Perfect Square: A History of Rittenhouse Square

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Great cities and neighborhoods rise and fall, yet for two centuries Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia has seized the imagination and envy of social climbers, urban planners, and novelists alike. In The Perfect Square, Nancy Heinzen - a resident of Rittenhouse Square for over forty years and an activist committed to its preservation - provides the first full-length social history of this public urban space. Painstakingly researched and generously illustrated with black-and-white photos from public archives, The ...

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The Perfect Square: A History of Rittenhouse Square

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Overview

Great cities and neighborhoods rise and fall, yet for two centuries Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia has seized the imagination and envy of social climbers, urban planners, and novelists alike. In The Perfect Square, Nancy Heinzen - a resident of Rittenhouse Square for over forty years and an activist committed to its preservation - provides the first full-length social history of this public urban space. Painstakingly researched and generously illustrated with black-and-white photos from public archives, The Perfect Square will appeal to lay readers interested in history, to professional historians and urban planners, and to the thousands of residents who have settled on or near Rittenhouse Square.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592139880
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 938,136
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy M. Heinzen has been a resident of Rittenhouse Square for over 40 years. For 32 years she taught and served as a counselor in the Philadelphia School District. She has long been involved as a volunteer and board member in organizations dedicated to the square's preservation, including Friends of Rittenhouse Square, Center City Residents Association, the Rittenhouse Flower Market, and Friends of the Curtis Institute.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Prologue: Urban Oasis (2000)
1. Governor’s Woods (1681–1825)
2. The Early Years (1825–1844)
3. Bricks and Mortar (1844–1863)
4. The Family Years (1863–1884)
5. The Encroaching City (1884–1913)
6. Turning Point (1913–1915)
7. Skyline (1915–1945)
8.Things We Should Fight For (1945–1968)
9. The Millennium (1968–2009)
Notes Bibliography Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Perfect Square: a History of Rittenhouse Square by Nancy M. Heinzen: For Philadelphians, Visitors to the City of Brotherly Love, and Others

    For two centuries, Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has captured the hearts and minds of Philadelphians, visitors to the City of Brotherly Love, social climbers, urban planners, novelists, and others. One of the five squares that William Penn (1644-1718), established when he founded Philadelphia in 1681, the southwest-situated Rittenhouse Square developed from a marshy plot surrounded by brickyards and workers' homes into an urban oasis that evidences its unique and varied history. In this generously- illustrated (more than 50 black-and-white reproductions) and painstakingly- researched publication, with endnotes and a bibliography, Heinzen (formerly a counselor in the Philadelphia School District), a longtime resident of Rittenhouse Square, who enthusiastically is committed to preserving it, provides the first, full-length social history of one of America's greatest, public, urban spaces. In nine chapters, covering the Square from its beginnings until the present, the author showcases the residents, groups, organizations, and businesses that made the Square a vital place over its continuing lifetime. She sets forth the social, cultural, and political developments that influenced the landmark's development from a neighborhood on the margins of the city of Philadelphia into a thriving residential, business, and cultural district. Replete with many reproductions, historic photographs, and drawings, this thoughtfully-conceived, coffee table-like publication, also is artfully- designed, being sized as a perfect square (8 X 8 in.). It will interest general readers, students, scholars, and others. Highly recommended for many large public and academic library book collections, particularly for those located in Philadelphia and its surrounding regions--C. A. Lajos, Art History, Architecture, Decorative Arts, Museum, and Visual Studies Book Review Blog

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