Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This book has its origins in two different projects. One was a set of oral histories conducted by Dorothea Berkhout and David Listokin with twenty-four individuals who were involved in or present during the major phases of the redevelopment of New Brunswick. The other was a Rutgers University first-year Byrne seminar on cities, at which James Hughes presented a pictorial history of the transformation of New...

Abbreviations

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pp. ix-xii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-2

The area that was to become the city of New Brunswick in central New Jersey had a bucolic start. In the 1600s, the Lenni Lenape Indians seasonally planted crops, hunted, and traded with the few local farmers. Although, sadly, the Lenape suffered the fate of other Native American tribes as many perished and the remainder were driven out from their ancestral lands, New Brunswick attracted a...

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1. The Economy of New Brunswick: A City Reinventing Itself from Inian’s Ferry to the Information Age

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pp. 3-26

Leaving the New Jersey Turnpike today at Exit 9 and proceeding on Route 18 North toward New Brunswick (which is actually moving in a westward direction at this point), one passes over Route 1 and then skirts the northern edge of the Douglass campus of Rutgers University. There, the full panorama of twenty-first-century downtown New Brunswick unfolds on the left, while the newly renovated...

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Photo Essay. The Corner of Albany and George Streets: The Remarkable Transformation of New Brunswick’s Commercial Crossroads

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pp. 27-34

The intersection of Albany Street and George Street in the heart of New Brunswick is the classic American downtown crossroads. In real estate terms, it was once considered the “100 percent location,” that is, the busiest intersection with the greatest degree of accessibility in the market area.1
Albany Street was originally the King’s Highway in the 1700s, connecting...

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2. The People of New Brunswick: Population and Resident Profile over Time

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pp. 35-64

The historical and economic forces detailed in chapter 1 contributed to the size and composition of New Brunswick’s population over time. This chapter first charts the number of persons calling New Brunswick home from 1800 until today and sets this population in the larger context of national, state, and regional (Middlesex County) demographic trends. Individual sections then describe the...

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3. The National Context of Urban Revitalization

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pp. 65-84

This chapter and chapters 4 and 5 have a dual national and New Brunswick lens. Here we consider the historical evolution of the major housing and economic development programs and strategies in the United States, with a focus on their application in urban areas. With that national perspective established, the reader can better understand and place in context some of the most significant...

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4. New Brunswick Transformation: Challenge and Strategic Response

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pp. 85-117

As described in chapters 1 and 2, economic and demographic trends from the late 1950s onward were not favorable to New Brunswick. The changes were stark. Whereas the city’s central business district (CBD) was collecting $1.8 million in property taxes in 1943, that amount had dropped to $300,000 by the early 1970s (Heldrich 1988, 3). A study conducted in 1979 cited the following losses in...

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Photo Essay. The Transformation of Seminary Hill

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pp. 118-122

The New Brunswick Theological Seminary had its beginnings in 1784, when it was created by the Reformed Dutch Church (Coakley 2014).1 In 1856, it moved into the first building on a campus that became known as Seminary Hill, overlooking today’s Voorhees Mall on Rutgers’s College Avenue campus, and facing the Old Queens campus located at the other...

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5. New Brunswick Transformation. Critical Projects in a Multi-Decade Revitalization

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pp. 123-180

The previous chapter concluded with an overview of the different phases of redevelopment in New Brunswick. This chapter looks in detail at some of the most significant, praised, and sometimes controversial redevelopment projects in the city:
1. The original Memorial Homes public housing and its Hope VI replacement. New Brunswick’s Hope VI project included a new elementary...

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6. Looking to the Past and Future of New Brunswick and National Urban Revitalization

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pp. 181-222

In chapter 3 we presented a brief history and context of urban revitalization in the United States. The discussion in chapters 4 and 5 examined the local scene of urban challenge and response in New Brunswick, with a detailed presentation of many of the city’s most significant redevelopment projects. This final chapter connects these national and New Brunswick threads of urban revitalization, then...

Appendix A. New Brunswick Oral History Interviews, 2009–2015: Biographical Information

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pp. 223-228

Appendix B. New Brunswick Redevelopment and Economic History: A Timeline

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pp. 229-236

Appendix C. Maps

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pp. 237-244

Notes

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pp. 245-250

References

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pp. 251-262

Index

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pp. 263-283

About the Authors

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