Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

by Judith Paine McBrien

Few individuals have had more impact on the American city than architect and planner Daniel Hudson Burnham. In the midst of late 19th century urban disorder, Burnham offered a powerful vision of what a civilized American city could look like. He built some of the first skyscrapers in the world; directed construction of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition that inspired the City Beautiful Movement; and created urban plans for Washington DC, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Manila—all before the profession of urban planning existed. In fact, some say that he invented it.
His work sought to reconcile things often thought opposite: the practical and the ideal, business and art, and capitalism and democracy. At the center of it all was the idea of a vibrant urban community. A timely, intriguing story in the American experience, Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City explores Burnham's fascinating career and complex legacy as public debate continues today about how and for whom cities are planned.

Washington D.C., a good example of City Beautiful, photo by hanelly
more about City Beautiful Movement:

City Beautiful movement

The Roots and Origins of New Urbanism

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