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Thread: Atlantic City Seeks New Image: Las Vegas's

  1. #1591

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    Yes, AC for some strange reason, is immune from the phenomena. Blank walled streets can add to crime, but in AC for some miraculous reason they do not.

    Good one.

    ---
    Yep, that's why the Gateway complex in Newark is such a 'high-crime' area...(or even various mid/high-rise office parks throughout the country)

    Perhaps if they build motels crime will go away.

  2. #1592
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    Nexus: if you haven't gotten Fabrizio to take back something he said after more than 2 or 3 back-and-forths, you won't ever get him to do it.

    Fabrizio: I'm sorry to say I strongly disagree with your assertion that blank walls seriously added to crime in Atlantic City. I don't fully understand why, but you have a penchant for blaming real urban problems on poor design. In many cases, poor design is a symptom, not a cause, of a problem. An urban environment that encourages the type of design you lament is by its nature dysfunctional; the problem only gets worse when government gets involved and tries to guide new development - as in New Jersey's odd choice to restrict gambling to fully-enclosed casino resorts that were not envisioned as meaningful attempts at engaging urban fabric and urban life.

    I'm also mystified at your continued belief that Atlantic City was a "healthy city" going all the way up to 1976, when the first large-scale demolitions began and bits of the city became replaced by new monstrosities. While I wasn't alive at the time, I know that the place had already been in long decline, in population and, accordingly, in investment. Population data confirms this:

    1900 27,838 113.2%
    1910 46,150 65.8%
    1920 50,707 9.9%
    1930 66,198 30.6%
    1940 64,094 −3.2%
    1950 61,657 −3.8%
    1960 59,544 −3.4%
    1970 47,859 −19.6%
    1980 40,199 −16%
    1990 37,986 −5.5%
    2000 40,517 6.7%
    2007 39,684 −2.1%\

    During the 1960s, 20% of the population fled, and in the 1970s, another 16% - for reasons often similar to what led to declines in many Northern cities that were formerly healthy environments for urban investment. These are startling declines - all before the new casinos were built - that undoubtedly made Atlantic City a more dangerous and less attractive place to live. There must have been literally thousands of abandoned homes.

    So while you claim that the city was still a good place, worthy of investment, I'm tempted to believe your memory is seeing things through rose-colored glasses. Perhaps you were too young at the time to see the big picture; I don't know, I can only speculate. But it is clear to me that you are, yet again, blaming poor architectural design for serious urban problems that had already developed before the casinos arrived.

    Instead of pouring so much blame on one aspect of Atlantic City's problems, it would be wise to consider what is so fundamentally wrong with a city that turned to casino gambling as its supposed savior. While I agree that casinos haven't helped Atlantic City return to its glory days, they have helped. At the least, they helped stem the population exodus by providing some level of hope for enough people to stick around, and not further deplete the tax base.

  3. #1593

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    Fabrizio: I'm sorry to say I strongly disagree with your assertion that blank walls seriously added to crime in Atlantic City.
    Fine. No problem there. I disagree with you too

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    I don't fully understand why, but you have a penchant for blaming real urban problems on poor design. In many cases, poor design is a symptom, not a cause, of a problem.
    I agree that in many cases, poor design is a symptom, not a cause... but I also believe that urban problems are made worse by poor urban design. I've listed some reading material on the subject and will list more if you like. This is not some strange unheard of theory invented by me.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    In many cases, poor design is a symptom, not a cause, of a problem. An urban environment that encourages the type of design you lament is by its nature dysfunctional...
    On this I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    the problem only gets worse when government gets involved and tries to guide new development
    If those guidlines are wrongheaded... certainly.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    I'm also mystified at your continued belief that Atlantic City was a "healthy city" going all the way up to 1976
    And I'm mystified that you think I've said AC was a "healthy city" before gambling in 1976. Never said that.... uh.. strawmanning Pianoman? What I have said, and have said over and over again, is that the city was in decline.

    However I agree with many, including the authour Bryant Simon ("Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America") that the city is today, in many ways, worse off than it was in the mid-1970s.

