Quincy Is Not Chicago, It’s More Like Detroit
I agree with the yard signs that you see around Quincy, Quincy is NOT Chicago, Quincy in my opinion reminds me more of Detroit, Michigan, let me explain.
So in my just over two years of living in the Gem City, and moving here from Chicago, I get asked a lot about Chicago, and how it relates to Quincy, and of course their are those iconic yard signs that say "Quincy is NOT Chicago" and I know those are meant to send a message to state government about how small town Illinois shouldn't have the same laws as the biggest city in our state. But if you have ever spent time with me at a local watering hole, and had a drink with me, and have asked me "what do I think of Quincy" my answer is usually always "It reminds me a lot of a small Detroit" which makes no sense if you've never been to Detroit so let me explain...
Quincy famously has pretty much been the same population for almost 130 years, just look at Quincy's Wikipedia page, back at the turn of the century into 1900 Quincy had almost exactly the same amount of people as we do right now. ONLY the big difference is back in 1900 those people all lived much closer and more condensed, basically between the river and 18th street. NOW you have the same amount of people but they live between the river and the highway. Which has left sooo much of The District, and the historic downtown of Quincy empty and abandoned, because as the city's area grew the population didn't. So how is that like Detroit...?
Well Detroit like Quincy had a giant hay day many decades ago, at one point in time Detroit was the 3rd largest city by population in the United States behind only New York and Chicago, but when you look up Detroit's Wikipedia page you see that a large city which once had over 1,8 million people now only has 700,000+ people. So they had a massive expanse, and then over a million people left, leaving blocks and blocks of empty historic buildings and homes. Similar to Quincy's downtown area.
Now I don't mean this to be doom and gloom, its more just an observation, and luckily here in Quincy it is much easier of a problem filling our empty spaces then filling space for what use to hold a million people. But it is a good reminder to us all that when we are critical of Quincy for "not making the downtown cool, fun, or just fixing it" we have to remember it is a massive undertaking that will take years of hard work, planning, and new investors like the company creating the boutique hotel. Either way I love both Quincy and Detroit, and they are both worth investing in!
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