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Old 09-26-2016, 05:40 PM
 
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Yes, Chicago, in its prime , was a Rust Belt city. I don't know how it could be argued otherwise..
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:33 PM
 
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Chicago's economy was historically based on both light industries and warehousing, along with heavy industries such as meat packing, auto production and steel making; it also was a logistical center for industrial-age industries such as railroads and riverine & Great Lakes shipping. These are all quintessential Rust Belt industries, so to think Chicago was not a Rust Belt city is just plain silly.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Logan Square, Chicago
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While Chicago has an industrial past, its economy was too diverse for it to completely fall apart with manufacturing loss like actual rust belt cities. So while it is a city with a very heavy industrial past, I don't consider part of the rust belt.
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:41 PM
 
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First of all, it's silly to talk about Chicago or any city being a Rust Belt city in the past, because in the past heavy industry wasn't seen as rusty but rather the principal engine powering the American economy. Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and others were seen as extremely healthy and their factories were attracting workers from all of the country and world like a magnet. That said, Chicago absolutely IS a Rust Belt city. Just because the City smartly built its factories, stockyards and meat packing away from downtown and touristy North Side areas where most of the public doesn't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:12 PM
 
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I never thought of Chicago as a rust belt city but hey thats just me.
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
First of all, it's silly to talk about Chicago or any city being a Rust Belt city in the past, because in the past heavy industry wasn't seen as rusty but rather the principal engine powering the American economy. Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and others were seen as extremely healthy and their factories were attracting workers from all of the country and world like a magnet. That said, Chicago absolutely IS a Rust Belt city. Just because the City smartly built its factories, stockyards and meat packing away from downtown and touristy North Side areas where most of the public doesn't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there.
I think the past here is referring to the recent past when deindustrialization hollowed out a lot of cities, not during the mid-20th century when those cities were in their heydays.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Chicago's economy was historically based on both light industries and warehousing, along with heavy industries such as meat packing, auto production and steel making; it also was a logistical center for industrial-age industries such as railroads and riverine & Great Lakes shipping. These are all quintessential Rust Belt industries, so to think Chicago was not a Rust Belt city is just plain silly.
Do not conflate industrial with Rust Belt. Chicago, was an industrial city, but it diversified and avouded the kind of colapse that happened in STL, Detrout, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, therefore, it's not Rust Belt.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
Do not conflate industrial with Rust Belt. Chicago, was an industrial city, but it diversified and avouded the kind of colapse that happened in STL, Detrout, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, therefore, it's not Rust Belt.
Why did you even start this thread then?
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Arch City
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Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
Do not conflate industrial with Rust Belt. Chicago, was an industrial city, but it diversified and avouded the kind of colapse that happened in STL, Detrout, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, therefore, it's not Rust Belt.
It may have avoided the collapse but it was a manufacturing city just like the other 4 you mentioned. I agree that it avoided the urban decay and population loss seen in St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh though.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:55 PM
 
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Define "collapse" as well as "diversified." I'm sure Cleveland would meet your definition of "collapse" but it is also, and has been, diversified. Cleveland's economy has for some time had non-manufacturing industries: ie, medical (huge, prestigious Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals), large banks, the precursor of Ernst & Young (big 8 accounting firm), and some of the largest, most prestigious law firms in the nation, such as Jones Day. It's just not nearly as big as Chicago -- nor is any other Midwestern City other than Detroit during the 1950s. And downtown Chicago was not always the sparkling, glamorous place that it now is -- it was like a giant Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, etc...

Chicago is a Rust Belt city because it was supported in large part, just like the others I mentioned, heavy industry. It grew huge in the late 19th century because it became the center of railroads between the East and West coasts, and for that reason, it attracted heavy industry and, just like its more allegedly rustier neighbors, continued growing through WWII... But as a result of the loss of such industry, Chicago has lost huge population numbers: nearly 1 million people (from 3.6M in 1950 to 2.7M today). Again, when you're that big and with the industry removed from the downtown area, where most don't see it, Chicago doesn't seem like a typical Rust Belt city. However, that doesn't mean it's any less of a Rust Belt city, because it most certainly is.

Last edited by TheProf; 09-27-2016 at 03:09 PM..
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