    -----------------

    Re: population data: Nearly ALL American cities were losing population between 1950 and 1980. Point out ONE that was not. Why should AC have been different in this? But even so... AC's population today is LESS than it was in 1976. And after an upswing, AC population has been going down for the last 8 years. Quite incredible for a city after 30 years of casino development.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    So while you claim that the city was still a good place, worthy of investment
    LOL... well it was a good place worthy of investment... that's why we all wanted casino gambling, AC was worthy of investment.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    I'm tempted to believe your memory is seeing things through rose-colored glasses. Perhaps you were too young at the time to see the big picture; I don't know, I can only speculate. But it is clear to me that you are, yet again, blaming poor architectural design for serious urban problems that had already developed before the casinos arrived.
    Besides the design of the casinos adding to the city's urban problems, let me also point out this from "Boardwalk of Dreams":

    --- "Speculators and casino corporations bought houses in those districts, tore them down, and built parking lots. During the early 1980s, bulldozers leveled one third of the city's homes. Local efforts to resist such change proved futile and residents who refused to sell found that their quality of life quickly deteriorated."

    ---"Crime rose by eighty percent."

    --- "Pawn shops replaced corner groceries. The last vestiges of the "walking city" disappeared. Today, Simon laments, "the old corner stores, friendly taverns, jazz clubs, Jewish delis, fresh fruit stands, and butcher shops...are all gone." In their place, is a "flat, desolate lunar landscape of streets." increasingly empty except for the luckless and dispossessed."


    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    While I agree that casinos haven't helped Atlantic City return to its glory days, they have helped. At the least, they helped stem the population exodus by providing some level of hope for enough people to stick around, and not further deplete the tax base.
    As I mentioned in earlier post the real bright spot of casino gambling (of which I was and am still in favour of) is the employment and opportunity it has given to thousands. But even so, total population has DECREASED from 1976 to 2007. But even with an upswing in the 90's, the population has been going down for the last 8 years.

    But what is sooooo incredible about your post is this:

    A while ago ACplayer posted a pic of Atlantic City's Pacific Avenue dated 1968. You responded:

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    Wow, it really looked like a city back then! A real place, postcard-worthy. Last time I was there, it looked like a few big hotels in the middle of an abandoned ghost town.
    So let's see... 1968... 6 years before the first referendum for casino gambling, and AC at Pacific Avenue looks like "a city", "A real place", "postcard-worthy" and yet 30 years after casino gambling and AC looks like (with the exception of a few big hotels) an abandoned ghost town!

    Well, we agree on that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post

    I was in Atlantic City two summers ago for a day trip. Hadn't been there since I was a little kid, so I didn't really know what to expect. The city itself was a dump.

    But the majority of the boardwalk looked like it had once been nice.
    So gee... Pianoman.... what are you saying?... the city looked WORSE today then when you were a kid? LOL...well, as I said, on this we agree.

    BTW: when where you a kid... 1970's? 80's?

    And I whole heartedly agree with you when you wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    I was in Atlantic City this past weekend for a daytrip. I had been planning to go spend most of my time in the Borgata anyway, but upon arriving I lost all desire to hang out in the Boardwalk area. It just doesn't look attractive. It looks outdated and in need of a major facelift. There's really no sense of place.


    " If there's any hope for making Atlantic City itself a premier destination, one would expect to integrate newer hotels like the Borgata into (what's left of) the urban fabric. As it stands now, most visitors just drive right off the freeway, into the parking garage, and stay inside the Borgata until they're ready to leave. The city loses out. How can this be fixed?

    Side note: I spent the earlier part of the day visiting Cape May, and the place looked great - well-maintained, busy, vibrant.
    ^ It sould be noted that in 1976 when the faded resort that was AC legalized casino gambling, the faded resort that was CapeMay insitituted it's Cape May Historic District. And I agree with you about how great it looks.... gee maybe that's what can happen when, government gets involved and tries to guide new development "

    http://www.capemaytimes.com/history/victorian.htm


    ---
    Last edited by Fabrizio; September 28th, 2008 at 10:57 PM.

