Revitalizing Small City Downtowns
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This thesis explores the proposition that the under-utilized centers of smaller U.S. cities that were once vital but are now struggling due to a loss of industry, jobs, population decentralization and shifts in transit leading to the collapse of their social and business infrastructure, can be revitalized by evidencing, displaying, merchandizing and rebranding their past to become tourist destinations. Adjustments to the urban fabric, at the scale of the city and individual buildings, can awaken ideals of the past that can invigorate decaying city centers. Hagerstown Maryland is selected as a demonstration of this proposition.