In recent years, urban waterfronts have become effective settings for community-based public history projects. St. Louis, with a long tradition of historical commemoration on its waterfront, provides an opportunity to examine the trend toward grassroots public history in the context of broader urban redevelopment strategies and identify some of the difficulties encountered in constructing more socially inclusive historical narratives. In particular, the case studies reviewed here highlight the challenge of balancing internal community-building goals with the demands of heritage tourism. The case studies also suggest the enormous potential of grassroots public history to connect the residents of diverse metropolitan areas more meaningfully to the urban landscape and to one another.

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