  4. #1594
    membro sÍnior giselehaslice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    Pianoman writes: "Fabrizio: I'm sorry to say I strongly disagree with your assertion that blank walls seriously added to crime in Atlantic City.

    --- Fine. No problem there. I disagree with you too
    You say that I look immature? I would be appalled if I were you.

    As for ONE place that did not loose population between 1950 and 1970, Phoenix.

    And "CapeMay" is actually two words, just in case you were not sure.
    Last edited by giselehaslice; September 28th, 2008 at 09:53 PM.

  5. #1595
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    No, I believe however that urban problems are made worse by poor urban design. I've listed some reading material on the subject and will list more if you like.
    I've read some of them, including Death and Life. I found little to disagree with.

    On this I agree.
    Good.

    If those guidlines are wrongheaded... certainly.
    Great. We're getting somewhere.

    And I'm mystified that you think I've said AC was a "healthy city" before gambling in 1976. Never said that.... uh.. strawmanning Pianoman? What I have said is that the city was in decline.
    You've said a lot of things. I've followed this thread for several weeks now, and it seems clear to me that you thought it was still a good place to live and visit, right up until the casinos started moving in. So, while I've looked back through some of your posts, I found one that seemed to summarize everything pretty well (post 1238):

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    I think it's time to clear up a couple of myths about AC that I keep hearing over and over on this thread about the decline of Atlantic City.

    I lived in AC in 1971/72 and then back again in 74/75. I was young, but remember the experience quite well.

    By 1974 the city was run-down, the Inlet was a place you didn't hang out, but there was really very little street crime. It was not Philadelphia. You could walk all over the place at all hours. I was young, very white... an obvious target, but I never remember being afraid. In the city proper there were no homeless and no open drug dealing and so forth. The city was run-down but still very pleasant.

    In '74 we lived on Providence Avenue which was one of the most beautiful blocks in the city. The whole area was beautiful and beautifully maintained. I remember walks to the beach and all of those motels there were full of vacationers and perfectly fine.

    Atlantic Avenue still had very nice businesses. The businesses on the 1700 block all had matching canopies. There were still movie theatres and even 2 movie theatres operating on the boardwalk. You have to remember: by this time, NY's TimesSquare was pretty squalid with rows of porn theatres... AC's Boardwalk was squeaky clean in comparison. AC was seedy, but Philadelphia was down right scary.

    Convention hall still attracted top-notch conventions including the annual American Medical Association's convention. The grand hotels were still operating: the Dennis, Shelburne, Marlbourough Blenheim, Claridge, Chalfonte-Haddon Hall. Was there any other city in the US with such a group of hotels that were still in operation?

    AC was frayed, tired, the inlet was a ghetto... "Pauline's Prarie" was still an undeveloped gaping hole up-town, but it was still a "normal" town with thousands of tourists. At that time, there was a push for casino gambling. Gambling was going to give back some of the lost luster. Most, in their ignorance, really imagined the grand old hotels with casinos in them. Most thought that Atlantic Avenue would become a fabulous shopping street again. You would hear the words "MonteCarlo".

    As I remember it, AC's real decline started after the legalization of gambling. It was then that the speculation started. Buildings razed. People bought out of their homes etc. It's in that stretch of the late 70's, while casinos were being built, that AC became a series of empty lots and buildings left to rot.
    So there, it sounds like you're saying it wasn't in decline until...the casinos came? Are you saying you disagree with what you wrote above?

    However I agree with many, including the authour Bryant Simon ("Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America") that the city is in many ways worse off than it was in the mid-1970s.
    In some ways it is, in some ways it isn't. Population statistics seem to indicate the latter. In my mind, I keep thinking about what would've happened had Atlantic City not turned to gambling. How much further would its population decline? How much further would tourist visits decline? What would it end up leaning on to revive its economy?

    -----------------

    Re: population data: Nearly ALL American cities were losing population between 1950 and 1970. Point out ONE that was not. Why should AC have been different in this?
    Are you kidding, Fabrizio? No, really...is this a joke? How about EVERY SINGLE city in the south? Honestly, tell me: do you know anything about American demographic trends post World War 2? About white flight? About the effect of interstate highway construction and air-conditioning on population shifts in the Sunbelt? 7 of our 10 largest cities are either in California, Texas, or Arizona. In 1950, only Los Angeles was on that list.

