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Old 04-17-2018, 11:06 AM
 
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I would say Hartford, they basically flattened their downtown, interestingly it seems to have been the better off the city in the 1960s-70s the worse off the Downtown ends up. The two Bright sports economically of the Northern their in that time were Rochester and Hartford both of which have lack luster downtowns.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:13 PM
 
Location: New York NY
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I assume you mean scarred, instead of scared. (Although by now, maybe now a lot of cities are scared by urban renewal!)

Parts of New York were certainly messed up by it, notably in the Bronx where highway construction (Robert Moses and Cross Bronx Expressway) devastated many stable, middle-class neighborhoods that have never fully recovered. (Of course some urban renewal could be deemed a success. Leveling and emptying the Upper West Side slums led to the development of Lincoln Center and the luxury apartments that surround it now).

Out West, I'd nominate San Francisco, whose urban renewal programs back in the day destroyed some vibrant working-class black neighborhoods near downtown that are forever lost--along with a lot of that city's black population.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
I would say Hartford, they basically flattened their downtown, interestingly it seems to have been the better off the city in the 1960s-70s the worse off the Downtown ends up. The two Bright sports economically of the Northern their in that time were Rochester and Hartford both of which have lack luster downtowns.
Rochester has some activity in its Downtown in the East End, the St. Paul Quarter and the High Falls District has been up and down. With that said, itís Downtown has the potential to be much better.

As for urban renewal doing a number on a city, it essentially destroyed Rome NYís Downtown. Urban Renewal in Rome, NY 1958-1977 | The New York History Blog
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:55 PM
 
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Springfield, MA like Hartford when they put the highway in, they also cut off the city from the waterfront. Worcester has been a disaster since they built a mall downtown, that went out of business and then replaced and went out of business again.

In Massachusetts there are kind of city pairs that go opposite ways, Lowell is rebounding and Lawrence is hurting then south of Boston New Bedford is rebounding and Fall River is hurting.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:55 PM
 
Location: USA
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Most of the cities outside of Boston and NYC in the Northeast were more urban in the 50's and 60's than now. Hartford and Springfield are some of them. Hartford had to tore down a lot of old historic beautiful buildings such as Hartford Public High School to make way for Interstate 84. Many old buildings in downtown Hartford were torn down to make way for skyscrapers being built in the high rise boom of the 80's. City officials became so desperate during the early 90's recession that they tore down historical buildings downtown to make way for new high rises that developers were considering to build. When they opted out, the city just turned the lots into parking lots, which you can find on nearly every corner outside of Downtown.
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Old 04-21-2018, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HumpDay View Post
Most of the cities outside of Boston and NYC in the Northeast were more urban in the 50's and 60's than now. Hartford and Springfield are some of them. Hartford had to tore down a lot of old historic beautiful buildings such as Hartford Public High School to make way for Interstate 84. Many old buildings in downtown Hartford were torn down to make way for skyscrapers being built in the high rise boom of the 80's. City officials became so desperate during the early 90's recession that they tore down historical buildings downtown to make way for new high rises that developers were considering to build. When they opted out, the city just turned the lots into parking lots, which you can find on nearly every corner outside of Downtown.
Springfield didn't suffer as much as Hartford, I think mostly because they didn't have as much development in general, that's what helped Providence, which along with Indy has basically the only successful city center mall in a mid-sized city.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Looking at it today, you would never know that Minneapolis was a major city by 1900. The Gateway District, which was the old Victorian downtown, and was still intact, was leveled in the early 1960s as slum clearance. If it had made it another 10 years it would have been preserved as a historic district, and would be considered the cities' crown jewel today.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:59 AM
 
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Lots of damage everywhere. From what I've read, St Louis suffered a lot from demolition of historic warehouses and commercial buildings along the river front to clear space for the arch and other projects. The arch is at least a great thing in itself and a good consolation prize. Boston in its central area, even though it retains lots of historic fabric and is a dynamic place today, was badly scarred by urban renewal and highway construction. The West End now is a drab, anonymous area of towers in the park as compared to what it could have been had it not been demolished. The Scollay Sq--Dock Sq--Haymarket Sq area too was wiped out by urban renewal and replaced with the pretty widely unloved Government Center.

