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  #61  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 2:01 AM
DCReid DCReid is offline
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i don't know how many F500 HQs st. louis has lost over the decades, but it still has a respectable number, as do several other midwest metros.

chicago: 34
twin cities: 16
detroit: 10
st. louis: 9
cincinnati: 8
milwaukee: 7

to put those numbers into perspective, here are some of the sunbelt F500 heavy hitters:

dallas: 23
houston: 22
atlanta: 16
south florida: 8
charlotte: 6
phoenix: 6



additionally, the midwest also seems to have more one-off F500 HQs in random smaller cities than other regions, like kellogg in battle creek, MI, whirlpool in benton harbor, MI, state farm in bloomington, IL, john deere in moline, IL, marathon oil in findlay, OH, cummins in columbus, IN, hormel in austin, MN, and many others without name-brand recognition sprinkled across the region.

that harkens back to an earlier era when economic activity was more evenly distributed between the alpha/beta cities and smaller places.
HQ count does not make that much of an impact. I believe that NYC had more than 100 of the largest F500 HQs in the late 60s/early 70s (I think it may have had as many as 150); it certainly does not haver that many now. The cities that most shrunk in stature, like Detroit and Cleveland, were heavily manufacturing cities that also were not 'alpha' cities. Chicago is still an alpha city. Also, while heavy manufacturing Midwest/East coast cities (including Baltimore) shrank in stature, other smaller Midwest/East cities have done quite well. Columbus, Indianapolis, Minneapolis. Even Milwaukee has held its own, even though it has not grown much.
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  #62  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 2:20 AM
IWant2BeInSTL IWant2BeInSTL is offline
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^ it makes a significant impact in terms of white collar jobs, local corporate investment (charity, infrastructure, etc.), and national/international recognition. those smaller/newer cities you mentioned are doing well precisely because they never experienced the scale of abandonment (both white collar and blue collar) that places like Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, etc. have had to contend with.
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  #63  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 12:31 PM
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the southern MI cities seem to have done a better job retaining population and activity than their counterparts in NW OH and N IN

compare

Kalamazoo

Battle Creek

Lansing

with

Toledo (much larger,looks like neutron bomb hit)

Toledo must have the most unrealized potential of any city in the country...looks like mini detroit with much less abandonment in the residential areas.
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  #64  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 3:10 PM
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Kalamazoo has a major university and semi-elite college, and has always been a white collar metro. Battle Creek is Kellogg World HQ and they've always kept the city semi-decent, plus the city annexed most of the suburbs a generation ago.

And yup, Toledo is a Detroit mini-me, but whiter and with less abandonment. The metro overall, however, feels much more blue collar than Detroit.

Part of the reason Detroit is so abandoned is because of prosperity, not decline. High wages allowed working class people to move to sprawl. Dirt-poor parts like SW are less abandoned because the residents don't have the means to move-up, so SW Detroit looks like Toledo, with that 80's time-capsule look, while the richer NW is emptying out as blacks follow whites into the upper middle class NW suburbs.

Outside of Metro Detroit, the only terrible Michigan cities are Flint, Saginaw and Benton Harbor (and Benton Harbor is tiny and adjacent to very prosperous St. Joseph). Everywhere else is at least OK. Muskegon is kinda crappy, but not quite as bad as the other three. It doesn't really have abandonment.
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  #65  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 4:09 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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Detroit in the early to mid 20th century may have had the most prosperous working class in the world at the time. May explain the "Los Angeles" urban form as well - auto-oriented development was evident earlier than in other US cities.
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  #66  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 4:18 PM
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Battle Creek merged with the adjacent Battle Creek Township in 1982 - at the insistence of Kellogg's:

https://www.multinationalmonitor.org...1/audette.html
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  #67  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 4:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Detroit in the early to mid 20th century may have had the most prosperous working class in the world at the time. May explain the "Los Angeles" urban form as well - auto-oriented development was evident earlier than in other US cities.
Right. When working class households on the East Coast were still crowding into tenements and modest rows, their equivalents in Detroit already lived in spacious SFH with yards and a car in the driveway. Good for these households, but bad for urbanity.

Philly was building working class rows and NYC was building CoOp City-style towers a generation after their Detroit equivalents had suburbanized. On the East Coast, leafy suburbia was reserved for the professional class.
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  #68  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 4:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Detroit in the early to mid 20th century may have had the most prosperous working class in the world at the time. May explain the "Los Angeles" urban form as well - auto-oriented development was evident earlier than in other US cities.
There isn't really a long history of auto-oriented development within the city of Detroit, which is a huge, often glossed over, factor in Detroit's post-1950s struggles. There has never been a suburban-style mall in Detroit's city limits, because there was never any room for it. The examples of auto-oriented projects that have been completed, such as the GM Poletown plant in the 1980s, were utter disasters for everyone except the corporation that built it.

