Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Zachary Scarlett


Gary, Indiana was widely regarded as one of the most successful and promising industrial American cities of its time. Gary was founded by the United States Steel Corporation to be a "model" industrial city created by a private corporation. Gary is unique in that the city was conceptualized, planned, and constructed by a private entity, with little public or governmental input, for the purpose of serving the US Steel industry. As "groundbreaking" and "innovative" as the urban planning of Gary was supposed to be, conditions of segregation in the city caused by a divide between the premiere steel mills and a lack of scientifically planned housing subdivisions, proved to be an interesting catalyst for issues of class conflict, racial conflict, and severe environmental damage This thesis, argues that the United States Steel Corporation, as a private entity overseeing the urban planning of Gary, Indiana is culpable in the segregation and racism that occurred in early twentieth century Gary and in the environmental racism that occurred in the city due to US Steel having full control over the planning, construction, and the political-economic ethos over the city and its residents.