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New Market Revisited

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cemaphon

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With the end of the Great Depression, and the WWII and postwar economic boom, New Market has grown by leaps and bounds. Here we are in 1952:

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This map shows the 1935 borders in red, and the expanded borders in blue. Most of the blue area is postwar residential single-family housing to fill the demand of the returning GIs and their growing families in what is beginning to be recognized as a "baby boom."

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As you can see, the downtown has developed considerably. While still a small city by most standards, it is now the 3rd largest in the Pacific Northwest, after Seattle and Portland

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As downtown real estate prices have climbed, commercial development has pushed westward all the way to Columbia Street, replacing much of the older housing: The main exception to this are the blocks with apartments, as the costs and legal issues involved make such redevelopment unattractive. The blurred area shows these residential enclaves in the downtown area

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This stately building to the right is the administrative headquarters of the Holden Lumber Co, and leases space to many other fine companies as well.

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A new theater and several fancy department stores have been built along the newly designated State Highway 99 as it passes through town.

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Closer to the industrial area, Highway 99 gets rather seedy:

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When 5th Ave was widened to accomodate the highway it was necessary to knock down a few of the older civic structures that were beginning to be overcrowded anyway. The tall white building is the new city hall (the old city hall building to the right is undergoing renovation now, but despite weekly commitee meetings, no one is quite sure what the city will do with the building once the work is done) Across the street is the new County building, which also handles State business until a new State Capitol can be built.

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Even Chinatown has flourished - the open-air market has been twice saved from redevelopment by community action, and is in the process of becoming designated as an Historic Landmark to prevent future attempts. Meanwhile, some businesses operated by and catering to the local Asian population have sprung up nearby.chinatown.jpg

But not all the economic news is rosy. Changing tastes, and competition from the newer and more upscale department stores have left this old downtown gem sadly neglected:

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The old industrial area is becoming rather dilapidated as well. The older factories here face heavy competition from the newer and better serviced industrial areas at Crook's Bend and Cedar River. Additionally, the factories have to deal with heavy traffic nearby, higher taxes, and battles rage weekly in the City Council about the pollution, noise and crime associated with this area Still it does provide a lot of local jobs, so just about everyone treads carefully around the subject:

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Well, this update is shaking up to be much bigger than I realized it would be, so having shown off the downtown, I think I'll call it an update, and show some of the development around the outskirts next time.


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