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Niagara Falls, New York: The Epitome of Bad Urban Planning

An extensive piece in Bloomsburg BusinessWeek uncovers the bad ideas and worse decisions that led to the downfall of Niagara Falls, New York. Step one? Replacing the historic downtown with "a bunch of modernist follies."

Andrew Rice writes:

"There was a massive hangar-like convention center designed by Philip Johnson; Cesar Pelli's glassy indoor arboretum, the Wintergarden, which was finally torn down because it cost a fortune to heat through the Lake Erie winter; a shiny office building known locally as the "Flashcube," formerly the headquarters of a chemical company and now home to a trinket market. Once a hydropowered center of industry, Niagara Falls is now one of America's most infamous victims of urban decay, hollowed out by four decades of job loss, mafia infiltration, political corruption, and failed get-fixed-quick schemes."

Rice says that there are obviously a lot of folks at fault, but there is one man at the center, a Manhattan real estate billionaire who was appointed to be the ""master redeveloper" of 140 acres of downtown real estate."

Full Story: The Fall of Niagara Falls

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