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Old Posted Jul 9, 2007, 12:29 AM
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MobyLL MobyLL is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Denver
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nath05 -- good points here -- I never thought of it this way, but you're right, Lubbock really is kind of an ideal petri dish for anyone studying typical American suburban development over the last 80 years or so.

Originally Posted by nath05 View Post
...Whatever the reason, even places like Midland and Amarillo like to have a joke at Lubbock's expense.

...Now, keep in mind, it's not at all an urban place. The city didn't even come into being till the '20's, so it missed out on the golden age of the streetcar and dense downtown shopping districts. It grew slowly and steadily in a suburban manner, but never developed much of a downtown core. After the tornado, the downtown was more or less left for dead, and the retail growth of the city took place on auto-centric strips further and further away from downtown.

Lubbock is actually kind of an interesting place if you're curious about suburbia - because it's so flat with absolutely no geographic boundaries for sprawl, you get a taste of the development of suburban aesthetic the further you travel south of downtown. 19th Street - a mile south of downtown - is mostly 30's buildings that come up to the sidewalk but leave room for parking to the sides. 34th Street - two miles from downtown - is all retro 50's; early strip malls that are now dying, drive in burger places with space-age lines, etc. 50th Street - three miles from downtown - you begin to see the early indoor shopping malls with large parking lots. 82nd street - five miles from downtown, you get your big boxes. 98th Street - exburbia. Tacky faux historicism in auto-dominated parking areas. It's interesting, but in a subtle way. Greenwich Village it is not, but it is a microcosm of suburban development as its progressed throughout the past 80 years. Anyone who's interested in cities should have an interest in how and why they've developed the way they have, and Lubbock, with its massive sprawl and linear growth, showcases that history better than almost anywhere.
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Lubbock catches hell, but I think there's at least a few other cities in Texas that are guilty too...
...Amarillo, Abilene, Waco, Beaumont and Tyler on the other hand are encouraging. They've made strides in renovating old buildings and encouraging downtown living. These still have a way to go, but it's awesome that that these small and mid-sized cities are at least making the effort while others give up.
KFT - One aspect about Lubbock that is different from most other mid-size Texas cities is that it is not on major interstate route. Amarillo (I-40), Midland/Odessa, Abilene (all I-20), Waco (I-35), Beaumont (I-10) -- Lubbock has I-27 which basically just connects it to Amarillo. I may be over analyzing this, but I really think this fact contributes to the sort of isolated, provincial (sorry) feel to Lubbock. Lubbock is bigger and has a major university which Amarillo does not (West Texas State is relatively small and about 15 miles south in Canyon), yet somehow Amarillo has always seemed more "interesting" (at least to me).
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