Archive Record

Object Name Map
Catalog Number 1998.009.001.a,b
Description Insurance maps of Chattanooga, Tenn. , Vol I and Vol II. 1955. Made by Sanborn Map Co. Revised in following years, up to the Urban Renewal / Golden Gateway project in 1959.

These are insurance maps of Chattanooga, TN made by the Sanborn Map Company in 1955. Blue buildings mean they were made of concrete, pink buildings were made of bricks. The maps were updated in 1959 to include the Urban Renewal redevelopment program, which intended to redevelop the West Side of Chattanooga, which was thought to have been one of Chattanooga's most blighted areas of town. Rather than reprinting all new insurance maps, they printed a copy of the plans for Highway 27 and made notes about what buildings were being removed, cut them out, and glued them over the existing insurance maps. This method of updating the maps gives us a unique, "ghost-like" picture of Urban Renewal. Look closely at the maps and consider what has been lost and gained through this redevelopment program.

The people who lived, worked, and built a community on the West Side were forced to relocate. While the neighborhood was mixed racially, the greatest impact was felt by working class African Americans who were pushed into some of the most polluted areas of the city, namely Alton Park, Piney Woods, and Emma Wheeler homes.
Date 1955-1959
Lexicon category 8: Communication Artifact
Lexicon sub-category Documentary Artifact
Accession number 1998.009