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Release: Immediate

UI Press book on 'Main Street America' wins national prize

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa Press book that explores the architectural and cultural history of "Main Street" in the United States has won the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize for distinguished books in American geography, awarded by the Association of American Geographers for 1996.

"Main Street Revisited: Time, Space, and Image Building in Small-Town America," by Richard Francaviglia, is the first book to place the design of small downtowns in spatial and chronological context.

Drawing on 30 years of study of small-city downtowns, Francaviglia examines the physical design and history of Main Street as a geographic place in cities such as Marceline, Mo., and Fort Collins, Colo., as well as the development of easily romanticized images that became an archetype in American culture, best articulated by Walt Disney's "Main Street USA."

Preservation magazine called the book "a shrewd meditation on the reasons why an archetypal Main Street has become such a profound American idea."

Francaviglia is professor of history and director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is the author of several books, including "Hard Places: Reading the Landscape of America's Historic Mining Districts" (Iowa, 1991).

"Main Street Revisited: Time, Space, and Image Building in Small-Town America" is available at bookstores nationwide for $39.95 clothbound and $17.95 paperback. The book can also be ordered from UI Press by calling (319) 384-3807 (for calls within Johnson County) or 1-800-235-2665 (outside Johnson County).

Information is also available at the UI Press website: