August 20, 2013

Can a dying city be a place worth caring about?

I lived in this duplex on Tenth Street in downtown Steubenville, OH for a semester in the mid 90s. I passed through town recently and stopped by to see how it looked. The bright red door implies that someone recently cared about this place, but the window is boarded up and the vegetation is beginning to consume the building as it has done to other homes on the block.

Some things about Steubenville.
  • Closed steel mills.
  • 40 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh 
  • 25-30 minutes to Pittsburgh International Airport
  • Little industry left.
  • Two hospitals, A junior college, Franciscan University. (None of which are located in or within safe walking distance to downtown.)
  • A crummy mall several miles from the original downtown
  • A Walmart distribution center out in the country. 
  • In the fracking boom (Marcelus Shale) region.  
This city was prosperous before steel. Could it be prosperous again? Could this neighborhood be a place worth caring about again?

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