Publication Date

April 2018


Courtney Weiss Smith




English (United States)


The redevelopment of the 1960s and 70s in Middletown, Connecticut left a number of archives in its wake. This thesis traces my encounters with these remains, and my attempt to challenge their temporality, physicality, and singularity, reconceiving of what redevelopment archives can be. I begin with an investigation of Middletown?s colonial Southmayd House, which was excavated, preserved, and moved to a new historic district on Main Street. Second, I explore the legacy of redevelopment activists Idella Howell and Reba Moses, advocates of the city?s South End neighborhood, a primarily black community targeted during the redevelopment. Finally, I interrogate the many people and things that went into and emerged from the city?s Parking Arcade garage, a product of the city?s first Center Street Project. The redevelopment archive, I determine, includes matter that was rendered out of the documentary archive. It holds, also, the acts of the redevelopment that remained not as matter but as echoes, reappearances, and engagements. It is composed of networks of hybrid, interconnected actors that span across time and space.



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