Sunday, February 13, 2011
You could construct a whole course out of this map, published by the Minneapolis Council of Social Agencies in 1937 and more recently re-appearing in this book. Hat tip to Professor Diane Dube of the Mitchell Community Development Clinic for pointing it out to me. I could stare at it, slack-jawed, for hours.
Some interesting things to consider:
- The map appears to recognize that both "Negroes" and "Foreign Born" might live in either "Slums" and or in neighborhoods of "Working-Men's Homes." That suggests to me that the presence of African-Americans and immigrants, alone, was not enough to cause a neighborhood to be labeled a slum -- which, while not exactly a ringing endorsement of pluralism, was still probably slightly more enlightened than some places in 1937.
- There is an area cleverly called "Hobohemia" which I guarantee you was the most interesting part of the city. I wonder if it existed only during the Depression, or if it was a sort of longstanding eccentric neighborhood.
- There is a section oddly called "Business Automobiles."
I am fairly certain the map was intended to be merely descriptive, not prescriptive. Nonetheless, it's fascinating.
Mark A. Edwards
[comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]
UPDATE: Here is the 'Chicago School' map referenced by Kenneth Stahl in his comment in the comments section below. Please read his comment for lots of great information about these maps, and about an interesting article he is working on: