194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the by Andrew M. Shanken

By Andrew M. Shanken

During the second one international warfare, American structure was once in a kingdom of obstacle. The rationing of creating fabrics and regulations on nonmilitary development endured the privations that the career had continued through the nice melancholy. whilst, the dramatic occasions of the Nineteen Thirties and Forties led many architects to think that their profession—and society itself—would endure a profound shift as soon as the struggle ended, with deepest commissions giving technique to centrally deliberate initiatives. The journal Architectural Forum coined the time period “194X” to encapsulate this wartime imaginative and prescient of postwar structure and urbanism.

In a tremendous learn of yank structure in the course of global warfare II, Andrew M. Shanken specializes in the tradition of anticipation that arose during this interval, as out-of-work architects grew to become their energies from the equipped to the unbuilt, redefining themselves as planners and growing unique designs to excite the general public approximately postwar structure. Shanken recasts the wartime period as a crucible for the intermingling of modernist structure and patron culture.

Challenging the pervasive concept that company capitalism corrupted the idealism of modernist structure within the postwar period, 194X indicates in its place that architecture’s wartime partnership with company American used to be based on shared anxieties and beliefs. enterprise and structure have been introduced jointly in cutting edge methods, as proven by means of Shanken’s persuasive examining of journal ads for Revere Copper and Brass, U.S. Gypsum, normal electrical, and different businesses that prominently featured the paintings of major innovative architects, together with Louis I. Kahn, Eero Saarinen, and Walter Gropius.

Although the unforeseen prosperity of the postwar period made the structure of 194X out of date sooner than it may be equipped and ended in its exclusion from the tale of twentieth-century American structure, Shanken makes transparent that its anticipatory rhetoric and designs performed a very important function within the frequent acceptance

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Extra resources for 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front (Architecture, Landscape and Amer Culture)

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D. 70 Nothing could cut more radically against the grain of the magazine. 74 Hansen and Greer 32 The Culture of Planning also served as consultants, along with planner Jacob Crane of the National Housing Agency, architects Henry Churchill, Richard Neutra, Walter H. 75 Working with local planning groups in the spirit of the NRPB “actions,” they created a plan for Syracuse. 77 Consequently, the article called for expanded local power and autonomy to acquire and hold title to land, to make zoning ordinances retroactive, and to enact legislation that would create a national policy of city rehabilitation and create federal funding for local efforts.

92 The content is almost inscrutable from the plans, but, as with the NRPB diagrams, this hardly seems to be the point. Stephen aestheticized planning, turning it into art. Eminent domain, stroked by the legerdemain of his bubbles, which trail a gray wash like incendiary comets crossing a crepuscular sky, becomes something more like a constellation than forcible eviction. 93 Like the NRPB diagrams, these images reached beyond literal description to touch people on the plane of aesthetics, providing an image for anticipation and for planning.

In using the plan, Greer clearly sought a visual language for planning that could compete with the lavish visual experience of the rest of Fortune. Luce made the article the cover The Culture of Planning 37 story that month, for which Peter Vardo created an abstract collage with the simple caption “City Planning” (see Plate 6). Vardo explored the tension between the preexisting city, represented in the undercoat of the schematic gray site plan, and the imposition of urban planning, represented in an overlay of colorful shards and force lines, most of which ignore the gray pattern beneath.

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