This exhibition was conceived as part of Franklin & Marshall College's contribution to the Lancaster 250 celebration. It presents images and explanatory text that document the many dimensions of urban renewal and the impact of those changes on the city. Although the process of choosing what to include in any exhibition is subjective, we have tried to be as representative as possible--emphasizing the squalid housing conditions that existed prior to renewal as well as the buildings lost through clearance, for example--and to allow visitors to reach their own understanding of what urban renewal has meant to the city and its people. At the conclusion of the Lancaster 250 celebration, and in the midst of a comprehensive planning process that will help direct the shape of the community into the twenty-first century, this exhibition is an opportunity to reflect upon the importance of the humanly created environment as the arena in which human interaction and public culture take place.

The College is grateful to the many organizations and individuals who have contributed to its success. The Education Committee of Lancaster 250, chaired by John Jarvis and Leroy Hopkins, Jr., provided the initial grant, which was supplemented by funding from the Committee on Grants of the College. The college also awarded a Hackman Research Grant to James Leach '93, who spent the summer of 1992 exploring the holdings of various repositories and assembling an inventory of photographic images of the city's urban renewal projects.

During the fall semester 1992, eleven students in the Senior Seminar in American Studies investigated specific topics related to urban renewal in Lancaster. These students--Chris Button, Tad Fleshman, Colleen Haggerty, Marie Johnson, James Leach, Andrea Mollica, Michael Piecuch, Kate Plona, Adele Sikora, Erin Snyder, Trish Zehner--conducted primary research and wrote extensive papers. Their findings helped shape the exhibition, as did the many contributions of American Studies Scholar in Residence Frank Mitchell.

As the focus of our energies shifted from research seminar to exhibition, numerous individuals and organizations generously supported our efforts. Lancaster Newspapers provided many of the photographs that illustrate the history of urban renewal in Lancaster, a number of them never before published. At Lancaster Newspapers, John M. Buckwalter, James McGrew, Jack Brubaker, and the staff of the library--L. Marian Brubaker, Kathy Cassidy, Bonnie Popdan, Jennifer Sirbak, Sue Sweeney, and Edward Wilson, Jr.--provided indispensible support. So did Eric Hinderliter, Director of Housing and Community Development, City of Lancaster, the staff of the Bureau of Planning, especially Paula Robinson and Stanley Wilk, and City Clerk Janet Spleen. The bulk of the Lancaster Redevelopment Authority's records are housed at the Lancaster County Historical Society. There John W. W. Loose answered innumerable questions, while Salinda Matt, Kevin Shue, and the staff of the society graciously made the collections available to our students. Buchart-Horn, Inc./BASCO Associates, Ltd., Lancaster and York, the successor firm to Buchart Engineers, generously lent its collection of photographs and negatives of the North Queen Street project.

Numerous individuals have also aided the research, offered counsel as the exhibition took shape, or helped in some important way. Among these are Gene Aleci, John Andrew, Louis L. Athey, Norm and Edie Geist, John I. Hartman, Jr., Melvin Hess, Robert Lowing, David Schneider, Marsha Sener Schuyler, James Shultz, Scott Standish, and John Vanderzell.

At Franklin & Marshall, President Richard Kneedler has generously supported our efforts, as have Susanne Woods and other members of the Office of the Dean of the College. Jon Enos, John Coccia, and Margaret Cooney of the Center for Academic Technology were gracious as well as efficient in meeting our numerous requests, as was the staff of Shadek-Fackenthal Library. Members of the American Studies Committee, John Andrew, Sean Flaherty, Robert Friedrich, Joel Martin, Jeff Steinbrink, and Louise Stevenson, have enthusiastically supported this project since it was just an idea. To all, we are deeply grateful.


David Schuyler

Professor of American Studies


Part I: The Discovery of Urban Blight