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Old 02-14-2013, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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We all know that the urban renewal phase of the 20th century (roughly 1950 to 1970 or so) really devastated many cities. Between highway building, clearance of "tenements" which destroyed entire residential neighborhoods (like the West End in Boston), and replacement with single-use structures (typically either residential high-rises, or completely non-residential commercial/civic buildings), city cores nationwide took a huge hit, which many have still not fully recovered from.

I can think of many tragic cases, but what cites would you say were hurt the least by urban renewal? Where did the prewar urban fabric remain most intact? Where did residential neighborhoods near downtown tend to survive the most? I have my own suspicions, but I'd love to hear other suggestions first.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
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NYC, San Francisco, Many places in the northeast, New orleans, Savannah, charleston
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:42 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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I can't think of any particularly negative urban renewal impacts in the core of New York City (Manhattan south of 110th street or so) except for maybe the projects lining the East River.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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San Francisco is a not a bad choice.

LA lost Bunker Hill, pretty devastating. As mentioned in the OP, the West End (plus Government Center) was pretty ravaged. Those are the two cities I am most familiar with.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:47 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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I can't think of any, really.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:42 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I can't think of any, really.
How'd urban renewal damage New York City?
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:53 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
How'd urban renewal damage New York City?
I guess I lump expressway projects in when I hear "urban renewal." Was thinking of the Cross Bronx Expressway.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
How'd urban renewal damage New York City?
Read Jane Jacobs - pretty famous battle between her and Robert Moses
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
How'd urban renewal damage New York City?

Both sides of Manhattan are cut off from the river fronts by expressways.
I've heard Robert Moses called an urban terrorist for all the damage he did to the city.

Just read "The Big Roads" about the history of the Interstate Highway System and was going to start a similar thread asking which cities escaped major disruption with plowing expressways thru established neighborhoods.
Grew up in Indianapolis and the 70s saw a lot of pre-war neighborhoods destroyed by the inner city routes.
Same for I-70 & I-25 thru Denver.

Most inner city routes were thru the ghettos to avoid much opposition. Some cities got lucky and the expressways followed industrial/rail corridors. But more typically they just bulldozed thru existing neighborhood. Lengthy chapter in the book about the citizens of Baltimore stopped I-70 at the city limits, although a two mile section did get built that does not connect to anything on either end. SF seems to have somewhat escaped with the help of an earthquake.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
How'd urban renewal damage New York City?
That's a surprising statement. Have you ever been to the Bronx, or East Harlem? A good portion of the LES was bulldozed to put in all those ugly, brown high rises that border the East River. In my mind, replacing tenements with housing projects was the height of folly. Just look at rehabbed "slums" where the old housing has been restored and is now considered beautiful and historic. Because NYC has the most housing projects in the nation, I would say it has been the most negatively affected by urban renewal, not y the least. Think of what was lost to build those high rise slums. It was a cheap attempt at social engineering that didn't work.
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