The Landscape of Modernity: 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, immigrants, entrepreneurs and corporate builders. Their labor, their ideals, and their often fierce battles established the physical and social dimensions of the modern city. The Landscape of Modernity tells the compelling story of the growth of New ...

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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, immigrants, entrepreneurs and corporate builders. Their labor, their ideals, and their often fierce battles established the physical and social dimensions of the modern city. The Landscape of Modernity tells 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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Historical Geography

First-class urban history.

New York History

There is much in this collection to ponder, and the extensive notes and brief bibliography should lead the interested reader well beyond the essays. Because the changing urban landscapes in New York City and other cities still owes a great deal (for better or worse) to the decisions made and the buildings constructed in the first decades of the twentieth century there is much that is relevant today.

Journal of American History

[The] attention to the complexity of urban development, the new research reported in most of the essays, and their typically interdisciplinary character, combined with the generous use of maps and photographs and the abundant cross-references within the articles, will make this a valuable collection of articles on New York City.

Environment and Planning

The achievement of this volume is to provide exceedingly useful essays on selected topics and to pose broad questions about the formation of the modern urban landscape.

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: 9780801856099
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

David Ward is chancellor and Andrew Hill Clark Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Poverty, Ethnicity, and the American City, 1840-1925. Olivier Zunz is professor of history at the University of Virginia and the author of Making America Corporate, 1870-1920.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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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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