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The Private Lives of New York’s Public Spaces
New York City is home to some of the most recognizable places in the world. As familiar as the sight of New Year’s Eve in Times Square or a protest in front of City Hall may be to us, do we understand who controls what happens there? Kristine Miller delves into six of New York’s most important public spaces to trace how design influences their complicated lives.
Miller chronicles controversies in the histories of New York locations including Times Square, Trump Tower, the IBM Atrium, and Sony Plaza. The story of each location reveals that public space is not a concrete or fixed reality, but rather a constantly changing situation open to the forces of law, corporations, bureaucracy, and government. The qualities of public spaces we consider essential, including accessibility, public ownership, and ties to democratic life, are, at best, temporary conditions and often completely absent.
Design is, in Miller’s view, complicit in regulation of public spaces in New York City to exclude undesirables, restrict activities, and privilege commercial interests, and in this work she shows how design can reactivate public space and public life.
Kristine F. Miller is associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota.
The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair
From April 1964 to October 1965, some 52 million people from around the world flocked to the New York World’s Fair, an experience that lives on in the memory of many individuals and in America’s collective consciousness. Taking a perceptive look back at "the last of the great world’s fairs," Samuel offers a vivid portrait of this seminal event and of the cultural climate that surrounded it. He also counters critics’ assessments of the fair as the "ugly duckling" of global expositions. Opening five months after President Kennedy’s assassination, the fair allowed millions to celebrate international fellowship while the conflict in Vietnam came to a boil. This event was perhaps the last time so many from so far could gather to praise harmony while ignoring cruel realities on such a gargantuan scale. This world’s fair glorified the postwar American dream of limitless optimism even as a counterculture of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll came into being. It could rightly be called the last gasp of that dream: The End of the Innocence. Samuel’s work charts the fair from inception in 1959 to demolition in 1966 and provides a broad overview of the social and cultural dynamics that led to the birth of the event. It also traces thematic aspects of the fair, with its focus on science, technology, and the world of the future. Accessible, entertaining, and informative, the book is richly illustrated with contemporary photographs.
The Extraordinary Story of Music at St. Patrick's Cathedral
Victorian-era divas who were better paid than some corporate chairmen, the boy soprano who grew up to give Bing Crosby a run for his money, music directors who were literally killed by the job-the plot of a Broadway show or a dime-store novel? No, the unique and colorful history of St. Patrick's Cathedral.Since its inception more than 125 years ago, the Cathedral Choir has been considered the gold standard of liturgical music-an example of artistic excellence that has garnered worldwide renown. Yet behind this stately facade lies an intriguing mix of New York history, star secrets, and high-level office politics that has made the choir not only a source of prime musical entertainment but also fodder for tabloids and periodicals across the nation. In this unique and engaging book, readers are treated to a treasure trove of vibrant characters, from opera stars from around the world to the thousands of volunteer singers who brought their own hopes and dreams-and widely varying musical abilities-to the fabled choir.As the city's preeminent Catholic institution, St. Patrick's Cathedral has served one of the most dynamic and diverse communities in the world for well over a century. It has been intimately entwined with the history of New York: a major center of culture in the nation's cultural capital. The Cathedral Choir provides an extraordinary and largely overlooked insight into this history, and in Salvatore Basile's pitch-perfectexploration it becomes a microcosm for the larger trends, upheavals, and events that have made up the history of the city, the nation, and even the world. Basile also illuminates the choir's important role in New Yorkers' responses to some of the most momentous events of the past one hundred years, from world wars to world's fairs, from the sinking of the Titanic to 9/11, as well as its central role in the rituals and celebrations that have made life in the city more joyful-and bearable-for millions of people over the decades.While the phrase church choirusually evokes the image of a dowdy group of amateurs, the phrase Choir of St. Patrick's Cathedralhas always meant something quite different. Salvatore Basile's splendid history shows just how different, and just how spectacular, the music of St. Patrick's is.
In this engaging, erudite new book, Robert J. Kaczorowski, Director of the Condon Institute of Legal History, immerses readers in the story of Fordham Law School from the day it opened its doors in 1905 in the midst of massive changes in the United States, in the legal profession, and in legal education. Kaczorowski explores why so many immigrants and their children needed the founding of Catholic law schools in order to enter the legal profession in the first half of the twentieth century. He documents how, in the 1920s and 30s, when the legal profession's elites were actively trying to raise barriers that would exclude immigrants, Dean Wilkinson and the law faculty at Fordham were implementing higher standards while simultaneously striving to make Fordham the best avenue into the legal profession for New York City's immigrants. Tracing Fordham Law School's history in the context of developments in legal education over the course of the twentieth century, this book pinpoints those factors that produce greatness in a law school and those that contribute to its decline. Fordham University School of Law: A History shows and explains why, prior to World War II, Fordham was one of the leading law schools in America and, along with Columbia, one of the top two law schools in New York City. As one of those leading schools, Fordham was in the vanguard of legal education reform, and its faculty made important contributions to legal scholarship. Fordham University School of Law: A History also reveals that, after World War II, the Law School suffered a decline, primarily because of inadequate funding resulting from the university's fiscal policies. These policies brought the university's administration into direct conflict with the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), which consistently observed that the Law School was being starved for funds compared to its peer schools, with the result that peer law schools were improving their quality while Fordham was in decline. The conflict, which did not approach resolution at Fordham until the last quarter of the century, was replicated throughout legal education, especially in Catholic universities yet, this is the first scholarly work to document and explain it. Kaczorowski's wonderfully contextualized, meticulously documented history of Fordham Law School brings readers right up to the present day and traces how the Law School, with the unprecedented financial support and active involvement of its alumni, is resuming its prior position as one of the nation's leading law schools.
