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Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Collection, 1949?­1977?

This collection was processed thanks to funding from the ECCF Rosman Family Fund, the Stearns and Russell Trusts, and the White Fund.  

urban renewal


Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Collection Finding Aid 

The Urban Redevelopment records are from the Lawrence Redevelopment Authority and the Lawrence Planning department. Records of Lawrence's major Redevelopment projects include : Plains Project, Common Valley Concord Project, Broadway Essex Project and Garden Union Allen Project. The Saunders Improvement records ( South Lawrence) are also available. Records include administration records; dwelling appraisals and photographs; relocation records; business replacement records; blue-print sized drawings and maps. 

This collection contains materials related to the urban renewal projects undertaken in Lawrence, Mass. between approximately 1957 and 1977. Records include general administrative documents created by the LRA, such as employee time sheets, collective bargaining agreements, the urban renewal master plan, design studies, meeting meetings, agency bylaws, budgets, bills, correspondence, housing and zoning laws, and contracts. These materials, which date between approximately 1959 and 1975, focus on the overall goals and functions of, difficulties faced by, and daily operations of the LRA from its founding in the 1950s to the end of urban renewal in the 1970s. 

There are also extensive records relating to the five completed projects: the Common-Valley-Concord Project; the Plains Project; the Broadway Essex Project; the Garden-Union-Allen Project; and the Saunders Improvement Area Project. The type and number of documents varies by project, but in general includes both administrative records and files focused on project implementation. 

Administrative records for each project include spreadsheets, correspondence, budgets, reports, grant applications, requisitions, and bills. These materials detail the work of LRA employees as they attempted to complete each project. Implementation files associated with the projects include detailed property appraisals and descriptions, deeds, applications made by residents and businesses for reimbursement of costs incurred during relocation, and applications made by residents and businesses for compensation for increased mortgages and rental payments after relocation. 

They also include forms containing the financial and demographic data for residents and businesses affected by projects, information regarding the places to which they moved, and notes regarding their feelings about urban renewal. The collection also contains orders of taking for properties that were forcibly taken from owners, and correspondence detailing negotiations with owners regarding the price of their properties. 

Finally, there are maps, drawings, and diagrams depicting the conditions, layouts, and improvements of project areas before and during urban renewal, as well as proposed land usage after project completion. These records, which date between approximately 1949 and 1977, provide detailed information regarding the processes involved in the completion of each project.