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House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, Pamphlet



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House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Twenty-Three Episodes, Pamphlet
 



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House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Twenty-Nine Episodes, Pamphlet
 



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House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Thirty-One Episodes, Pamphlet
 



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The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate — A Provisional Report



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1910
Architectural and Financial Imaginaries
Leslie Klein

This essay was written by Leslie Klein, PhD candidate at Columbia University's GSAPP, for the pamphlet published on the occasion of the exhibition House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, Venice, June 2014. Here she reflects on the year 1910, an important moment in the history of architecture and real estate. This essay is part of an ongoing conversation.


1. Guillaume Daudin, Matthias Morys, and Kevin H. O’Rourke, “Globalization, 1870–1914,” Department of Economics Discussion Paper Series, no. 395, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, May 2008, pp. 4–5.
2. Kenneth A. Snowden. “Mortgage Companies and Mortgage Securitization in the Late Nineteenth Century,” University of North Carolina, (Greensboro: University of North Carolina): 1, 4.
3. Alexander D. Noyes, “The Recent Economic History of the United States,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics (February 1905): 176. Text based on lectures delivered at Harvard University in November 1904.
4. Noyes, 201–202.
5. Frank Lloyd Wright, “A Home in a Prairie Town,” The Ladies Home Journal vol. 18, no. 3 (February 1901): 17.
6. Frank Lloyd Wright, “A Small House with ‘Lots of Room in It’,” The Ladies Home Journal vol. 18, no. 8 (July 1901): 15.
7. Thomas N. Herzog, History of Mortgage Finance With an Emphasis on Mortgage Insurance (Schaumburg, IL: The Society of Actuaries, 2009): 4.
8. Never the only, nor even majority, spokesman for a national architectural identity, Wright’s American imaginary was contested by, and opposed to, several competing alternatives. Most notably, strains of a “Colonial Revival“ imagined a national community founded on a mix of “European,” or more homogeneously “Anglo-Saxon,” genealogies. Similarly, the appeal of continuity or social evolution ran counter to the sui generis individualism of Wright’s rhetorical and formal construction of the “American.” 
9. Edward B. Boyton, “The Real Estate Business as a Profession (Speech delivered at the 14th Annual Dinner of the NY Real Estate Board of Brokers),” Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide vol. 85, no. 2188 (February 19, 1910): 377.

Until World War I initiated a reversal, international economic integration attained a level that remained unsurpassed until the late twentieth century.1 Nineteenth-century transnational capital flows drove territorial expansion across colonial and New World frontiers; from railroads and canals to land development and agriculture, foreign capital helped finance the construction of American infrastructure while paving invisible connections across continents and hemispheres. If the American prairies produced food for European markets, they also linked capital from the northeastern United States and Europe with the West through mortgages and early versions of mortgage-backed securities for farmlands.2 Global events such as the 1896 crop failure in India “forced Liverpool instantly to raise its bid for American wheat,” causing commodity prices to rise rapidly in Chicago3 and generating Midwestern wealth from global commodity markets that made possible Chicago and so-called Prairie School architects’ search for an “American architecture.”

In 1901 a “head-turning” financial boom led even conservative bankers to believe that old economic rules no longer applied. New financial products, unsecured by real property, were created to meet the demands of “money chasing investment.” European credit supplied US bankers with capital to lend for speculation in inflated securities.4 In that same year, The Ladies Home Journal published a series of designs for American houses, including two by Frank Lloyd Wright. The first of these was a new model “subdivision” of second homes on the prairie, intended for prosperous city dwellers;5 the other a “small home” for under $6,000 intended for the “average home-maker.”6 The “average” house, unlike that for the prairie, occupied a space of no place in particular. Designed to conform to a “one-hundred-foot lot,” the house’s design specified only one essential condition for selecting a building site: access to a market infrastructure providing labor and materials at “standard market rates.”

The bursting of the 1901 bubble, followed by the Panic of 1907, would eventually lead to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which implemented the US national banking system through legislation intended to protect investors and instill public confidence in the functioning of financial markets.7 In 1909, preparing for the German publication of his work from a villa outside Florence, Wright composed an introduction to his drawings without reference to transnational flows of capital on the prairies of the United States. Instead, Wright framed “America” as one side of an “Old” versus “New” world dichotomy. Renaming his 1901 small house a “typical low-cost suburban dwelling,” Wright’s original image was circulated in Europe without its economic foundations, while his Midwestern model for land subdivision became a model for American identity. As Wright’s re-visioning erased the links between architecture and finance, it transformed the projects into a national architectural imaginary.8

As Wright’s Wasmuth portfolio was prepared for European publication in 1910, the New York Board of Real Estate Brokers met for its annual dinner. A record audience listened as the president of the American Real Estate Company likened ownership of real estate to investment in any other commodity. Despite real estate’s declared superiority for return and stability, however, the speech ended with a dilemma: “I believe there are now in this city and throughout the country vast sums of money, the owners of which are desirous of investing in real estate but they do not know how.”9 One hundred years later the global financial system would nearly collapse in part because investors around the world thought they had figured it out.

 

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1910
Frank Lloyd Wright Sells His Vision for Suburbanizing America
Berlin-Based Publication Establishes Architect’s Reputation in Europe

In 1910, Wasmuth Verlag published Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright, a monograph of illustrations of selected works from 1893 through 1909. While the portfolio would later become famous as the supposed vehicle by which Wright’s work was introduced to Europe, Wright saw it as an architectural and polemical summary of his ideas to date. Included was a proposal for the problem of the affordable house, a design originally published in 1901 by the Ladies Home Journal. While Wright was preparing for his international debut in a villa outside of Florence, his home state of Wisconsin passed the first subdivision planning law in the country, which was paralleled by the formation of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges (later NAREB). By the time of Wasmuth’s release, the architect-designed single-family suburban house was on its way to becoming a standardized part of a growing real estate business tied to global capital markets and international flows of commodities.


Further reading:

Alofsin, Anthony. Frank Lloyd Wright: The Lost Years, 1910–1922: A Study of Influence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Fogelson, Robert M. Bourgeois Nightmares: Suburbia, 1870–1930. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.


Gowans, Alan. The Comfortable House: North American Suburban Architecture, 1890–1930. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.


Higham, John. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860–1925. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988.


Hornstein, Jeffrey M. A Nation of Realtors: A Cultural History of the Twentieth-Century American Middle Class. Radical Perspectives. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.

Schwartz, Herman. “Anglo-America as Global Suburbia: Political Economy and Endogenous Multiculturalism.” In Anglo-America and its Discontents: Civilizational Identities beyond West and East, edited by Peter Katzenstein. New York: Routledge, 2012.



Evidence:

The National Real Estate Journal, vol. 1, no. 1 (March 15, 1910).  Link.

Wright, Frank Lloyd. “A Small House with ‘Lots of Room in It.’” The Ladies Home Journal, July 1901, p. 15.

Nichols, J. C. “Real Estate Subdivisions: The Best Manner of Handling Them.” Washington, DC: American Civic Association, 1912, p. 6. Cited in: Weiss, Marc A. The Rise of the Community Builders: The American Real Estate Industry and Urban Land Planning. Columbia History of Urban Life. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987, p. 46.

Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide vol. 85, no. 2188 (February 19, 1910): 375.

Wright, Frank Lloyd. “Plate XXIII: Typical low-cost suburban dwelling contributed to the Curtis Publishing Company.” Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright. Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1910. Courtesy of Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. 

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The National Real Estate Journal, vol. 1, no. 1 (March 15, 1910).  Link.


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Wright, Frank Lloyd. “A Small House with ‘Lots of Room in It.’” The Ladies Home Journal, July 1901, p. 15.


The destiny and growth of your town is largely affected by the foresight of the man who subdivides the land upon which you live. The most efficient manner of platting land should be the plan which gives the greatest value and security to every purchaser, adds the greatest amount of value and beauty to the city as a whole, yet produces a big profit to the man who plats the land.

Nichols, J. C. “Real Estate Subdivisions: The Best Manner of Handling Them.” Washington, DC: American Civic Association, 1912, p. 6. Cited in: Weiss, Marc A. The Rise of the Community Builders: The American Real Estate Industry and Urban Land Planning. Columbia History of Urban Life. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987, p. 46.


Real estate is the only commodity of which there can never be any overproduction…In some respects real estate is more stable than gold…We are dealing in the greatest commodity in the world…

Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide vol. 85, no. 2188 (February 19, 1910): 375.


Wright, Frank Lloyd. “Plate XXIII: Typical low-cost suburban dwelling contributed to the Curtis Publishing Company.” Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright. Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1910. Courtesy of Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. 


1918
United States Housing Corporation Builds Housing for Wartime Workers
Program Abandoned as Role of Government is Questioned

The federal government took on several unprecedented roles — developer, builder, and real estate agent of public housing — in response to the country’s entry into World War I in April of 1917. The USHC was established to build new homes and communities for workers and their families drawn to wartime factories. Within less than two years, over eighty-three new projects in twenty-six states were realized on the basis of British Garden City ideals, housing over 170,000 people.1 Despite these successes, the agency was disbanded at the conclusion of the war, undermined at Congressional hearings by accusations of waste and inefficiency.


1. Cited in Eran Ben-Joseph, Workers' Paradise: The Forgotten Communities of World War I (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. n.d.), accessed Aug. 3, 2015, http://web.mit.edu/ebj/www/ww1/ww1a.html.  


Further reading:

Dunn-Haley, Karen. The House that Uncle Sam Built: The Political Culture of Federal Housing Policy, 1919-1932. PhD Diss., Stanford University, 1995.

 

Klaus, Susan L. "All in the Family: The Olmsted Office and the Business of Landscape Architecture." Landscape Journal 16 (Spring 1997): 80–93.

Rodgers, Daniel T. Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.



Evidence:

“Exclusive Negro Town Built in Virginia.” Popular Mechanics, August 1919, 216.

United States Housing Corporation. Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, United States Senate. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1919, p. 523. Link.

Zillow. “2 Benson Ave. Listing.” Link (accessed February 5, 2014).

United States Housing Corporation. Report of the United States Housing Corporation Volume II: Houses, Site-Planning, Utilities. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1919. 

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“Exclusive Negro Town Built in Virginia.” Popular Mechanics, August 1919, 216.


United States Housing Corporation. Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, United States Senate. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1919, p. 523. Link.


Zillow. “2 Benson Ave. Listing.” Link (accessed February 5, 2014).


United States Housing Corporation. Report of the United States Housing Corporation Volume II: Houses, Site-Planning, Utilities. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1919. 


1925
First Swimming Pool Opens in Palm Springs
Dispossession Enables Speculative Development of Desert Resort 

Nestled in the desert of the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs’s water was always a scarce and coveted resource. Nellie Coffman, a real estate speculator, opened the Desert Inn in 1909 as a sanatorium. By 1914, five years after the arrival of the first car, it was operating as a hotel, and by 1925 the Inn boasted its own pool, stores, restaurant, and even a brokerage firm for financiers to stay abreast of their investments.1 The vision and glamor of desert swimming pools helped promote Palm Springs’s hotel industry, leading to a buoyant real estate market for private homes—many with a pool of their own. This was aided by city officials’ rejection of FHA funding for affordable housing after World War II, preferring to market Palm Springs as a desirable tourist destination and second-home investment opportunity.2 As a part of this process, the Agua Caliente Indians, users of the original hot spring, were systematically dispossessed of their property in the town.3


  • 1. Lawrence Culver. The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the shaping
  • of modern America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010, 156.
  •  
  • 2. Ryan M. Kray. “The Path to Paradise: Expropriation, Exodus, and Exclusion in the Making of Palm Springs.” Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 73, No. 1 (February 2004): 90–91.
  •  
  • 3. Ibid, 89. 

Further reading:

Banner, Stuart. How the Indians Lost their Land: Law and Power in the Frontier. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.

 

“Glamourized Houses”, Life, April 11, 1949.

 

Kray, Ryan M. Second Class Citizenship at a First Class Resort: Race and Public Policy in Palm Springs. PhD Diss. University of California, Irvine, 2009.

 

Miller, Jr., Loren. “Palm Springs Section 14 Demolition.” Report by California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, May 31, 1968.

 

Shaw, Rachel Dayton. Evolving Ecoscape: An Environmental and Cultural History of Palm Springs, California, and the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, 1877–1939. PhD Diss. University of California, San Diego, 1999. 



Evidence:

“Desert Inn Hotel Sign, Palm Springs,” Herman Shultheis, photographer; Desert Inn, Palm Springs, view 10; Desert Inn, Palm Springs, view 5; Poolside at the Desert Inn, Palm Springs, view 3. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library

Airbnb. “Mid Century Modern Alexander Home, Palm Springs, CA.” Accessed March 8, 2016. Link.

 

Airbnb. “Palm Springs- mid century today Palm Springs, CA.” Accessed March 8, 2016. Link.

 

Airbnb. “The Mod Spot: Glamorous Mid-Century Palm Springs, CA.” Accessed March 8, 2016. Link.

“Section 14: The Other Palm Springs”, Exhibition information in Newsletter from the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Vol. XIX, No. 3, March-April-May, 2015. 

Tribal Fire Management Plan, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuila Indians, Approved by the Tribal Council on December 11, 2007. 

Chase, Joseph Smeaton. Our Araby: Palm Springs and the Garden of the Sun. Pasadena: Star-News, 1920. 

“Palm Springs mid-century home for sale.” George Gutenberg Architectural Photography. YouTube video, [clip]. December 21, 2009. Accessed March 6, 2016. Link

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“Desert Inn Hotel Sign, Palm Springs,” Herman Shultheis, photographer; Desert Inn, Palm Springs, view 10; Desert Inn, Palm Springs, view 5; Poolside at the Desert Inn, Palm Springs, view 3. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library


Airbnb. “Mid Century Modern Alexander Home, Palm Springs, CA.” Accessed March 8, 2016. Link.

 

Airbnb. “Palm Springs- mid century today Palm Springs, CA.” Accessed March 8, 2016. Link.

 

Airbnb. “The Mod Spot: Glamorous Mid-Century Palm Springs, CA.” Accessed March 8, 2016. Link.


“Section 14: The Other Palm Springs”, Exhibition information in Newsletter from the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Vol. XIX, No. 3, March-April-May, 2015. 


Tribal Fire Management Plan, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuila Indians, Approved by the Tribal Council on December 11, 2007. 


Chase, Joseph Smeaton. Our Araby: Palm Springs and the Garden of the Sun. Pasadena: Star-News, 1920. 


“Palm Springs mid-century home for sale.” George Gutenberg Architectural Photography. YouTube video, [clip]. December 21, 2009. Accessed March 6, 2016. Link


1929

Change We Can Believe In?

Pollyanna Rhee

This essay was written by Pollyanna Rhee, PhD candidate at Columbia University's GSAPP, for the pamphlet published on the occasion of the exhibition House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, Venice, June 2014. Here she reflects on the year 1929, an important moment in the history of architecture and real estate. This essay is part of an ongoing conversation.


1. “Chanin Visions Super-Buildings Housing 30,000,” New York Herald Tribune, October 4, 1931, E1. 

2. “Walnut Used in Floors of New Majestic,” New York Herald Tribune, May 24, 1931, E4. 

3. “Middle Class Finds Homes in Suburbs,” New York Times, September 1, 1929, RE2; “Sidewalks of New York Lose to the Suburbs,” New York Herald Tribune, June 8, 1930, E2.

4. Michael A. Bernstein, “Why the Great Depression was Great: Toward a New Understanding of the Interwar Economic Crisis in the United States,” in Steve Fraser and Gary Gerstle, ed. The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order: 1930–1980 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989), 41. 

5. CityRealty average closing price for apartments sold in the Majestic for the past twelve months since March 2014. Link (accessed March 20, 2014).

Upon the 1931 completion of the thirty-story, high-end Majestic apartment building, which replaced Hotel Majestic on Central Park West in New York City, its builder, Irwin S. Chanin, used the occasion to envision the new tower’s eventual destruction.1 Despite its innovative features such as solariums, modern heating, and “noiseless” walnut floors, Chanin predicted that by 1981 the Majestic, reduced to a mere architectural curiosity, would be demolished and replaced by a new and much larger structure for 30,000 inhabitants.2 His vision went well beyond the building’s immediate surroundings to encompass the social and environmental transformation of Manhattan: parks would cover two-thirds of the island, its mere fifty residential buildings would lack individual kitchens in favor of communal dining services, and new technologies would allow individuals to work only twenty hours per week.

Ostensibly a product of a fantastic imagination, Chanin’s forecast had a basis in contemporary anxieties about the economy that reverberated throughout the American population during the late 1920s. As slums were cleared to make way for working-class housing and luxurious buildings for the wealthy went up, Manhattan’s middle class had few financially viable options for quality housing in the city.3 The rising unemployment that followed the 1929 stock market crash, which made it nearly impossible for women to remain outside the labor force, added to these concerns about housing.4 Rates of female participation in workplaces had been increasing since the end of World War I, but the onset of the Great Depression signaled broader shifts not only in large-scale patterns of employment, but also in individual living habits. Imagined over a year before Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election and the launch of the New Deal, Chanin’s vision harnessed public unease over the ever-worsening economy as an opportunity to articulate a radical vision for the future.

A box lodged somewhere in the Majestic’s walls contains Chanin’s full predictions along with the names of the first tenants, the costs of construction, and information about the former hotel. Chanin hoped the box would be opened in 1981 at the time of the building’s demolition, in an entirely new city. But almost thirty-five years after the expected date of its demise — despite subsequent economic downturns and ruptured housing bubbles, including the 2008 financial meltdown — the average selling price for an apartment in the Majestic hovers around $4.5 million.5

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1932
Architect Presents Broadacre City as Solution to the Nation’s Housing Problem
Radical Vision Seeks to Distribute One Acre of Federal Land to Each Family in Need

Frank Lloyd Wright responded to the economic depression of the early 1930s — which he diagnosed as a result of industrialized urbanization1 — with a new, decentralized form of human settlement. In his design of Broadacre City, he embraced technological innovations such as individualized transport by land and air, but also harkened back to a vague Jeffersonian ideal of agrarian self-sustenance. The US Housing Act of 1934 did not include any redistribution of land or concepts of self-building; rather, it prioritized stimulating the private sector by insuring personal credit. While Broadacre City thus remained a more radical vision in terms of ownership and profit, its land-use pattern and automobile usage is strikingly similar to the massive suburbanization that would occur in the post-war years.


