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Old 04-22-2019, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,532 posts, read 3,679,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric324 View Post
Tacoma, Washington has the built environment and feel of a city that should be bigger and more bustling than it actually is. This is because it lost the battle of "most dominant city in the region" to nearby Seattle and never quite recovered despite still retaining some very good urban bones.
I have posted on this thread earlier, but yes it was a railroad battle that made Tacoma the 2nd city on Puget Sound.

https://www.historylink.org/File/1683
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:50 AM
 
Location: DMV Area
1,004 posts, read 600,277 times
Reputation: 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
I have posted on this thread earlier, but yes it was a railroad battle that made Tacoma the 2nd city on Puget Sound.

https://www.historylink.org/File/1683
The transcontinental railroad ending in Los Angeles instead of San Diego was one of the many reasons why San Diego wound up becoming the 2nd city in Southern California. Geographical constraints also played a role too. San Diego being hemmed in by mountains, the ocean, and the border along with the city itself being built on mesas and separated by canyons limited development while the LA Basin is flatter and allowed more development to occur. It also never densified like San Francisco and the Bay Area.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:11 AM
 
Location: DMV Area
1,004 posts, read 600,277 times
Reputation: 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsville_secede View Post
That's a stretch I know I've heard it referred to as the "New York of the South" in the past, but in the year 1900 New York City already almost had 3.5 million people. Galveston had about 40K around the time of the Hurricane.
Right! Texans and their aggrandizement, LOL... A rival of NYC? Please...I'll concede that Galveston should still be a rival with New Orleans though... Major port city, great historical housing stock, but the 1900 hurricane combined with the Born On Island (BOI) insularity of the population and TPTB pretty much hampered any chance of Galveston being anything more than what it is. Plus the growth of Houston and how it just grew and grew while Galveston languished...It should be the Savannah, New Orleans, or the Charleston of Texas (emphasize local history and legends and culinary traditions) instead of mostly focusing on its beaches (which is what its more known for), but alas.

New Orleans - Louisiana's notorious corruption, poverty and crime, and the feudalistic culture of the area, plus the party atmosphere/devil may care attitude were some factors that keep NOLA from being a lot larger than it could be. The oil glut in the 1980s killed the momentum the area had, plus businesses had been hightailing it for Houston as the oil industry consolidated and contracted and there's been brain drain from Louisiana to California and Texas overall well before that.

Jackson Mississippi has an ideal location in the Southern US (midway between Atlanta and Dallas as well as midway between New Orleans and Memphis), and should be a peer with Birmingham, Richmond, or Louisville or even Austin (It's a state capital and has a major university there, but it's not the flagship university in the state, but a well-known HBCU). But the poverty and crime, corrupt politicians, insular employers and politicians, insular residents, and Mississippi's overall bad reputation means that Jackson won't be anything more than what it is. Metro Nashville was about the same size as present day Metro Jackson back in the 1960s and early 70s and Raleigh's Metro Area was about the same size around 1980, and look how those cities have boomed since then.

Memphis - See above about Jackson MS. The Delta culture has its charm, but it doesn't bode well towards attracting talent, business, or high income residents. And the people there are fine with it and don't like outsiders. So leave them be. Nashville finally surpassed the City of Memphis population last year (its metro area has been larger for much longer), and Memphis is there on the other side of the state just there and languishing. It's location is ideal for logistics and FedEx takes advantage of that, but Memphis should be way more than what it has become.

Richmond has an excellent location due to its proximity to the NE Corridor and the Piedmont Atlantic megaregions, plus its between the Ocean and the Mountains. It should be a much more major city than it became, but it seems like it has a lot of insular Powers That Be that kept it from reaching its potential. Also, Virginia's weird city incorporation laws don't help - Richmond couldn't annex the prosperous suburban areas that grew the way that Raleigh and Charlotte did. It also didn't incorporate an entire county like Virginia Beach did. It's definitely coming into its own and has a charm to it in its inner ring and core neighborhoods, but I can't help but think that it could be something so much bigger than what it is.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:38 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,545 posts, read 3,653,233 times
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Cities are larger or smaller relative to their region. Albuquerque is an example of that... There are only two million people in the state and some vital resources (like water) are more plentiful elsewhere. There is a natural resource and population dynamic in play. Phoenix is an exception and probably is detrimental to the area in some respects - it is an anomaly in several ways. I always thought Grand Junction was a large city and was surprised the first time I visited at how small it was -- but it carries a lot of weight for its region. Transportation and logistics play the dominant role now in city growth.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:54 AM
 
