The Landscape of Modernity: Essays on New York City, 1900-1940

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New York City stands as the first expression of the modern city, a mosaic of disparate neighborhoods born in 1898 with the amalgamation of the five boroughs and shaped by the passions of developers and regulators, architects and engineers, politicians and reformers, immigrant entrepreneurs and corporate builders. Through their labor, their ideals, and their often fierce battles, the physical and social dimensions—the landscape—of the modern city were forged. The original essays in The Landscape of Modernity tell ...

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New York 1992 Hardcover First Edition Fine in Near Fine jacket 370 pp. (NEW YORK)

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New York, NY, U.S.A. 1992 Hardcover First Edition/First Printing Fine in Fine jacket Book DJ in archival cover. First Edition First Printing 1 on the number line.

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Overview

New York City stands as the first expression of the modern city, a mosaic of disparate neighborhoods born in 1898 with the amalgamation of the five boroughs and shaped by the passions of developers and regulators, architects and engineers, politicians and reformers, immigrant entrepreneurs and corporate builders. Through their labor, their ideals, and their often fierce battles, the physical and social dimensions—the landscape—of the modern city were forged. The original essays in The Landscape of Modernity tell the compelling story of the growth of New York City from 1900 to 1940, from the beginnings of its skyscraper skyline to the expanding reaches of suburbanization.

At the beginning of the century, New York City was already one of the world's leading corporate and commercial centers. The Zoning Ordinance of 1916, initially proposed by Fifth Avenue merchants as a means of halting the uptown spread of the garment industry, became the nation's first comprehensive zoning law and the proving ground for a new occupation—the urban planner. During the 1920s, frenzied development created a vertical metamorphosis in Manhattan's booming business district, culminating in its most spectacularly modern icon, the Empire State Building. The city also spread laterally, with the controversial development of subway systems and the creation of the powerful Port of New York Authority, whose new bridges and tunnels decentralized the population and industry of New York. New York's older ethnic enclaves were irrevocably altered by this new urban landscape: the Lower East Side's Jewish community was nearly dismantled by the flight of the garment industry and the attractiveness of new suburbs, while Little Italy fought government forces eager to homogenize commercial use of the streets by eliminating the traditional pushcart peddlers.

Illustrated with striking photographs and maps, The Landscape of Modernity links important scenes of growth and development to the larger political, economic, social, and cultural processes of the early twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
On New York city--the self-interested battles and political maneuvering from 1900 to 1940. A fascinating account of a remarkable laboratory for city and regional planning within a crazy quilt of peoples, profiteers and idealists. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871549006
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Pages: 384

Meet the Author

DAVID WARD is professor of geography and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

OLIVIER ZUNZ is professor of history at the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Notes on Contributors
List of Illustrations
Pt. I Introduction
1 Between Rationalism and Pluralism: Creating the Modern City 3
Pt. II Planning for New York City
2 Regulating the Landscape: Real Estate Values, City Planning, and the 1916 Zoning Ordinance 19
3 Density and Intervention: New York's Planning Traditions 46
4 Joining New York City to the Greater Metropolis: The Port Authority as Visionary, Target of Opportunity, and Opportunist 76
5 The Regional Plan and the Transformation of the Industrial Metropolis 106
Pt. III Building the Vertical City
6 Corporate Identity and the New York Office Building: 1895-1915 129
7 Form Follows Finance: The Empire State Building 160
Pt. IV Going from Home to Work
8 Subways, Transit Politics, and Metropolitan Spatial Expansion 191
9 Sweatshop Migrations: The Garment Industry Between Home and Shop 213
Pt. V Fighting for Identity
10 Little Italy's Decline: Immigrant Renters and Investors in a Changing City 235
11 On the Fringes of the City: Jewish Neighborhoods in Three Boroughs 252
12 Cities of Light, Landscapes of Pleasure 273
13 "The Pushcart Evil" 287
Pt. VI Completing the Landscape
14 Fiorello H. LaGuardia and the Challenge of Democratic Planning 315
Selected References 331
Index 343
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