1. “Frank Lloyd Wright Against Urban Cities, 1958,” Design Intelligence, accessed February 13, 2014, http://www.di.net/videos/frank-lloyd-wright-against-urban-cities-1958/.


Further reading:

Fishman, Robert. Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century: Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier. New York: Basic Books, 1977.

 

Radford, Gail. Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal Era. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

 

Stern, Robert A. M., David Fishman, and Jacob Tilove. Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2013.

 

Wright, Frank Lloyd. The Disappearing City. New York: William Farquhar Payson, 1932.

 

Wright, Frank Lloyd. The Living City. New York: Horizon Press, 1958.



Evidence:

“Frank Lloyd Wright Against Urban Cities, 1958.” Design Intelligence. Link (accessed February 13, 2014). Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Wright, Frank Lloyd. “Broadacre City,” painted wood model, 1934–35 (The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives). Image courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

Wright, Frank Lloyd. “To The Young Man in Architecture—A Challenge.” Architectural Forum, January 1938, insert. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

 

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“Frank Lloyd Wright Against Urban Cities, 1958.” Design Intelligence. Link (accessed February 13, 2014). Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.


Wright, Frank Lloyd. “Broadacre City,” painted wood model, 1934–35 (The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives). Image courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).


Wright, Frank Lloyd. “To The Young Man in Architecture—A Challenge.” Architectural Forum, January 1938, insert. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

 


1933
President Promotes Saving as Civic Responsibility  
Roosevelt’s First “Fireside Chat” Addresses Fear and the Banking Crisis

By March 3, 1933, 5,504 US banks with deposits totaling $3,432,000,000 had closed their doors.1 The following day, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as the country’s thirty-second president. Eight days later, on March 12, he took to the airwaves to prevent a panic from bringing down the banking system with the first of his weekly radio addresses to the nation. In this first presidential “Fireside Chat,” Roosevelt attempted to reinvigorate depositors’ confidence by explaining why so many of the country’s banks had recently failed, why he had closed them down, and what government intervention could do to alleviate the situation. His broadcast came at the peak of a housing crisis characterized by some 1,000 home loans foreclosed daily and 43.8 percent of owner-occupied homes with a mortgage in default.2


1. Susan Kennedy, The Banking Crisis of 1933, (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1973), 147.

 

2. David C. Wheelock, "The Federal Response to Home Mortgage Distress: Lessons from the Great Depression," Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, May/June 2008, 90 (3, Part 1), 138, accessed Jul. 27 2015, link.


Further reading:

Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

 

“Greendale: A Planned Community in the Great Depression.” The Living New Deal: Still Working for America. Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley. December 6, 2012. Link (accessed April 7, 2014).

 

Katznelson, Ira. Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time. New York: Liveright, 2013.

 

Weiss, Marc A. The Rise of The Community Builders: The American Real Estate Industry and Urban Land Planning. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987. 

 

Wright, Gwendolyn. Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America. New York: Pantheon Books, 1981.



Evidence:

Bank of America Advertisement from Los Angeles Times, March 2, 1933, p. 5

Konstantin Zotov, “Liuboi krest’ianinkolkhoznik ili edinolichnik imeet teper’ 

vozmozhnost’ zhit’ po-chelovecheski” (Every Collective Farm Peasant or Individual Farmer Now Has the Opportunity to Live Like a Human Being). 1934. In In Victoria E. Bonnell, Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters under Lenin and Stalin. Berkeley: of California Press, 1997.

Percivale, Jackson, and Leo M. Klein. “Plight of the Home Owner Burdened with a Mortgage: What Has Happened to the Typical Mortgagor, Whose Inability To Pay Touches Investments and His Community’s Welfare.” New York Times, March 26, 1933.

Roosevelt, Franklin D. “On the Bank Crisis.” Speech, Washington, DC, March 12, 1933. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. “Fireside Chats of Franklin D. Roosevelt.” Link (accessed March 28, 2014).

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Bank of America Advertisement from Los Angeles Times, March 2, 1933, p. 5


Konstantin Zotov, “Liuboi krest’ianinkolkhoznik ili edinolichnik imeet teper’ 

vozmozhnost’ zhit’ po-chelovecheski” (Every Collective Farm Peasant or Individual Farmer Now Has the Opportunity to Live Like a Human Being). 1934. In In Victoria E. Bonnell, Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters under Lenin and Stalin. Berkeley: of California Press, 1997.


Percivale, Jackson, and Leo M. Klein. “Plight of the Home Owner Burdened with a Mortgage: What Has Happened to the Typical Mortgagor, Whose Inability To Pay Touches Investments and His Community’s Welfare.” New York Times, March 26, 1933.


Roosevelt, Franklin D. “On the Bank Crisis.” Speech, Washington, DC, March 12, 1933. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. “Fireside Chats of Franklin D. Roosevelt.” Link (accessed March 28, 2014).


1934
Catherine Bauer's Modern Housing Published
330-page Volume Challenges Priorities during the International Style Era

As a self-taught expert, Catherine Bauer’s approach to housing sought to encompass historical, analytical, and practical perspectives on the relationship of policy and design. In her book, Bauer documented recent government-sponsored developments of worker housing in Europe, and ended with the question of modern housing’s feasibility in America. 1 Two years earlier, Bauer had assisted in setting up the Museum of Modern Art’s Modern Architecture: International Exhibition. There, lead curators Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock arranged models and photographs of schools, single-family homes, railroad stations, theaters, department stores, civic buildings, and churches in the main exhibition hall. “Housing,”co-curated by Bauer and relegated to a separate section in Hall B, displayed large photographs of multi-family developments.2 This split between “architecture” and “housing” would characterize professional and public engagement with the topic for decades, and motivated Bauer’s more integrated approach in her later work, including her contribution to the United States Housing Act of 1937.3


1. Catherine Bauer, Modern Housing (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934), 237.

 

2. Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock, eds., Modern Architecture: International Exhibition. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1932, 11–27.

 

3. Also known as the “Wagner Steagall” Act. See “Laws, statutes, etc.,” The United States Housing Act of 1937, as Amended. Washington, DC: National Housing Agency, 1943.


Further reading:

Caramellino, Gaia. “Housing Is Everybody’s Business (1930-1934).” In William Lescaze: A European Architect in the New Deal, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.

 

MacLeish, Archibald. Housing America. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1932.

 

Oberlander, H. Peter, Eva Newbrun, and Martin Meyerson. Houser: The Life and Work of Catherine Bauer. Vancouver: UBC, 1999.

 

Radford, Gail. Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal Era. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

 

Wurster, Catherine Bauer. “The Social Front of Modern Architecture in the 1930s.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 24, no. 1 (1965): 48–52.



Evidence:

Judging of the Competition Entries: Two Jurors, Catherine Bauer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, discussing an entry. Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Competition Director standing in background. Publicity photograph released in connection with the exhibition, “Prize Design for Modern Furniture.” May 16, 1950 through July 16, 1950. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York. Photo Credit: Photo by William Leftwich. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY.

Exhibit Plan From John Elderfield, ed. The Museum of Modern Art: Philip Johnson and the Museum of Modern Art. Studies in Modern Art, no. 6. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1998. 40. 

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Judging of the Competition Entries: Two Jurors, Catherine Bauer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, discussing an entry. Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Competition Director standing in background. Publicity photograph released in connection with the exhibition, “Prize Design for Modern Furniture.” May 16, 1950 through July 16, 1950. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York. Photo Credit: Photo by William Leftwich. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY.


Exhibit Plan From John Elderfield, ed. The Museum of Modern Art: Philip Johnson and the Museum of Modern Art. Studies in Modern Art, no. 6. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1998. 40. 


1937
Architect Finds Similarities between U.S.S.R. and U.S.A.
Seeks a Form of Private Ownership Based on Freedom and Social Justice

Invited by the All-Union Congress of Soviet Architects as an Honored Guest, Frank Lloyd Wright visited Moscow in 1937. In public statements, he declared his admiration for the collective will and spirit of its people. To him, citizens of the Soviet Union and the United States, or “Usonia,” were alike in their parallel pursuit of the “simplicity of freedom.”1 In an exchange with the American Communist Party related to negative media coverage following his trip, Wright explained that while he opposed speculation and the private exploitation of land, he did support its distribution to individuals who would each work for the common good. This nuanced Wright’s otherwise antagonistic relationship with US housing policymakers, who at the time were developing the country’s first permanent public housing models.


1. Frank Lloyd Wright, An Autobiography. New York: Horizon Press, 1977, 571.  


Further reading:

Day, Jared. Urban Castles. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

 

Johnson, Donald L. “Frank Lloyd Wright in Moscow: June 1937.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians vol. 46, no. 1 (March 1987): 65–79.

 

Szylvian, Kristin M. The Mutual Housing Experiment: New Deal Communities for the Urban Middle Class. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2015.

 

Wright, Frank Lloyd. When Democracy Builds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945.



Evidence:

“The Mike Wallace Interview: Frank Lloyd Wright, 9/1/57 and 9/28/57.” Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Link (accessed February 12, 2014). Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, The Mike Wallace Collection at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, and the Estate of Mike Wallace.

United States Housing Act of 1937. 75th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 888-899. Link (accesed April 7, 2014).

"Wright Denies He Said Communist Racketeers.” Racine Journal Times, August 1937 manuscript for newspaper letter, Microfiche ID U043. Also shown in Frank Lloyd Wright, An Autobiography (New York: Horizon Press, 1977). Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

Wright, Frank Lloyd. “Architecture and Life in the USSR.” Soviet Russia Today, October 1937, Cover and 15–19. New York Public Library, 2014. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

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“The Mike Wallace Interview: Frank Lloyd Wright, 9/1/57 and 9/28/57.” Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Link (accessed February 12, 2014). Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, The Mike Wallace Collection at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, and the Estate of Mike Wallace.


United States Housing Act of 1937. 75th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 888-899. Link (accesed April 7, 2014).


"Wright Denies He Said Communist Racketeers.” Racine Journal Times, August 1937 manuscript for newspaper letter, Microfiche ID U043. Also shown in Frank Lloyd Wright, An Autobiography (New York: Horizon Press, 1977). Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).


Wright, Frank Lloyd. “Architecture and Life in the USSR.” Soviet Russia Today, October 1937, Cover and 15–19. New York Public Library, 2014. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).


1939
FHA Denies Insured Mortgage for East Lansing Usonia
Frank Lloyd Wright Houses are Declared Bad Investments

In 1939, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a Usonian community of seven houses for a group of Michigan State University professors who had purchased a forty-acre parcel of land. After a private funding source fell through, Wright appealed to the recently created Federal Housing Administration, but to no avail. The houses failed to meet the FHA’s underwriting principles, which were largely based on achieving good resale values — generally meaning pitched roofs, clear division between domestic spaces, and other traditional features.1 Only one couple, the Goetsch-Wincklers, managed to eventually build their house, but on a different site. It was financed using Winckler’s widowed mother’s home as collateral. 2


1. Correspondence: Raymon M. Foley (State Director, FHA) to Melvin F Lanphar and Company Mortgages, forwarded to Sidney Newman by O. E. Sheppard, with FLW CC’d, 12/11/39. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

 

2. Susan J. Bandes, ed., Affordable Dreams: The Goetsch-Winckler House and Frank Lloyd Wright. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1991, 35.


Further reading:

Hyman, Louis. Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011.

 

Miles, Mike E., Gayle Berens, Marc A. Weiss, and Urban Land Institute. Real Estate Development: Principles and Process. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute, 2000.

 

Wright, Frank Lloyd. An Autobiography. New York: Horizon Press, 1977.



Evidence:

“Annotated Plan of Goetsch-Winckler House in East Lansing,” 1939: 3907. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

Frank Lloyd Wright Correspondence: FLW to Nathan Strauss (US Housing Authority), 9/29/39, S075E03; Nathan Strauss to FLW, 10/12/39, S077B10; FLW to Howard P. Vermilaya (FHA), 10/11/39, F039A3; Howard P. Vermilaya to FLW, with hand-written response from FLW, 10/6/39, F038E09; Jesse J. Garrison (client) to FLW, 3/9/40, UE40E02; Reference Alofsin Index (example: Jesse J. Garrison, East Lansing to Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin, 9th March 1940. As seen in Alofsin, Anthony. Frank Lloyd Wright: An Index to the Taliesin Correspondence. Fiche ID U040E02. 5 vols. New York: Garland Publishing, 1988.) Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

“Federal Bureau Foils a Plan for Modern Housing.” Chicago Tribune, September 8, 1940.

US Federal Housing Administration. “Better Housing News Flash (No. 7).” Produced by Pathe News. Digital video from 35 mm film, Internet Archive, 4:31. 1935. Link (accessed January 16, 2014). Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, under the Creative Commons Public Domain License.

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“Annotated Plan of Goetsch-Winckler House in East Lansing,” 1939: 3907. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).


Frank Lloyd Wright Correspondence: FLW to Nathan Strauss (US Housing Authority), 9/29/39, S075E03; Nathan Strauss to FLW, 10/12/39, S077B10; FLW to Howard P. Vermilaya (FHA), 10/11/39, F039A3; Howard P. Vermilaya to FLW, with hand-written response from FLW, 10/6/39, F038E09; Jesse J. Garrison (client) to FLW, 3/9/40, UE40E02; Reference Alofsin Index (example: Jesse J. Garrison, East Lansing to Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin, 9th March 1940. As seen in Alofsin, Anthony. Frank Lloyd Wright: An Index to the Taliesin Correspondence. Fiche ID U040E02. 5 vols. New York: Garland Publishing, 1988.) Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).


“Federal Bureau Foils a Plan for Modern Housing.” Chicago Tribune, September 8, 1940.


US Federal Housing Administration. “Better Housing News Flash (No. 7).” Produced by Pathe News. Digital video from 35 mm film, Internet Archive, 4:31. 1935. Link (accessed January 16, 2014). Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, under the Creative Commons Public Domain License.


1944
California Arts and Architecture Envisions the Post-War House
Modernists Issue a Call to Arms for Better Living through Technology

CAA’s July 1944 issue, edited by John Entenza with Charles and Ray Eames, posed a key question in anticipation of post-war demobilization: “What is a House?” It responded with a manifesto for industrialized prefabrication to realize a vision of mass-produced single-family suburban homes that would be affordable to all. The article made the case that the technologies developed during World War II, which had served the soldiers so well, could create a house that would equally serve their wives. To prove its point, CAA editors commissioned the Case Study Houses, but financial institutions did not buy the argument. Pierre Koenig’s glass house was made possible only through the facilitation of Paul Williams, one of the few African-American architects then practicing in Los Angeles and a designer of some of its first public housing, who connected the owners to a non-FHA insured loan from a local bank catering to minority lenders.1


1. Dana Goodyear, "Hotel California," The New Yorker, 7 Feb. 2005. Accessed 20 July 2015. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/02/07/hotel-california.  


Further reading:

Castillo, Greg. Cold War on the Home Front: The Soft Power of Midcentury Design. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

 

Gilman, Charlotte. The Home: Its Work and Influence. New York: McClure, Phillips, 1903.

 

Goldstein, Barbara, ed. Arts & Architecture: The Entenza Years. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989.

 

“What Is a House?” series. The Journal of the American Institute of Architects. Washington, DC: Octagon, c. 1918.



Evidence:

Eames, Ray and Charles, Diagram for “What is A House?,” California Arts and Architecture, July 1994, 32. Issue edited by John Entenza, Herbert Matter, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Buckminster Fuller.

Saarinen, Eero, quoted in John Entenza, “Comment on a Survey,” California Arts and Architecture, July 1944, 39

“Pueblo del Rio Housing Project, Los Angeles, CA.” Paul Williams, architect. Leonard Nadel, photographer. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

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Eames, Ray and Charles, Diagram for “What is A House?,” California Arts and Architecture, July 1994, 32. Issue edited by John Entenza, Herbert Matter, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Buckminster Fuller.


Saarinen, Eero, quoted in John Entenza, “Comment on a Survey,” California Arts and Architecture, July 1944, 39


“Pueblo del Rio Housing Project, Los Angeles, CA.” Paul Williams, architect. Leonard Nadel, photographer. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.


1946
General Panel Corporation of California Secures Government Loan
Federal Housing Expediter Aims to Produce 1.2 Million Dwellings in One Year

In 1946, President Harry S. Truman established the Office of the Housing Expediter in response to the dramatic housing demand from returning soldiers and relocated war-industry workers.1 Wilson W. Wyatt, the first man named to the post, launched the Veterans’ Emergency Housing Program, which granted one of just three Reconstruction Finance Corporation loans to Konrad Wachsmann and Walter Gropius’s General Panel Corporation, originally founded in 1942.2 After receiving the loan, they re-launched the GPC in California to focus on the production and distribution of their Packaged House system.3 Partnerships with the Atlas Aircraft Products Company and the Celotex Corporation, an insulation and building materials producer, provided the company with manufacturing and distribution capacities. Despite this promising constellation, the GPC’s lofty goals were thwarted by overly tight manufacturing tolerances, insufficient financial resources, and continually missed production deadlines. The company dissolved in 1950, having produced no more than 200 houses.4


  • 1. Gilbert Herbert, The Dream of the FactoryMade House: Walter Gropius and Konrad Wachsmann (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984), 278–279. 
  •  
  • 2. Ibid.
  •  
  • 3. “Industrialized House: General Panel Corporation, Using a Panel System Developed by Konrad Wachsmann and Walter Gropius, Can Fabricate a House in 20 Minutes, Erect It in 38 Man Hours,” Architectural Forum 86 (1947): 115.
  •  
  • 4. Herbert, Dream, 304

Further reading:


Bergdoll, Barry, and Peter Christensen. Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2008. 