    I still can't believe you tried to make that argument.

    LOL... well it was a good place worthy of investment... that's why we all wanted casino gambling, AC was worthy of investment.
    Now you're really not getting it. Why would a place worthy of investment prompt its state to change its laws to allow gambling there? Why does a worthy place like that turn to casinos as its supposed panacea? I'll tell you: a place that knows it's in serious decline and fears that, without doing something drastic, will slowly die out until it vanishes into obscurity.

    Besides the design of the casinos adding to the city's urban problems, let me also point out this from "Boardwalk of Dreams":

    --- "Speculators and casino corporations bought houses in those districts, tore them down, and built parking lots. During the early 1980s, bulldozers leveled one third of the city's homes. Local efforts to resist such change proved futile and residents who refused to sell found that their quality of life quickly deteriorated."
    Why do you think that happened? Look at the population numbers: the thousands that fled Atlantic City in the 60s and 70s must have left thousands of empty homes, and prices must have plummeted. Again, you're citing a cause, as opposed to a symptom.

    ---"Crime rose by eighty percent."
    Of course it did. It rose in a lot of Northern cities - most, in fact. New York's crime rate was off the charts in the 80s compared with the 60s.

    --- "Pawn shops replaced corner groceries. The last vestiges of the "walking city" disappeared. Today, Simon laments, "the old corner stores, friendly taverns, jazz clubs, Jewish delis, fresh fruit stands, and butcher shops...are all gone." In their place, is a "flat, desolate lunar landscape of streets." increasingly empty except for the luckless and dispossessed."
    Again, of course that's what happened. Thousands of people left: don't you think that meant businesses would be left behind too with no one to run them? You need people to run butcher shops, no?

    As I mentioned in earlier post the real bright spot of casino gambling (of which I was and am still in favour of) is the employment and opportunity it has given to thousands. But even so, population has DECREASED from 1976 to 2007. Can't you read statistics?
    Can't you read statistics? Or are you joking again? First casino opened in Haddon Hall, which wasn't a brand new construction, in May 1978. It wasn't until the 1980s that the new ones opened for business. Have a look again, please:

    1960 59,544 −3.4%
    1970 47,859 −19.6%
    1980 40,199 −16%

    How did you miss this? The population was cut by a third in the two decades preceding the casinos' arrival. How many homes did it say were bulldozed? A third, right? I wonder why that was.

    Also, between 1980 and today, the change is close to 0%. Duh?

    But what is sooooo incredible about your post is this:

    A while ago ACplayer posted a pic of Atlantic City's Pacific Avenue dated 1968 as well as other pics from the 60's. On seeing those pics you responded:
    So gee... Pianoman.... what are you saying?... the city looked WORSE today then when you were a kid? LOL...well, on this we agree. BTW: when where you a kid... 1970's? 80's?
    How is it incredible? Clearly, by 1968, the decline hadn't been reflected on a lot of the city yet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it usually takes at least a few years for buildings to deteriorate into visibly poor condition because no one's taking care of them anymore. And of course it looks worse today than it did back then. It hadn't gone through its decline yet!

    And I whole heartedly agree with you when you wrote:
    ^ It sould be noted that in 1976 when the faded resort that was AC legalized casino gambling, the faded resort that was CapeMay insitituted it's Cape May Historic District. And I agree with you about how great it looks.... gee maybe that's what happens when, government gets involved and tries to guide new development "
    I can't say with certainty that Atlantic City would have remained as popular a tourist destination as it had been earlier in the century if it had implemented historic districting at large. Would the tourist numbers have sustained those huge hotels after the explosion in jetsetting vacation? I don't know, but it's pretty clear to me that, at the least, thousands of homes still would have been vacant unless a way to stop the population decline was found.

    Let's not turn this into an anti-landmarking debate. I agree that those grand old hotels were worthy of preservation and were stunning architecturally. I just don't know if enough people would still have visited Atlantic City to sustain the population it once had, and still operate those hotels at a profit. Because that's what casino gambling was about: getting the hotels to realize enough of a profit to stay in business despite the various disadvantages that Atlantic City has as a beach resort.

    And that's what I go back to - the decision to bet Atlantic City's future on the concept of bringing in casinos to the hotels. Who made the decision? The politicians. So that's why I'm again puzzled when you say something like this:

    "gee maybe that's what happens when, [B]government gets involved and tries to guide new development"

    as if to say it was because of a lack of government involvement that Atlantic City declined into the state it is in today. It was precisely the opposite. Government put faith in - and decided - that legal gambling would bring Atlantic City back to its heyday. It most obviously didn't, and I know you agree - but for some reason can't agree with the simple idea that this was the government's own doing.

    You're right that it worked in Cape May. And it worked in a handful of other places too, that managed to get preservation laws enacted and historic districts formed. But there's only a handful of these places in all of America, while there are many, many other cities that failed to preserve their architectural history while they went into prolonged decline. Atlantic City is just one of those many cities.
    Last edited by pianoman11686; September 28th, 2008 at 11:04 PM.

  6. #1596

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    I should have stated about population loss : AC's population loss was similair to other Northern cities.

    And while many of those cities have gained population since then.. or have an upswing... AC has been losing population for the last 8 years and today still has less population then the 1970's.

    The population losses that you note in the 60's were the Inlet, the area east of Arctic, and Paulines Praire...(the city was basically empty from Pennsylvania Avenue to the Inlet) but Chelsea, Chelsea Heights, Venice Park, BungalowPark, DuckTown, and the center of town were dense with homes and people. Remember that many were summer vaction homes of Philadelphians.

    Why don't YOU tell us about these neighborhoods in the 1970's? What were they like.... what were your experiences there?

    You must also take into take into consideration the Hurricanes of 1944 and 1962 that had a devastating effect on the city and on people's choice to live there.

    http://frank.redpin.com/~urbex/atlanticcity.jpg

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3221/...924ae3.jpg?v=0

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3093/...513f6f.jpg?v=0

    "Storm of the Century" 1962: "It is listed as one of the ten worst storms to have hit anywhere in the United States in the 20th century. It did $80 mil. damage in 1962 dollars, in New Jersey alone, destroying 45,000 homes."

    http://easyliving.shorenewsnow.com/2...arch-1962.aspx

    http://www.hurricanenow.com/stories/0609161300.php

    -----------------------

    And if it took a pounding from those hurricanes, note this from Boardwalk of Dreams about what happened AFTER casino gambling came in and the speculation started: "Pawn shops replaced corner groceries. The last vestiges of the "walking city" disappeared. Today, Simon laments, "the old corner stores, friendly taverns, jazz clubs, Jewish delis, fresh fruit stands, and butcher shops...are all gone." In their place, is a "flat, desolate lunar landscape of streets." increasingly empty except for the luckless and dispossessed."

    About my post about AC 1970's (1974): I repeat over and over again about the problems and the decline of the city, the city was suffering as were many at the time... but it was, as you agree, still "a real city"... I remember well the city that the author describes above still there in 1974: "the old corner stores, friendly taverns, jazz clubs, Jewish delis, fresh fruit stands, and butcher shops... " and those neighborhoods were quite wonderful. It's widespread slide, or perhaps I should have originally said "accelerated" slide started after 1976 when speculation started because of gambling and the city was basically leveled and ceased to be a "real city" and now "looks like a ghost town" as you also noted.

    You write: "it seems clear to me that you thought it was still a good place to live and visit, right up until the casinos started moving in."

    Sure do. And so did thosands who came there to enjoy the beach, the city, the Piers, and on conventions. Look, you tell me: who was staying at the Shelburne, the Dennis, the Claridge, the Marlbourough, the Blenheim, the HaddonHall? These were huge hotels with big staffs to pay, the maintenance, the upkeep. These hotels were open and operating in 1976 and they were in fine condition.... not getting the amount of vacationers they once did but they were not seedy or run-down. Who was staying at them and why? They were not welfare hotels... The city was indeed still a good place to visit. It was losing business. Miami beckoned. But someone was staying at those hotels.... and someone was paying the millions to keep them operating and looking good. If there had not been business, why in the world would their operators throw money away keeping them open?

