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Modernizing Main Street
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Modernizing Main Street: Architecture and Consumer Culture in the New Deal

Gabrielle Esperdy


An important part of the New Deal, the Modernization Credit Plan helped transform urban business districts and small-town commercial strips across 1930s America, but it has since been almost completely forgotten. This book uncovers the cultural history of the hundreds of thousands of modernized storefronts that resulted from the little-known federal provision, which made billions of dollars available to shop owners who wanted to update their facades. The book argues that these updated storefronts served a range of complex purposes, such as stimulating public consumption, extending the New Deal ... More

Keywords: New Deal, Modernization Credit Plan, urban business districts, America, cultural history, storefronts, consumerism, consumption, construction industry, Great Depression

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780226218007
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226218021.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gabrielle Esperdy, author