in Modernizing Main Street

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226218007
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226218021 | DOI:

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In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed the presidency and promptly implemented the New Deal to help the country back to social and economic recovery by stimulating the lending and spending of money. This book explores how a New Deal program devoted itself to lending and spending during the Great Depression. It also looks at what became of that money once the New Deal sent it rolling along. The book focuses on an important but little-known part of the New Deal: the Modernization Credit Plan, which helped transform urban business districts and small-town commercial strips across 1930s America by making billions of dollars available to shop owners who wanted to modernize their facades. In many cities and towns, storefronts that underwent modernization in the 1930s are still standing on Main Street to this day. This book examines the cultural history of the hundreds of thousands of modernized storefronts that resulted from the Modernization Credit Plan.

Keywords: Franklin D. Roosevelt; New Deal; storefronts; cultural history; modernization; Modernization Credit Plan; lending; spending; Great Depression; Main Street

Chapter.  3465 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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