From Sam Bass-Warner’s "The Private City," 1968

The Private City is a history of three periods of growth for the city of Philadelphia.

“To a modern observer, half-blinded by the scenes of uncontrolled butchery in his own era, the moderation of the conflict among the political and military groups of the American Revolution appears almost incomprehensible.” (23)

“During the seventy years from 1860 to 1930 the residential areas of Philadelphia shifted from milf to pronounced segregation by income and ethnicity… Unskilled workers…became ghettoized… Streetcars, telephones, big mills and offices had freed the skilled worker to use residential criteria in choosing his home neighborhood…. As the organization of large firms (more than twenty workers per establishment) brought coordination of scattered workers in a neighborhood, the old pattern of skilled workers and proprietors living on the front streets and the unskilled in the alleys and back streets disappeared. As the nineteenth century wore on, the skilled and well-paid abandoned the old office and mill districts to seek at the outer, growing edge of the city the amenities of new houses, more light and air, larger yards, new schools and income homogeneity. The result by 1930 was a core city of poverty, low skills, and low status surrounded by a ring of working-class and middle-class homes” (170-1).


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