Date Thesis Awarded

4-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Government

Advisor

John McGlennon

Committee Member

Christopher Howard

Committee Member

Matthew Allar

Abstract

American railway stations stand tall among other buildings for reasons other than their physical size. These stations were born out of the monumental school that commanded buildings to serve higher purposes, to represent the ideals and aspirations of the people who built them. To accomplish this grand vision stations were built to artful extremes; bell towers, Doric columns, and waiting rooms the size of football fields were not uncommon features. Due to their elaborate forms, these stations have not weathered the tests of time as have smaller, simpler buildings. After a few tumultuous decades of reckless destruction, planners today have begun to embrace the power of urban renewal, and railway stations have been their laboratories. The following research concludes that stations are ideal specimens for modern-day reuse when they are unable to fulfill their original purposes. I attempt to uncover which environmental conditions are most hospitable to renewal, and find that collective action and institutional advocacy are the most important factors keeping these icons alive.

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Creative Commons License
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