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Old 01-07-2013, 11:22 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^That gets back to "what is a suburb"? I don't think we'll ever resolve that argument, but by talking about "city limits" (see ogre's post) we are definitely using the definition of "outside of the city limits" for this discussion. Most of Denver's suburbs pre-date 1940 as well.
I agree, my point was the term "streetcar suburb" is used to refer any development around a streetcar regardless of city limits.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:27 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Most of Denver's suburbs pre-date 1940 as well.
But their 1940 population was tiny. For example (and no, don't know if this is the best example, but it looks like this county is suburban Denver today):

Jefferson County, Colorado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1940 population was about 6% of today. The usual for Boston suburbs is 33-50%, though Boston is the other extreme.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:06 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Min-Chi-Cbus View Post
I would like to introduce the data and study shown below that somebody else provided on another forum. This is the pre-war (1940) population of the 20 largest U.S. metros, and consequently, the 20 largest cities in terms of pre-war housing stock and pre-suburbia (as we know it today) urbanity.

I think it offers a good starting point when discussing the feeling of "urban-ness" between cities, particularly those that may not have the population to support high metro marks or density statistics, yet feel very urban nonetheless (e.g. STL, BUF or CLE).

Enjoy!


1. New York ----- 10,135,000
2. Chicago ------- 4,210,000
3. Philadelphia ---- 2,538,000
4. Los Angeles ---- 2,268,000
5. Detroit --------- 2,041,000
6. Boston --------- 1,746,000
7. San Francisco -- 1,156,000
8. Pittsburgh ------ 1,134,000
9. St. Louis ------- 1,102,000
10. Cleveland ----- 1,079,000

11. Baltimore -------- 992,000
12. Minneapolis ------ 886,000
13. Washington ------ 800,000
14. Buffalo ---------- 708,000
15. Milwaukee ------- 705,000
16. Kansas City ------ 632,000
17. Cincinnati -------- 559,000
18. New Orleans ----- 557,000
19. Houston --------- 471,000
20. Seattle ---------- 451,000
What I've highlighted in bold is very interesting to think about and I'm glad to see the Kansas City metro that high up the list, at #16. However, Kansas City, MO, the main city in the area isn't necessarily the 16th largest city in pre-war housing stock because another city, Kansas City, KS, accounts for 120,000 of the 632,000, not to mention the historic suburban town of Independence, MO accounts for another 15,000 (which for that low number has a very significant pre-war housing stock).

Also, from a Kansas City perspective, it's interesting to see neither Columbus, nor Indianapolis are on that list, which supports what I think that Kansas City is more in the league of Cincinnati and Milwaukee in terms of historical significance. Other places around this forum, people have been going back and forth on whether KC is more like the former two cities I mentioned or the latter two.

Oh, and Minneapolis, Houston, and maybe Seattle are interesting to see on that list. I didn't realize they were that large that long ago.

Buffalo has sure fallen from glory.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:47 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
But their 1940 population was tiny. For example (and no, don't know if this is the best example, but it looks like this county is suburban Denver today):

Jefferson County, Colorado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1940 population was about 6% of today. The usual for Boston suburbs is 33-50%, though Boston is the other extreme.
Jefferson County is a "suburban" county in the east, and a foothills/mountain county in the west. The largest city is Lakewood, with a pop. of 141,000. Eastern Jeffco has been suburban Denver for a long time. I'm not sure I "get" using 1940 as some kind of gold standard.

The discussion was "does Pennsylvania have incorporation laws that make it easy for small cities to incorporate around large ones?" (something like that!), presumably keeping the main city small in the case of Pittsburgh. I pointed out that most cities have smaller cities around the large city. The idea that western cities are going around rapaciously annexing up land is false in most cases.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 01-08-2013 at 08:03 AM..
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:10 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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According to this document, metro Denver's population in 1940 was 407,962, putting it at probably #21 or 22 on that list of the OP's. It's easy to establish a cut-off point of 20 or some other number and imply that all other cities are somehow not "urban" enough. Another point is that the census bureau's definition of a city's MSA changes over time. I don't know what Denver's was in 1940; maybe I'll find out if I read more of this link. I do know that Beaver County, PA was only added to Pittsburgh's in 1990.

http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publication...SuburbsMPS.pdf
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:28 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
According to this document, metro Denver's population in 1940 was 407,962, putting it at probably #21 or 22 on that list of the OP's. It's easy to establish a cut-off point of 20 or some other number and imply that all other cities are somehow not "urban" enough.
You have to cut-off somewhere. I only listed the top 10 in my percentage. If people want to read that as implying something about cities past #10 being not "urban" enough but cities higher than #10 being "urban enough" that's their problem if they feel like making stuff up from other's posts or links. The link would have been unwieldy to read through if it was much longer 20 cities.

