Journal of Urban History
Historians have devoted ample attention to the urban crisis, but few have explored symbolic actions to manage attitudes toward metropolitan change. In the 1980s, Cleveland, Ohio, experienced what many politicians and business and civic leaders called a “comeback.” To understand the images and narratives constructed during this intended renaissance, it is necessary to examine earlier campaigns to revivify Cleveland and its reputation. This article traces three such campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the better-known 1980s renaissance, and examines the tension between acceptance and rejection of these images and narratives. This interplay paralleled a tension between decline and renewal that has been a hallmark of the post–World War II American city.
Souther, J., "“The Best Things in Life Are Here” in “The Mistake on the Lake”: Narratives of Decline and Renewal in Cleveland" (2015). History Faculty Publications. Paper 96.