    As for: "Why would a place worthy of investment prompt its state to change its laws to allow gambling there? "

    Because as I stated, "gambling was going to give back some of the lost luster"... and the city was worthy of investment: It still had crowds, a huge convention hall and important conventions, huge hotels, the piers were stll operating, it was in decline, frayed, but in relatively good shape... it had all of the set pieces in place for a comeback (see ACPlayers photos from the era) ... it was not Asbury Park. The idea of gambling fit like a glove. The city was worthy of investment, and gambling would provide plenty of it.

    Note too that many in NY and Philadelphia would like to see gambling come to their cities as well.

    Also you keep saying: "the decision to bet Atlantic City's future on the concept of bringing in casinos to the hotels. Who made the decision? The politicians."

    Actually I believe it was local businessmen who got the idea going. And it was the populace who decided with a referendum.

    As for: "Clearly, by 1968, the decline hadn't been reflected on a lot of the city yet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it usually takes at least a few years for buildings to deteriorate into visibly poor condition because no one's taking care of them anymore. And of course it looks worse today than it did back then. It hadn't gone through its decline yet!"

    The decline by 1968 certainly could be seen in the inlet, Pauline's Prarie, etc... but not so much in the neighborhoods I mentioned. Actually, the first glimmers of the city's decline started in the late 1940's. But the wide-spread decline, started after gambling came in and speculation started. And that is what sparked this accelerated decline and the city part has never really recovered. Gambling which in 1976 was seen to be the shot in the arm, has left us 30 years later with what you descibe as a place that (outside of a few huge casinos) "looks like a ghost town" and as you've noted : with an even smaller population than before.


    Thanks for pointing that out.

    ----

    So in the end points are those that I've always said: AC was certainly in decline by the 60's and 70's but pre-gaming AC was still a nice place to visit and vacation. Gambling was a great idea and we all believed it would bring the city back to it's hey-day. But gambling was poorly planned, poorly implemented. The speculation from it's inception in 1976 greatly accelerated the city's decline... in fact the brick-and-mortar city has never really recovered and in many ways it is worse off than it was in 1976. Gambling has provided jobs and oppurtunity. But I believe IMHO that the city's physical decline would not have been as great if gambling had not come in. I also feel that Historic District Landmarking (Chelsea, Ducktown) and asthetic codes should still be introduced.. and without them the city's physical appearance, out side of the casinos, will decline further. The city must require the Casinos to be active members of the urban fabric. Leaving everything up to the free market and crossed fingers will not work. Job number 1:

    Get rid of those friggin' blank walls for starters because as so many experts have figured out: they seriously ADD to a city's crime rate.

    ---
    Last edited by Fabrizio; September 29th, 2008 at 09:33 AM.

  7. #1597

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post

    How is it incredible? Clearly, by 1968, the decline hadn't been reflected on a lot of the city yet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it usually takes at least a few years for buildings to deteriorate into visibly poor condition because no one's taking care of them anymore. And of course it looks worse today than it did back then. It hadn't gone through its decline yet!
    These are key. I believe that with or without casinos Atlantic City, at any rate, would have fallen further than it's late 60's status before it would pick up again.

  8. #1598

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    For me that phrase of Pianoman's is jibberish. First of all, the decline had been reflected to one degree or another on large swaths of the city.... exactly as decline was seen in most metro areas of the NorthEast by the late 60's: Philly, NYC... and so many towns and cities in-between. But AC, like those other towns, was (back then) a city of neighborhoods. As I mentioned Chelsea, Clesea Heights, DuckTown, Venice Park, the center of town east of Atlantic was still rather nice (Chelsea still quite spectacular). He says something about: "it usually takes at least a few years for buildings to deteriorate into visibly poor condition because no one's taking care of them anymore." Actually abandoned buildings were in the Inlet and west of Arctic...but in the neighborhoods I mention above.... there were no abandoned buildings...at least that was not the tone of those areas... things in those neighborhoods in AC were actually attractive. I lived there. I walked those streets. I have friends who lived there. We were all over town. It was a shock back then, to go to Philly to see the squallor in Center City... I remember being appaled visiting friends in NYC and finally moving there in 76.

