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The Hoover and Vernon Model of the Neighborhood Life Cycle: The Lake Como Case Study of Stage Four - Abandonment

Authors: Jana Pimentel*, Texas Christian University
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: urban, neighborhood, Texas, vacant lots, abandonment
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual Track 2
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Lake Como neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas was founded as a streetcar suburb and entertainment destination in 1889. The original plan was to build grand homes on large lots surrounding the lake and its entertainment amenities. After bankruptcy, the land was subdivided into small residential lots. African-Americans, many of whom worked as domestic servants, began purchasing lots and building homes. For decades, Lake Como has been in a state of decline. My research suggests that this neighborhood is following patterns described by the Hoover and Vernon Model. The model proposes five stages in a residential neighborhood’s life cycle: initial development, stability, downgrading, abandonment, and renewal. I find ample evidence to show that the Lake Como neighborhood is in the abandonment stage, marked by numerous vacant lots as well as buildings that have fallen into excessive disrepair and are now considered substandard by city agencies. Each block in the neighborhood contains a total of forty residential lots. Using local tax data, lots with a $0 improved value are considered vacant. Preliminary research of a sample section of ten blocks with a total of 400 lots shows that 29% of the lots are vacant.

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