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Chicago's Industrial DeclineThe Failure of Redevelopment, 1920-1975$
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Robert Lewis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752629

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752629.001.0001

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Industrial Renewal and Land Clearance

Industrial Renewal and Land Clearance

(p.112) 5 Industrial Renewal and Land Clearance
Chicago's Industrial Decline

Robert Lewis

Cornell University Press

This chapter presents a chronological narrative of institutional fixes implemented to counter industrial decline in Chicago. It considers different programs and institutions that supported Chicago's industrial renewal program and examines the Chicago Land Clearance Commission (CLCC) as the city's major industrial redeveloper in the 1950s that was authorized to designate blighted areas and vacant land as redevelopment projects. It also elaborates the CLCC's key role in the creation of new industrial property as a solution to Chicago's industrial decline. The chapter details how the CLCC used state and federal legislative tools that enabled cities to appropriate federal funds for private ends, to allow the exercise of eminent domain over blighted property, and to realign ownership rights in favor of property developers. It describes blight, falling property values, and declining retail sales as problems that would continue to undermine Chicago's prominence and cut into company profits.

Keywords:   industrial decline, Chicago Land Clearance Commission, industrial redevelopment, industrial property, federal funds, industrial renewal

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