Herbert, Gilbert. The Dream of the Factory-Made House: Walter Gropius and Konrad Wachsmann. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984. 


Imperiale, Alicia. “An American Wartime Dream: The Packaged House of Konard Wachsmann and Walter Gropius.” In Offsite: Theory and Practice of Architectural Production, edited by Ryan E. Smith, John Quale, and Rashida Ng. Washington, DC: ACSA Conference Proceedings, 2012. 


Kelly, Burnham. The Prefabrication of Houses: A Study by the Albert Farwell Bemis Foundation of the Prefabrication Industry in the United States. New York: The Technology Press of MIT and John Wiley and Sons, 1951.
 



Evidence:

General Panel Corporation Stock Certificate, 1947. Reproduction. Link.

Lanham Act of 1940. Pub. L. No. 76-849, 54 Stat. 1125 (1940). 

General Panel Corporation of California. “Your General Panel Home,” n.d. (ca. 1947). Accessed August 20, 2015. Link.

 “United States President Harry Truman Signs Housing Bill in Washington D.C. That Will Help Provide Homes for the Homeless.” Universal Newsreel, 0:34, April 1, 1946, Accessed July 9, 2015. Link

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General Panel Corporation Stock Certificate, 1947. Reproduction. Link.


Lanham Act of 1940. Pub. L. No. 76-849, 54 Stat. 1125 (1940). 


General Panel Corporation of California. “Your General Panel Home,” n.d. (ca. 1947). Accessed August 20, 2015. Link.


 “United States President Harry Truman Signs Housing Bill in Washington D.C. That Will Help Provide Homes for the Homeless.” Universal Newsreel, 0:34, April 1, 1946, Accessed July 9, 2015. Link


1947
Developer Takes Risk with New Type of Funding Scheme for Promontory Apartments
Project Jumpstarts Prominent Architect’s High-rise Career

Herbert Greenwald and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe began working together with the development of Promontory Apartments, a cooperative apartment complex in Chicago’s Hyde Park. An inexperienced developer at the time, Greenwald encountered difficulties in financing his project, but a creative “Mutual Ownership Plan” enabled Promontory to come to fruition.1 The scheme required owners to make an unusually high down payment of 50 percent, but thanks to the apartments’ relatively low cost and a financing arrangement that allowed for payments over time, the units were accessible to middle-income households.2 The success of this first of Mies’s high-rises enabled Greenwald to find investors for subsequent projects, including the iconic Lakeshore Drive, Esplanade, and Commonwealth Promenade apartment buildings. Greenwald’s ambition led to seven major projects with Mies across the United States and expanded the architect’s practice. In 1959, at its peak, the firm employed thirty designers and researchers.3


1. Sara Stevens, “Developing Expertise: The Architecture of Real Estate, 1908–1965,” PhD Diss., Princeton University, 2012.

 

2. David Dunster, “Selling Mies,” Chicago Architecture: Histories, Revisions, Alternatives, ed. Charles Waldheim and Katerina Rüedi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

 

3. Detlef Mertins, Mies. London: Phaidon, 2014, 422.


Further reading:

Dunster, David. “Selling Mies.” In Chicago Architecture: Histories, Revisions, Alternatives, edited by Charles Waldheim and Katerina Rüedi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

 

Harris, Neil. Chicago Apartments: A Century of Lakefront Luxury. New York: Acanthus Press, 2004.

 

Smith, Preston H. Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis: Housing Policy in Postwar Chicago. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

 

Smithson, Alison, and Peter. Changing the Art of Inhabitation. London: Artemis, 1994.



Evidence:

Amarose, Anthony P., et al., comp. “Promontory Apartments” (Chicago, IL). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. October 4, 1996. Accessed June 1, 2015. http://gis.hpa.state.il.us/ pdfs/201012.pdf. 22 (floorplan).

Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig (1886–1969) (c) ARS, NY. Brochure for Promontory Apartment Building, Chicago, IL. 1947. Reproduction. Courtesy of the Mies van der Rohe Archive, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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Amarose, Anthony P., et al., comp. “Promontory Apartments” (Chicago, IL). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. October 4, 1996. Accessed June 1, 2015. http://gis.hpa.state.il.us/ pdfs/201012.pdf. 22 (floorplan).


Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig (1886–1969) (c) ARS, NY. Brochure for Promontory Apartment Building, Chicago, IL. 1947. Reproduction. Courtesy of the Mies van der Rohe Archive, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.


1949
Architectures of Industriousness
Marcelo López-Dinardi

This essay was written by Marcelo López-Dinardi, research and production coordinator for the exhibition House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, for the pamphlet published on the occasion of the exhibition as shown in Venice, June 2014. Here he reflects on the year 1949, an important moment in the history of architecture and real estate. This essay is part of an ongoing conversation.


1. Statement made by a second-year architecture student in a course taught by the author.
2. Beatriz Colomina, “Collaborations: The Private Life of Modern Architecture,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians vol. 58, no. 3 (1999/2000): 462–471.

“Architects need to retake the pedestal as the alpha males of the construction industry.”1 

 

I would like to think that this quote is simply a stubborn statement, written sometime in the first half of the twentieth century. In the 1940s, specialized magazines and popular media alike discussed architecture and the construction industry as one single business. The architecture of the single-family house and the industry built around it is a clear example of a seemingly straightforward collaboration geared toward the extraction of value from both the building and the land where it was sited. However, architecture and industry were not alone in this enterprise. Their public — the nuclear family financially subsidized by the government, commanded by a working man with a wife and children at home — closed the necessary triad. Only when considered together does this threesome define the currency of a consolidating global real estate market in the immediate post-war period. Architecture, industry, and their public were and continue to be bound together by the constructed value of the ground beneath them.

“The secrets of modern architecture are like those of a family, where everybody knows about things that are never acknowledged,” writes Beatriz Colomina.2 It is our task as educators to acknowledge and interrogate the open secrets of the modern American house that are discussed in the larger family of public (and private) educational institutions, where the currency of industriousness is also being traded.

Since that immediate post-war period, things have changed less than we may like to think. The legacies of a bound-together architecture, industry, and specifically-defined public are still present, and not as ghosts: this piece’s opening quote is from a student of architecture, articulated in 2014. He is not to be blamed for what he wrote. His statement’s pervasive, gendered currency — inscribed not only in the house he grew up in but also in the economic and social constructions that work through it — has been circulating since the time of his grandfather and is likely to be passed on to his own children (if, indeed, he has them). The heritage of this currency is not just haunting us; it lives and breathes in the hallways of institutions where architecture, virility, and industry are often indistinguishable.

essay
 
1949
Life Magazine Holds Roundtable on How to Produce Cheaper Housing
Key Housing Players Debate What is Holding the Industry Back

In sixteen hours of debate hosted by the popular weekly news magazine Life, participants voiced their concerns about the regulatory constraints preventing the housing industry from freely exploiting land and minimizing the cost of construction. The problem of the house, as the majority of panelists saw it, was that it had to be connected to an infrastructural system provided by the public sector and therefore out of their control, denying them the desired profit margin. The government, they suggested, should intervene in housing only in cases that are of no interest to the private sector; for instance, to alleviate the “social or moral” preoccupations related to slums.


Further reading:

Cohen, Lizabeth. A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. 

 

Harris, Dianne. Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013.

 

Hayden, Dolores. Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life. New York: WW Norton & Company, 2002.

 

Sugrue, Thomas. Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005



Evidence:

Davenport, Russell W. “A Life Round Table on Housing.” Life, January 31, 1949, 73–86.

Liell, John T. “4,000 Houses Per Year.” Levittown House Plan. Architectural Forum, April 1949, 86–87.

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Davenport, Russell W. “A Life Round Table on Housing.” Life, January 31, 1949, 73–86.


Liell, John T. “4,000 Houses Per Year.” Levittown House Plan. Architectural Forum, April 1949, 86–87.


1952
House & Home Splits from Architectural Forum
Time, Inc. Launches a New Magazine for a Rapidly Growing Industry

The US Housing Act of 1949 is commonly associated with inner-city development and slum clearance. However, it also authorized billions of dollars for the indirect financing of private, large-scale suburban development. House & Home, established in 1952 as an offshoot of the long-running Architectural Forum, catered directly to the rapidly growing homebuilding industry. The trade journal presented a distinct discourse on the American single-family house, maintained by what were still mostly small-scale homebuilders and their in-house designers, building supply dealers, mortgage brokers, and bankers.


Further reading:

Beauregard, Robert. When America Became Suburban. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

 

Colomina, Beatriz. Domesticity at War. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.

 

Elson, Robert T. Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise. New York: Atheneum, 1968.

 

Harris, Richard. Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914–1960. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.



Evidence:

“Is an Architect Worth His Fee?” The Magazine of Building, House & Home Edition, January 1952, 140–145. Link.

US National Housing Agency. Homes for Veterans (Part I). Produced by Century Productions. Digital video from 35 mm film, Internet Archive, 24:32. 1946. Link (accessed February 5, 2014). Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, under the Creative Commons Public Domain License. 

US Senate, Committee on Banking and Currency. Housing Act of 1949. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1949, p. 1

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“Is an Architect Worth His Fee?” The Magazine of Building, House & Home Edition, January 1952, 140–145. Link.


US National Housing Agency. Homes for Veterans (Part I). Produced by Century Productions. Digital video from 35 mm film, Internet Archive, 24:32. 1946. Link (accessed February 5, 2014). Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, under the Creative Commons Public Domain License. 


US Senate, Committee on Banking and Currency. Housing Act of 1949. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1949, p. 1


1954
Elizabeth Wood Resigns from Chicago Housing Authority After Racial Unrest
Concurrent Opening of Grace Abbott Homes Signals Shift in Architectural Approach

In 1953, CHA Executive Director Elizabeth Wood endorsed a policy to integrate the whites-only public housing project Trumbull Park. The decision was prompted by the approved application of Donald Howard and his family, who had not been identified as African American during the interview due to Ms. Howard’s light skin. The action provoked several months of violence by white residents afraid of being “mixed.”1 As the CHA continued to move black families into Trumbull Park, Wood was blamed for “fomenting racial trouble in the city.”2 She resigned in 1954, just as another development, Grace Abbott Homes, was nearing completion. In contrast to the entirely low-rise Trumbull Park, Abbott included seven fifteen-story Y-shaped towers and thirty-three two-story buildings embodying Wood’s call for “bold and comprehensive” planning that would compete with the desirability of the suburbs.3 Abbott Homes were demolished between 2005 and  2007, after years of disinvestment, to make room the Roosevelt Square mixed-income development project.


1. Arnold R. Hirsch, “Massive Resistance in the Urban North: Trumbull Park, Chicago, 1953–1966,” The Journal of American History 82, no. 2 (1995): 522–550.

 

2. Devereux Bowly Jr., The Poorhouse: Subsidized Housing in Chicago 1985–1976. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1978, 71.

 

3. Elizabeth Wood, “Realities of Urban Development,” Journal of Housing1994, 12–14.


Further reading:

Bell, Jeannine. Hate Thy Neighbor: Move-In Violence and the Persistence of Racial Segregation in American Housing, New York: NYU Press, 2013.

 

Hirsch, Arnold R. Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940–1960. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

 

Hunt, Bradford. Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public HousingChicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

 

Klemek, Christopher. The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal: Postwar Urbanism from New York to Berlin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

 

US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research. “Mixed Messages on Mixed Incomes.” Special issue. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 13, no. 2 (2013).



Evidence:

Chicago History Museum, Donald and Betty Howard testing a protective plywood panel and other images in their Trumbull Park apartment. Images courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

Chicago History Museum, Trumbull Park Exterior, HB_12520_C. Images courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

Chicago History Museum, ABLA Chicago Housing Authority Project, Abbott Homes, Hendrich Blessing (photographer), 1961: HB24975_B ; HB24975_A; HB24975_image 4. Images courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

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Chicago History Museum, Donald and Betty Howard testing a protective plywood panel and other images in their Trumbull Park apartment. Images courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.


Chicago History Museum, Trumbull Park Exterior, HB_12520_C. Images courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.


Chicago History Museum, ABLA Chicago Housing Authority Project, Abbott Homes, Hendrich Blessing (photographer), 1961: HB24975_B ; HB24975_A; HB24975_image 4. Images courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.


1957
Martin Wagner Caricatures International Housing Exhibition as Subsidized "Facadism"
 
Open Letters Condemn West-Berlin’s Interbau as Missed Planning Opportunity

In a series of letters published in a local newspaper throughout 1956, Martin Wagner, Director of Planning and Construction for the City of Berlin from 1926 to 1933, bitterly attacked the city’s planning officials.1 He ridiculed what was intended to be a showcase of democratic design, citing above-average costs, retrograde architectural choices, and the inherent contradiction of private enterprise ostensibly building for public benefit. At Harvard, where he had been teaching with Walter Gropius since 1938, Wagner expanded on his earlier models for new towns, situated beyond entirely rebuilt city centers, where land would be collectively managed on a non-profit basis.2 However, the urban renewal of Boston’s West End as implemented (almost simultaneously with Berlin’s Interbau) did not reflect Wagner and Gropius’s proposals. The expropriation of private property made the urban renewal of both Boston and West Berlin possible.3 In neither case, however, did this lead to the type of land policy that the architects had propagated as an essential part of their proposals in the early 1940s.


  • 1. The letters were later published as Martin Wagner, Potemkin in West-Berlin, (Berlin: City Presse, 1957).
  •  
  • 2. Walter Gropius and Martin Wagner, “Program for City Reconstruction,” Architectural Forum 79 (July 1943): 75–86; “Cities Renaissance,” Kenyon Review 5, no. 1 (Winter 1943): 12–33.
  •  
  • 3. In the case of Boston, this was made possible through Title I urban renewal funding. See Thomas H. O’Connor, Building a New Boston: Politics and Urban Renewal, 1950–1970 (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995). In the case of Berlin, it was through the purchase of the 162 parcels through an especially set-up corporation, of which 14 were expropriated. See “Interbau: Heiliger Otto,” Der Spiegel, July 31, 1957, 48–53. 

Further reading:

Diefendorf, Jeffry M. “Berlin on the Charles, Cambridge on the Spree: Walter Gropius, Martin Wagner, and the Rebuilding of Germany,” in Kulturelle Wechselbeziehungen im Exil—Exile across Cultures, edited by Helmut F. Pfanner. Bonn: Bouvier Verlag Herbert Grundmann, 1986.

 

Freestone, Robert, and Marco Amati, eds. Exhibitions and the Development of Modern Planning Culture. Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2014.

 

Gropius, Walter, and Martin Wagner. “Program for City Reconstruction.” Architectural Forum 79 (July 1943): 75–86.

 

Martin Wagner, 1885-1957: Wohnungsbau und Weltstadtplanung: die Rationalisierung des Glücks, edited by Klaus Homann, Martin Kieren, Ludovica Scarpa [Exhibition catalogue]. Berlin: Akademie der Künste, 1985.

 

Wagner, Martin.“American versus German City Planning.” Journal of Land Public Utility Economics 22 (November 1946): 321–338.

 

Vallye, Anna. “The Collaboration between Gropius and Martin Wagner.” In “Design and the Politics of Knowledge in America, 1937–1967: Walter Gropius, Gyorgy Kepes.” PhD Diss., Columbia University, 2011.



Evidence:

Boston Planning Board. “An Obsolete Neighborhood and a New Plan.” From “General Plan for Boston, 1950.” See Alex Krieger, “Past Futures.” Places 5, no. 3 (1989): 68.

Wagner, Martin. Potemkin in West-Berlin. Berlin: City Presse, 1957.

UFA-Wochenschau 14/1956. West-German News Weekly. Bundesarchiv, Bestand Film: F 001711, Deutsche Wochenschau GmbH, October 31, 1956, 2:44.

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Boston Planning Board. “An Obsolete Neighborhood and a New Plan.” From “General Plan for Boston, 1950.” See Alex Krieger, “Past Futures.” Places 5, no. 3 (1989): 68.


Wagner, Martin. Potemkin in West-Berlin. Berlin: City Presse, 1957.


UFA-Wochenschau 14/1956. West-German News Weekly. Bundesarchiv, Bestand Film: F 001711, Deutsche Wochenschau GmbH, October 31, 1956, 2:44.


1960
Brigitte Reimann Moves to Hoyerswerda
Novelist Reflects on Conditions of Life in Growing Socialist Town 

With the passage of the Aufbaugesetz (Reconstruction Law) on September 6, 1950, the German Democratic Republic secured the state’s access to previously private land in what it defined as “construction zones.”1 The Aufbaugesetz enabled the realization of large-scale urban projects that made frequent use of prefabricated concrete elements at a mass scale, for instance in the coal town of Hoyerswerda. It was here that the novelist Brigitte Reimann began writing Franziska Linkerhand, the story of a female architect working in Hoyerswerda, which openly depicted the city’s monotony, as well as its lack of cultural and social amenities. On this issue she corresponded with the prominent GDR architect Hermann Henselmann. After Reimann’s early death in 1968, Henselmann commented that from a Marxist point of view the unfinished novel’s main quality was its incompleteness, and that the socialist city too should stay open and incomplete.2 Since 1981, the population of Hoyerswerda has been steadily declining, from 70,000 inhabitants that year to 34,000 inhabitants in 2013.3


1. Gesetz über den Aufbau der Städte in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und der Hauptstadt Deutschlands, Berlin (Aufbaugesetz), Vom 6, September 1950, in Gesetzblatt der DDR 104 (1950): S. 365–367. 

  •  
  • 2. Hermann Henselmann, “Bemerkungen zu Franziska Linkerhand,” Die Weltbühne 35 (1974): 1108–1111.
  •  
  • 3. Horst-Dieter Brähmig, “Entwicklung und Perspektiven der Stadt Hoyerswerda,” in Stadtumbau Ost, Superumbau Hoyerswerda, ed. Michael Klaus, (Dresden: Sächsische Akademie, 2006) 13–16.

Further reading:

Hunter, Bivens. “Neustadt: Affect and Architecture in Brigitte Reimann’s East German Novel Franziska Linkerhand.” The Germanic Review 2 (2008): 139–166.

