What cannot be seen will not be heard: The production of landscape in Moline, Illinois

J. R. Crump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The landscape of downtown Moline, Illinois, has been completely remade in the last 20 years. Once the preeminent location of the farm implement industry, the deindustrialization of the 1980s left the city with over 30 acres of abandoned factories along the Mississippi River. Led by the dominant corporate actor, Deere and Company, the area has been reconstructed and now features sites for cultural consumption, service-based employment, heritage tourism and a revitalized manufacturing base. Just outside the new landscape of Moline lies its counterpart: a food bank, substandard housing for immigrant workers, a new prison and abandoned factories. This article argues that economic crisis, in this case deindustrialization, undermined the local power of the working class and allowed business elites, led by John Deere, to have a free hand in remaking the landscape of downtown Moline. The new 'post-industrial' landscape serves many purposes: to revive capital accumulation, to serve as an image maker for Deere and Company, and to function as an economic development strategy based on tourism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-317
Number of pages23
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


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