Watch It All Die

ClashCityTele

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pretty town - idk where it is, but I bet they have a historic preservation commission - the photo was a teaser for an online ad or slide show -wherever it is (anybody?) life's not perfect there, either - awful purdy though

downsize_200k_v1

btw plz add Chrissie Hinde's "My City Was Gone" to Joni Mitchell's and John Prine's
That's Porto in Northern Portugal on the Duoro River. The city centre is a World Heritage Site. So no demolition there!
 

Addnine

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New England
All societies arrive at a point where they begin to produce younger generations unworthy of the cultures they have inherited and unable to sustain them, too weak and self-involved to make the needed effort. The result is a declining culture run by tedious, angry nonentities who imagine they are owed celebrity for doing absolutely nothing. That's where we are. We will comfort ourselves with delusions of progress, but will anyone claim that the new "neighborhood" will be in any respect superior to the old one? Of course not. The strong build and restore things; the weak abandon or dismantle them.
 
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Old Deaf Roadie

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Downtown buildings don't last forever, and when Mr. Moneybags comes along and wants to "renew" an area, it is often an easy sell because the city will receive so much more in tax revenue.
 

uriah1

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That happened to small town america too, but, in stead of demolishing
all the old store fronts were abandoned.

They all fled for the cheaper, boxier, shinier things, and now
the internet of all things.
 

imwjl

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My mom's basement.
Time marches on, nothing lasts forever and I am in the middle of watching unfold before my very eyes.
I started working in the Downtown of my city in '85.
At that time, I could get anything I wanted. Stores, shops, Food, you name it.
One by one, they went out of business or, moved but, their buildings were demolished and huge ugly buildings were put in their place.
But in too many cases, we were left with huge holes in the ground.

Now, it is my turn.
75% of my block goes under the bulldozer in a couple of months.
Next door to us has been a Family owned Music store since the 50's.
The owner (who I have known since the 80's), got his check from the City.

He put out an Ad on Facebook that he was Liquidating.
Within 30 minutes, has had an offer (from somebody in town) to buy his Entire Inventory.
I watched the people move out the Inventory, kind of got to me.

We have known for Years the City wanted to do this and we have planned for it.
We are moving 11 Blocks north from our Location.

Still, our Buildings go back to the 1870's.
All that Heretige, soon to be gone.

I don't know where "Up North" is but we have a home there and in a more prosperous area. At times some redevelopment just has to occur but it can be done with sagacity not everyone has. Near our main home the old and new are mixed well and it's returning activity to downtown. Up North they do stuff like make cheap metal buildings and Wal-Mart on edge of town. Some of that has been abandoned in only a 12-20 year time. If the development is done well I'm fine with it.

We should also remember strong merchants can still survive. Some do simultaneous online or delivery business. Some create strong reasons to visit the stores. Some merchants are more competitive but it is tough. I work for a 104 year old retailer so I know it but we don't stand still.

4 retailers come to mind near my house where two bit it and two thrive. We are happy to choose the 100+ year old hardware store business that's more expensive because they are inviting. The truly local bike shop died but others thrive. That was a case of you can't be an ass towards customers and not stock what they want as much as some blame giant competitors for their demise.

Finally, I think except for exhurbs, we (homo sapiens) still move from farms and the country to cities, and are prone to liking the successful ones or ones with most resources.
 

ale.istotle

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Painful as it is to go through the loss, this is just the way of things. The things we treasure as memories were also once new developments dropped down over someone else's memories and way of life.

I remember as a child going to this amusement park. My parents remembered taking a trolley to it for class trips when they were kids. It was old and worn-out by the time I went. There was a bowling alley next to it that I remember fondly, but it was plopped down over the pavilion where John Phillip Sousa used to play when the area was in it's true heyday. I'm sure people that loved that pavilion hated that bowling alley.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Grove_Park

A few years later it was razed and replaced by this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Grove_Park_Mall
I have good memories of both places. That mall was magical when it went in. It's tired and half empty now. The next evolution will come - there's talk of apartments on the outer lots that will probably bring demand for different types of businesses.

