Metropolitan Philadelphia: Living with the Presence of the Past (Metropolitan Portraits)

Metropolitan Philadelphia: Living with the Presence of the Past (Metropolitan Portraits)

By: Steven Conn (author)Paperback

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Description

As America's fifth largest city and fourth largest metropolitan region, Philadelphia is tied to its surrounding counties and suburban neighborhoods. It is this vital relationship, suggests Steven Conn, that will make or break greater Philadelphia. The Philadelphia region has witnessed virtually every major political, economic, and social transformation of American life. Having once been an industrial giant, the region is now struggling to fashion a new identity in a postindustrial world. On the one hand, Center City has been transformed into a vibrant hub with its array of restaurants, shops, cultural venues, and restored public spaces. On the other, unchecked suburban sprawl has generated concerns over rising energy costs and loss of agriculture and open spaces. In the final analysis, the region will need a dynamic central city for its future, while the city will also need a healthy sustainable region for its long-term viability. Central to the identity of a twenty-first century Metropolitan Philadelphia, Conn argues, is the deep and complicated interplay of past and present. Looking at the region through the wide lens of its culture and history, Metropolitan Philadelphia moves seamlessly between past and present. Displaying a specialist's knowledge of the area as well as a deep personal connection to his subject, Conn examines the shifting meaning of the region's history, the utopian impulse behind its founding, the role of the region in creating the American middle class, the regional watershed, and the way art and cultural institutions have given shape to a resident identity. Impressionistic and beautifully written, Metropolitan Philadelphia will be of great interest to urbanists and at the same time accessible to the wider public intrigued in the rich history and cultural dynamics of this fascinating region. What emerges from the book is a wide-ranging understanding of what it means to say, "I'm from Philadelphia."

About Author

A native Philadelphian, Steven Conn is coeditor (with Max Page) of Building the Nation: Americans Write About Their Architecture, Their Cities, and Their Landscape, winner of the Noble Book Award of the Pioneer America Society and available from the University of Pennsylvania Press. Conn contributes regularly to the Philadelphia Inquirer and City Paper.

Contents

Prologue: The Naked City 1. Echoes of William Penn 2. The Ghosts That Haunt Us 3. The Delaware Valley Makes the Middle Class 4. Two Rivers Run Through It 5. In the Mind's Eye: Imagining the Philadelphia Region Epilogue: The Naked City and the Story of Decline Notes Index Acknowledgments

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780812219432
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9780812219432
  • ISBN10: 0812219430

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