Author Talk About Gentrification + History of Memorial Auditorium June 30

Words by James Lockridge. Press Release by Rights & Democracy.

Memorial Auditorium on Main Street in Burlington has been a city-owned performing arts venue since it was built in 1928, and is home to 242 Main — the legendary teen center and our country's longest-running all-ages punk rock venue. The building was neglected by the city government for so long it became unsafe, so for now it's closed and programming has moved — or shut down, like 242 Main, until repairs are made.

The future of Memorial Auditorium is likely to be a public conversation — a lot of community members are helping raise awareness that Memorial Auditorium is an architectural and cultural treasure that has played an important role in Burlington's history and should continue to serve the city as a multi-function community space, including 242 Main. But we all have to understand what Memorial Auditorium has meant to us, for us to make decisions about it that are anchored in our values.

On June 30, Professor Thomas Visser, director of the Historic Preservation Department at the University of Vermont, will give a short presentation about the history of Memorial Auditorium. It's free, at the SEABA Center, 404 Pine Street in Burlington. See all the information about the event in the press release below, and please join us to learn a little about Burlington's historic and endangered concert venue.


CONTACTS: James Lockridge (802) 373-2890 | Shay Totten: (802) 324-3198

NYC Author/Journalist Peter Moskowitz Speaks On Gentrification and Displacement; UVM Professor to Share History of Memorial Auditorium June 30, SEABA Center

BURLINGTON — Join Rights & Democracy on Friday, June 30, 6pm, for a discussion about how development as a strategy for economic advancement needs to be balanced by policies that prevent the otherwise inevitable geographic inequity of displacement.

RAD is hosting Peter Moskowitz, author of How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood at the SEABA Center, 404 Pine Street in Burlington, on Friday, June 30 from 6:30pm-8:00pm. The event is free and open to the public.

How To Kill A City cover artMoskowitz uses Detroit, San Francisco, New Orleans and NYC as models for how standard development policies can set a region on a path toward gentrification.

Library Journal calls ‘How To Kill A City,’ “A forceful critique of gentrification and its impact on disempowered members of American society." Mark Karlin of Truthout says, “Gentrification takes a community's personal tragedy, loss and destruction, and monetizes it. Understanding how this happens, and how individuals may unwittingly find themselves a part of it is what makes Moskowitz's book so important. It isn't a lesson about what happened, it's a warning about what is happening now."

Moskowitz portraitMoskowitz has written for the Guardian, New York Times, New Republic, Wired, Slate, Buzzfeed, and many others. A former staff writer at Al Jazeera America, he is a graduate of Hampshire College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Moskowitz lives in New York City.

Memorial AuditoriumThomas Visser, professor and director of the Historic Preservation Program at UVM, will open the event with a brief presentation about the history of Memorial Auditorium, drawing from the research of graduate student Emma Rose Haggerty. Visser’s talk will help Burlington citizens understand the value, symbolism and cultural relevance of the 1928 structure. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger intends to solicit community input about the future of the auditorium through a public request for proposals. The time is right to understand Memorial Auditorium’s place in Burlington’s civic story.

Rights & Democracy brings citizens together to build a movement for rights and true democracy, seeking policies that lead to healthy and just communities. RAD organizes on issues related to environmental, economic, racial, and social justice issues. Last Fall, RAD hosted a forum on bringing Fair Development principles to Burlington as a way to ensure that new development provides benefits and protections for all residents. See for more. The event is being coordinated by James Lockridge, a Burlington resident and advocate for public process and the preservation of Burlington’s landmark teen center ‘242 Main.’ See

Phoenix Books — a locally-owned bookstore that values other local businesses, authors, and artists — will be vending copies of 'How to Kill a City.’ Moskowitz will be available to sign purchased copies. Phoenix Books has locations in Essex, Burlington, Rutland, and Misty Valley: “In an increasingly homogenized world, local character is linked to prosperity.”

The SEABA Center is wheelchair accessible. Free coffee will be served, courtesy Keurig Green Mountain and Big Heavy World.

Download high resolution images: ‘How To Kill A City’ book cover, Peter Moskowitz portrait, Images courtesy Peter Moskowitz.

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