cities in the south you all mentioned certainly have their own historical charm; but to claim that the cities of the northeast and great lakes lack such a thing is.....very, very dumb.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:17 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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Savannah has the largest historic district in the United States and the history dates back to before the American Revolution. Both Savannah and Charleston are colonial cities with a lot of wonderful architecture, and I think the antebellum buildings have a lot more charm than brick row houses. You can see building similar to Independence Hall in many southern towns. I might add Charlottesville, VA and CHapel Hill NC as historic smaller cities.

In terms of Northeast area that have charm, I would say Annapolis MD (if you include that in the Northeast) plus a few coastal towns/areas like Cape May and Cape Cod, plus small New England towns, but I don't find the urban areas of the Northeast attractive. Small towns in New England are historic but once you get to Pennsylvania that's no longer true. Like Bethlehem and Altoona are also extremely depressing places.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
Savannah has the largest historic district in the United States and the history dates back to before the American Revolution. Both Savannah and Charleston are colonial cities with a lot of wonderful architecture, and I think the antebellum buildings have a lot more charm than brick row houses. You can see building similar to Independence Hall in many southern towns. I might add Charlottesville, VA and CHapel Hill NC as historic smaller cities.

In terms of Northeast area that have charm, I would say Annapolis MD (if you include that in the Northeast) plus a few coastal towns/areas like Cape May and Cape Cod, plus small New England towns, but I don't find the urban areas of the Northeast attractive. Small towns in New England are historic but once you get to Pennsylvania that's no longer true. Like Bethlehem and Altoona are also extremely depressing places.
You have no idea what you are talking about. I doubt you have ever even stepped foot in the places you are bashing.

Again, nobody said the southern cities didn't have historic charm; but to say that northern cities don't shows that you are making completely baseless claims off of some un-warranted disdain for a region it is very clear you have spent little to no time in. Take a walk through downtown Boston, walk the freedom trail. Stroll through center-city Philadelphia, or Albany, Buffalo, or Rochester NY...historic neighborhoods that housed some of the leaders in the abolitionist and suffragist movements .....open your eyes a little and see past your bias and I think you'll be able to find charm outside the box of the ante-bellum south being the only form of "historical charm"
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