I've begun reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city referenced in the title is Dallas, Texas. Instead of reading it all the way through and then writing a short review (my usual practice), I've decided to blog as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention.
A good place to start is with this quote in the opening chapter:
I don't think Dallas is unique in this. All cities, all mayors, exhibit this attitude to some degree. And its opposite. In Dallas, just try to tear down a monument to slavery (aka Confederate "heroes") and you'll uncover plenty of history lovers in Dallas.
The City of Richardson has much less history to preserve, but I've seen little evidence of any big difference from Dallas in this regard. Take the recent Main Street renovation. Richardson talks a good game. "We have a vision of a downtown that looks contemporary, but still has an ode to the past," Mayor Paul Voelker said in the City's newspaper Richardson Today. But the main goal appears to have been, not historical preservation, but to cram more traffic through downtown. Regarding the storefronts on Main Street, developer Manasseh Durkin, who is partnering with the City on redevelopment of the area, said, "The city originally wanted to tear a lot of it down" to widen Main Street." Maybe Richardson's leaders just have more polish than Dallas's Mayor Thornton did.
All excerpts of "Paved A Way":
Paved A Way: "Dallas Doesn't Give a Damn About its History"
Paved A Way: Extermination as Government Policy
Paved A Way: The Battle of Village Creek
Paved A Way: Redlining
Paved A Way: Boulevards and Parks
Paved A Way: Freedman's Cemetery
Paved A Way: Deep Ellum
Paved A Way: Little Mexico
Paved A Way: Tenth Street
Paved A Way: Shingle Mountain