The process of planning and redevelopment had come full circle in Norfolk: What had begun under the People's administration as a noble attempt to build the great city of the future had become corrupted by more pressing political and social concerns. Thus Norfolk, because it was the very first city in the nation to attempt redevelopment and among the earliest to initiate urban renewal on any large scale, also became one of the early leaders at manipulating its exemplary purposes to serve a more personal, partisan end. Redevelopment in Norfolk had fallen from its position as part of an overall program of community improvement, and had instead become but one weapon in the arsenal of a powerful political leader, one who was willing to employ this new tool to chastise his enemies, reward his supporters, and otherwise strengthen his grasp on municipal government. Mayor Duckworth was not so much trying to rebuild Norfolk as attempting to redesign it in a more personally acceptable form; in so doing he was guided as much by the vagaries of redevelopment law as he was by more salient considerations.
Although Norfolk's four redevelopment projects proposed massive new public and quasigovernmental facilities--new hospital, public