Congratulations to Allen Dieterich-Ward, Associate Professor of History at #ShippensburgUniversity on the release of his newest book!
Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Fate of Industrial America
After #Pittsburgh reached its industrial heyday between 1880 and 1920, metropolitan population growth slowed as mining and manufacturing employment declined. Faced with economic and environmental disaster in the 1930s, Pittsburgh’s business elite and political leaders developed an ambitious program of pollution control and infrastructure development. The public-private partnership behind the “Pittsburgh Renaissance,” pursued nothing less than the selective erasure of the existing social and physical environment in favor of a modernist, functionally divided landscape: a goal that was widely copied by other aging cities and one that has important ramifications for the broader national story. Ultimately, the Renaissance vision of downtown skyscrapers, sleek suburban research campuses, and bucolic regional parks resulted in an uneven transformation that tore the urban fabric while leaving deindustrializing river valleys and impoverished coal towns isolated from areas of postwar growth.
This book is relevant to the #SouthMountainLandscape because it discusses the decline of American manufacturing in the 1980s and the ways that communities sought places for themselves within a new economic order, often by changing their built environment and natural environment. Like Pittsburgh, communities throughout the #SouthMountainLandscape are challenged with defining their identity and a shared vision for the future. Community leaders and residents who learn about Pittsburgh’s redevelopment successes and failures can put those lessons to good use in their own communities.
Join the author at a Talk & Signing on November 28th, 2-4pm, at The Midtown Scholar Bookstore, 1302 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17102. RSVP: [email protected]