Becoming Portsmouth: Voices from a Half Century of Change

Becoming Portsmouth: Voices from a Half Century of Change

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At midcentury, two federal urban renewal projects in the gritty, blue-collar navy town of Portsmouth decimated two neighborhoods. But in the 1970s and '80s--thanks to an influx of artisans, chefs and entrepreneurs--the Port City emerged as a beacon of arts, culinary excellence and preservation. Iconoclast Jay Smith opened the Press Room, the celebrated music club. A group of concerned citizens saved the Music Hall, the last of Portsmouth's vaudeville theaters. And a Dutch family opened the Euro-style Café Petronella next to a biker bar. Author and historian Laura Pope edits a collection of essays detailing the changes in the last half of the past century that made Portsmouth a lauded arts- and food-lovers' hub and, finally, a diverse tourist destination.