The Journey from Board of Transportation to MTA
Streetcars “are as dead as sailing ships,” said Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in a radio speech, two days before Madison Avenue’s streetcars yielded to buses. LaGuardia was determined eliminate streetcars, demolish pre-1900 elevated lines, and unify the subway system, which became reality in 1940 when the separate IRT, BMT, and IND became one giant system under full public control._x000B__x000B_In this fascinating micro-history of New York’s transit system, author Andrew Sparberg examines twenty specific events between 1940 and 1968, bookended by subway unification and the MTA’s creation. From a Nickel to a Token depicts a potpourri of well-remembered, partially forgotten, and totally obscure happenings drawn from the historical tapestry of New York mass transit. Sparberg deftly captures five boroughs of grit, chaos, and emotion grappling with a massive and unwieldy transit system_x000B_ _x000B_During these decades, the system morphed into today’s network. The public sector absorbed most private surface lines operating within the five boroughs, and buses completely replaced streetcars. Elevated lines were demolished, replaced by subways or along Manhattan’s Third Avenue, not at all. Beyond the unification of the IND, IRT, and BMT, strategic track connections were built between lines to allow a more flexible and unified operation. The oldest subway routes received much-needed rehabilitation work. Thousands of new subway cars and buses were purchased. The sacred nickel fare barrier was broken, and by 1968 a ride cost twenty cents._x000B_ _x000B_From LaGuardia to Lindsay, mayors devoted much energy to solving transit problems, keeping fares low, and appeasing voters, fellow elected officials, transit managements, and labor leaders. Simultaneously, American society was experiencing tumultuous times, manifested by labor disputes, economic pressures, and civil rights protests._x000B__x000B_Featuring many photos never before published, From a Nickel to a Token is a historical trip back in time to a multitude of important events.
A History of the Mahican Indians, 1600-1830
This history of the Mahicans begins with the appearance of Europeans on the Hudson River in 1609 and ends with the removal of these Native people to Wisconsin in the 1830s. Marshaling the methods of history, ethnology, and archaeology, William A. Starna describes as comprehensively as the sources allow the Mahicans while in their Hudson and Housatonic Valley homeland; after their consolidation at the praying town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts; and following their move to Oneida country in central New York at the end of the Revolution and their migration west.
The emphasis throughout this book is on describing and placing into historical context Mahican relations with surrounding Native groups: the Munsees of the lower Hudson, eastern Iroquoians, and the St. Lawrence and New England Algonquians. Starna also examines the Mahicans’ interactions with Dutch, English, and French interlopers. The first and most transformative of these encounters was with the Dutch and the trade in furs, which ushered in culture change and the loss of Mahican lands. The Dutch presence, along with the new economy, worked to unsettle political alliances in the region that, while leading to new alignments, often engendered rivalries and war. The result is an outstanding examination of the historical record that will become the definitive work on the Mahican people from the colonial period to the Removal Era.
Yarrow Mamout and the History of an African American Family
From Slave Ship to Harvard is the true story of an African American family in Maryland over six generations. The author has reconstructed a unique narrative of black struggle and achievement from paintings, photographs, books, diaries, court records, legal documents, and oral histories. From Slave Ship to Harvard traces the family from the colonial period and the American Revolution through the Civil War to Harvard and finally today. Yarrow Mamout, the first of the family in America, was an educated Muslim from Guinea. He was brought to Maryland on the slave ship Elijah and gained his freedom forty-four years later. By then, Yarrow had become so well known in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., that he attracted the attention of the eminent American portrait painter Charles Willson Peale, who captured Yarrow's visage in the painting that appears on the cover of this book. The author here reveals that Yarrow's immediate relatives-his sister, niece, wife, and son-were notable in their own right. His son married into the neighboring Turner family, and the farm community in western Maryland called Yarrowsburg was named for Yarrow Mamout's daughter-in-law, Mary "Polly" Turner Yarrow. The Turner line ultimately produced Robert Turner Ford, who graduated from Harvard University in 1927. Just as Peale painted the portrait of Yarrow, James H. Johnston's new book puts a face on slavery and paints the history of race in Maryland. It is a different picture from what most of us imagine. Relationships between blacks and whites were far more complex, and the races more dependent on each other. Fortunately, as this one family's experience shows, individuals of both races repeatedly stepped forward to lessen divisions and to move America toward the diverse society of today.
