Downtown Gary: Millrats, Politics, and US Steel provides a glimpse of the Gary of yesteryear when downtown was the social, cultural, and political center of the community.
Before the era of gigantic shopping malls, big-box stores, and online shopping, the commercial centers of major American cities were located in areas often referred to as downtown. From the 1920s through the 1960s, people from throughout the Calumet Region flocked to the Steel City's popular stores, theaters, and restaurants by car, bus, and the South Shore Railroad. For many, Gordon's, Lytton's, Sears, and Goldblatt's bring back memories of window-shopping, making layaway plans, visiting Santa, and being asked "May I help you?" by courteous employees. Downtown Gary: Millrats, Politics, and US Steel provides a look at the stores, politics, churches, schools, and of course, United States Steel Corporation and the millrats of forgotten Gary.