Quote:
Another point is that the census bureau's definition of a city's MSA changes over time. I don't know what Denver's was in 1940; maybe I'll find out if I read more of this link. I do know that Beaver County, PA was only added to Pittsburgh's in 1990.

http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publication...SuburbsMPS.pdf
That link used mostly urban area populations in recent years not MSA. The census didn't define MSAs or urban areas before 1950.

Last edited by nei; 01-08-2013 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:08 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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If anyone has a few spare hours (!), I would recommend reading my link in post #45. It's long, but it's interesting. I have been skimming a lot of it. Some of it applies just to Denver, best skipped over unless you live there or have an extreme interest in say, the major builders of metro Denver. Some of it is fairly universal, or can be applied to any city.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
If anyone has a few spare hours (!), I would recommend reading my link in post #45. It's long, but it's interesting. I have been skimming a lot of it. Some of it applies just to Denver, best skipped over unless you live there or have an extreme interest in say, the major builders of metro Denver. Some of it is fairly universal, or can be applied to any city.
Those historic preservation applications have a ton of information about their neighborhoods, anywhere in the country somebody wanted historic designation. I've read parts of a really interesting one about South of Market in San Francisco.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
For some cities, city limits were relatively large and fringe growth was still mostly on within the city limits in the early 20th century. For others, development had already passed well past the city limits. Here's the % of the population within the principal city of the urban area in 1940 using the OP's numbers.

New York 74%
Chicago 81%
Philadelphia 76%
Los Angeles 66%
Detroit 80%
Boston 44%
San Francisco 55%
Pittsburgh 59%
St. Louis 74%
Cleveland 81%

The OP's figures seem rather low; for example, wikipedia's number for Metro Detroit is 500,000 higher; perhaps some areas within the region but not contigous to Detroit's development were considered separate urban area. As long as the article's method is consistent it's still useful for comparison. Boston stands as having the most old urban areas outside the city limits.



Assuming my percentages are accurate, railroad suburbs made up a small fraction of Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. For New York, some of the population living outside the city proper were in old industrial cities (Newark, Elizabeth, most of Hudson County, Yonkers, Patterson, etc.) not really railroad suburbs. And Chicago has Gary and Philadelphia Camden and a number of others (Chester?) so the actual "suburban" population was even lower. The railroad suburbs were in small spots surrounding train station with lightly developed gaps in between that weren't filled in until auto-oriented suburbs.

Still I know for the Long Island Railroad ridership peaked in 1947 (dunno about others) when the population was much lower and didn't surpass those levels until the late 90s. Lower car ownership and less jobs and shopping in the suburbs led to higher per capita train usage. Still with suburban growth, the railroad expanded electrification to more of the outer suburbs, though one line got electric service in the 20s to 40 miles from the city station. From what I heard from grandparents, the Long Island Railroad was also used more frequently for within Long Island travel back then as opposed to just Long Island to city.
Can't speak for Long Island but in Northern IL there has definitely been an increase in rail travel between suburbs as compared to travel to downtown Chicago. Gas getting too expensive? I notice nobody commented on my shocked reaction to Detroit's 1940 population.

Last edited by pvande55; 01-08-2013 at 07:56 PM.. Reason: punctuation
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Can't speak for Long Island but in Northern IL there has definitely been an increase in rail travel between suburbs as compared to travel to downtown Chicago. Gas getting too expensive? I notice nobody commented on my shocked reaction to Detroit's 1940 population.
Detroit, Cleveland, Saint Louis, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo have all lost more than half of their 1940 population. Detroit just got to be the biggest. It's been devastating to those cities and to the remaining people.
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