Spaces- An Analysis of Warrenton, VA

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Main Street

Social Space

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Main Street

Instead of examining the areas in and around Fredericksburg I decided to my hometown of Warrenton, Virginia. Warrenton is about 40 miles northwest of Fredericksburg. It has a population of  9,000, which seems like a larger number for what is viewed as a small town. In Warrenton there is an extreme special divide, all of the old homes that are located Old Town Warrenton are extremely expensive, everyone in town refers to these homes as mansions, the ironic thing about Warrenton is that all the nicer homes are located south of main street while the lower income apartments and what is deemed the bad area is just slightly north of Main Street.

Growing up in Warrenton, my friends and I had serious boundaries, even though the school zoning incorporates both areas north and south of Old Town, there were societal boundaries established. For an area that is over 70% white the one area that has more cultural diversity just so happens to be what is considered to be the “bad area”

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Courthouse

These social dimensions are what Simmel emphasized in his discussions of space. It is not the physical dimensions but the social that matter. Old Town Warrenton (i.e. Main Street) is strategically placed, having many accessible shops/restaurants near the courthouse, post office, and DMV this area, it is the oldest part of Warrenton and is the center of activity during the day and at night. The boundaries that surround Old Town are what divide the town. The unity among those that live in historical homes is incredible there are themed parties during the holidays with extravagant decorations, and less than a mile north there is the area contains low income housing with very few distinguishable characteristics.

Simmel discusses how space is societal, based on how it inhabitants are tied to the area, Warrenton is very inclusive and most people that live in Old Town have lived for most of their lives. This is in both areas. The little divide that they have seems to be a large barrier. Main Street is the divide that shows the cultural divide.

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