 

Reimann, Brigitte, and Hermann Henselmann. Briefwechsel. Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben, 1994.

 

Taverne, Ed. “Rise and Fall of the ‘Second Socialist City’ Hoyerswerda-Neustadt: An Architectural Historian’s Reaction to Franziska Linkerhand (1974), a Novel by Brigitte Reimann.” In Ideals in Concrete: Exploring Central and Eastern Europe, edited by Cor Wagenaar and Mieke Dings. Rotterdam: Nai Publishers, 2005.



Evidence:

episode
1962
Chicago Housing Authority Opens 1,096-Unit William Green Homes  
After Four-Year Debate, High-Rise Option Prevails over Low-Rise Alternatives

The 1962 completion of the William Green Homes, seven sixteen-to nineteen-story towers, brought the construction of the Cabrini-Green public housing development to a close  at over 3,000 apartment units total. Lower-rise housing had  been considered for this final phase, particularly in light of the development’s many residents with young children. But the CHA argued that the high-rise was the best way to comply with the federally mandated density of fifty units per acre and a per-unit cost ceiling of $17,000 for all urban public housing.1 Given the tight budgetary constraints, it was unusual that Chicago, unlike other cities, did not allocate federal urban re-newal funding to the CHA; the city’s 70 percent land-cost subsidy was made available only to private developers serving middle- and upper-income households.2


1. Bradford D. Hunt, "What Went Wrong with Public Housing in Chicago? A History of the Robert Taylor Homes," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Vol 94, No. 1, Spring 2001, 103.

 

2. Lawrence J. Vale, Purging the Poorest: Public Housing and the Design-Politics of Twice-cleared Communities, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 29. 


Further reading:

Heathcott, Joseph. “The Strange Career of Public Housing: Policy, Planning, and the American Metropolis in the Twentieth Century.” Journal of the American Planning Association vol. 78, no. 4 (2012): 360–375.

 

Hunt, Bradford. Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

 

Satter, Beryl. Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009.

 

Urban, Florian. Tower and Slab: Histories of Global Mass Housing. New York: Routledge, 2012.

 

Vale, Lawrence J. Purging the Poorest: Public Housing and the Design-Politics of Twice-cleared Communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.



Evidence:

National Building Museum. “Cabrini-Green & Parkside of Old Town, Chicago, IL,” produced by Tangent Pictures. Video interviews conducted with residents of Parkside of Old Town as part of the National Building Museum’s exhibition House and Home, 5:14. October 11, 2012. Link (accessed February 3, 2014).

Pace Associates, Architect. Floor plans, ground and second floors, elevation and section. Chicago Housing Authority, Green Homes. 1960. Courtesy of the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Studs Terkel, interview with Elizabeth Wood. February 6, 1964. Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum and The Studs Terkel / WFMT Oral History Archives. Link.

episode

National Building Museum. “Cabrini-Green & Parkside of Old Town, Chicago, IL,” produced by Tangent Pictures. Video interviews conducted with residents of Parkside of Old Town as part of the National Building Museum’s exhibition House and Home, 5:14. October 11, 2012. Link (accessed February 3, 2014).


Pace Associates, Architect. Floor plans, ground and second floors, elevation and section. Chicago Housing Authority, Green Homes. 1960. Courtesy of the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, the Art Institute of Chicago. 


Terkel (30:32)

I mean, could there be a public housing project in an urban renewed area? 

 

Wood (30:35) 

I have found that the extraordinary autonomousness and self-interest of the housing authority has meant that instead of it being a partner of the urban renewal program, it’s just another real estate operation taking care of the people that it wants to take care of, 

 

Terkel (31:45)

So urban renewal basically is a middle class proposition. 

Studs Terkel, interview with Elizabeth Wood. February 6, 1964. Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum and The Studs Terkel / WFMT Oral History Archives. Link.


1969
First Community Land Trust Established
Collective Farm Emerges from Civil-Rights Movement

In 1968, twelve African American farmers organized to acquire 2,300 acres of land near Albany, Georgia. They sought an alternative to the frequent eviction experienced by black farmers leasing land from white owners, especially in retaliation for voting rights activism. The resulting “New Communities” farm was directly inspired by the land-lease structure of Israeli Kibbutzim. It operated until 1985, when a severe drought led to its foreclosure after federal agencies refused to provide an emergency loan.1 In the meantime, the land trust model—separating the ownership of the land from the ownership of the buildings on it—had caught on throughout the country, especially in urban areas, as a way to establish permanently affordable housing outside of the speculative real estate market. In 2010, New Communities’ struggle received a belated acknowledgment as part of a broader class-action lawsuit originally settled in 2009: 1 billion dollars were awarded to 13,000 African American farmers who had not been given fair access to federal emergency funds thirty years earlier.2


1. “Seeding the First CLTs: New Communities, Inc.,” Roots & Branches: A Gardener’s Guide to the Origins and Evolution of the Community Land Trust, accessed June 16, 2015, http:// greenfordable.com/clt/the-guide/earlyhybrids-breeding-and-seeding-the-cltmodel/georgia-seedbed.  

 

2. Pete Daniel, “African American Farmers and Civil Rights,” Journal of Southern History 73, no. 1 (2007): 3–38; “Obama and the ‘Pigford’ Cases,” FactCheck.org, April 29, 2011, accessed August 21, 2015, http:// www.factcheck.org/2011/04/obama-and-thepigford-cases/. 


Further reading:

Davis, John Emmaeus. The Community Land Trust Reader. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2010.

 

Mironova, Oksana. “The Value of Land: How Community Land Trusts Maintain Housing Affordability.” Urban Omnibus, April 29, 2014.

 

Mitchell, Thomas W. “From Reconstruction to Deconstruction: Undermining Black Landownership, Political Ondependence and Community Through Partition Sales of Tenancies in Common.” Research Paper no. 132, Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2000. http://minds. wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/21887.

 

Witt, Susan, and Robert Swann. “Land: Challenge and Opportunity.” In Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place, edited by William Vitak and Wes Jackson. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.



Evidence:

Bennett, Fay. “Report to Aaron E. Norman Fund on Israeli Trip, June 23–July 7, 1968, to Study Rural and Economic Development,” July 24, 1968. 

National Community Land Trust Network, Annual Report, 2013.

Sherrod, Charles (quoted). Glen Pearcy (Director). One More River to Cross. Barnesville, MD: Glen Pearcy Productions, 1968–1969. 6:36. 

episode

Bennett, Fay. “Report to Aaron E. Norman Fund on Israeli Trip, June 23–July 7, 1968, to Study Rural and Economic Development,” July 24, 1968. 


National Community Land Trust Network, Annual Report, 2013.


Sherrod, Charles (quoted). Glen Pearcy (Director). One More River to Cross. Barnesville, MD: Glen Pearcy Productions, 1968–1969. 6:36. 


1970
Oil Magnate’s Houston New Town to Shape Growth through Science  
Hires Design with Nature Author Ian McHarg to Create Hydrology-Driven Master Plan

George Mitchell’s goal for The Woodlands was to create an alternative to urban blight and suburban sprawl, a sustainable and socially integrated environment where up to 150,000 residents could live and work. It was one of thirteen New Towns approved through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Title VII New Communities program in 1970, which provided multi-million dollar loan guarantees to these planning experiments that were generally undertaken by for-profit developers.1 The Woodlands project was a financial success and the controlling corporation is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Attaining the project’s original goals in terms of affordability and affirmative action (set to reflect the demographic make-up of Houston), however, has proven more elusive. In 2013, eighty-seven percent of the community’s residents are white; in Houston that percentage was fifty-eight.2


1. Ann Forsyth, Reforming Suburbia: The Planned Communities of Irvine, Columbia, and the Woodlands, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005), 167-169. 

 

2. U.S. Census Bureau, “2009-2013 5-Year American Community Survey, Houston and The Woodlands CDP, Texas,” American FactFinder, accessed June 15, 2015, http://factfinder.census.gov/.


Further reading:

Galatas, Roger with Jim Barlow. The Woodlands: The Inside Story of Creating a Better Hometown. Washington, DC: The Urban Land Institute, 2004.

 

McGirr, Lisa. Suburban Warriors. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.

 

McHarg, Ian. Design with Nature. Garden City, NY: Natural History Press for the American Museum of Natural History, 1969.

 

Rome, Adam. Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.



Evidence:

“Building Types Study 455: A Plea for Planned Communities. New Towns in America with Lessons from Europe.”Architectural Record, December 1973. Link.

US National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission). Report of National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Report). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1968

Wallace, McHarg, Roberts, and Todd. Woodlands New Community: Guidelines for Site Planning, 9–19, 48–61. Report prepared for The Woodlands Development Corporation. Houston: Wallace, McHarg, Roberts, and Todd, 1973. Accessed November 11, 2014 via Link.

The Woodlands Development Company. “The Best Place to Live in Houston.” Promotional video, 7:24. May 20, 2013. Link (accessed February 3, 2014)

episode

“Building Types Study 455: A Plea for Planned Communities. New Towns in America with Lessons from Europe.”Architectural Record, December 1973. Link.


US National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission). Report of National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Report). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1968


Wallace, McHarg, Roberts, and Todd. Woodlands New Community: Guidelines for Site Planning, 9–19, 48–61. Report prepared for The Woodlands Development Corporation. Houston: Wallace, McHarg, Roberts, and Todd, 1973. Accessed November 11, 2014 via Link.


The Woodlands Development Company. “The Best Place to Live in Houston.” Promotional video, 7:24. May 20, 2013. Link (accessed February 3, 2014)


1973
Nixon Declares Moratorium on Housing Assistance
Wave of Section 235 Foreclosures Cited as One Cause

Passed as part of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson, the Section 235 program promoted low-income home ownership by providing low-rate mortgages to developers and subsidies to homebuyers. The program’s lax oversight, however, allowed speculative developers to resell poorly renovated homes in inner cities to unsuspecting households.1 Many of these new homes were soon abandoned. The result was a $2 billion loss for the federal government.2 Anticipating this outcome, Senator Charles H. Percy of Illinois conceived the National Home Ownership Foundation (NHOF) in 1968 to monitor Section 235. Though they were both Republicans, Percy was known to disagree over many issues with President Nixon, who succeeded Johnson.3 When Percy voted against Nixon’s Safeguard Anti Ballistic Missile System in 1969, Nixon shut the NHOF down. In 1973, Nixon placed an eighteen-month moratorium on all federally funded housing construction programs. 


1. Alex Schwartz, Housing Policy in the United States, 2nd ed. (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2006), 258–259.

 

2. Roger Biles, “A Mormon in Babylon: George Romney as Secretary of HUD, 1969–1973,” Michigan Historical Review 38, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 78.

 

3.  Adam Climber, “Charles Percy, Former Ill. Senator, Dead at 91,” New York Times, September 17, 2011.


Further reading:

Gotham, Kevin Fox. “Separate and Unequal: The 1968 Housing Act and the Section 235 Program.” Sociological Forum 15, No 1 (2000): 13–37.

 

Hays, Allen. The Federal Government and Urban Housing: Ideology and Change in Public Policy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2012.

 

Henderson, A. Scott. Housing and the Democratic Ideal: The Life and Thought of Charles Abrams. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.

 

Maxwell, David O. “HUD’s Project Selection Criteria: A Cure for Impermissible Color Blindness.” 48 Notre Dame Law Rev. 92 (1972).

 

Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. "Back Story to the Neoliberal Moment: Race Taxes and the Political Economy of Black Urban Housing in the 1960s." Souls, Vol. 14, No. 3–4 (2012): 185–206. 



Evidence:

United States Senate. “An Analysis of the Section 235 A 236 Programs.” Congressional Research Service Library of Congress for the Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1973. 

“Loss in Neighborhood Turnover.” Kansas City Star, February 16, 1975.

“Southeast Wears FHA”s Mark.” Kansas City Star, August 28, 1972.

Tammeus, William D. “House by House, Racial Turnover  Changed Blue Hills.” Kansas City StarFebruary 17, 1975.

Tammeus, William D. “Investors’ Abound: Inner-City Houses Profitable.” Kansas City Star, October 7, 1975.

Rather, Dan. CBS Evening News. September 19, 1973. 1:18. Television News Archive, Vanderbilt University. CBS Corporation. 

episode

United States Senate. “An Analysis of the Section 235 A 236 Programs.” Congressional Research Service Library of Congress for the Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1973. 


“Loss in Neighborhood Turnover.” Kansas City Star, February 16, 1975.


“Southeast Wears FHA”s Mark.” Kansas City Star, August 28, 1972.


Tammeus, William D. “House by House, Racial Turnover  Changed Blue Hills.” Kansas City StarFebruary 17, 1975.


Tammeus, William D. “Investors’ Abound: Inner-City Houses Profitable.” Kansas City Star, October 7, 1975.


Rather, Dan. CBS Evening News. September 19, 1973. 1:18. Television News Archive, Vanderbilt University. CBS Corporation. 


1973
The Financialization of Race
Erik Carver

This essay was written by Erik Carver, PhD candidate at Columbia University's GSAPP, for the pamphlet published on the occasion of the exhibition House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, Venice, June 2014. Here he reflects on the year 1973, an important moment in the history of architecture and real estate. This essay is part of an ongoing conversation.


1. See US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Housing in the Seventies: A Report of the National
Housing Policy Review
(Washington: US Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1974).
2. Douglas S. Massey, Jonathan Rothwell, and Thurston Domina, “The Changing Bases of Segregation in the United States,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 626 (November 1, 2009), 77.
3. Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton, American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), 61, 17, 27, 28.
4. See William J. Wilson, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor (New York: Knopf, 1996).
5. Victor Zarnowitz and Geoffrey Moore, “The Recession and Recovery of 1973–1976,” Explorations in Economic
Research
4, no. 4 (January 1, 1977), 487–490.
6. Costas Lapavitsas, “Theorizing Financialization,” Work, Employment & Society 25, no. 4 (December 1, 2011), 612.
7. Louis Hyman, Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), 220–244.
8. US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Housing in the Seventies.
9. Alex F. Schwartz, Housing Policy in the United States, 2nd ed (New York: Routledge, 2010), 207, 291–309.
10. Massey and Denton, American Apartheid, 96–109.

 

Increasingly by 1973, global trade encroached on America’s shores and global investors helped finance its ghettoes and suburbs. Even as a stock market crash dramatized the growing financialization of the economy, President Nixon embraced markets to solve the problems of governance.1 A central problem was housing policy. Over the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was rebuilt on new footings. At the same time that this new system banned old patterns of segregation through spatial and financial exclusion, it introduced new forms of segregation through predatory lending and personal tracking. 

Segregation reached its apex in 1973.2 So did black income. From 1900, black migrants had moved north, indexing global conditions: they moved in greater numbers during wars and during European economic booms.3 Wages for black Americans grew steadily during the Civil Rights era. But during the 1970s, black employment levels fell as jobs left inner cities.4 Industrial competition, along with the wars on poverty and in Vietnam, drained America’s gold reserves. Following Nixon’s ending of the gold standard in 1971, the value of the dollar dropped and import prices shot up in early 1973. The OPEC oil embargo then sharpened the resulting inflation spike.5 The crash registered a decades-long national economic shift from industry to finance and services. After World War II, networks of debt and investment steadily enmeshed banks, corporations, and individuals.6 

In the 1960s, inflation had driven money from banks into securities, impoverishing savings banks and thus tightening mortgage capital. Mortgages were especially scarce in the ghettos. In a common form of discrimination, banks would “redline,” or mark black neighborhoods on lending maps as areas to be denied funding on the basis of presumed risk. The 1968 Housing Rights Act increased protections against redlining. It also introduced mortgage-backed securities in order to fund mortgages in formerly redlined areas. Subprime lending replaced redlining, with the new Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) supplying the high-risk market by the early 1970s. Soon thereafter, the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) generalized securitization to all borrowers. America’s rising debt supplemented falling wages. New techniques tracked credit histories, standardized mortgages, diversified portfolios, and monitored trading in real time.7 Three days before the 1973 crash, Nixon declared a broad moratorium on housing production subsidies. The following year, he put demand subsidies, like the mortgage market and renter allowances, at the center of housing policy.8 

Mortgage and rental subsidies brought liquidity to housing, while exposing tenants to increased levels of debt and risk. Federal policy moved away from concrete, long-term structures and towards line-items which could be slashed without friction. Urban renewal and modern tower blocks gave way to rehabilitation inventories and scattered infill units that applied the logic of the mixed portfolio to local neighborhoods.
As its ownership dispersed, America’s housing increasingly mimicked the single-family house.9

Vouchers and block grants devolved both initiative and discrimination to the local level. Real estate agents now filtered possibilities: search results would vary by race. Government took on the role of auditor in the new landscape of information and finance.10 From mortgage deductions to new towns, from infrastructure to vouchers, government was everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

 

essay
 
1975
Co-operators Withhold Carrying Charges for Nine Months
Residents Join Ranks to Fight for Continued Affordability in High-Rise Enclave

With over 15,000 apartments in thirty towers, Co-op City in the Bronx is the largest planned urban community ever realized in the United States. It is also the largest non-profit, resident-controlled cooperative development in the world.1 Despite offering quality dwellings far below market prices, Co-op City has been criticized since its inception in 1966  for the scale and uniformity of its design, isolation from the existing city, exclusion of lower-income residents, and the amount of public subsidies required for its operation. The nine-month “rent strike,” which succeeded in keeping costs low in the face of rising energy prices, would also mark the model’s demise: political support for new cooperative developments did not survive the mid-1970s.


1. Ross Whitsett, “Urban Mass: A Look at Co-Op City,” The Cooperator. December 2006, accessed July 1, 2015, http://cooperator.com/articles/1354/1/Urban-Mass/Page1.html.


Further reading:

Bleecker, Samuel E. The Politics of Architecture: A Perspective on Nelson A. Rockefeller. New York: Routledge Press, 1981


Botein, Hilary Ann. “Solid Testimony of Labor’s Present Status:” Unions and Housing in Postwar New York City. PhD Diss. Columbia University, New York, 2005. 