    The wholesale abandonment of those nice neighborhoods and the center of town, started after the speculation that began in 1976.


    --
    Last edited by Fabrizio; September 29th, 2008 at 11:52 AM. Reason: spelling

  9. #1599

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    I'm sure it was no doubt nice, but that was perhaps before white flight. And once middle-class residents left property values plummet and lower-income persons move in.

  10. #1600

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    AC had white flight after 1964 when racial laws changed. Paulines Prarie was actually designed as a barrier to keep out blacks. When the laws changed in 64 THAT'S when whites began to move out of the neighborhods like the inlet that bordered them. Chesea was cushioned. The Italians kept their own neighborhod to themselves but the inlet and of course PP were changed forever and whites left. The storm of '62 also devestated the Nothern end of AC and people left because of that too. It was the second time in nearly 20 years that the boardwalk had to be replaced and homes torn down (remember they were mostly wooden.) The 60's saw the triple whammy of the 64 racial laws, the 62 hurricane, and cheap air fare. But AC still attracted great crowds: the grand old hotels were still there, the Steel Pier had the greatest pop acts playing there all through the 60's, The Beatles played Convention Hall on their first trip to the US ( just to show you how important AC still was on a national level), The 64 Democratic Convention, The Shriners, The American Medical Association still had their conventions. "Summertime on the Pier" was telecast live all over Philly and the Delaware Valley every Sunday afternoon. And believe it or not.... the Miss America Pagent was still, for a few years there, the higest rated show on Television... and sponsored by Oldsmobile.

    AC was not Newark.

    But AC a decade later had ANOTHER cause for white flight and it had nothing to do with race and IMHO in the end it was much more devestating: people were offered a fortune for their homes and guess what? They took it. Businesses saw that bussed-in Casino patrons were holed up inside of self contained casinos and NOT patronizing the city... so guess what? Those businesses folded. As more businesses folded, empty lots grew, streets grew desolate, buildings were abandoned... and guess what? More residents fled. As those homeowners who did not get casinos offers held out (and continue to do so today) guess what? They rent their homes to whomever (and how many) will live there. And the spiral accelerates and continues.

    ---
    Last edited by Fabrizio; September 29th, 2008 at 11:58 AM.

  11. #1601
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Don't underestimate the effect of Airline Deregulation Act (1978) which made it possible for folks to travel to far off places for cheap. This made a place like Atlantic City -- which previously had been one of the viable weekend getaways via bus / auto / train for those living in the NE -- a second, third or tenth choice for Eastern vacationers on the go.

    By contrast those cheap airfares didn't seem to attract masses of far-off folks to the Jersey Shore.

  12. #1602

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    All true. And that's one reason why Casino gambling in 1978 (and for the next 20 years) was focused on bussed-in day trippers. It's sights aimed low.

    In the meantime Ocean City, Wildwood and CapeMay dug in their heels and today are doing well with those Eastern vacationers ...and look fantastic, without casino gambling or worries about being the new whatever.

  13. #1603

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    I think, for the most part, what Fabrizio says is very accurate. As you can see, people were still coming, admittedly is less numbers, but the city was still intact.


    Early 1970's

  14. #1604
    membro sÍnior giselehaslice's Avatar
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    ^The Boardwalk still has that many people if not more now. And don't try to say it does not Fabrizio, you have not been there in 938498384984 years. Intheknow, don't try it either.

  15. #1605

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    I've read some of them, including Death

    And that's what I go back to - the decision to bet Atlantic City's future on the concept of bringing in casinos to the hotels. Who made the decision? The politicians. So that's why I'm again puzzled when you say something like this:
    I seem to remember a public statewide reforendom on that. I might be wrong. What the he!!, I was only 14 at the time.

    Checked it out on the web. I was 12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanti...se_and_rebirth
    Last edited by 195Broadway; September 29th, 2008 at 04:16 PM. Reason: facts

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