Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Geology
Dr. Charles R. Gildersleeve
Geographers and others have researched the structure, functional relationships and ethnicity along a retail ribbon for a moment in time. Very little, if any attention has been given to their complex relationships over a period of time. Thus, the primary objectives of the study were to examine and determine if Vinton Street in Omaha, Nebraska, is a historic and present-day ethnic retail ribbon, and, furthermore, should time or the evolutionary process be considered as a significant and integral dimension for understanding the city's overall urban retail structure. This study analyzed the historical development of Vinton Street and its adjacent, area, land use classification, location and changes, the ethnic situation of the region and proprietors, plus the mean distance traveled to work by proprietors along Vinton Street for a one hundred year period (1889 to 1989). Each variable served as a chapter that was divided into five time-based stages, Infant through Post Maximal, so comparisons and transitions could be documented for each stage. Then, these stages served as a mechanism to combine this analysis in the final chapter for the conclusion. The results of this geographical analysis indicate that Vinton Street was a historic, ethnic neighborhood retail ribbon that co-exists today as a principal urban arterial ribbon and an ethnic neighborhood retail ribbon. This conclusion was based on such factors as: 1) the direct correlation between the ethnic composition of the study region and the proprietors who operated businesses on the ribbon; 2) the overall ethnic stability of the region and proprietors; 3) the rapid decrease in the number of work-residences found on the artery, as well as within the study region, after its first seventy-years; 4) the consistent increase in the mean distance the proprietor traveled to work; 5) the land use changes from "single-function" (food and barber/beauty) to urban arterial businesses (furniture, real estate and antique/ variety stores) that are dependent on passing traffic; 6) a larger foreign-population as compared to Omaha throughout the study; and 7) the location and structure of businesses along the principal retail ribbon section of the artery. As a result, the structure and function of an ethnic or urban retail artery evolves or changes through time. A temporal and ethnic focus is indeed a significant dimension that furthers the understanding of the city's overall urban retail structure. Thus, the evolutionary process should be considered an important and integral element in studying the urban retail ribbon, as clearly shown in the Vinton Street study in Omaha, Nebraska.
Goodman, Val J., "Vinton Street: Evolution of an ethnic retail ribbon, 1889-1989" (1993). Student Work. 549.
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