Lasner, Matthew. High Life: Condo Living in the Suburban Century. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012.

Schindler, Susanne and Juliette Spertus. “A Few Days in the Bronx: From Co-op City to Twin Parks.” Urban Omnibus, July 25, 2012. Link.

Schuman, Tony. “Labor And Housing In New York City: Architect Herman Jessor and the Cooperative Housing Movement.” Unpublished paper, New Jersey Institute of Technology, undated. Link.



Evidence:

Evelly, Jeanmarie. “Fox News’ Glenn Beck Knocks Co-Op City.” Bronx Bureau, January 27, 2011. Link (accessed February 3, 2014, but link is now part of a private YouTube page).

Nader, Ralph. “Co-op City tenants stage longest rent strike in U.S. history.” Morning Record (Meriden, CT), June 10, 1976, 16. 

Venturi, Robert and Denise Scott Brown. “Co-op City: Learning to Like it.” Progressive Architecture vol. 51, no. 2 (1971): 64–73

Remarks of Robert Moses, Chairman of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority at the Groundbreaking of Co-op City, Bronx, New York, Saturday Morning, May 14, 1966. Pamphlet. New York: Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, 1966.

episode

Evelly, Jeanmarie. “Fox News’ Glenn Beck Knocks Co-Op City.” Bronx Bureau, January 27, 2011. Link (accessed February 3, 2014, but link is now part of a private YouTube page).


Nader, Ralph. “Co-op City tenants stage longest rent strike in U.S. history.” Morning Record (Meriden, CT), June 10, 1976, 16. 


Venturi, Robert and Denise Scott Brown. “Co-op City: Learning to Like it.” Progressive Architecture vol. 51, no. 2 (1971): 64–73


Remarks of Robert Moses, Chairman of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority at the Groundbreaking of Co-op City, Bronx, New York, Saturday Morning, May 14, 1966. Pamphlet. New York: Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, 1966.


1976
"Manufactured" Supercedes "Mobile"
New Code to Establish Trailers as Viable Housing Option 

In 1976, the Department of Housing and Urban Development introduced federal standards for the construction and safety of factory-built, transportable housing units. The HUD Code reflected the recognition, evident in the name change, that this popular, privately produced, unsubsidized form of low-cost housing could no longer be dismissed as merely providing temporary shelter.1 The regulations attempted to resolve a problem that had contributed to the failure of earlier HUD programs promoting industrialized housing production: the lack of uniformity between state and local construction codes.2 By legitimating the 14-by-60-foot modules, the code also facilitated access to federal mortgage insurance under certain circumstances. The legal ambiguity of a home more often categorized as “personal property” than as “real estate,” and the precarious financial situation resulting from poorly regulated lending practices, were, however, left unresolved.3


  • 1. To compare, the 1976 U.S. Census shows a total of 567,000 mobile homes as shipped to dealers in 1973, and only 96,700 public housing units as being under construction during the same year. See link.
  •  
  • 2. The reference is to Operation Breakthrough, a program for multifamily housing, implemented between 1969 and 1974. See Allan D. Wallis, Wheel Estate: The Rise and Decline of Mobile Homes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991: 208–211.
  •  
  • 3. The categories of “real property” and “personal property” are part of the U.S. Census, “Cost & Size Comparisons: New Manufactured Homes and New Single-Family Site-Built Homes (2007-2014),” link, “The Case for Trailer Parks,” The Atlantic, October 24, 2014, link.

Further reading:

Banham, Reyner. “A Home is not a House,”Art in America, April 1965: 70–79.

 

Drury, Margaret J. Mobile Homes: The Unrecognized Revolution in American Housing. Ithaca, N.Y., Dept. of Housing and Design, New York State College of Home Economics, Cornell University, 1967.

 

Rivlin, Gary. “The Cold, Hard Lesson of Mobile Home U.,” The New York Times Magazine, March 13, 2014.

 

Wagner, Daniel and Mike Baker. “Minorities exploited by Warren Buffett’s mobile-home empire,” The Seattle Times, originally published December 26, 2015, updated January 13, 2016, accessed February 11, 2016. Link



Evidence:

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 24, Part 3280, “Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Government Printing Office, 2015 

Richard J. Margolis, Homes of the Brave: A Report on Migrant Farmworker Housing, published by Rural America for the Farmworker Housing Coalition, Washington, D.C. 1981. 

Testimony of Kirk and Patricia Ackley on their experience with Clayton Homes.Video by Katie G. Cotterill and Lauren Frohne for The Seattle Times. Part of Daniel Wagner and Mike Baker. “Warren Buffett’s mobile home empire preys on the poor: Billionaire profits at every step, from building to selling to high cost lending.” Center for Public Integrity/Seattle Times, April 6, 2015, accessed January 20, 2016. Link

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “America’s Future Starts at Home.” Accessed February 3, 2014. Link

Davis Homes, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, “Design Your NEW Home Here.” Link

episode

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 24, Part 3280, “Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Government Printing Office, 2015 


Richard J. Margolis, Homes of the Brave: A Report on Migrant Farmworker Housing, published by Rural America for the Farmworker Housing Coalition, Washington, D.C. 1981. 


Testimony of Kirk and Patricia Ackley on their experience with Clayton Homes.Video by Katie G. Cotterill and Lauren Frohne for The Seattle Times. Part of Daniel Wagner and Mike Baker. “Warren Buffett’s mobile home empire preys on the poor: Billionaire profits at every step, from building to selling to high cost lending.” Center for Public Integrity/Seattle Times, April 6, 2015, accessed January 20, 2016. Link


Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “America’s Future Starts at Home.” Accessed February 3, 2014. Link


Davis Homes, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, “Design Your NEW Home Here.” Link


1978
Architect Disassembles the Suburban Home
Santa Monica House Evolves From Eyesore to Icon

In the late 1970s, for a mere $260,000, Frank Gehry purchased and remodeled a 1920s pink clapboard bungalow for his own use.1 He wrapped the old house in panels of corrugated metal, chain link fence, and plywood, jammed tilted glass cubes onto the sides, and stripped the walls and roof down to their frames, beams, and rafters — leaving only the home’s hearth untouched. The resulting rough, collage-like feel both celebrated and critiqued the most ubiquitous of American structures. A source of neighborhood tension upon completion, the building has in recent years contributed to the neighborhood’s rising property values.


1. Zach Mortice, “2012 Twenty-Five Year Award: Gehry Residence,” American Institute of Architects, accessed July 1, 2015, http://www.aia.org/practicing/awards/2012/twenty-five-year-award/.


Further reading:

Aizpún, Carlos Labarta. “Revisitando a Schindler, Comprendiendo a Gehry, Los Angeles 1921–1978.” Revista de Arquitectura 14 (2012): 71–80.

 

Friedman, Mildred. Frank Gehry: The Houses. New York: Rizzoli, 2009.

 

Johnson, Philip and Mark Wigley. Deconstructivist Architecture. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1988.

 

Rilling, Donna. Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.



Evidence:

Arak, Joey. “Frank Gehry‘s 76-story Tower Now Renting at $2,630 and Up.” Curbed New York, February 14, 2011. Link (accessed April 4, 2014). 

Dbox. “New York by Gehry.” Altered photograph, advertising campaign.

Link (accessed April 4, 2014).

Holland, Brad. “The Dream House.” Cartoon. New York Times, October 2, 1977, sec. 4, 17. Courtesy of the artist.

Lino, Moritz. “Frank Gehry house in Santa Monica.” Digital photograph. Uploaded February 2, 2013. Link (accessed February 17, 2014). Courtesy of the photographer under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 License

Gehry, Frank, quoted in Zach Mortice, “2012 Twenty-five Year Award: Gehry Residence.” AIA.org. Link (accessed February 17, 2014).

episode

Arak, Joey. “Frank Gehry‘s 76-story Tower Now Renting at $2,630 and Up.” Curbed New York, February 14, 2011. Link (accessed April 4, 2014). 


Dbox. “New York by Gehry.” Altered photograph, advertising campaign.

Link (accessed April 4, 2014).


Holland, Brad. “The Dream House.” Cartoon. New York Times, October 2, 1977, sec. 4, 17. Courtesy of the artist.


Lino, Moritz. “Frank Gehry house in Santa Monica.” Digital photograph. Uploaded February 2, 2013. Link (accessed February 17, 2014). Courtesy of the photographer under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 License


I agonized about the symbols of the middle class to which I belonged, and to the particular symbols of my future neighbors. I searched for an interpretation of what I found that could suit my family, myself. I dug deep into my own history and education for cues and clues and then followed my intuitions.

Gehry, Frank, quoted in Zach Mortice, “2012 Twenty-five Year Award: Gehry Residence.” AIA.org. Link (accessed February 17, 2014).


1982
Dutch Parliament Debates Housing Policy
Industry-backed Group to Investigate “Open Building” Alternatives

In 1982, after decades of shifting between support for either municipal or non-profit housing associations, and support for individual homeownership,1 the Dutch parliament discussed the need for research into models of housing construction and financing that would encourage the private market, while also providing benefits to lower-income residents.2 One such approach, “open building,” gave residents the opportunity to participate in the design of their rental units within an association-owned structure. Two architect-led, construction industry–backed groups received government funding to implement pilot projects: the Foundation for Architects’ Research (SAR) and the Foundation for Innovative Housing (STIWON).3 Despite the projects’ appeal to residents, and potential construction-cost savings, the open building approach did not achieve enough support to take hold in the late 1980s, when the government once again prioritized individual homeownership. Today, Dutch policy encourages both owner-occupation and the privatization of housing associations.4


  • 1. Marja Elsingaa, Mark Stephens, and Thomas Knorr-Siedowc, “The Privatisation of Social Housing: Three Different Pathways,” in Social Housing in Europe, ed. Kathleen Scanlon, Christine Whitehead, and Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia (Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2014), 397; Marja Elsingaa, “Encouraging Low Income Home Ownership in the Netherlands: Policy Aims, Policy Instruments and Results,” paper presented at the European Network of Housing Researchers Conference, Tirana, Albania, May 26–28, 2003, accessed June 25, 2015, link.
  •  
  • 2. Erwin Nypels, “Statement on Housing and Physical Planning Rental Policy,” Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 45ste Vergadering, February 17, 1982, 2116.
  •  
  • 3. Ibid., 2116; Koos Bosma, Housing for the Millions: John Habraken and the SAR (1960–2000) (Rotterdam: NAI Publishers, 2000), 245.
  •  
  • 4. Art Patnaude, “Netherlands Plots a Housing-Market Overhaul,” Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2014, accessed January 22, 2015, link.

Further reading:

Aravena, Alejandro, and Andres Iacobelli, eds. Elemental: Incremental Housing and Participatory Design Manual. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2012.

 

Blundell Jones, Peter, Doina Petrescu, and Jeremy Till, eds. Architecture and Participation, New York: Spon Press, 2005.

 

Habraken, N. John. Supports: An Alternative to Mass Housing. London: Urban International Press, 1972. Kendall, Stephen, and Jonathan Teicher. Residential Open Building. New York: E & FN Spon, 2000.



Evidence:

Nypels, Erwin. “Statement on Housing and Physical Planning Rental Policy,” trans. Google Translate and David Hecht. Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 45ste Vergadering, February 17, 1982, 2115–2116.

Lüthi, Sonja and Marc Schwarz (Directors). “De Drager: A Film about Architect John Habraken.” 2013. Vimeo video, 15:20. Accessed June 25, 2015. Link. Courtesy of the filmmakers

Froyen, Hubert-Paul. “Molenvlietwilgendonk: Experimental housing project, papendrecht, the netherlands; Frans van der Werf, architect.” Harvard Architecture Review 1 (1980): 161–169. 

Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs. “National Reform Programme: 2014 The Netherlands.” Accessed July 16, 2015. Link.

episode

Nypels, Erwin. “Statement on Housing and Physical Planning Rental Policy,” trans. Google Translate and David Hecht. Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, 45ste Vergadering, February 17, 1982, 2115–2116.


Lüthi, Sonja and Marc Schwarz (Directors). “De Drager: A Film about Architect John Habraken.” 2013. Vimeo video, 15:20. Accessed June 25, 2015. Link. Courtesy of the filmmakers


Froyen, Hubert-Paul. “Molenvlietwilgendonk: Experimental housing project, papendrecht, the netherlands; Frans van der Werf, architect.” Harvard Architecture Review 1 (1980): 161–169. 


Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs. “National Reform Programme: 2014 The Netherlands.” Accessed July 16, 2015. Link.


1986
Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Approved
Enterprise Foundation Seeks to Reconcile Purpose with Profit

Given the Nixon-era end of direct federal support for the construction of low- and moderate-income housing, a variety of non-profit groups began to fill the gap.1 Faith-based Jubilee Housing’s efforts in Washington, DC caught the attention of developer James Rouse, known for his “festival marketplace” malls.2 Realizing that the tax write-offs connected to housing development were of no value to tax-exempt non-profits, he successfully lobbied Congress to institute their transfer to for-profit corporations who would invest in these projects. Rouse’s Enterprise Foundation subsequently began managing what has become the main source of funding for low-income housing construction in the United States,3 while providing substantial returns for its investors —especially because most housing built through the LIHTC returns to market rates after a limited period of time.4

 


1. Rachel G, Bratt, "The Quadruple Bottom Line and Nonprofit Housing Organizations in the United States," Housing Studies, Vol 27. No. 4, June 2012, 438–456: 446–447.

 

2. Enterprise Community Partners, Our Story, 2013, Downloadable pdf at enterprisecommunity.com, accessed January 14, 2015.

 

3. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, "Low-Income Housing Tax Credits," accessed July 8, 2015, http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/lihtc.html.

 

4. Doug Guthrie and Michael McQuarrie, "Privatization and Low-income Housing in the United States Since 1986," Research in Political Sociology, vol 14, 2005, 15–50.


Further reading:

The Center for Urban Pedagogy. What is Affordable Housing?: NYC Edition. Envisioning Development Series. New York: The Center for Urban Pedagogy, 2009. Link.

 

Guthrie, Doug and Michael McQuarrie. "Privatization and Low-Income Housing in the Untied States since 1986," Research in Political Sociology, Vol 14 (2005): 15–50.

 

Olsen, Joshua. Better Places, Better Lives: A Biography of James Rouse. Washington, DC: The Urban Land Institute, 2003.

 

Orlebeke, Charles J. “The Evolution of Low-Income Housing Policy, 1949 to 1999.” Housing Policy Debate vol. 11, no. 2 (2000): 489–520. Link.

 

Schwartz, Alex. Housing Policy in the United States: An Introduction 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2014.



Evidence:

Bertran, Monica. “Rising Low-Income Housing Returns Lure Google, Kroger.” Bloomberg TV video, 1:49. October 6, 2010. Link (accessed February 6, 2014).

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “America’s Future Starts at Home.”
Link (accessed February 3, 2014).

Jubilee Housing, Inc. Annual Report 2011. Washington, DC: Jubilee Housing, Inc., 2012. Link (accessed March 4, 2014)

Jubilee Housing, Inc. US Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, Public Version. Washington, DC, 2012. Link (accessed February 3, 2014)

Reagan, Ronald. “Remarks on Signing the Tax Reform Act of 1986.” October 22, 1986. Transcript, Reagan Library. Link (accessed February 3, 2014). YouTube video, 10:39. Link (accessed February 3, 2014).

episode

Bertran, Monica. “Rising Low-Income Housing Returns Lure Google, Kroger.” Bloomberg TV video, 1:49. October 6, 2010. Link (accessed February 6, 2014).


Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “America’s Future Starts at Home.”
Link (accessed February 3, 2014).


Jubilee Housing, Inc. Annual Report 2011. Washington, DC: Jubilee Housing, Inc., 2012. Link (accessed March 4, 2014)


Jubilee Housing, Inc. US Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, Public Version. Washington, DC, 2012. Link (accessed February 3, 2014)


Reagan, Ronald. “Remarks on Signing the Tax Reform Act of 1986.” October 22, 1986. Transcript, Reagan Library. Link (accessed February 3, 2014). YouTube video, 10:39. Link (accessed February 3, 2014).


1987
"La Casa del Migrante" Opens Its Doors in Tijuana
Missionaries found shelter for migrants, deportees, and refugees in response to state inaction 

In April of 1987, the “Misioneros de San Carlos Borromeo Scala- brinianos” opened their first permanent establishment amidst a growing wave of migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, funded mostly through in-kind and financial donations by individuals and nongovernmental organizations.1 The newly constructed court- yard building provides lodging for up to 14 days, with the capacity to attend to as many as 140 people at any given time. The Misioneros claim that the indifference, inability, or open com- plicity of the authorities has made it impossible for those they serve to live with dignity, forcing pursuit of the “American Dream” in the United States.2 To date, this first “Casa del Migrante” has received more than 240,000 migrants from Mexico, Central America, and other Latin-American countries, many of which are still struggling with the ravages of civil war. In the past five years, around 85 percent of its guests have already been deported from the United States of America.


  • 1. “La Casa del Migrante en Tijuana,” Casa del Migrante, accessed February 9, 2016, link.
  •  
  • 2. “Guatemala una nación sin oportunidades para vivir,” Red Casas del Migrante - Artículos, accessed February 9, 2016, link.
  •  
  • 3. “La Casa del Migrante en Tijuana,” Casa del Migrante, accessed February 9, 2016, link

Further reading:

Bovin, Philippe, coord. Las Fronteras del Istmo: Fronteras y sociedades entre el Sur de México y América Central. Lomas de Chapultepec: Centro Francés de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos, 1997.

 

Dziedzic, Michael J., and Stephen J. Wager. “Mexico’s uncertain quest for a strategy
to secure its southern border.” Journal of Borderlands Studies Vol. 7, No. 1 (1992): 19-48. doi: 10.1080/08865655.1992.9695417.

 

Schlesinger, Stephen, and Stephen Kinzer. Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005 (1982). 



