February 15, 2007

Social housing

A headline in the Feb. 13-15 edition of the Daily Planet ("City reviews planned Section 8 rent hike) and a lucky find at a UC Berkeley library (an old Journal of Architectural Education featuring Richard Plunz' book A History of Housing in New York City: Dwelling Type and Social Change in the American Metropolis) prompted this post. Despite the (provocative) title, this post is not a manifesto on housing. Rather, it is a few photos and a list of books on housing - of the public kind and of the private kind. Left William Houses, public housing, 1938 (source JAE September 1993) Right Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union, garden apartments, 1927 (source JAE Sept. 1993) The photographs above were originally published in Plunz (1990). Quotes from the book review written by Tony Schulman: "The combined cost of Harlem River Houses and First Houses, two on New York's best-designed publis housing projects, was less than half the cost of the Triborough Bridge, built under the same New Deal auspices." "[During] the twenties and the sixties...a combination of factors produced a rare fusion of aesthetics and utility in housing design." "These promosing efforts came to a crashing halt in the seventies with the financial demise of the UDC [Urban Development Corporation] and the withdrawal of the federal government from sponsorship of new housing production programs." In addition to Plunz' book, check out the following titles: Modern Housing, Catherine Bauer, 1934 The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs, 1961 Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America, Gwendolyn Wright, 1981 Crabgrass Frontier, Kenneth T. Jackson, 1985 Housing as if People Mattered, Clare Cooper Marcus, Wendy Sarkissian, 1986 Living Downtown: The History of Residential Hotels in the United States, Paul Groth, 1994 Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal, Gail Radford, 1996 The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Equality in Postwar Detroit, 1996 Holy Land, D.J. Waldie, 1996 Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960, Arnold R. Hirsch, 1998 Reclaiming Public Housing: A Half Century of Struggle in Three Public Housing Neighborhoods, Lawrence Vale, 2002

2 comments:

  1. I love all of your booklists, except of course my reading list keeps getting longer and longer :-)
    I really liked Holy Land.
    Just saw that you part of the Hidden Gems planning group; I'm going to the meeting next week -- looking forward to meeting you in person!

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  2. Jen, thanks for the post. I am a proud book addict with many more lists in the making.

    See you at Hidden Gems.

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