Antwerp was established 1841 and developed as a port on the Wabash and Erie canal in northwestern Ohio. It never grew very large and has remained remarkably stable for the last hundred years or so. I like towns like Antwerp. I think we could learn something about stable economic and social states from them. One of the things that makes Antwerp special is its fully functional and intact turn of the century business district. There are no significant gaps in its main street where buildings have been demolished. Almost all of the store fronts are in use. One reason Antwerp's downtown might have survived is that there is no Wal-mart and no Dollar General on the outskirts of town. Almost all of the commercial buildings in the area are tightly clustered along main street. Towns like this are easy enough to find if you look for them but they are no longer typical. The longevity of Antwerp's stable, steady state makes it that much more unique. I spend a lot of time pondering and visiting places that have been affected by catastrophic growth and decline. Places like Antwerp, that just stay the same, are equally interesting though, for many of the same reasons.
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