6,955 posts, read 14,086,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuit_head View Post
New Orleans - Louisiana's notorious corruption, poverty and crime, and the feudalistic culture of the area, plus the party atmosphere/devil may care attitude were some factors that keep NOLA from being a lot larger than it could be. The oil glut in the 1980s killed the momentum the area had, plus businesses had been hightailing it for Houston as the oil industry consolidated and contracted and there's been brain drain from Louisiana to California and Texas overall well before that.
I can talk from personal experience on this one. New Orleans is my favorite city in the country for visiting. I absolutely loved it. I'd have to go back a few more times before I could decide if I could call it a forever home, but I love the unique culture and history. There's really nothing like it in the world and I love the architecture and food and party atmosphere. However, I'm in law. Louisiana's laws are so different from the rest of the country that it's basically impossible to become a lawyer in the state without having gone to law school in the state. Also, IIRC, the law schools there even have different tracks for studying US or Louisiana law or both. So I'm SOL on practicing law in New Orleans. I'd either have to learn all about Louisiana's legal system or stop practicing law if I wanted to move there.

That, in one way, keeps an entire sector of the high-earning workforce out of the state. Even low-earning non-profit attorneys would be kept out. New Orleans needs a lot of social work and non-profits to help it out, but the outside talent basically can't ever work there because we were trained with an almost entirely different legal system.

At the same time, it kinda exacerbates the brain drain when you consider that an educated attorney will most likely have to leave the state if they didn't study Louisiana law, but instead focused on US law. This also probably keeps a lot of the same lawyers/judges/politicians in power that have been corrupt for generations.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Reno, NV
1,513 posts, read 700,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuit_head View Post
Memphis - See above about Jackson MS. The Delta culture has its charm, but it doesn't bode well towards attracting talent, business, or high income residents. And the people there are fine with it and don't like outsiders. So leave them be. Nashville finally surpassed the City of Memphis population last year (its metro area has been larger for much longer), and Memphis is there on the other side of the state just there and languishing. It's location is ideal for logistics and FedEx takes advantage of that, but Memphis should be way more than what it has become.
Not knowing much about Memphis' history, I'm inclined to be surprised that its rich musical past isn't attracting a modern-day hipster influx and spurring a local indie music scene the way Detroit and Nashville are.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:28 PM
 
29,874 posts, read 27,324,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimidBlueBars View Post
Not knowing much about Memphis' history, I'm inclined to be surprised that its rich musical past isn't attracting a modern-day hipster influx and spurring a local indie music scene the way Detroit and Nashville are.
It's coming.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
1,374 posts, read 1,193,115 times
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Duluth could have easily become a larger city due to its unique position at the head of navigation for the Great Lakes with a large natural harbor. In the late 1800s, it was believed that Duluth was poised to become a city as large and important as Chicago. Had the Saint Lawrence Seaway opened up in the 19th Century, it would certainly be a major city today.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,178 posts, read 67,320,481 times
Reputation: 15825
Youngstown, OH
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Greater Boston (Formerly Orlando and New York)
510 posts, read 196,859 times
Reputation: 498
in my own fantasy, on the pace of cities in the early 1900s I could see the largest cities being:
-Without rise of the West and South

1. New York City: 10,950,000
2. Chicago: 4,800,000
3. Detroit: 3,300,000
4. Philadelphia: 2,850,000
5. Los Angeles: 2,600,000
6. St. Louis (Merged with County): 2,200,000
7. Boston (Further Merge with neighboring Cambridge/Somerville/Brookline/Suffolk County): 1,750,000
8. Cleveland: 1,500,000
9. Buffalo: 1,250,000
10. Baltimore: 1,220,000
11. Pittsburgh: 1,100,000
12. San Francisco: 1,040,000

So point is, all cities had the potential to be larger (esp pre-sunbelt cities) ... chiefly more midwestern cities)
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