I'm not sure that urban renewal per se is the culprit in Hartford. The main urban renewal project downtown was Constitution Plaza which is not bad in itself and has been improved with a connection to the riverfront. The loss of historic building fabric is due more to lots of poorly coordinated private decisions driven by speculation that resulted in drab high-rises and too many parking lots. The other big culprit is highway construction which was destructive but not done under the urban renewal program. Apparently the owner of the G. Fox department store was strongly in favor of ramming I-84 through the downtown area almost next to the store in hopes that easy auto access would broaden its appeal to suburban shoppers. Well, we all make mistakes!

Springfield Mass targeted a very substantial area north of the Lyman St railroad tracks for urban renewal where everything was demolished between Main and Chestnut from the railroad to Memorial Sq. That's where they built the bus station, the Springfield Republican newspaper plant, and some other drab warehouse-like buildings, plus the I-291 connector. Most of the shrinkage in downtown Springfield is the result of economic decline and suburbanization rather than urban renewal. Main Street in Springfield has more intact historic building fabric now than Main Street Hartford but nowhere near as much white collar employment. Neither city has any downtown shopping left to speak of.

Lots of urban renewal in New York but what impact does any of it have 60 years on? The city is thriving. Maybe, as someone said upthread, it had an overall net benefit as with Lincoln Center replacing tenements. Robert Caro's 45-year old diatribe blames Robert Moses for the "fall" of New York. That perspective was a big mistake: NY didn't fall; it had a period of decline and has come roaring back since.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
Lots of damage everywhere. From what I've read, St Louis suffered a lot from demolition of historic warehouses and commercial buildings along the river front to clear space for the arch and other projects. The arch is at least a great thing in itself and a good consolation prize. Boston in its central area, even though it retains lots of historic fabric and is a dynamic place today, was badly scarred by urban renewal and highway construction. The West End now is a drab, anonymous area of towers in the park as compared to what it could have been had it not been demolished. The Scollay Sq--Dock Sq--Haymarket Sq area too was wiped out by urban renewal and replaced with the pretty widely unloved Government Center.

I'm not sure that urban renewal per se is the culprit in Hartford. The main urban renewal project downtown was Constitution Plaza which is not bad in itself and has been improved with a connection to the riverfront. The loss of historic building fabric is due more to lots of poorly coordinated private decisions driven by speculation that resulted in drab high-rises and too many parking lots. The other big culprit is highway construction which was destructive but not done under the urban renewal program. Apparently the owner of the G. Fox department store was strongly in favor of ramming I-84 through the downtown area almost next to the store in hopes that easy auto access would broaden its appeal to suburban shoppers. Well, we all make mistakes!

Springfield Mass targeted a very substantial area north of the Lyman St railroad tracks for urban renewal where everything was demolished between Main and Chestnut from the railroad to Memorial Sq. That's where they built the bus station, the Springfield Republican newspaper plant, and some other drab warehouse-like buildings, plus the I-291 connector. Most of the shrinkage in downtown Springfield is the result of economic decline and suburbanization rather than urban renewal. Main Street in Springfield has more intact historic building fabric now than Main Street Hartford but nowhere near as much white collar employment. Neither city has any downtown shopping left to speak of.

Lots of urban renewal in New York but what impact does any of it have 60 years on? The city is thriving. Maybe, as someone said upthread, it had an overall net benefit as with Lincoln Center replacing tenements. Robert Caro's 45-year old diatribe blames Robert Moses for the "fall" of New York. That perspective was a big mistake: NY didn't fall; it had a period of decline and has come roaring back since.
Springfield should have a smaller white collar employment base than Hartford the metro is 1/2 as big.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Springfield should have a smaller white collar employment base than Hartford the metro is 1/2 as big.
Well thatís right as far as it goes. I think the point of the urban renewal program was to regenerate the economy. In the 50s early 60s they thought they could do that by demolishing worn out neighborhoods and creating real estate for fresh development. Didnít really work; The problems were way beyond the scope of what you could do with physical renewal. But some cities recovered pretty well from those days including Boston. In smaller cities the real problem was the loss of the manufacturing sector. Cities like Springfield and Hartford and New Haven all had a major industrial sector with lots of good jobs and lots of wealth generated as a result. With that gone there isnít much left other than white collar and at least in New Haven big institutions like Yale. Springfield wouldnít need any more white collar employment if it could rebuild its industrial sector but how do you do that these days?

Last edited by missionhill; 04-22-2018 at 10:19 AM..
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