The 100 block of North Queen Street, the centerpiece of Lancaster's urban renewal program, was the key to the city's experiment in economic revitalization. According to federal and state law, the Redevelopment Authority had the power to assemble land through eminent domain, to demolish all existing structures, and to sell the tract --at a fraction of costs incurred--to a private developer. The Redevelopment Authority selected as the private developer Second North Queen Corporation, which first commissioned Buchart Engineers to prepare plans for the site. Second North Queen subsequently hired the Viennese-born architect and planner Victor Gruen to work in collaboration with Buchart. Together the two firms proposed to revitalize the 100 block of North Queen Street by incorporating principles of suburban shopping mall design.

Part III of the exhibit presents the transformation of the 100 block of North Queen Street from an intact streetscape in early 1965 through demolition later that year, several plans for a revitalized downtown center, including Victor Gruen's designs,the phases of rebuilding North Queen Street in accordance with Gruen's plan, and the ultimate failure of commercial renewal.


North Queen Street 1965
Buchart Plans for North Queen Street
The Demolition of North Queen Street
Victor Gruen's Plans for a New Commercial Center
Rebuilding North Queen Street
The Failure of Commercial Renewal


Part I: The Discovery of Urban Blight
Part II: Imagining a Revitalized City

Part IV: New Neighborhoods for Old
Urban Renewal in Retrospect