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Lost Gary, Indiana Paperback – May 18, 2015
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About the Author
Jerry Davich was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. Since 2006, he has worked as a metro columnist with the Post-Tribune Newspaper of Northwest Indiana, a Chicago Tribune Media newspaper. He has won more than forty state and national awards from various journalism organizations for his work, including many columns on the Steel City.
Christopher Meyers is the former director of planning and development for the City of Gary.
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Top customer reviews
All in all, this is a great book for learning about Gary, and especially about it's architectural history. I mean, who knew that Gary had an architectural history?
I remember shopping in downtown Gary, and walked many of the streets as a U.S.P.S. letter carrier for a short time. I remember driving through neighborhoods with green trees and lawns, lovely well-cared-for homes and friendly people. I fondly recall how my husband loved to visit a neighborhood park on weekends to buy lamb being roasted at a Croatian picnic.
Jerry Davich's historical accounting of how Gary became Gary, of the early beginnings, and of the vibrant city it once was, is fascinating yet heartbreaking. I knew Gary was facing a lot of deterioration, but I had no idea of the extent until reading Mr. Davich's book. I also had no idea of the rich cultural heritage that permeated this gritty yet dynamic steel town. I liked how he wrote about different sections of town inhabited by various ethnic groups and how they came to be populated. I only wish I had known more about this history during my short time living in Gary. The sections of the book addressing Gary's various "claims to fame" were fascinating. I had no idea Frank Lloyd Wright left his footprints there.
But I am so saddened to read and see how dilapidated this city has become through the years. Mr. Davich discusses white flight, corruption, crime, loss of jobs, racial tensions and loss of hope from a personal perspective that I found both appealing and disheartening. It is depressing to read about how a once booming blue collar town has slipped and fallen into a partially abandoned shell of a city, with rusted and crumbling infrastructure. It's depressing to realize how so many lives, hopes and dreams have been dashed through the years with the collapse and decaying of Gary.
I'm glad Mr. Davich wrote this book, and especially liked how he "rediscovered" his old home town and saw it in ways that surprised him. His book serves as a wonderful history of what Gary once was, and hopefully will also provide an impetus to encourage those who hold the power, authority and money to work together to bring back even a little of the life and prosperity that once made Gary a proud working class city. Perhaps heavy industry such as the huge steel mills is a thing of the past for Gary, but perhaps, too, there are other opportunities just waiting for those who are willing to step in and take a chance on the once "Magic Industrial City."