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Lecture 4

Week 4 Lecture Note


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCC26H3
Professor
John Hannigan
Lecture
4

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Week 4:
Solutions to the crisis of the industrial city in late 19th and early 20th century
(crowding, poverty, poor sanitation, sub-standard housing, etc.): Urban utopias
(ideal solutions):
Garden cities/new towns (E. Howard)
oStart fresh and build beyond the existing cities, book them up with new
settlements that combine the best of the town and country
Radiant city (Le Corbusier)
oCity of towers, was opposite solution to Ebenezers
oIdea was not to decentralize and build cities in lower density, but to build
super high rises right in the middle and still provide greenery around it by
having super density
oMulti-tier transportation, hubs, trains, roads, planes stacked on top of one
another
City beautiful (D. Burnham) - City of monuments
oFound its way into contemporary cities
oThe existing cities are dark and ugly, they redesigned them to look nice
oEssential flaw is that problems of industrial city is not just aesthetics, there
are social problems that have to do with inequality poverty, housing
problems
oIn order to really solve urban problems, you have to attack these things from
a social economic view why is there so much poverty and social housing?
City Beautiful
It particularly pops out in a city when it wins the Olympic
What they end up doing is putting a lot of mind in beautifying those streets and other
areas that lead into the Olympic stadium
They clear slums out and put the poor people out in the suburbs
If it has all kinds of social problems, sweep them away and beautify it, but these things
never work in the long run
The City Beautiful movement pops out in one form or another through 19th and 20th
century
One of the great names in City Beautiful movement is named Haussmann was
responsible for redesigning parts of Paris characterized by the grand avenues where
they are really wide
Paris didnt use to look like that, it was particularly a city around Roman time, the
streets were narrow, crowded just like London was before
Haussmanns great achievement was that although not totally, but in some parts of
Paris to get rid of those old narrow crowded streets in Paris and open it up into these
grand avenues and monumental buildings, thought of as the glory Paris
He designed this during the reign of an emperor Napoleon I II
Theres also some discussion in the Hall book, an area of Vienna in Austria called
Ringstrasse (Vienna)
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The North American version of this goes back to one man named Daniel Burnham
Biography:
oSimilar to the other figures we looked at
oBorn in 1846 in New York State, his family moved to Chicago
oHe came from a middle class family, father operated successful business
oBut he was a lousy student, his marks often drops as low as 55%
oHe was really good at sketching and drawing, and spent all his time drawing and not
paying attention in class
oHis father had money, so tried to get him into Harvard, but didnt get in
oIn 1867, when Canada became a country, he returned to Chicago
oHe took a job initially as a draftman = not architects but do architectural drawing
oHe liked it but only lasted for a year, then tried other things
oWas similar to Ebenezer Howard who tried different things and failed it all
oHe tried to be a gold miner but failed, ran for the legislature but failed, returned to
Chicago but totally broke so took a cattle car back
oDecided to try something else, sold plate glass failed, became a druggist failed
oBy then, he started to get on in life although relatively young and tried all kinds of
stuff
oHis father at this point started to get worried, so decided to work his network and
pull some strings
oHe introduced him to Peter Wright hired him as a draftman when he was 25 years
old
oHis life begins to take a upper turn, teams up with another draftman called John
Root and the two of them headed off and combined together and creatively did
well
oUltimately, the two of them formed a partnership, and they begin to get some modest
commissions
oOne day, there was a life changing event, a guy called John Sherman walks in and
hes a powerful man the superintendent of stockyards = where cattle are stored
oUnder his control, John Sherman employed 25,000 people and each year, the Chicago
stockyards slaughtered 14,000 animals
o20% of the population in Chicago depended on stockyards
oSherman wanted to build a mansion in Chicago and had the money to do it
oHeaded off right away with Daniel Burnham and admired him
oUltimately, Daniel Burnham marries John Shermans daughter and became his son-
in-law, gained important connection
End of 19th century and beginning of 1880s, Burnham was starting to take on
Shermans route and take commission that would certainly put him on the map
internationally with the City Beautiful movement
What this involved was actually building a temporary city
Back in 1880s, expositions were tremendously important, if you want to hold a world
expo, it was huge because it was a way of showcasing your city and country to the world
Who was to be in charge of building the Worlds Columbian Exhibition? As it
happened, the right to design the exhibition actually went to Burnham
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