Landscape, Architecture, and Design at Mount Vernon
George Washington liked to shape his own circumstances. Over the years he carefully crafted both his inner self and his public persona, as well as many aspects of his aesthetic world. Washington’s life formed a unity, and his morality formed part of the backdrop to his designs at Mount Vernon. His house, gardens, and art collection—and his own writings about them—were a major part of the public face of his virtue. Washington usually acted with conscious moral purpose. “Moral” is meant here in the broadest possible sense, including such ethical matters as maintaining a public reputation, using one’s time wisely, fulfilling one’s duties to society, and living without luxuries. In the eighteenth century, the conception of morality also included the achievement of individual perfection, such as living a rational, tranquil, and harmonious life. Washington was obsessed, perhaps even more keenly than his contemporaries, with matters of honor, appearance, dignity, and duty to society. As a schoolboy, Washington copied down the maxim that “every action one takes should be in consideration of all of those present,” and indeed his lifelong actions as architect, collector, and landscape gardener were done in consideration of the public’s valuation of his moral worth. —from Chapter 1: George Washington: Morality and the Crafting of Self On the banks of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon stands, with its iconic portico boasting breathtaking views and with a landscape to rival the great gardens of Europe, as a monument to George Washington’s artistic and creative efforts. More than one million people visit Mount Vernon each year—drawn to the stature and beauty of Washington’s family estate. Art historian Joseph Manca systematically examines Mount Vernon—its stylistic, moral, and historical dimensions—offering a complete picture of this national treasure and the man behind its enduring design. Manca brings to light a Washington deeply influenced by his wide travels in colonial America, with a broader architectural knowledge than previously suspected, and with a philosophy that informed his aesthetic sensibility. Washington believed that design choices and personal character mesh to form an ethic of virtue and fulfillment and that art is inextricably linked with moral and social concerns. Manca examines how these ideas shaped the material culture of Mount Vernon. Based on careful study of Washington’s personal diaries and correspondence and on the lively accounts of visitors to his estate, this richly illustrated book introduces a George Washington unfamiliar to many readers—an avid art collector, amateur architect, and leading landscape designer of his time.
Law, Technology, and Child Labor
At the end of the nineteenth century, Pittsburgh was leading the nation in glass production, and glass bottle plants in particular relied heavily on adolescent (and younger) males for their manufacturing process. These “glass house boys” worked both day and night, as plants ran around the clock to meet production demands and remain price competitive with their newly-automated rivals. Boys performed menial tasks, received low wages, and had little to say on their own behalf. By the turn of the century, most states had enacted laws banning children from working at night, and coupled with compulsory education requirements, had greatly reduced the use of children in industry. In western Pennsylvania, however, child labor was deeply entrenched, and Pennsylvania lawmakers lagged far behind the rest of the nation. In this book, James L. Flannery presents an original and compelling examination of legislative clashes over the singular issue of the glass house boys. He reveals the many societal, economic, and political factors at work that allowed for the perpetuation of child labor in this industry and region. Through extensive research in Pennsylvania state legislature archives, National Child Labor Committee reports, and union and industry journals, Flannery uncovers a complex web of collusion between union representatives, industrialists, and legislators that kept child labor reform at bay. Despite national pressure, a concerted effort by reformers, and changes to education laws, the slow defeat of the “glass house exception” in 1915 came about primarily because of technological advances in the glass bottle industry that limited the need for child labor.
The racial and ethnic composition of Philadelphia continues to diversify as a new wave of immigrants—largely from Asia and Latin America—reshape the city’s demographic landscape. Moreover, in a globalized economy, immigration is the key to a city’s survival and competitiveness. The contributors to Global Philadelphia examine how Philadelphia has affected its immigrants’ lives, and how these immigrants, in turn, have shaped Philadelphia.
Providing a detailed historical, ethnographic, and sociological look at Philadelphia’s immigrant communities, this volume examines the social and economic dynamics of various ethnic populations. Significantly, the contributors make comparisons to and connections between the traditional immigrant groups—Germans, Italians, the Irish, Jews, Puerto Ricans, and Chinese—and newer arrivals, such as Cambodians, Haitians, Indians, Mexicans, and African immigrants of various nationalities.
While their experiences vary, Global Philadelphia focuses on some of the critical features that face all immigrant groups—intra-group diversity, the role of institutions, and ties to the homeland. Taken together, these essays provide a richer understanding of the processes and implications of contemporary immigration to the area.