- When the Indians showed Father Louis Hennepin the Falls, he said, "Oh my God, how great Thou art!"
- When the local industrialists showed the Falls to Robert Moses, he exclaimed, "Holy Smokes, think of the construction bonds that can be floated!"
- When a native returns today to see the Falls, he exclaims, "Jesus Christ, what happened to my hometown?!!"
The book has many working titles, but "Retrograde Currents: The Power City, 1962-1984" fits so far.
The remarkable growth of the American economy through the First World War created a number of boom towns. With access to plentiful water and immigrant labor, commerce begat cities like Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Saint Louis, Providence, and Buffalo. These places provided homes for millions from Poland, Ireland, Armenia, Canada, Italy, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Georgia. While these cities have shouldered on after
- the rise of the conglomerate,
- the productivity decline,
- the rise of imports,
- the impact of automation and technology, and
- faster supply chains, cities with vertical industry concentrations that were not a county seat fared miserably.
Similar places like Gary, Hammond, East Saint Louis, Lima, and Niagara Falls declined rapidly in population and affluence during the period 1962-1984. This book focuses on Niagara Falls as the quintessential example of changes in the national and regional landscape and answers the questions thousands have asked, "What Happened to Niagara Falls?".
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