Towns don't stay the same. They either grow or die.
 

Sidney Vicious

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New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Time marches on, nothing lasts forever and I am in the middle of watching unfold before my very eyes.
I started working in the Downtown of my city in '85.
At that time, I could get anything I wanted. Stores, shops, Food, you name it.
One by one, they went out of business or, moved but, their buildings were demolished and huge ugly buildings were put in their place.
But in too many cases, we were left with huge holes in the ground.

Now, it is my turn.
75% of my block goes under the bulldozer in a couple of months.
Next door to us has been a Family owned Music store since the 50's.
The owner (who I have known since the 80's), got his check from the City.

He put out an Ad on Facebook that he was Liquidating.
Within 30 minutes, has had an offer (from somebody in town) to buy his Entire Inventory.
I watched the people move out the Inventory, kind of got to me.

We have known for Years the City wanted to do this and we have planned for it.
We are moving 11 Blocks north from our Location.

Still, our Buildings go back to the 1870's.
All that Heretige, soon to be gone.


Where are you?

I am in New Orleans where one of the "benefits" of living in an economic backwater is slow growth . . . . I mean in a good way - but then you'll hear people complaining about gentrification in a particular neighborhood and after a drive through you might think "If there's one thing that neighborhood needs its a little gentrification!"
 
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Tuneup

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When I was young we lived in a neighborhood with miles of woods behind our houses, loved those woods, then came bulldozers and bonfires of tree stumps 24/7.
The kids in the neighborhood pulled up survey stakes, stole the lead counter weights for their diggers, and even took their propane tanks and threw them in the stump fires. (not as impressive an explosion as you might think)

Didn't seem to even slow them down, years later I look at it in google maps, a great big grey scab where a forest was.
 

Happy Enchilada

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God's Country
Legend has it that back in the day, the city council in Missoula, MT wanted to attract businesses with good-paying jobs to boost the economy. Someone had put a billboard up on the way into town that read "BEAUTIFY MONTANA - SHOOT A LAND DEVELOPER." The high-priced consulting firm the city council hired to study the situation recommended they tear down the sign immediately. The sign stayed, the consultants were fired.

Sadly, the opposite is true of where we are now, in what used to be a cozy little ranching community on the verge of Boise where folks used to wave with all 5 fingers. What was once open space and agricultural land is rapidly becoming "developed." Because the West needs more crappy subdivisions full of McMansions and strip malls with nail salons, dog groomers, and overpriced coffee.

Our house is smack dab in the middle of all this. They're tearing up ... er, "improving" the roads to handle higher volumes of Audi and Escalade traffic, which creates chaos. Since we're within walking distance of downtown, we have the "walkability" thing going for us, but most of the retail downtown is pricey eateries and foofy little hobby businesses that don't have anything we need or want, which is why they come and go like a revolving door. We have big box stores and for-real grocery supermarkets within range, and that's where almost everybody shops. And they sucked most of the cowboy out of downtown anyway - looks more like Sausilito now.

Our place is 1900 sf with a 3-car garage and a nice corner lot with a couple of well-kept storage sheds and raised bed gardens, mature trees, etc. We just got an email from our State Farm guy nudging us to up our homeowners' insurance coverage to reflect the growing value of the property, which means we get to pay another $200 a year for what?

Wife and I have looked at moving to a place that's single-level, but that's even expensive today and we wouldn't have the square footage and the huge garage, plus this is where our kids grew up and it's emotionally difficult for me to think about leaving. So we'll probably hunker down, endure the onslaught of labradoodle walkers in their yoga pants, and watch the property go up in value. I think when it hits a million, we may cash out and move somewhere, but everyplace is expensive now anyways. Oy.
 
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Greggorios

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It's always so sad to see this. If there's some historical or architectural significance to a building(s) they can be saved if someone's willing to take on the fight. Other times if there's money in the community they can create zoning laws to help protect neighborhoods but these are the exceptions. More times than not its the big money developers who just bully their way in.