Evidence:

Gayà, José. “Guatemala La Tierra Arrasada.” Etnilumidad S.A. YouTube video, 03:30. May 6, 2011. Accessed March 4, 2016. Link

Centro Scalabrini. “Casa del Migrante en Tijuana, A.C.” YouTube video, 02:30. May 6, 2014. Accessed March 4, 2016. Link

De María Salvador Flor, Jorge Campo, Gabriela Ispanel, Rolando Duarte/Teresa Coello, and Felipe Gil, comp. Directorio de Organizaciones que Trabajan Migración y Derechos Humanos de Centroamérica y México. Guatemala: Consejería en Proyectos, 2008. 

“Casas del Migrante.” Red Casas del Migrante Scalabrini, 2015. Accessed March 4, 2016. Link

episode

Gayà, José. “Guatemala La Tierra Arrasada.” Etnilumidad S.A. YouTube video, 03:30. May 6, 2011. Accessed March 4, 2016. Link


Centro Scalabrini. “Casa del Migrante en Tijuana, A.C.” YouTube video, 02:30. May 6, 2014. Accessed March 4, 2016. Link


De María Salvador Flor, Jorge Campo, Gabriela Ispanel, Rolando Duarte/Teresa Coello, and Felipe Gil, comp. Directorio de Organizaciones que Trabajan Migración y Derechos Humanos de Centroamérica y México. Guatemala: Consejería en Proyectos, 2008. 


“Casas del Migrante.” Red Casas del Migrante Scalabrini, 2015. Accessed March 4, 2016. Link


1990
Chinese Citizens Receive US Visas By Funding Job Creation
EB-5 Program Undergirds Construction in San Francisco 

In 1990, Congress moved to allot 10,000 newly created visas per year to foreign “entrepreneurs” seeking permanent resident status whose investment could be demonstrated to create 10 or more jobs.1 The majority of these visas have been awarded to Chinese nationals, and California benefits more than any other state with investments that totaled over $440 million in 2014 alone.2 Oneprojecttoreceivefundingthroughtheprogramis a new residential tower at 1545 Pine Street in San Francisco, designed by the Miami-based firm Arquitectonica. It is located just north of the Tenderloin District, a neighborhood described as “raw” and “not for the faint of heart” by the vacation rental site AirBnB.3 The new tower will include a ground level art gallery and retail space in addition to over 100 apartments, only 12 percent of which will be sold below market rates.4 


  • 1. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur,” accessed February 25, 2016, link.
  •  
  • 2. American Immigration Group LLC. “Frequenly Asked Questions,” accessed February 25, 2016, link.
  •  
  • 3. Airbnb. “Tenderloin,” accessed February 25, 2016, link.
  •  
  • 4. San Francisco Housing Action Coalition. “Endorsement Letter for 1545 Pine Street,” September 30, 2014, accessed February 25, 2016, link

Further reading:

Dunlop, Beth. Arquitectonica. New York: Rizzoli, 2004.

 

Lee, Erika. At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration During the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2003.

 

Lai, Him Mark, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung, eds. Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991.

 

Satow, Julie. “Want a Green Card? Invest in Real Estate.” The New York Times. May 16, 2015.

 

Shah, Nayan. Stranger Intimacy: Contestng Race, Intimacy, and the Law in the American North West. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. 



Evidence:

Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Pub. L. 47-126, 22 Stat. 58 (1882). Accessed February 25, 2016. Link

Environmental Impact Report for 1527-1545 Pine Street. City and County of San Francisco Planning Department. Case No. 2006.0383E. May 14, 2014. Accessed February 25, 2016. Link

CMB Regional Centers. “Meet Our Staff and See Our Facility.” YouTube video, 1:44. February 15, 2016. Accessed February 25, 2016. Link

episode

Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Pub. L. 47-126, 22 Stat. 58 (1882). Accessed February 25, 2016. Link


Environmental Impact Report for 1527-1545 Pine Street. City and County of San Francisco Planning Department. Case No. 2006.0383E. May 14, 2014. Accessed February 25, 2016. Link


CMB Regional Centers. “Meet Our Staff and See Our Facility.” YouTube video, 1:44. February 15, 2016. Accessed February 25, 2016. Link


1994
Federal Housing Policy Meets Local Resistance
New Urbanists' Arrival Postponed on Far Rockaway

In 1994, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) submitted a HOPE VI planning grant application to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant application, awarded in 1995, helped procure $70 million to fund the replacement of the Beach 41st Street towers with new low-rise, mixed-income housing.1 After the project reached an impasse with residents, the funds were transferred to other NYCHA properties on Far Rockaway. An acute housing shortage prevented the Housing Authority from demolishing structurally sound buildings. Instead, modifications for code compliance were made.2 In 2002, an additional $225 million HOPE VI dollars were shifted to the nearby Arverne Urban Renewal Area. Benjamin-Beechwood LLC was chosen to build Arverne by the Sea, a 90 percent market-rate New Urbanist enclave designed by EE&K, a Perkins Eastman Company. The 127 acre, city-owned parcel was sold to the developers for merely $8.6 million.3


1. Henry Cisneros and Lora Engdahl. From Despair to Hope: HOPE VI and the New Promise of Public Housing in America's Cities, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2009. 308.

 

2. United States General Accounting Office, HOPE VI: Progress and Problems in Revitalizing Distressed Public Housing (GAO/ RCED-98-187), July 20, 2015, http://www.gao.gov/assets/230/226004.pdf.

 

3. "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Welcomes New Homeowners to Arverne by the Sea, the City's Newest Oceanfront Community." The Official Website of the City of New York. Nyc.gov, 25 May 2004. Accessed 20 July 2015. http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/127-04/mayor-michael-bloomberg-welcomes-new-homeowners-arverne-the-sea-city-s-newest.


Further reading:

Bloom, Nicholas. Public Housing that Worked: New York in the Twentieth Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.

 

Friedman, Yael. “Lessons from Rockaway: What to Save from the Flood.” Urban Omnibus, March 20, 2013. Link.

 

Hanlon, James. “Success by design: HOPE VI, new urbanism, and the neoliberal transformation of public housing in the United States.” Environment and Planning A, 42, 1 (2010): 80–98. 

 

Plunz, Richard. A History of Housing in New York City: Dwelling Type and Social Change in the American Metropolis. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.



Evidence:

“Arverne by the Sea Tour.” Promotional video, 7:06. July 7, 2011. Link (accessed March 6, 2014).

The Congress for the New Urbanism. Principles for Inner City Neighborhood Design. Washington, DC: US Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2000. 

HUD Grant Application, NYC Housing Authority. Hope VI: Urban Revitalization Demonstration Program: Beach 41st St. Houses, Far Rockaway, New York. OMB Approval No. 2577-0044. New York: The Housing Authority, 1993.

episode

“Arverne by the Sea Tour.” Promotional video, 7:06. July 7, 2011. Link (accessed March 6, 2014).


The Congress of New Urbanism has worked with HUD to shape the criteria by which communities and their public housing agencies receive funds under the HOPE VI program. HOPE VI was created to transform the most derelict public housing projects into neighborhoods of pride and hope. Rather than just sending money to fix the project, HUD is making it clear: The projects that receive HOPE VI funding should embrace good design principles. (2)

 

To help HUD and local housing agencies make the most of their HOPE VI investments, Congress of New Urbanism members developed the ‘Principles for Inner City Neighborhood Design,’ 14 Strategies for rebuilding public housing into vital and vibrant neighborhoods.” These strategies are: “Citizen and community involvement; Economic opportunity; Diversity; Neighborhoods; Infill Development; Mixed Use; City-wide and Regional Connections; Streets; Public Open Spaces; Safety and Civic Engagement; Dwelling as mirror of self; Accessibility; Local architectural character; Design codes (2-5)

The Congress for the New Urbanism. Principles for Inner City Neighborhood Design. Washington, DC: US Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2000. 


HUD Grant Application, NYC Housing Authority. Hope VI: Urban Revitalization Demonstration Program: Beach 41st St. Houses, Far Rockaway, New York. OMB Approval No. 2577-0044. New York: The Housing Authority, 1993.


1995
St. Louis Suburb Commissions “Vision 2015 Plan”
Housing Components Fall Short of Goals

In June 1995, the City Council of Ferguson, Missouri, set thirteen objectives to improve the quality of life in the town over the next two decades, ranging from better fire department facilities to cosmetic improvements of homes and neighborhoods. With a 1998 update to the plan, the city began to regulate and enforce home appearances in an attempt to improve Ferguson’s reputation, draw more residents, and raise home values.1 Two decades later, the town still lacks most of the improvements set forth in the vision plan, and average home values are about half their pre-2008 levels. Low prices have attracted investors in the rental-backed securities market. Today, many single-family homes in Ferguson are being rented by these investors to Section 8 voucher holders and other low-income families at prices matching the average for Saint Louis County, in spite of market values well below this average.2 In 2014, Ferguson gained international attention as a segregated, impoverished community following the shooting of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown.


1.  Richard Shearer & Associates, “City of Ferguson Vision 2015 Plan Update,” 1998, 58.

 

2. Matthew Goldstein, “Another Shadow in Ferguson,” New York Times, Deal Book, September 3, 2014, accessed June 1, 2015, link.


Further reading:

Gotham, Kevin Fox. Race, Real Estate, and Uneven Development: The Kansas City Experience, 1900–2000. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

 

Heathcott, Joseph, and Maire Agnes Murphy. “Corridors of Flight, Zones of Renewal: Industry, Planning, and Policy in the Making of Metropolitan St. Louis, 1940–1980.” Journal of Urban History 31, no. 2 (January 2005): 151–189.

 

Rothstein, Richard. “The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Root of Its Troubles.” Economic Policy Institute Report. October 15, 2014. Link.



Evidence:

Goldman, David for the Associated Press. Originally published in Trymaine Lee. “Life and Death along Canfield Drive in Ferguson.” November 23, 2014. Accessed September 15, 2015. Link.

Richard Shearer & Associates. “City of Ferguson, Vision 2015 Plan Update.” August 1998. 

“How Long Did the Initial Protests Last?” Infographic. New York Times. Updated August 10, 2015. Accessed August 15, 2015. Link.

episode

Goldman, David for the Associated Press. Originally published in Trymaine Lee. “Life and Death along Canfield Drive in Ferguson.” November 23, 2014. Accessed September 15, 2015. Link.


Richard Shearer & Associates. “City of Ferguson, Vision 2015 Plan Update.” August 1998. 


“How Long Did the Initial Protests Last?” Infographic. New York Times. Updated August 10, 2015. Accessed August 15, 2015. Link.


1997
Mayor Endorses the Renovation of Košice City Center
Romani Community Segregated in Luník IX Housing Estate

In March and April 1995, under the leadership of Mayor Rudolf Schuster, the City Council of Košice, Slovakia, approved the “Housing Plan for Non-payers, Homeless, and Inadaptable Citizens.” The resolution targeted Luník IX, a cooperative housing estate completed in 1981, and encouraged residents of nonRomani origin to move out to make room for Romani families who were having problems paying municipal rent in other parts of town. In 1997, additional sub-standard flats for Roma were built at Luník IX. This explicit concentration of Romani people led residents to file criminal charges against Schuster for violating anti-racial-discrimination laws, but the charges were rejected for procedural reasons. At the same time, Schuster endorsed ambitious policies supporting the complete restoration of the city’s historic town center. In 1999, the former mayor became the second president of Slovakia. In 2014, demolition of Luník IX began due to disrepair


Further reading:

Hegedüs, József, Martin Lux, and Nora Teller, eds. Social Housing in Transition. New York: Routledge, 2013.

 

Loew, Stuart, and Sasha Tsenkova, Housing Change in East and Central Europe: Integration or Fragmentation? Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003. Magdolenová, Kristína. “Story of Lunik IX.” Unpublished Paper. Accessed July 3, 2015. Link.

 

Vermeersch, Peter. The Romani Movement: Minority Politics and Ethnic Mobilization in Contemporary Central Europe. New York: Berghahn Books, 2006.



Evidence:

“Košice” European Capital of Culture YouTube Video, 0:00. January 17, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2015. Link

Coomber, Michelle (Director). Lunik IX. 12:27. Clip courtesy of the filmmaker. 

City of Košice. “Výzva Na Predkladanie Ponúk (Podlimitné Zákazky)” [“Call for Propositions (Smaller Commissions)”]. June 16, 2014. Accessed August 14, 2015. Link

episode

“Košice” European Capital of Culture YouTube Video, 0:00. January 17, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2015. Link


Coomber, Michelle (Director). Lunik IX. 12:27. Clip courtesy of the filmmaker. 


City of Košice. “Výzva Na Predkladanie Ponúk (Podlimitné Zákazky)” [“Call for Propositions (Smaller Commissions)”]. June 16, 2014. Accessed August 14, 2015. Link


2000
Dwell Magazine Claims a New Frontier
Editors Trace a Course "From the Robie House to Our House"

In October 2000, San Francisco-based Dwell magazine released its first issue into an atmosphere of changing American cities. At this height of the dot-com boom, a search for simpler yet more stylish forms of living went hand-in-hand with gentrification, effectively relocating the frontier of development for the American house from suburban to urban areas. Under the umbrella of “home,” Dwell published stories not covered by other shelter magazines, including “pre-fab,” “sustainable,” and “small” projects, offering a newly urbanizing demographic ways to distinguish themselves with their first, and often second, home.


Further reading:

Appadurai, Arjun, ed. The Future as Cultural Fact: Essays on the Global Condition. New York: Verso Books, 2013.


The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. State of Metropolitan America: On the Front Lines of Demographic Transformation. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 2010.

Chakrabarti, Vishaan. A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America. New York: Metropolis Books, 2013.

Gallagher, Leigh. The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving. New York: Penguin, 2013.



Evidence:

Bush, George W. “President Hosts Conference on Minority Homeownership.” White House video, 22:33. October 15, 2002. Link

Arieff, Allison. “The Dwell Home Design Invitational.” Dwell, January/February 2003, 56. Link

Dwell, October 2000 (vol. 1, no. 1). Jacobs, Karrie. “Fruitbowl Manifesto,” 15–16.

Dwell, October 2000 (vol. 1, no. 1). Hedberg, Lara. “From the Robie House to Our House,” 10.

episode

Bush, George W. “President Hosts Conference on Minority Homeownership.” White House video, 22:33. October 15, 2002. Link


Arieff, Allison. “The Dwell Home Design Invitational.” Dwell, January/February 2003, 56. Link


Generally, in magazines concerned with the design of homes, fruit bowls abound. High-priced photo stylists spend hours arranging them. You see them in photographs of kitchens and living rooms…and precious little else...no signs of life. At Dwell, we're staging a minor revolution. We think that it's possible to live in a house or apartment by a bold modern architect .. and still be a regular human being. We think that good design is an integral part of real life.

Dwell, October 2000 (vol. 1, no. 1). Jacobs, Karrie. “Fruitbowl Manifesto,” 15–16.


I was suddenly jolted awake by the sight of Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and introduced to the world of Modernism.

What was, and still is, most interesting to me is the way Modernism lends itself to new ideas and individual approaches. Instead of finding a style and adhering to its tenets, modern design allows you to grapple with your own ideas about how you want to live.

Dwell, October 2000 (vol. 1, no. 1). Hedberg, Lara. “From the Robie House to Our House,” 10.


2008
Housing as a Matter of Life and Debt
Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió

This essay was written by Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió, PhD candidate at Columbia University's GSAPP, for the pamphlet published on the occasion of the exhibition House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, Venice, June 2014. Here he reflects on the year 2008, an important moment in the history of architecture and real estate. This essay is part of an ongoing conversation.


1. The waves of eviction-related suicides in Spain since 2008 have been widely reported by both NGOs and the mainstream media. See for instance: “Spain’s Crisis Sparks Another Revolution,” New York Times, March 5, 2013, Link

2. Some hope can be found in the successes of many activists’ initiatives, such as Spain’s Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca). They have successfully halted over 1000 evictions and rehoused another 1000 people, as well as helped thousands of people cancel their mortgage debt after foreclosure since 2009. See: Link.

Since 2008, housing foreclosures have accelerated at a vertiginous pace worldwide. A cruel bureaucratic supplement to the war on terror, mass foreclosure exposed itself as an actually-deployed weapon of mass destruction. In Spain alone (one of the countries hit hardest by the sudden burst of an over-bloated, speculative bubble), almost half a million homes have been foreclosed — an especially painful figure in the face of the country’s nearly 3.5 million empty homes.

The mortgage equation, which juggles debt (minus) and equity (plus), has resulted in a kind of metaphorical social death — when not literal, as is the case with the suicide epidemic instigated by the foreclosure crisis in Spain, a country where neither the return of house keys nor death itself allows one to escape foreclosure’s unsparing claws(es).1 Housing then becomes a matter of life and debt, without the possibility of ever disentangling the two — a divine punishment unto eternity.

But why this impetus for mass-castigation? Wouldn’t it be simpler — and better for everyone — to write off these debts and just get on with life (or death)? Unfortunately, the cultural techniques by which this “writing” inscribes bodies with debt are somewhat indelible. Financial accounts — whether lead tablets, duty diaries, double-entry bookkeeping, or credit-report databases — don’t just represent obligations; they also enshrine them for posterity, sometimes elevating them to the status of sacred scriptures. Ledgers, in fact, were originally books permanently housed in churches. These documents acquire a force of their own, fixing all kinds of prescriptions, such as class or race, as mere inscriptions in a list, while also generating quasi-ontological distinctions between house and person, subject and object, “you” and “I.” Changing the numbers, and the relations they enact (house or no house), is difficult, they say. 

Over time, relations have become securitized themselves, turned into further financially tradable assets. First, debts became inscribed with bodies—reversing the older model of bodies with debt––and then, dropping bodies altogether, they became relations of relations. And so on, like a hall of mirrors into infinity, a financial mise-en-abîme. The more differentiation, the more capitalization; the more information, the less risk. The “New Economy” promised the virtual dissolution of financial risk thanks to digital simulation models and real-time market pricing across the network. In theory. In practice, we have seen this house of cards tumble with the flick of a credit-rating agency’s switch, only to be reconstructed with further severe debt prescriptions. 

