Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Conor Harrison, PhD

Second Reader

Caroline Nagel, PhD


This thesis is a study on the Columbia neighborhood Arsenal Hill. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Columbia, but most of the neighborhood’s history is largely erased. In this paper, I studied the progression of change in Arsenal Hill with the goal of assessing who wielded power and to what extent race played a role in the neighborhood’s development. I find that race was the fundamental mover of change and that all other decisions and factors revolved around it. The initial decline of the neighborhood stemmed from its racial heterogeneity which then progressed into developers seeing Arsenal Hill as a neighborhood that could boost the Columbia economy so long as the demographics were completely changed. What happened, however, was that developers were successful in changing the demographics, but not in the redevelopment plan. Neither the ousted residents nor the neighborhood was better off from Arsenal Hill’s urban renewal.

First Page


Last Page