The Syracuse area has always had its own distinct character, defined in early years by its salt manufacturing, and in later years by its railroads, architecture, diverse industry, and great sports moments. At the same time, life here has been shaped by events and trends that occurred on a broader scale. As a new century dawns, it becomes an opportune time to reflect upon the far-reaching experiences and impact of the twentieth century. In the early 1900s, like many American communities, greater Syracuse was transformed by the arrival of the automobile, the influx of new immigrants, and the changes brought about by the widespread availability of electricity. In the years that followed, greater Syracuse weathered the economic havoc of the Great Depression and the sacrifices of World War II, but emerged into a new era of prosperity and growth. During this period, the region adjusted to the construction of giant expressways, shopping centers, suburban housing, and the dawn of the television age. These developments left the community enjoying expanded opportunities while facing new challenges for urban revitalization.