During a plague outbreak in 1899, officials in Honolulu quarantined and burned the city’s Chinatown. Some Covid-19 talk today echoes their rhetoric.
Before economic-development agencies existed in America, some journalists amassed reams of data and published thousands of pages to promote their home cities.
In 1945, Portland made a short film celebrating the low-rise, landscaped Columbia Villa, a public-housing project for white Portlanders.
Credits for the 1957 CBS airing of The Day Called ‘X’ list the cast as “the people of the city of Portland, Oregon.” City officials, including the mayor, got lead roles.
William Gilpin’s big idea in the late 1800s would have made Denver the crossroads of the world—the place where “the zodiac of nations closes its circle.”
If Robert McCloskey’s Make Way For Ducklings anticipated Jane Jacobs, Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House lined up firmly with Lewis Mumford.
The film’s impact comes from its skillful blend of two other distinct images of Los Angeles—as noir jungle and harbinger of the future.
George Tucker was a 19th century public intellectual who appreciated cities as engines of progress and offered some of the clearest early statements on their behalf. His ideas today still sound impressively modern.
It’s time to retire an old metaphor that has no basis in D.C.’s history.
Exploring the ideas of 20th century city visionaries and how they shaped the genre.