Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Fall of Main Street, Block by Block

An investigation of Main Street and how it got that way. Block by Block. Looking at Main Street as a street (per Jane Jacobs). I look at street front retail, storefront business that has some public interaction (no professional offices or beauty schools), but things like stores, loan companys, restaurants, theatere, and so forth.

No arcade or lobby business (as much as possible)...just things that face the street, as a gauge on how active or lively the street is

Here is the rough cut, where I graph the businesses. I also lay in things that affect the retail environment, particularly the suburban competition.
Then a look block by block, from Monument to the railroad embankment.
Then looking in some detail at the blocks. I note physical changes (like the opening of a larger store) that impacts the count. First, the two blocks north of Third:
Next, the two blocks south of Third:
Note that some of the largest drops are from physcial alterations driving removals of buildings, reducing the number of storefronts. This implys that, though retail was declining, some urban renewal and new construction decisions also had an impact, and accelerated the decline.
I will take a look at a the retail mix next.

For a more in-depth treatment follow this link:

The Decline and Fall of Main Street

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