From debt prescription to debt conscription and back again, we seem to be trapped in a regime where you are not a person, literally you are not recognized, unless a number has been ascribed to your persona. Financial credit, in other words, has become a matter of life and debt. Opting out of this regime, or even temporarily suspending it, is virtually impossible for most people, not even through the ultimate act of withdrawal: death itself.

essay
 
2009
Brazilian Government Launches Minha Casa, Minha Vida
World Bank Endorses the Program While Urging a Greater Role for the Private Sector

In 2009, the Brazilian government launched an extensive housing program, whose name translates as “My House, My Life,” aimed at addressing the deficit while providing stimulus in the wake of a recession. The program provides housing for those living under the most precarious conditions in large-scale tract developments on the outskirts of cities, and apartment developments for lower- and middle-class Brazilians in more urban settings. In 2010, the World Bank published reports expressing enthusiasm for the program’s general premise.1 However, in alignment with US policy, the global institution also advocated for the expansion of national and international private lenders’ participation in these home-financing programs, along with the privatization of the loans’ then-government-backed guarantees.


1. The World Bank Group, Latin American and Caribbean Region Sustainable Development Department, Urban, Water, and Disaster Risk Management Unit. “Establishing a Sustainable Guarantee Fund to Support the Expansion of the Housing Finance Market for Low-Income Households in Brazil: Analysis and Recommendations,” June 15, 2010, accessed July 1, 2015, http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2010/06/16376136/brazil-establishing-sustainable-guarantee-fund-support-expansion-housing-finance-market-low-income-households-brazil-analysis-recommendations.


Further reading:

De Souza, Flávio and Roger Zetter. “Urban Land Tenure In Brazil: From Centralized State to Market Processes of Housing Land Delivery.” In Market Economy and Urban Change: Impacts in the Developing World, edited by Roger Zetter and Mohamed Hamza. Sterling, VA: Earthscan, 2004.

 

Harvey, David. Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development. New York: Verso, 2006.

 

Marc, Angélil and Rainer Hehl, Something Fantastic, eds. Minha Casa – Nossa Cidade! Berlin: Ruby Press, 2014.

 

Neto, Paulo Nascimento, Tomás Antonio Moreira, and Zulma Das Graças Lucena Schussel. “Housing Policy. A Critical Analysis on the Brazilian Experience.” Comunicação e Meio Ambiente 5, no. 3, December 22, 2012. 65-76.

 

Rangan, V. Kasturi, John A. Quelch, Gustavo Herrero, and Brooke Barton, eds. Business Solutions for the Global Poor: Creating Social and Economic Value. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.



Evidence:

EcoHouse Group. “EcoHouse Group and Minha Casa Minha Vida: Investing in your World EcoHouse Brazil.” YouTube video, 6:59. January 28, 2013. Link (accessed January 15, 2014).

Obama, Barack. “President Speaks on Restoring Security to Homeownership.” White House video, 30:26. August 6, 2013. Link (accessed March 25, 2014).

The World Bank Group, Latin American and Caribbean Region Sustainable Development Department, Urban, Water, and Disaster Risk Management Unit. “Expansion of Private Lenders’ Participation in Housing Finance for Low Income Groups Under the Brazilian Sistema Financeiro de Habitação: Analysis and Recommendations.” June 15, 2010. Link (accessed January 10, 2014).

 

The World Bank Group, Latin American and Caribbean Region Sustainable Development Department, Urban, Water, and Disaster Risk Management Unit. “Establishing a Sustainable Guarantee Fund to Support the Expansion of the Housing Finance Market for Low-Income Households in Brazil: Analysis and Recommendations.” June 15, 2010. Link (accessed January 10, 2014).

episode

EcoHouse Group. “EcoHouse Group and Minha Casa Minha Vida: Investing in your World EcoHouse Brazil.” YouTube video, 6:59. January 28, 2013. Link (accessed January 15, 2014).


Obama, Barack. “President Speaks on Restoring Security to Homeownership.” White House video, 30:26. August 6, 2013. Link (accessed March 25, 2014).


The World Bank Group, Latin American and Caribbean Region Sustainable Development Department, Urban, Water, and Disaster Risk Management Unit. “Expansion of Private Lenders’ Participation in Housing Finance for Low Income Groups Under the Brazilian Sistema Financeiro de Habitação: Analysis and Recommendations.” June 15, 2010. Link (accessed January 10, 2014).


 

The World Bank Group, Latin American and Caribbean Region Sustainable Development Department, Urban, Water, and Disaster Risk Management Unit. “Establishing a Sustainable Guarantee Fund to Support the Expansion of the Housing Finance Market for Low-Income Households in Brazil: Analysis and Recommendations.” June 15, 2010. Link (accessed January 10, 2014).


2010
The New American Home® Fails
Model House Intended For Trade Show Foreclosed Before Built

The National Association of Home Builders is a more than sixty-year-old trade association dedicated to promoting residential construction in the United States. Since 1984, its annual trade show has included the design and building of “The New American Home®,” a high-end model house co-sponsored by the industry and a financial institution, which is subsequently sold on the market. The 2010 edition, a larger and more energy-efficient house than in previous years designed by the California-based KTGY Group, was befallen with various ills of its time. After the industry’s private investor pulled out, the financial institution supporting the construction, Cumorah Credit Union, was shut down by the government. The model house never made it to the trade show; instead it was foreclosed and auctioned at 14 percent of its stipulated market price. 1


1. Dawn Wotapka, “Builders’ Dream Home Sold for a Song at Foreclosure Auction,” Developments: Real Estate News and Analysis from The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2010, accessed July 1, 2015, http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2010/01/19/builders-dream-home-sold-for-a-song-at-foreclosure-auction/.


Further reading:

Glaeser, Edward L. and Todd Sinai, eds. Housing and the Financial Crisis. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.


Gottesdiner, Laura. A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and The Fight for A Place to Call Home. Westfield, NJ: Zuccotti Park Press, 2013.

Martin, Reinhold, Leah Meisterlin, and Anna Kenoff, eds. The Buell Hypothesis. New York: The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, 2011.

Massey, Jonathan. “Risk and Regulation in the Financial Architecture of American Houses.” In Governing by Design: Architecture, Economy, and Politics in the Twentieth Century, edited by Aggregate. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2012.



Evidence:

Image by RM Design Studios, included in Dawn Wotapka, "Clouds Over Dream Home," The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2009. Link.

Obama, Barack. “President Speaks on Restoring Security to Homeownership.” White House video, 30:26. August 6, 2013. Link (accessed March 25, 2014).

State of Nevada, Department of Business and Industry, Financial Institutions Division. Order Closing Credit Union and Appointing Receiver and/or Liquidating Agent. October 23, 2009. Link (accessed February 12, 2014).

episode

Image by RM Design Studios, included in Dawn Wotapka, "Clouds Over Dream Home," The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2009. Link.


Obama, Barack. “President Speaks on Restoring Security to Homeownership.” White House video, 30:26. August 6, 2013. Link (accessed March 25, 2014).


State of Nevada, Department of Business and Industry, Financial Institutions Division. Order Closing Credit Union and Appointing Receiver and/or Liquidating Agent. October 23, 2009. Link (accessed February 12, 2014).


2011
Construction in Kangbashi New District Grinds to a Halt
Housing Prices Plummet As Local Economy Slows and Debtors Default

In 2004, the City Government of Ordos decided to use its tax revenues to develop three new districts.1 Their goal was to diversify the coal extraction-based economy of Inner Mongolia and spur further growth.2 Given the volatility of Chinese stock markets, low interest rates, capital controls, and inconsistently applied tax laws inhibiting individual overseas investment, stable investment opportunities were limited.3 Local governments and individuals instead saw the potential for real estate as a safe harbor for newly acquired wealth.4 Construction began in 2004 on the lead district, Kangbashi New District, designed to accommodate one million new residents.5 Despite rapid construction, local economic and demographic growth failed to take hold. In 2011, construction of new housing entered a hiatus as prices plumetted.6 Along with the coal-based economy’s slowdown, this bursting bubble spurred mass defaults on the large construction debt, resulting in a municipal credit crisis.7 The same year, the Ordos government began implementing a policy of relocating farmers from the rural areas surrounding Kangbashi to the new district, hoping to spur the economic growth that market forces had failed to produce.8


  • 1. Toru Sugawara and Tetsuya Abe, “China Faces a Rapid-growth Hangover,” Nikkei Asian Review, December 11, 2014, accessed July 8, 2015, link.
  •  
  • 2. Xiao Huang, “Special Supplement: More Than Grasslands Growing in Ordos,” China Daily, last modified August 7, 2008, accessed July 8, 2015, link.
  •  
  • 3. Michael Tan and Cara Meng, “Overseas Investment by Chinese Individuals: Current Legislation and Recent Developments,” TaylorWessing China Alerter 2011, accessed July 8, 2015, link.
  •  
  • 4. Kenneth Rapoza, “China’s Housing Bubble Past, and Its Future,” Forbes, November 11, 2011, accessed June 11, 2015, link.
  •  
  • 5. David Barboza, “Chinese City Has Many Buildings, but Few People,” New York Times, October 19, 2010, accessed June 11, 2015, link.
  •  
  • 6. Gus Lubin, “TIMBER! Home Prices Are Crashing in China’s Most Famous Ghost City,” Business Insider, December 6, 2011, accessed June 11, 2015, link.
  •  
  • 7. Global Times, “When the Ordos Bubble Bursts,” People’s Daily Online, July 12, 2013, accessed June 11, 2015, link.
  •  
  • 8. Adam James Smith, “‘Re-education’ Campaigns Teach China’s New Ghost City–Dwellers How to Behave,” The Guardian, November 6, 2014, accessed June 24, 2015, link.

Further reading:

Arrighi, Giovanni. Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the 21st Century. New York: Verso Books, 2007.

 

Chovanec, Patrick. “China’s Real Estate Riddle.” An American Perspective from China Blog, June 11, 2009. Accessed June 24, 2015. link.

 

Huang, Yiping, Jian Chang, and Lingxiu Yang. “China: Beyond the Miracle, Part 3: Bubble Deflation, Chinese Style.” Barclays Capital Emerging Markets Research, November 8, 2011. Accessed June 24, 2015. link.

 

Nuijsink, Cathelijne. “Nothing Is Happening Here.” Mark: Another Architecture no. 36 (February 2012): 148–155.

 

Ulfstjerne, Michael Alexander. “Un-real Estate: The Social Life of Temporary Wealth in China.” PhD Diss. Københavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet, 2015. link.



Evidence:

Ordos Municipal People’s Government. “Kangbashi New District.” August 11, 2009. Accessed June 24, 2015. Link.

Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis takes part in the Ordos 100. Snapshots. Images courtesy of Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis.

 “House Prices Plunge in Chinese Ghost Town.” New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV). 1:12. Uploaded December 5, 2011. Accessed June 23, 2015. Link.

episode

Ordos Municipal People’s Government. “Kangbashi New District.” August 11, 2009. Accessed June 24, 2015. Link.


Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis takes part in the Ordos 100. Snapshots. Images courtesy of Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis.


 “House Prices Plunge in Chinese Ghost Town.” New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV). 1:12. Uploaded December 5, 2011. Accessed June 23, 2015. Link.


2012
Violence Enters a Gated Community
Teenager is Shot and Killed in The Retreat at Twin Lakes

On the night of February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, a seventeen year-old African American high school student, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch coordinator, as Martin walked from a nearby 7-Eleven to his father’s fiancée’s house. That house is in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. The enclave consists of 263 two-story, 1400-square foot townhouses that sold at an average of $250,000 upon completion in 2004; after the 2008 foreclosure crisis, the average value of these homes dropped to below $100,000. At the time of the shooting, forty properties in the enclave were unoccupied and more than half of its remaining residents were renting.1 


1. Lane DeGregory. "Trayvon Martin's killing shatters safety within Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford." Tampa Bay Times. March 24th, 2012. Accessed August 9th, 2015. http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/trayvon-martins-killing-shatters-safety-within-retreat-at-twin-lakes-in/1221799.    


Further reading:

Blakely, Edward J. and Mary Gail Snyder. Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1997.

 

Nightingale, Carl H. Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

 

Wiese, Andrew. Places of their Own: African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.



Evidence:

“Check Out This Birds-Eye View Of The Area Where Trayvon Martin Was Killed.”; Business Insider Australia, July 13, 2012. Link (accessed April 2, 2014).

“Homeowner Association Lawsuit Likely in Martin Case.” Legal Broadcast Network, April 10, 2012. LB Network video, 3:36. Link (accessed March 28, 2014).

“Trayvon Martin Case 911 Calls Time Stamped part 1,” YouTube video, 6:35. April 2, 2012. Link (accessed April 2, 2014).

Trulia. “Sanford Real Estate Overview.” Link (accessed March 28, 2014).

“Homeowner Association Lawsuit Likely in Martin Case.” Legal Broadcast Network, LB Network video, 3:36. April 10, 2012. Accessed March 28, 2014. Link

episode

“Check Out This Birds-Eye View Of The Area Where Trayvon Martin Was Killed.”; Business Insider Australia, July 13, 2012. Link (accessed April 2, 2014).


“Homeowner Association Lawsuit Likely in Martin Case.” Legal Broadcast Network, April 10, 2012. LB Network video, 3:36. Link (accessed March 28, 2014).


“Trayvon Martin Case 911 Calls Time Stamped part 1,” YouTube video, 6:35. April 2, 2012. Link (accessed April 2, 2014).


Trulia. “Sanford Real Estate Overview.” Link (accessed March 28, 2014).


“Homeowner Association Lawsuit Likely in Martin Case.” Legal Broadcast Network, LB Network video, 3:36. April 10, 2012. Accessed March 28, 2014. Link


2014
"Fundamental #13: Real Estate and the Housing Question," Panel Discussion, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy

This event was co-organized by Gaia Caramellino and the Buell Center in conjunction with the exhibition, House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, in order to open up a critical conversation regarding the role(s) played by finance, real estate, and their imaginaries in architecture, with special attention given to housing. The importance of these factors is undeniable in an era characterized, in many locales, by the accumulation of disproportionate private wealth, alongside the privatization of formerly public assets, like housing, and their recirculation as real estate. The ultimate aim is to address the ubiquity of real estate and its imaginaries in the contemporary city and to sketch their histories, recognizing that these logics shape vast areas of architectural production, including otherwise experimental work.

The panel’s title, “Fundamental #13,” refers to the overall curatorial theme proposed by Curator of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Rem Koolhaas: “Fundamentals,” and to the sub-theme, “Elements of Architecture,” of which there were originally twelve. Whether numerologically lucky or unlucky, “Fundamental #13”—land, as real estate—performs a magic trick, by converting substance into money and back again. Like the House Housing exhibition, the panel therefore supplements the Biennale’s main themes with another fundamental architectural element and its histories.

 

 

Panelists

 

Stefano Boeri, architect, lives and works in Milan. His professional firm has designed buildings in Italy and abroad. Boeri is Professor of Urban Design at the Politecnico di Milano and has taught courses as "visiting professor" at various universities, including Harvard GSD, Strelka/Moscow, the Ecole Polytechnique de Losanne, and the Berlage Institute. From 2004 to 2007 he was director of the international journal Domus, from September 2007 to April 2011 he directed the international magazine Abitare,and he has been the artistic director of the International Festival of Architecture FESTARCH. He is the founder of the research agency "multiplicity," which is devoted to the study of the transformations of the city viewed from different disciplinary angles. Multiplicity has been invited to present its research at numerous international exhibitions such as Documenta XI/Kassel, The Musée d'Art Modern in Paris, and the Venice Biennale, and has promoted and participated in collective volumes such as Mutations (Actar , 2000), USE (Skira, 2002) and Milano, Cronache dell'Abitare (Mondadori, 2007). Boeri has published his studies and projects on Milan in Il Territorio che Cambia (with A.Lanzani and E.Marini, Segesta, 1993) and Biomilano (curated by M.Brunello, Corraini, 2011), and as the author of two recently published books: Anticittà (Laterza, 2011) and Fare di Più con Meno (Laterza, 2012). From June 2011 to March 2013 he was Councilor for Culture, Design and Fashion of the City of Milan.

Gaia Caramellino, architect, Ph.D., is research fellow in History of architecture and urban planning at the Politecnico di Torino and teaches at the Politecnico di Milano. Since 2010, she has been the coordinator of the research project “Architectures for the Middle-classes in Italy: 1950s-1970s. For a social history of dwelling in Turin, Milan and Rome”, funded by the Italian government. Her research focuses on the history of housing policies, models, cultures and practices during the 20th century. She has been awarded several grants and fellowships (Rockefeller Foundation, Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies, Graham Foundation, SAH) and was a Visiting Scholar at the Canadian Center for Architecture in 2011. Among her recent books are William Lescaze. Un architetto europeo nel New Deal (2010, forthcoming in English, 2014) and Storie di Case. Abitare l’Italia del boom (co-edited with F. De Pieri, B. Bonomo and F. Zanfi, 2013).

Ludovico Centis is an architect, and founder and editor of the architecture magazine San Rocco. He has been a partner at the architectural office Salottobuono from 2007 to 2012. He is currently a doctoral candidate in urbanism at IUAV University in Venice (Italy). He has lectured at Università IUAV di Venezia (Venice), the Politecnico in Milan, Festarch (Cagliari), the Auditorium dell’Ara Pacis (Rome), the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism (Hong Kong), the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), the Architectural Association School of Architecture (London), the Faculté d’Architecture La Cambre Horta (ULB, Brussels), the 21er Haus (Vienna), and Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). Centis has most recently been the 2013-2014 Peter Reyner Banham Fellow at the SUNY - University at Buffalo.

Marie Antoinette Glaser, Dr. phil., researches as cultural anthropologist and lecturer at the ETH Wohnforum—ETH CASE Centre for Research on Architecture, Society & the Built Environment at ETH Zurich. She is scientific director and Co-convenor (with Prof. Dietmar Eberle) of the interdisciplinary MAS ETH ARCH Housing course. Her research approach contains cultural studies in architecture, social and cultural history of Housing, social sustainability; Recent research on “Potentials and problems of Swiss post 1950s large residential housing estates—House-Biographies”, granted by the SNF. Recent book publication on “Vom guten Wohnen. Vier Zürcher Hausbiografien von 1915 bis zur Gegenwart” at Niggli publishers.