Whenever there have been attempts for large car-centered development, it has often come at the expense of some community, and usually required the demolishing of neighborhoods and/or existing business districts. The GM Poletown plant was extremely controversial because it destroyed ethnic Polish neighborhoods and commercial districts in Detroit, for instance. City leadership realized, accurately, that creating large tracts of land for industrial development was the only way the city could compete against the suburbs.
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  #69  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 4:45 PM
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  #70  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 4:50 PM
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But Detroit had a distinctly suburban orientation at an early time. Areas like Russell Woods which is a solid 100-yo neighborhood, Jewish till the 50's, AA since then, and close to downtown, were functionally suburban:

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3817...7i16384!8i8192

These homes all have driveways and spacious yards, yet were built concurrent with the midrise super-urban West Bronx apartment houses, both housing the same upwardly mobile Jewish demographic.

Even the inner city "slum" areas of mid-century were quasi-suburban. A few blocks west of 12th Street (the main AA corridor in the 1960's and epicenter of '67 riots) you had leafy neighborhoods then occupied by the AA bourgeoisie. You can walk to downtown from here. Places like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3652...7i16384!8i8192
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  #71  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 5:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
But Detroit had a distinctly suburban orientation at an early time. Areas like Russell Woods which is a solid 100-yo neighborhood, Jewish till the 50's, AA since then, and close to downtown, were functionally suburban:

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3817...7i16384!8i8192

These homes all have driveways and spacious yards, yet were built concurrent with the midrise super-urban West Bronx apartment houses, both housing the same upwardly mobile Jewish demographic.

Even the inner city "slum" areas of mid-century were quasi-suburban. A few blocks west of 12th Street (the main AA corridor in the 1960's and epicenter of '67 riots) you had leafy neighborhoods then occupied by the AA bourgeoisie. You can walk to downtown from here. Places like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3652...7i16384!8i8192
True, but these neighborhoods were actually the edge of the city when they were built. These neighborhoods were built around the 1920s, which is when Detroit's one million people were mostly within the loop of the Grand Boulevard. Living in Russell Woods in the 1930s would have been the equivalent of living in Farmington Hills in the 1980s. There are/were dense multi-family neighborhoods surrounding both of those areas, such as:

https://goo.gl/maps/jWXGEzEyNBjV497k6

If Detroit had continue to grow in population and not had the ability to sprawl outward, those houses would have long ago been replaced by higher density housing, such as what happened in Brooklyn in the late 19th century.
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  #72  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
I think this is mostly reasonable. If Detroit had responded like other former industrial hubs, it would have declined about 30% before starting to rebound. It would have bottomed out in the 1990s around 1.3M and be around 1.4M now, which means the overall density of the city would be just over 10k ppsm. It would easily still be the second largest collection of "urban" neighborhoods in the Midwest.
That would be awesome. Detroit would have really been the Midwest equivalent of Philadelphia. St. Louis would be around 600k with a similar population density and the city would have probably functioned a lot more like DC or Boston. Both cities probably would have built 70s era mass transit systems. DART before Dallas? SLART in St. Louis?
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  #73  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 1:16 AM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by goat314 View Post
That would be awesome. Detroit would have really been the Midwest equivalent of Philadelphia. St. Louis would be around 600k with a similar population density and the city would have probably functioned a lot more like DC or Boston. Both cities probably would have built 70s era mass transit systems. DART before Dallas? SLART in St. Louis?
Detroit had the opportunity to build a BART/MARTA/DC Metro type of system in the 1970s, but political bickering between the city and suburban politicians killed the project. The Detroit People Mover was the only thing that got built, and it took nearly 20 years.

On another note, upthread I pointed out that NY (1), Chicago (2), Philly (3), and Boston (5) were the top 5 cities at the turn of the 20th century when rapid transit systems were first being built in the U.S. St. Louis was #4 of the 5, and the only of the top 5 cities in 1900 not to build a rapid-transit system.
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  #74  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 1:56 AM
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Philadelphia actually began to fall in the 1930's.

WW2 gave it a repreive as the city's increasingly obsolete factories were having their final hurrah with war production.

However, the seeds for decline were sown while the city was still growing in the 1920's.

Bad financial choices by the entrenched Republican machine the ran the city in the 1920's caused any further expansion of the subway system. Then the depression hit.

In the 30's, the GOP machine didn't take New Deal Money like Robert Moses did in New York hence nothing was done in Philadelphia during the 30's and 40's.

The city factories were obsolete for a post war economy. Those factories were mostly in North Philadelphia which was increasingly becoming minority.

North Philadelphia and other minority areas in Philadelphia were redlined sealing those areas to decline rapidly and for generation poverty to set up shop.

Philadelphia hung on through the 60's until Mayor James Tate put more fuel on the fire of decline...instead of increasing taxes on what couldn't move...like homes and commercial properties...he raised taxes on what could..like personal income and business income. So what jobs hadn't left because of the outdated factories, decamped because it was cheaper to operate outside the city. The Mayor Crumb Bum (Rizzo) really jacked those taxes in the 70's to pay his cronies and the largest 10 year drop in population occurred.

On the flip side, while the city was in decline..seeds were slowly planted for it's eventual rise out of the death spiral...and they all happened once the Democrats seized control of the city in the 1950's.

