07 Sep '12, 12pm

Re-imagining small downtown America, to come back from disinvestment:

Re-imagining small downtown America, to come back from disinvestment:

For seventy years, my family ran a small business in the town just across the river, where most of the local commercial activities were located along the half mile-long Main Street. These included men’s and women’s clothing stores, shoe stores, jewelry stores, hardware stores, Woolworth’s and J.C. Penney’s department stores, optometrists, a movie theater, drug stores, and the like. Often, professional offices or apartments were located on the second or third floors. There were strip shopping centers a few miles away, but for the most part, the town thrived. Several things happened by the late-1960s that changed all that and quite deeply (and, as it turned out, fatally) challenged that model, spinning small downtowns everywhere into decline.

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/the_fall_-_an...

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