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David Hochfelder on the Human Toll of Urban Renewal

Minerva - UAlbany Libraries


February 13, 2017

Contact(s): Trudi Jacobson, Head, Information Literacy Department,, (518) 442-3581; Rebecca Mugridge, Dean of University Libraries,, (518) 442-3568.

University Libraries - University at Albany

History Department's David Hochfelder on the Human Toll of Urban Renewal

David Hochfelder Photo

On the morning of March 27, 1962, thousands of families living in downtown Albany learned that through eminent domain the State of New York had "appropriated" their homes and businesses for the purposes of building the Empire State Plaza. The stories of the people this urban renewal project displaced are the focus of University at Albany's Dr. David Hochfelder's public research project, "98 Acres in Albany."

Dr. Hochfelder will reveal these people's stories at the next "Campus Conversations in Standish" on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 12:35 to 1:30 p.m. in the Patricia and J. Spencer Standish Board Room at the University at Albany's Science Library (third level). Dr. Hochfelder, Associate Professor of History, will lead a discussion with a talk titled "98 Acres in Albany: Telling the Social History of Urban Renewal." The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Urban renewal was a hallmark of American life in the post-World War II years. An examination of Albany's own history provides examples and context, the most long-lasting in impact being the Empire State Plaza. "What I'd like audience members to come away with is how large-scale urban redevelopment projects changed the faces of America's cities after World War II, and how people at the time directly experienced these sweeping changes," says Dr. Hochfelder.

An expert on the history of United States business and technology, Professor Hochfelder also focuses on public history. He developed the popular undergraduate class "Introduction to Public History." The "98 Acres in Albany" project highlights his commitment to the field. The project's website may be found at

Dr. Hochfelder's discussion will be the second of the spring 2017 "Campus Conversations in Standish" series. Launched by the University at Albany Libraries in spring 2015, the highly-respected "Campus Conversations in Standish" are designed to showcase faculty research and expertise and to connect members of the UAlbany community in an exchange of ideas and perspectives. "Campus Conversations in Standish" are free and open to the public and are held in the Patricia and J. Spencer Standish Board Room on the third level of the University at Albany's Science Library.

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