Empire City: The Making and Meaning of the New York City Landscape

Empire City: The Making and Meaning of the New York City Landscape

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by David M. Scobey
     
 

ISBN-10: 1566399505

ISBN-13: 9781566399500

Pub. Date: 06/28/2002

Publisher: Temple University Press

For generations, New Yorkers have joked about "The City's" interminable tearing down and building up. The city that the whole world watches seems to be endlessly remaking itself. When the locals and the rest of the world say "New York," they mean Manhattan, a crowded island of commercial districts and residential neighborhoods, skyscrapers and tenements, fabulously

Overview

For generations, New Yorkers have joked about "The City's" interminable tearing down and building up. The city that the whole world watches seems to be endlessly remaking itself. When the locals and the rest of the world say "New York," they mean Manhattan, a crowded island of commercial districts and residential neighborhoods, skyscrapers and tenements, fabulously rich and abjectly poor cheek by jowl. Of course, it was not always so; New York's metamorphosis from compact port to modern metropolis occurred during the mid-nineteenth century. Empire City tells the story of the dreams that inspired the changes in the landscape and the problems that eluded solution.

Author David Scobey paints a remarkable panorama of New York's uneven development, a city-building process careening between obsessive calculation and speculative excess. Envisioning a new kind of national civilization, "bourgeois urbanists" attempted to make New York the nation's pre-eminent city. Ultimately, they created a mosaic of grand improvements, dynamic change, and environmental disorder. Empire City sets the stories of the city's most celebrated landmarks—Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the downtown commercial center—within the context of this new ideal of landscape design and a politics of planned city building. Perhaps such an ambitious project for guiding growth, overcoming spatial problems, and uplifting public was bound to fail; still, it grips the imagination.

Author Biography: David M. Scobey is Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the Arts of Citizenship Program at the University of Michigan.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566399500
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2002
Series:
Critical Perspectives on the past Series
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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Empire City: The Making and Meaning of the New York City Landscape 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago