History of Vineland
The City of Vineland was established by Charles K. Landis to fulfill his dream of creating the "ideal community". Anative of Philadelphia, Landis imagined a city of factories, stores, schools, churches, and recreation hall surrounded by miles of farms, orchards and vineyards. His dream took shape with the creation of Landis Avenue, in August of 1861. The extra-wide, tree lined street was reminiscent of the Champs-Elysee in Paris.
With its classic grid system and the extra-wide "Main Street," Vineland was designed to attract Philadelphians trying to escape the city, as well as immigrants looking for a place to settle in their new country.
From the beginning, Mr. Landis was concerned with the beauty of his new town and required that homes be set back from the street edge and trees be planted along the frontage. Aesthetics were of utmost importance.
Vineland prospered and Landis Avenue, with its many hotels, restaurants, and shops, was a huge success. But Vineland grew up in times very different than today; merchants directed their attention to the walking trade and the fastest moving vehicle was the horse-drawn carriage.
The twentieth century brought changes to the Downtown. The automobile brought competition from commercial strips and shopping centers. Downtown retailers turned their attention to passing cars, erecting shiny storefronts and eye-catching signs. Many proprietors of the Downtown struggled to survive. Many attempted to compete by mimicking their competitors.
Today, the Downtown is targeted and moving towards more entertainment, dining and specialty shops.
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