Even the most cynical can see the difference in an area where there's an attempt to maintain the individual personality of a neighborhood and rehab older buildings rather than going the cookie cutter, tear it all down, less expensive developer method.

:(
 

beyer160

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When I moved to Boston, long after real estate blew up here and most everywhere gentrified, I got the feeling that everything had been whitewashed. When your commercial lease in a storefront costs $10K, you can’t afford to be funky. It’s a shame.

You ain't kidding, brother.

A couple years ago I was in Boston walking to my fancy hotel and realized I was on Washington street, in the old Combat Zone. I'm pretty sure no one in the wine bars and Japanese fusion restaurants knew that this had once been ground zero for peep shows, hookers, hustlers, dope dealers and every other kind of nefarious character in the city. I was also amazed that the Seaport area was now high dollar real estate, and not just somewhere to buy stolen goods or get stabbed.
 

Toto'sDad

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Too true. No post boxes, phone booths, Post Offices in major ( crowded) shopping malls, no public toilets , even in parks , pubs are not the same, they used to be meeting places , I'm moving North of the universe for a solitary existence.

I've quoted Mr. Jones many times of late. I know something's happening but I don't know what.
 

drewg

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West of the mountains...
Painful as it is to go through the loss, this is just the way of things. The things we treasure as memories were also once new developments dropped down over someone else's memories and way of life.

I remember as a child going to this amusement park. My parents remembered taking a trolley to it for class trips when they were kids. It was old and worn-out by the time I went. There was a bowling alley next to it that I remember fondly, but it was plopped down over the pavilion where John Phillip Sousa used to play when the area was in it's true heyday. I'm sure people that loved that pavilion hated that bowling alley.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Grove_Park

A few years later it was razed and replaced by this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Grove_Park_Mall
I have good memories of both places. That mall was magical when it went in. It's tired and half empty now. The next evolution will come - there's talk of apartments on the outer lots that will probably bring demand for different types of businesses.

Towns don't stay the same. They either grow or die.
Grow? That’s one way, but not necessarily. Change? Of course. Adapt, evolve, yes.
There’s no question places and people have to evolve. What many people on this thread are questioning is how they evolve.
 

_MementoMori_

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Nice try, Big Brother.
The town I grew up in is all abandoned burned-out houses, overgrown lawns, vacant shopping centers, payday loan shops, and liquor stores. I still have family there and get depressed every time I visit.
 

JL_LI

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Long Island, NY
Sounds like you're describing rebuilding dying communities.

Seems like @String Tree is talking about replacing a healthy community.

Of course low income communities can sometimes be mistaken for dying communities because poor people raising families and selling groceries etc looks run down. Or maybe there are drug dealers there too.
So the families are evicted and upscale housing for OTHER families goes up.
Sometimes the houses don't change and only the families are evicted.

Humanity can be a real head scratcher!
The community where I live is neither dying nor low income. In 1978, when my wife and I moved in, the community was split between working class with good jobs and public employees, teachers, cops, and the like. Some folks, like people everywhere, fell on hard times and neglected their properties. Some made up lost income by renting out to divorced dads or residents at the nearby medical center. What’s happening now is revitalization through gentrification. The “gentry” is coming in from abroad with what money they could take with them. I don’t see families being displaced. Foreclosure is exceedingly rare. Renters aren’t evicted. They move on. High density, high income housing is going up where no longer viable commercial property once existed. There are more and more people to house. I don’t see waves of immigrants choosing the second largest economy in the world. I wonder why. This is still the land of opportunity for people with the resources to take advantage of it. What it isn’t is a land of opportunity for those lacking resources, be they money, skills, or ambition. I see change. The only problem I see with it is crowding and inadequate infrastructure to support growth.
 

nojazzhere

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Foat Wuth, Texas
Time marches on, nothing lasts forever and I am in the middle of watching unfold before my very eyes.
I started working in the Downtown of my city in '85.
At that time, I could get anything I wanted. Stores, shops, Food, you name it.
One by one, they went out of business or, moved but, their buildings were demolished and huge ugly buildings were put in their place.
But in too many cases, we were left with huge holes in the ground.

