Convention Center Follies: Politics, Power, and Public Investment in American Cities

By Heywood T. Sanders | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

This book is the product of a research effort over a great many years involving a large number of communities. Along the way, I have relied on the information, interest, and support of many people, well beyond the small number I can acknowledge and thank here.

My efforts to examine the realities of convention center performance began with the support of Boston’s Pioneer Institute in the late 1990s, and Gabriella Mrad and Charlie Chieppo, then of the Pioneer staff. Nathan Glazer encouraged my further work on the topic. Edward “Ned” Hill, now Dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, provided enormous encouragement and valuable feedback that resulted in the publication of “Space Available: Convention Centers as Economic Development Strategy” by the Brookings Institution in early 2005. My effort to understand the politics of convention center projects was also aided by a number of dedicated local officials willing to question orthodoxy and consultant forecasts, including Emily Evans and Mike Jameson in Nashville, Steve Kozachik in Tucson, and Kiefer Mitchell in Baltimore.

It would not have been possible to study consultant forecasts and actual center performance without the aid of the dedicated interlibrary loan staffs at Trinity University and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Their efforts, and those of countless librarians at university and public libraries around the country, made it possible to review often forgotten public documents.

The case studies of Chicago, Atlanta, and St. Louis that comprise the second part of the book reflect the talents and dedication of a number of archivists. In St. Louis, Carole Prietto then at Washington University introduced me to the wonders of the university’s collection of mayoral papers. Sonya Rooney and her staff were also magnificently helpful in making Washington University’s resources accessible. At the University of Missouri—St. Louis, Zelli Fischetti, Ken Thomas, and the staff of the Western Historical

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Convention Center Follies: Politics, Power, and Public Investment in American Cities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Part I - The Race to Build 1
  • Chapter 1 - Building Boom 3
  • Chapter 2 - Paying for the Box 42
  • Chapter 3 - Promises and Realities 85
  • Chapter 4 - They Will Come… and Spend 124
  • Chapter 5 - Missing Impact 150
  • Part II - From Economics to Politics 209
  • Chapter 6 - Chicago- Bolstering the Business District 211
  • Chapter 7 - Atlanta- Enhancing Property Values 260
  • Chapter 8 - St. Louis- Protection from Erosion 341
  • Conclusion - The Cities Business Builds 430
  • Note on Sources 453
  • Notes 457
  • Index 501
  • Acknowledgments 513
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