1. The Chinese Wall of the Pennsylvania RR was finally demolished and opened that whole side of Center City for new development. The first buildings of Penn Center in the mid 1950's was the first office tower development in the city since the depression started. That elevated railroad platform was choking off the central city. Also, the extension of the underground portion of the Market-Frankford line west of CC opened up Market Street in what is now University City...which is now a major economic center for the city.

2. The Center City Commuter Rail Tunnel built in the 70's and early 80's and opened in 1984 gave Philadelphia one Regional Railroad system and made it possible to connect to other lines without having to walk between Suburban and Reading Terminal. It then allowed the old Reading Terminal Building and the Train Shed to be redeveloped into the Pennsylvania Convention Center which in turned set off a hospitality industry in Philadelphia that was pretty much non existent for decades. FRank Rizzo did one thing good in the years he was destroying the city...he got Nixon to pay for the Tunnel construction.

3. The Mural Arts Program. Anyone who was alive and can remember the 1980's will tell you Philadelphia was graffiti hell. Yes...you can still see some today but not like it was then. The Mural Arts program made the city more livable, safer feeling and gave it art and the hands of the kids who were doing the tagging. Philadelphia now has more public murals than any other city in the US...maybe the world.

4. The lowering of the wage tax. Ed Rendell began the lowering of the tax that had reached a record high in the 1980's thanks to more jacking of it by Wilson Goode which almost landed the city in bankruptcy. The lowering of this tax began the slow crawl back economically. The city still needs a tax code overhaul.

5. The creation of the Center City District. This group was forum to make Center City cleaner, safer and more attractive to do business. This took a Center City that by the end of the 80's was very trashy, poorly lit, had plenty of sketchy zones and dead as a doornail after 6pm....and turned it into one of the best downtowns in America. The success of Center City spilled outward and why the city is on the upswing.
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  #75  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 3:31 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Detroit had the opportunity to build a BART/MARTA/DC Metro type of system in the 1970s, but political bickering between the city and suburban politicians killed the project. The Detroit People Mover was the only thing that got built, and it took nearly 20 years.

On another note, upthread I pointed out that NY (1), Chicago (2), Philly (3), and Boston (5) were the top 5 cities at the turn of the 20th century when rapid transit systems were first being built in the U.S. St. Louis was #4 of the 5, and the only of the top 5 cities in 1900 not to build a rapid-transit system.
Cincinnati was the closest that I can tell to having a subway system, but ultimately not having one...actually built part of the infrastructure. St. Louis did have elevated electric rail lines and a full commuter rail system ala Metra with dedicated stations in the pre-war burbs, and eventually went go on to have a decent number of subway light rail stations but seems to be frozen at two rail lines for the near future.


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  #76  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 3:57 PM
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St. Louis did have elevated electric rail lines and a full commuter rail system ala Metra with dedicated stations in the pre-war burbs
wait, what?

st. louis had an elevated electric heavy rail transit system like chicago's el back in the day?

how have i not ever heard about that? i didn't think st. louis ever had anything in between streetcars and commuter rail.

when was it built? when was service ended? how extensive was the system? got any maps?
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  #77  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 4:07 PM
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wait, what?

st. louis had an elevated electric heavy rail transit system like chicago's el back in the day?

how have i not ever heard about that? i didn't think st. louis ever had anything in between streetcars and commuter rail.

when was it built? when was service ended? how extensive was the system? got any maps?
there was a hodgepodge of dedicated ROW streetcar lines that were more like super-streetcars to augment the normal streetcar system, sometimes linked together in addition to the normal locomotives pulling commuter rail. the rolling stock was a bit different than the chicago el but was sort of the halfway point between streetcars and rapid trransit.
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  #78  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 4:45 PM
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wikipedia.com

heres a trainset of the illinois terminal railroad that would have traversed the network of elevated and dedicated ROW electric railines that linked together the illinois industrial satellites of st. louis to st. louis proper, as well as st. louis to the galaxy of industrial centers in central illinois. there was a cohesive network of electric rail spanning up into central illinois...i imagine there were similar lines spanning down towards us into central illinois from chicago.
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  #79  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 5:18 PM
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more info on the illinois terminal railroad https://www.american-rails.com/it.html

"The Illinois Terminal was a fascinating operation. Its earliest heritage was a small switching line of the same name which carried no interurban ties until its acquisition by the Illinois Traction. The vision of William B. McKinley, the IT grew into the greatest and most successful interurban ever built linking St. Louis with central Illinois. It was comprised of many subsidiaries although all were under the parent's control. The hope of opening a direct St. Louis to Chicago corridor ultimately failed..."

There was actually a subway portion into downtown st. louis as the train descended from the el section, the modern metrolink uses similar subway tunnels. so, st. louis actually had a midweight rail subway.




american-rails.com



The McKinley Bridge is extant, however.
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  #80  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 5:37 PM
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underground electric line terminal downtown st. louis (some photos may not load)


photos.smugmug.com

this is one of the lines making the turn to cross the river, after emerging from the subway presumably north st. louis city. the elevated structure is still there.


photos.smugmug.com

the abandoned subway tunnel entrance north of downtown st. louis:


photos.smugmug.com
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