Now, it is my turn.
75% of my block goes under the bulldozer in a couple of months.
Next door to us has been a Family owned Music store since the 50's.
The owner (who I have known since the 80's), got his check from the City.

He put out an Ad on Facebook that he was Liquidating.
Within 30 minutes, has had an offer (from somebody in town) to buy his Entire Inventory.
I watched the people move out the Inventory, kind of got to me.

We have known for Years the City wanted to do this and we have planned for it.
We are moving 11 Blocks north from our Location.

Still, our Buildings go back to the 1870's.
All that Heretige, soon to be gone.
As Spofford says in the film Reuben Reuben, he's the most displaced person among all displaced persons.....the native son in a modern town.
 

wrathfuldeity

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Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Posts
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Turdcaster, WA
I am going to miss our Downtown Location.
There a SO MANY people I simply won't see on a Daily basis.
I have had the pleasure, make that Luxuary of helping them with Electric, plumbing and, so much more with hand written invoices, NO bar code scanner since the beginning of time.
A handshake, a smile, words kept by all parties. Guys not knowing exactly what they need: Take 6 and bring back the 5 you didn't use. Next time you come by. And they did.
Can't begin to tell you how many times I would go for Coffie only to be escorted in to the kitchen or bathroom to asses the latest catastrophe. I has been an Honor and a Ton of Laughs.
THAT is the change I don't like.
Our business could survive anywhere and, it will survive at our new location.

There are a lot of things I don't understand about American urban development. "Walkability" is expensive. My wife and I have a small overpriced house in a neighborhood with a high walkability score: it's a tradeoff. But everywhere you look you have to pay more to be able to walk to stores.

So people value this. I mean literally value it, not just value it nostalgically. They value it with their wallets. So why is it hard to find and expensive? The market is supposed to respond to demand.

Malls and big box stores kill small towns everywhere--everybody sees this. We have a much loved local hardware store and "five and dime" we can walk to. Their biggest problem is suppliers--they sell, say, shoe polish and cotton work socks. The suppliers don't want to bother with them--why sell this store 100 units when they can sell 10,000 to wal mart? So they go to costco (or wal mart) and buy socks and then mark them up slightly for people who value walkability and convenience of over getting in the car and driving to wal mart.

Now amazon is killing Wal mart. But I'm still willing to pay extra to walk to the local hardware store to buy incidentals. and according to the real estate market, so are lots of people. The US has thousands of small cities and large towns where people could build the kind of life the OP wants, and thousands of them are dying or dead. My wife and I have been very active in local politics partly to preserve the little merchant strip we and other neighbors value. When we had a big flood a few years ago a neighbor organized a gofund me to help the businesses survive.

I've read that car sales are way down among young people, who tend to value walkability. I don't know if this is true or not

Its happening in my neck of the woods. Explosive growth in the past 30 years along with absolute insane house values. Twenty years ago we bought just outside of the downtown area. Very walkable/bicycling; near schools, grocery, repair and small businesses. It was, going through a gentrification phase; we were the first family with kids in sometime. Now we are one of a few on the geezerly end of the spectrum. There are several new families with kids. I have become the geezer to ask about and doing low level home repairs on their 100 year old homes, kid and dog sitting, fixing bikes/skis/snowboards, mowing, using my beater pu for hauling trash and yard waste, picking up delivered packages while they younger families are out jetting around. I get cookies, beers, steaks and help with the webz and my dumb smart phone.

Anyway I could complain, but figure, it would be better to be a role model of the kind of community I grew up in during the 50's and 60's. Another benefit is getting exposed to some of the new ideas, tech and stuff. Last week went to a dinner/b-day party and the discussion about the disruptive tech just blew my mind...was thankful that I could at at least conceptually follow the majority of the topic.
 
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