AB: Historic Sites as a Commonplace

Bordeaux, Sarah. “A Place at the Table: “The Role of Historic Sites in Gentrifying Neighborhoods. Our Stories: Shaw through the 1970s,” The George Washington University,  2015, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.


In her scholarly article “The Role of Historic Sites in Gentrifying Neighborhoods. Our Stories: Shaw through the 1970s,”  Sara Bordeaux uses the Shaw neighborhood as a case study to examine the function of historic sites in transitioning areas.  Through her research findings, Bordeaux proves that African American residents in the Shaw neighborhood feel as if they are being displaced, and their history is vanishing as the area is becoming revitalized.  As a solution to this problem Bordeaux concludes that it is vital to find spaces rooted in the “built environment” where people can visit to learn about the neighborhood’s African American history and the narratives of residents in Shaw’s past.  She argues that these exhibitions will act as a gathering place for community members to confront the issues of gentrification and give a voice to those who feel ignored in the rapidly changing neighborhood.


I will be able to use the research found in this article as a method source to analyze how the museums and historic houses can be used as a common place in the Shaw neighborhood.  I will be able to use the authors examples of common places in places like New York City, and explain how they could benefit Shaw.  I can use Bordeaux’s research to show how these spaces could relieve tensions between the area’s old and new residents.

Cotter, Holland. Weeksville Heritage Center. Weeksvillhc, Fig 6, Programs and Research, November 23, 2014.

I will be able to use this image of a black heritage exhibition in Brooklyn as a visual aid for the type of commonplace that would benefit the Shaw neighborhood.


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