A Nice Place to Visit

A Nice Place to Visit : Tourism and Urban Revitalization in the Postwar Rustbelt

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How did tourism gain a central role in the postwar American Rustbelt city? And how did tourism development reshape the meaning and function of these cities? These are the questions at the heart of Aaron Cowan's groundbreaking book, A Nice Place to Visit. Cowan provides an insightful, comparative look at the historical development of Cincinnati, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore in the post-World War II period to show how urban tourism provided a potential solution to the economic woes of deindustrialization. A Nice Place to Visit chronicles the visions of urban leaders who planned hotels, convention centers, stadiums, and festival marketplaces to remake these cities as tourist destinations. Cowan also addresses the ever-present tensions between tourist development and the needs and demands of residents in urban communities. A Nice Place to Visit charts how these Rustbelt cities adapted to urban decline and struggled to meet the challenge of becoming an appealing place to visit, as well as good and just communities in which to live.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 234 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12.7mm | 453.59g
  • Philadelphia PA, United States
  • English
  • 1439913455
  • 9781439913451

Table of contents


1 Urban Decline and the Search for Solutions in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis after 1945

Part I
Heads in Beds and a Box with Docks: Conventions and the Restructuring of the Central City, 1945-1975
2 From Social Center to Convention Center: The Changing Function of Downtown Hotels in Postwar Cincinnati
3 "Fear and Greed": Race, the St. Louis Convention Center, and the Decline of Liberalism in the Postwar City

Part II
Cities Are Fun! Tourism, Image Making, and the "Livable City," 1970-1990
4 City of Champions: Three Rivers Stadium and the Shaping of Pittsburgh's Postwar Image
5 The Accidental Tourist Trap: Image Making and the "Livable City" in Baltimore's Inner Harbor


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About Aaron Cowan

Aaron Cowan is Associate Professor of History at Slippery Rock University and co-director of Slippery Rock University's Stone House Center for Public Humanities.
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