Silver Spring “Memory Wall” mural depicting the B&O Railroad station, c. 1940s. Photo credit: David Rotenstein.
This is an exciting and anxiety-producing moment in the United States. It is a time when professional historians are stepping outside their classrooms and consulting practices to push for the removal of Confederate statues and for greater public dialogue about the roles that white supremacy played in the past and how it persists in our communities. Read More
The Silver Spring Memory Wall was completed on the exterior wall of a Caldor department store. Photo credit: David Rotenstein.
In the 1990s, Silver Spring, Maryland, was desperate for economic investment and an image makeover. Next door to Washington, D.C., the Montgomery County suburb had suffered from two decades of disinvestment and white flight. Read More
On July 4, about 60 people attended a party thrown by Washington, DC activists trying to save a historic water filtration plant. The event was held in a row house in the city’s gentrifying Bloomingdale neighborhood, which I wrote about in a recent [email protected] post. Read More
Farm Road, May 2016. Photo credit: David Rotenstein.
In its infancy, gentrification was a word used to describe changes in urban neighborhoods. Now, gentrification has been documented in suburbs and rural areas around the world. It is even sweeping through Washington, DC’s suburban counties, where farmlands are being converted into housing and mixed-use developments. Read More
Bloomingdale residents listen to project leaders describe the oral history project, May 21, 2016. Photo credit: David Rotenstein.
Residents of Washington, D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood are using history to plan for the gentrifying area’s future. Through a process of collaborative research and land use planning, they hope to mitigate the adverse effects of displacement, rising housing costs, and the loss of a sense of community. Read More
L Street NW cycle track, Washington, DC. Photo credit: David Rotenstein
Gentrification: It’s not just for sociologists and anthropologists any more. Though historians have been making inroads documenting and interpreting gentrification and displacement, there are abundant opportunities for historians to make significant contributions in public policy and planning.
Trinity High School demolition, 2013. Photo credit: David Rotenstein
Editor’s note: This post continues a series commemorating the anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act by examining a past article published in The Public Historian, describing its significance and relating it to contemporary conversations in historic preservation. Read More
Valetta Anderson at an Atlanta Studies Network event in 2014. Photo credit: David Rotenstein
Over the past few years, I have been writing about gentrification and how it intersects with history in an Atlanta, Georgia, suburb. Twenty-five months and more than 50 interviews after I started talking with people and documenting neighborhood change in the Oakhurst area of Decatur, I met playwright Valetta Anderson, who works at Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center. Read More
In 2007 Atlanta journalist Nathan McCall’s novel Them was published. The book is a fictionalized account of a very real Atlanta neighborhood–the Old Fourth Ward–undergoing gentrification. The neighborhood is a place where civil rights historic landmarks jockey for attention and dollars among hip bars and restaurants. Read More
Former Trio Laundry Dry Cleaning Building, 20 Hilliard Street, Atlanta, Ga. Photo credit: David Rotenstein
Earlier this year The New York Times dubbed Atlanta, Ga., “the city too busy to remember.” The play on Civil Rights-era mayor Ivan Allen’s municipal sobriquet came during reporting on Atlanta’s demolition of a historic African American church, Friendship Baptist, to clear the way for new stadium construction. Read More
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