Where it began
My one observation is that the folks debating the two topics don't seem to talk to each other at all, don't seem to have much overlap in names and really are just talking past each other. This all will be painful.
Will be.... is.... has been... Will we ever get to will have been?
Here is the New York Times has on November 17, 1947. Not a typo, the date is 1947. You could have a discussion over what just about each line says. So we will just start with the transcript, but I would almost read it backwards.
Regional Plan Association Proposes a Civic Center. By C. Edmund Fisher. November 17, 1947, Page E7
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 8 - A multimillion-dollar civic center eliminating seventy acres of substandard housing from the Pittsburgh business district has come from the drawing boards of two Pittsburgh architects.
Known as "The Pittsburgh Center," it was designed at the request of the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association and turned over to the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce for practical application.If ever carried out, it would provide this steel center of the world with much-needed improvements. The plan includes a huge arena, seating 18,000 for sports events and 15,000 for conventions. a hotel, apartments and a crosstown highway.
Financing for the crosstown highway lias been assured by, Allegheny County authorities, while the city's share of property damages was included in a recently approved improvement bond issue. The. highway would bisect the outer edge of the business district and parallel the southern end of the Pittsburgh Center.
The center's keystone would be the arena. This, according to ,the planning association's proposal, would include, in addition to the auditorium. and sports. arena, facilities for exhibits and business displays. Pittsburgh has long felt the need for a large auditorium that could house major conventions, such as Democratic and Republican national meetings
The center would be constructed on a n,uge section of what is known as The Hill, now partly covered with slums. The civic center would rip out homes and apartments in which 1,995 families now reside, and would 'provide apartments for 2,000 families, plus wide streets, parks and modern schools.
I should add of course that 1947 was surely not the beginning of any of this. One of the first posts here: Seeds of Our (self) Destruction, points out what may be the real genesis of what happened in the Lower Hill District and environs. A film I would use when teaching urban economics is a documentary entitled The City (American Institute of Planners, 1939, available as an MPEG stream via the Prelinger Archives). One of the more remarkable films ever made. I believe as do others that 40 years of anti-urban policy all stem from... if not that film in and of itself, then from the mentality that inspired it. For all intents and purposes, Pittsburgh was its case study.