Cities Journal
The Journal

Gary, Indiana Used To Be A Ghost Town. Not Anymore!

Only 30 minutes from the south side of Chicago lies Gary, Indiana, originally established as a company town for U.S. Steel in 1906. When the steel industry took a major downturn in the 60s, the town was depressed, poor and has never fully recovered.

It has often received the infamous honor of the murder capital of the U.S., and is beginning to see signs of revitalization and is still home to thousands of people, but by the looks of its downtown area you’d never guess it.

Thirty-thousand jobs were gone in a flash, and the flight of people away from Gary led to whole complexes of buildings being abandoned, such as the once proud City Methodist Church, built in the 1920s. U.S. Steel paid $385,000 towards the $1 million construction costs of the church, which used to hold 950 people every Sunday and boasted a total congregation of 3,000.

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