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The oxford dictionary defines “dichotomy” as, “noun: a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.” In the context of Grand Island, Nebraska, a dichotomy exists in the development of housing. In the 1900s, sand quarrying began along the railroad in Grand Island. When the sand was dredged up from these quarries, the floodplain began to fill in holes over 5 feet deep, creating man-made lakes. As these lakes grew the sand could no longer be quarried, recreation and housing began to develop on their shores. The housing developments, in particular, created a dichotomy: the design of suburbs - cul de sacs, winding roads, sprawl - began occurring around these partially naturally occurring bodies of water, following the shoreline.
Soil, or the organic material, sand, has proven prosperous for the city of Grand Island. Financial benefits of the sand quarrying industry, result in not only profit for the companies and therefore an economic increase in the area, but also for the housing and recreational activities that are developing around the lakes created from the quarries. Due to the increase of housing developments, parks, and fishing lakes, Grand Island has experienced an increase in population as well as a diversity of the surrounding environment in the city. Instead of the arbitrary sprawl of many suburbs, the development of housing follows the curves of man-made lakes. In some instances various lakes were quarried in a random fashion, however, others were quarried with a plan to develop them in the future.
Through the analysis of these lakes, different patterns and information have been found and the drawings represent the gradual growth and change of these lakes over time. Ranging from currently quarried lakes to currently developed lakes, the history of each lake is represented.