[4], During the late 19th century, the term was gradually adopted by cities across the United States and Canada to refer to the historical core of the city, which was most often the same as the commercial heart of the city. It was still the location of banks, stocks and commodity exchanges, law and accounting firms, the headquarters of the major industrial concerns and public utilities, insurance companies, and advertising agencies, and in its confines continued to be built new and taller skyscrapers housing offices, hotels and even department stores, but it was still steadily losing ground as decentralization took its toll. downtown - WordReference English dictionary, questions, discussion and forums. the central area or commercial center of a town or city. the central area or commercial center of a town or city. You gotta go down town, that's the way to … In between were those who saw a diminishment of the area's influence, but not enough to prevent it from remaining the "Sun" that the outlying business districts revolved around. When someone who lives in Downtown tells someone in the Woodland that they are "minutes away" it does not mean they are almost there. The downtown was so small that the parade stood still and the people walked by. Industrial districts developed in these areas, which were sometimes specifically zoned for manufacturing. The term uptown is used to refer to the cardinal direction north. [9] In the short run, the proponents of height limits were successful in their efforts. These were widely known as "taxpayers", as they generated enough revenue for the owner of the lot to pay the taxes on it. With all due respect to Mr. Thompson, I thought downtown meant away from the basket, in other words, it's hyperbole for: he's so far away from the basket, he's off the court, outside the arena, past the parking lot, all the way from downtown ! Organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New-York Historical Society, the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the City of New York, all in Manhattan, moved out of downtown, as did the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Public Library, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Institute of Art, and most of the cultural institutions in Pittsburgh. [14], One way in which downtown changed from the late 19th century to the early part of the 20th century was that industrial concerns began to leave downtown and move to the periphery of the city, which meant that downtown's businesses were chiefly part of the burgeoning service sector. With a few exceptions, such as New York City, this pattern was typical across American cities, and was tied to the slowing down of the rate of growth of the cities themselves. [23], When the boom was over, and the Depression had begun to have its effect, much of this new space became unneeded excess. [16], The loss of the major cultural institutions left downtown as a place primarily dedicated to business, but the loss of another sector, retail shopping, defined the type of business that was done there. [25] Due to well-intended but ineptly executed urban revitalization projects, downtowns eventually came to be dominated by high-rise office buildings in which commuters from the suburbs filled white-collar jobs, while the remaining residential populations sank further into unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. The increased use of automobiles over mass transit also damaged downtown, since the streetcar lines converged on downtown, while the roads went everywhere. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the downtown area was the business district of the American city, but beginning around the 1920s and 1930s, as cities continued to grow in size and population, rival business districts began to appear outside of downtown in outlying districts. What does uptown mean? Not all the movie theaters in the periphery were palaces, but some were, and the net effect was that downtown was no longer the entertainment center of the city. In 1926, Chicago's central business district, which took up less than 1% of the city, had 20% of the city's land value. Some terms are less commonly heard outside of the Boston area than others; some are not used at all outside of … Governmental » State & Local. downtown definition: 1. in or to the central part of a city: 2. in or to the central part of a city: 3. in or to the…. Miscellaneous. John went downtown after being caught drunk driving. "It's a very small step," says Susan Thompson, director, She particularly emphasizes the role of women's civic improvement associations in promoting an image of. Any basket that is scored beyond the three-point line, or downtown, is worth three points. In British English, the term "city centre" is most often used instead. By the 1700s, the duties of footmen became somewhat less athletic and included assisting the butler serving at table, answering the door, and running errands. DOWNTOWNStands For: All acronyms (2)Education Schools (2) Rank. See Crash, Mean time between failure. What limited them then was the thickness of the masonry needed at the base to hold the weight of the building above it. [20], As much as people disagreed about what caused decentralization, they were even less in agreement about how decentralization would affect the central business district, with opinions varying all the way from the belief that it would diminish downtown sufficiently that it would eventually consist of only offices and the headquarters of corporate giants, to the belief that decentralization would lead to the (perhaps deserved) death of downtown entirely as unnecessary, a victim of its untameable traffic congestion. There, land was considerably cheaper than downtown, property taxes were lower, transportation of supplies and finished products was much easier without the constant congestion emblematic of downtown, and with the improvement of the telephone system, the industrial firms could still keep in touch with the companies they did business with elsewhere. [4] As the town of New York grew into a city, the only direction it could grow on the island was toward the north, proceeding upriver from the original settlement, the "up" and "down" terminology coming from the customary map design in which up was north and down was south. ‘a downtown bar’. One textbook, in explaining why edge cities are so popular, stated: The big central city comes with dirt, crime, subways, stress, congestion, high taxes, and poor public schools. [27], Since then, between 2000 and 2010, downtown areas grew rapidly in population. The question of height limits also had a profound implication for the nature of downtown itself: would it continue to be a concentrated core, or as it grew, would height limits force it to spread out into a larger area. Rating. going downtown. Let's have a few drinks at home first; we can go downtown later on. [23], Department stores were hit hard; most managed to keep their doors open, but few made money. Even with the "taxpayers" taking away commercial space, vacancy rates rose precipitously. What does downtown mean? Downtowns also had less daytime population because people now went to the outlying business districts, which were closer to their homes by car, for their shopping and entertainment, to do business, and to work. 1. We know 2definitions for DOWNTOWNabbreviation. [6], Although American downtowns lacked legally-defined boundaries, and were often parts of several of the wards that most cities used as their basic functional district, locating the downtown area was not difficult, as it was the place where all the street railways and elevated railways converged, and – at least in most places – where the railroad terminals were. Mercantile efforts to promote the South Bronx as "Downtown Bronx" have met with little success.[30]. In fact, the instability of downtown was a cause for concern for business and real estate interests, as the business district refused to stay where it had been, and shifted its location in response to numerous factors, although it generally stayed fairly compact – in the early 1930s even the largest took up less than 2% of the city's space, and most were significantly smaller – and remained the primary business district of the city. noun - plural: downtowns. City's core or central business district (CBD) in North America, The movement of the two districts towards each other was stopped at first by the difficulty of building very tall buildings in the area between them, because the bedrock of, Frieden, Bernard J. Prior to the invention of the elevator – and later the high-speed elevator – buildings were limited in height to about six stories, which was a de facto limit set by the amount of stairs it was assumed that people would climb, but with the elevator, that limit was shattered, and buildings began to be constructed up to about sixteen stories. Please look for them carefully. [24], Another sign that downtowns were no longer as central to city life as they once were include the decreased portion of retail trade that took place there as compared to the peripheral business areas, which profited by the growth of the chain stores, to the detriment of the big downtown department stores. Downtown is a term primarily used in North America by English speakers to refer to a city's commercial, cultural and often the historical, political and geographic heart, and is often synonymous with its central business district (CBD). So when a downtown area started to shift its location, some property owners were bound to lose a great deal of money, while others would stand to gain. New Orleans uses the term Central Business District (or CBD) for their downtown due to the historical French Quarter district taking up what would usually be considered the city's historical downtown district, and another area of the city south of the CBD being referred to as "downtown". The phrase acknowledged the existence of other business districts in the city, but allocated to downtown the primacy of being "central", not only geographically, in many cities, but also in importance. Learn more. 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