Juan Herreros is Chair Professor at the School of Architecture of Madrid and Professor in Practice at the Graduate School of Architecture of Columbia University in NY. He runs a 20-architect office based in Madrid that operates under www.estudioherreros.com. His built work has been broadly and internationally awarded, published, and exhibited. His office is now developing and building different projects in Spain, Norway, Panama, Mexico, Colombia, France, and Morocco. For all of that, he has been distinguished with, among others, the International Fellowship Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the AD prize of Architecture, and has a nomination for the medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. At this moment, his most significant projects under development are the Edward Munch Museum in Oslo and the Convention Center Ágora-Bogotá in Colombia—and on the real-estate side, three important hybrid residential+commercial+offices complexes in Oslo, Marseille and Casablanca.

Paola Viganò, is an architect and Professor in Urbanism and Urban Design at Università IUAV of Venice and at the EPFL (Lausanne); Guest professor at KU Leuven; Aarhus school of Architecture; Harvard GSD. In 2013 she receives the French Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme et de l’Art Urbain. In 1990 she founded Studio with Bernardo Secchi realizing among others the Park Spoornoord and Theaterplein in Antwerp, together with the Structural Plan for the city; the central public spaces in Mechelen, the cemetery in Kortrijk, Belgium and in La Courrouze, Rennes, France. In 2009 and 2012 Studio has worked on the “Greater Paris” project and on “New Moscow”. In 2011–2012 Studio has developed a vision for Brussels 2040. It is today part of the Atelier International du Grand Paris. Among her books: I territori dell’urbanistica, il progetto come produttore di conoscenza, Officina, Roma 2010 (french transl. Les territoires de l’urbanisme, Le projet comme producteur de connaissance, MetisPresses, Geneva 2012).



Evidence:

Panel Discussion, June 7, 2014

Video by ENDAR

Photos by Photos: Óskar Arnórsson

event

Panel Discussion, June 7, 2014

Video by ENDAR


Photos by Photos: Óskar Arnórsson


2014
House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, Venice, Italy, June 2014

House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes was the first public presentation of an ongoing, multi-year research project conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. The exhibition was installed in the third-floor apartment of Columbia’s Casa Muraro in Venice and staged as an open house from June 5 to 16, 2014. It responded unsolicited to the proposal by Rem Koolhaas, curator of the 14th International Architecture exhibition, that architecture focus on its “fundamentals.” House Housing replied by considering architecture’s economic fundamentals, which locate housing at the center of the current economic regime, with the United States as an influential node in a transnational network.

In architecture, economic fundamentals are built from the ground up. The laws of real estate—relating to the acquisition of land, the financing of construction, the cost of building maintenance and services, profit from rent or resale, the value of equity, or the price of credit—inexorably shape any building component (like a window) and any building type (like a house). They are visible even in the residential work of such singular figures as Frank Lloyd Wright, not least because the Greek oikos, or household, forms the root of the word “economy” itself. But look closely and you will see that what seems fundamental, basic, or natural is, like any other law, a historical Document permanently under construction and subject to change.

In this exhibition, House Housing narrated nineteen brief episodes from across the last one hundred years in a mixture of domestic media, from phonograph to television, answering machine to iPad, converting the apartment into a whispering, humming history machine. Though they mainly focus on the continental United States, the discrete episodes are excerpts from global processes. Their documents range from houses designed by figures as well-known as Frank O. Gehry to seemingly ordinary gated communities in Florida. Their untimeliness is twofold. First, these episodes return us to financial matters widely discussed in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 foreclosure crisis but now largely abandoned by mainstream discourse. Second, the historical episodes disclose surprising repetitions of themes, tendencies, and actions. This reminds us that the economic infrastructures on which architecture rests are the outcome of such repetitions, rather than an a priori, natural ground.

 

 

Exhibition Team

 

Reinhold Martin, Director

Jacob Moore, Curator, Pamphlet Editor

Susanne Schindler, Curator, Pamphlet Editor

 

Research Team, GSAPP

Óskar Arnórsson, Lluis Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Erik Carver, Blair Dargusch, Francisco Diaz, Leslie Klein, Sigmund Lerner, Diana Martinez, Pollyanna Rhee, Jack Schonewolf, Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió, Micah Stroup

Marcelo López-Dinardi, Research & Production Coordinator

 

Design Team, MTWTF

Boyeon Choi, Virginia Chow, Glen Cummings, Aliza Dzik, Dylan Fracareta, Pedro Gonçalves, Ravena Hengst, Laura Huaranga, Jess Ngan, Jeroen Sikma

 

Special Thanks
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library—in particular to Director Carole Ann Fabian and Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings and Archives; The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation; Beryl Abrams, Marta Caldeira, Gregorio Carboni Maestri, Johanna Fassl, Emily Gabor, Holger Klein, Jeanette Silverthorne, and all the Casa Muraro employees who facilitated and accommodated our installation. 



Evidence:

Exhibition Pamphlet

Exhibition Postcard

event


download

Exhibition Pamphlet


download

Exhibition Postcard


2015
Fire Destroys New Jersey Apartment Complex for a Second Time
Event Highlights Distance between REIT's Owners and Occupants

In January 2015, plumbers working in an Edgewater, New
Jersey, apartment complex sparked a fire. Over several hours,
the flames spread through the structure’s lightweight truss
construction, destroying 240 apartments and displacing over
1,000 residents.1 Fifteen years earlier, in August 2000, ruptured
gas lines had transformed the same building — then under
construction — into a blaze that spread across the street, destroying
nine neighboring homes. The project’s developer and
owner, AvalonBay, is structured as a Real Estate Investment
Trust (REIT). The REIT model allows shareholders access to
diversified portfolios of income-producing properties. At the
time of its introduction in 1960 it was hailed as a democratization
of real estate investment. Half a century later, a new form
of absentee ownership generates revenue from increasingly
abstract property, and further distances investors’ risks from
the risks faced by occupants.


1. Abbott Koloff and Jim Norman, “Massive Fire at Edgewater’s Avalon Apartments; Hundreds Evacuated,” North Jersey News, January 21, 2015, accessed June 22, 2015, link.


Further reading:

Blackmar, Elizabeth. “Of REITS and Rights: Absentee Ownership on the Periphery.” In City, Country, Empire: Landscapes in Environmental History, edited by Jeffry Diefendorf and Kurk Dorsey, 81–98. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.

 

Boston, William. “REITs Gear Up in Germany: New Coalition Is Set to Scrap 2007 Rules Limiting Industry.” Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2009.

 

Service Employees International Union. Troubling Developments: The History of Safety Problems, Law-Breaking Contractors, and Unaffordable Health Insurance at AvalonBay Communities. April 2012. Accessed June 22, 2015. Link.

 

Wasik, John F. “You Too Can Be a Global Real Estate Investor.” New York Times, February 10, 2015.



Evidence:

Cigar Excise Tax Extension Act of 1960. Pub. L. 86-779. 74. September 4, 1960. Accessed June 22, 2015. Link.

AvalonBay Communities. Building Strong: 2013 Annual Report. 2013. Accessed June 22, 2015. Link.

“Massive 7 Alarm Structure Fire in Edgewater New Jersey 1 21 15 (VIDEO).” January 22, 2015. World Top News, 2:00. Accessed February 4, 2015. Link

episode

Cigar Excise Tax Extension Act of 1960. Pub. L. 86-779. 74. September 4, 1960. Accessed June 22, 2015. Link.


AvalonBay Communities. Building Strong: 2013 Annual Report. 2013. Accessed June 22, 2015. Link.


“Massive 7 Alarm Structure Fire in Edgewater New Jersey 1 21 15 (VIDEO).” January 22, 2015. World Top News, 2:00. Accessed February 4, 2015. Link


2015
From East 125th Street to West 125th Street, New York, June, 2015 

            Emily Kloppenburg, Ilaria Ortensi, photographers 

Thomas Roma, editor 

 

 

For the commissioned photographs included in Part 1 of this report, the goal was not to illustrate projects mentioned in the text, but to convey the ever present, often banal, and seemingly self-evident faces of inequality, which can be found anywhere, anytime. Together with their advisor Thomas Roma, Emily Kloppenburg and Ilaria Ortensi—current and former Master of Fine Arts candidates at Columbia University, respectively—proposed Manhattan’s 125th Street as a site of investigation. One of Harlem’s commercial and cultural arteries in an area long characterized by disinvestment, this important east-west corridor has, in recent years, been the site of charged debates prompted by the rapid demographic and physical changes. If the art of inequality is visible anywhere, it is most certainly here, at our doorstep.

 

In my work, I use photography as means of visually mapping subliminal states of various “architectures” within their environs. For The Art of Inequality, I traversed the horizontal axis of 125th Street in New York City. Systematically moving from west to east, I sought to locate abstruse instances of our current urbanity that surpass the known and the preconceived. My pictures reveal the “concealed” as pertinent examples of the delicate, complex realities that surround our contemporary structures as well as the visual and social landscapes that they inform. — Emily Kloppenburg

 

I’m interested in the possibility of exploring architecture as a product of political, social, and aesthetic conditions. Through my work I want to communicate the conflicting ideas and feelings that emanate from contemporary space. I believe that the way we construct and perceive ourselves has a strong affinity with the way we construct space. Growing up in Rome I developed a sensitivity toward space that is strictly connected to time. Photography is, for me, the ideal medium through which to describe the rapidity that characterizes urbanism today. — Ilaria Ortensi



Evidence:

event

2015
House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Twenty-nine Episodes, Berlin, Germany, October–December, 2015

Part of Wohnungsfrage ("The Housing Question")

October 22 - December 14, 2015 

Opening: Thursday, October 22, 7PM

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin, Germany

 

 

House Housing is an exhibition installed by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture as part of the Wohnungsfrage exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin. The exhibition is organized around the HKW’s original furniture, which is reassembled into a continuous public lounge that recalls the building’s initial function as a congress hall during the Cold War.

House Housing offers a multimedia sample of architecture’s socioeconomic infrastructures, and in the process, shows some of modernity’s basic facts under construction—by governments, industries, institutions, and cultures—beginning in the early twentieth century. It exposes the aesthetic and cultural roots of economic processes related to the development and circulation of wealth, while also offering a glimpse of the history and consequences of government housing policies. The exhibition’s twenty-nine brief episodes, running from 1910 to 2015, locate housing at the center of the current, neoliberal economic regime, with the United States as an influential node in a transnational network that includes Germany’s (and Europe’s) past and present. This network designs and produces the inequalities that are lived everywhere today.

With architecture, economics begins from the ground up. The laws of real estate—relating to the acquisition of land, the financing of construction, the cost of building maintenance and services, profit from rent or resale, the value of equity, or the price of credit—inexorably constrain any building component (like a window) or any building type (like a house). They are visible even in the residential work of such singular figures as Frank Lloyd Wright, not least because the Greek oikos, or household, forms the root of the word “economy” itself. But look closely and you will see that what seems fundamental, basic, or natural is, like any other law, a historical artifact subject to change.

House Housing narrates its episodes in a mixture of media, choreographed into an audio-visual chorus that spans the HKW’s couches: a whispering, humming history machine. Though they mainly focus on the continental United States, the discrete episodes are excerpts from transnational processes. As such, they address matters of universal concern, even in non-market situations. Their objects range from houses designed by figures as well known as Wright, to a seemingly ordinary gated community in Florida, to the industrialized housing program in East Germany. Their untimeliness is twofold. First, these episodes return us to financial matters widely discussed in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 mortgage foreclosure crisis but now largely abandoned, by mainstream discourse, in favor of greener pastures. Second, the historical episodes, which are assembled non-chronologically, disclose surprising repetitions—of themes, tendencies, and actions. This reminds us that the economic infrastructures on which architecture rests are the outcome of such repetitions, rather than an a priori, natural ground.

House Housing was first presented by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture in the third-floor apartment of Columbia University’s Casa Muraro in June 2014, to coincide with the opening of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Opening shortly before the exhibition in Berlin, House Housing will also appear as a part of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial together with the National Public Housing Museum (with a response exhibition entitled We, Next Door), and then again in the spring at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture’s Schindler House location in West Hollywood, CA.

 

 

About Wohnungsfrage:

"Housing forms the rooms, neighborhoods and streets of our daily lives. Our personal happiness and societal well-being originate and find their expression there, as do social ills and personal dramas. But housing issues are increasingly reduced to real estate problems and disassociated from the cultural practices of architecture. And alternative players are clearly lacking. The result: Growing numbers of people are finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to self-determined, affordable housing. The HKW project Wohnungsfrage investigates the tension-ridden relationships between architecture, housing, and social reality in an exhibition of experimental concepts for living, a publication series and an academy."



Evidence:

event




2015
House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Twenty-three Episodes; Response by We, Next Door, Chicago, IL, October–November, 2015

Thursdays 3–7PM
Fridays 3–6PM
Saturdays 10AM –5PM
Sundays 10AM–4PM


National Public Housing Museum (NPHM),
1322 Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607


Presented in partnership with the NPHM and the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Opening Thursday, October 22nd, 2–5PM; RSVP here

 

House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Twenty-three Episodes at the National Public Housing Museum's future site in the historic Jane Addams Homes invites visitors to experience history as ever-present, circulating in and through the built environment that surrounds us. Throughout the now-crumbling rooms of the once-pioneering public housing project in Chicago’s Near West Side, the Buell Center has narrated exhibition episodes that the visitor will experience through a mixture of domestic media from across the century—from phonograph to television, answering machine to iPad—converting the former apartments into a whispering, humming history machine.

The episodes' objects of inquiry range from floor plans of houses designed by figures as well-known as Frank Lloyd Wright to 9-1-1 calls from seemingly ordinary gated community in Florida; from tax documents of Washington D.C. affordable housing developments to historic photographs of towers demolished by the Chicago Housing Authority. Their untimeliness is two-fold. First, these episodes return public attention to financial matters widely discussed in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 mortgage foreclosure crisis but now largely abandoned, by mainstream discourse, in favor of greener pastures. Second, the historical episodes, which are assembled non-chronologically, disclose surprising repetitions—of themes, tendencies, and actions—which remind us that the economic infrastructures on which architecture rests are the outcome of such repetitions, rather than an a priori, “natural” ground.

House Housing was first presented by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture in the third-floor apartment of Columbia University’s Casa Muraro in June 2014, to coincide with the opening of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Opening shortly after the exhibition in Chicago, House Housing will also appear as a part of the Wohnungsfrage (“The Housing Question”) exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, and then again in the spring at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture’s Schindler House location in West Hollywood, CA.

We, Next Door  is organized by NPHM with its “Youth Advisory Council” (YAC) to respond creatively and critically to the House Housing exhibition’s episodes curated by the Buell Center —situating the issues it addresses specifically in Chicago, and in the teens’ lived experience of public housing.

NPHM’s curatorial and educational programming team has facilitated the YAC’s interactions in a curriculum funded by Boeing over the course of the Summer of 2015.  Working weekly with visiting artists, curators, journalists, architects, and advocates in mentored discussions and creative activities, the youth are addressing the many ways in which they understand the architectural, social, and economic history documented in the House Housing exhibit. We, Next Door presents the outcomes of writing, photography, video interviews, and visual art, and invites visitors of all ages to think more critically about home, house, and housing—thus continuing the conversation about the issues the Buell Center’s exhibition brings to the fore—from the geography of race to issues of gentrification and other manifestations of inequality.



Evidence:

event





2015
The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate — A Provisional Report

Launch: September 23, 2015, 6:30PM
Goethe Institute: 30 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

240 pages, Illustrated, ISBN: 978-1-941332-22-1
Reinhold Martin, Jacob Moore, and Susanne Schindler, eds.
With contributions by Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió, Erik Carver, Cezar Nicolescu, Pollyanna Rhee, and Sonya Ursell


Download PDF
 

 

From The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate — A Provisional Report:

In 2013, in the United States, the median-income white household’s net worth was thirteen times that of the median-income black household. In 2014, the world’s eighty-five richest individuals held as much wealth as the world’s poorest 3.5 billion. In 2015, 88,000 households applied for the chance to live in fifty-five below market-rate apartments, accessible through a “poor door” on New York City’s Upper West Side.

What is inequality? Typically, inequality is defined by a combination of economic measures referring to income and wealth. Entire populations, in the language of statistics, are measured and managed according to their place on the inequality spectrum: patronage for the 1%, morality for the ambiguous “middle class,” and austerity for the rest. This economic inequality is, however, inseparable from social disparities of other kinds—particularly in the provision of housing. More than just a building type or a market sector, housing is a primary architectural act—where architecture is understood as that which makes real estate real. It begins when a line is drawn that separates inside from outside, and ultimately, one house from another. The relation that results under the rule of real estate development is—by its very structure—unequal.

This is the art of inequality. Its geographies are local and global. Its histories are distant and present. Its design is ongoing. Its future is anything but certain.

 

For more information about the launch, visit the Goethe Institute's website here.

 

Available in select bookstores beginning in early October.



Evidence:

event





2016
House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Thirty-one EpisodesMAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, West Hollywood, CA,  April 9 - May 8, 2016

  • April 9 - May 8, 2016
  • MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House
  • 835 North Kings Rd., West Hollywood, CA 90069
  •  
  • Exhibition
  • House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Thirty-one Episodes
  • April 9–May 8, 2016; Open Wednesday–Sunday, 11:00AM–6:00PM
  •  
  • Event
  • Opening Panel Discussion and Reception
  • Saturday, April 9, 3:00PM–6:00PM
  • Moderated by Christopher Hawthorne, Architecture Critic at the Los Angeles Times
  • Considering historical and contemporary cases, MAK and the Buell Center have invited scholars and practitioners to a discuss how we might reframe our understanding of the relationships between architecture, housing, and real estate in light of the inequalities they both produce and reflect. Visit http://makcenter.org/programming/house-housing/ for more information, including a full speaker list and schedule.
  •  
  • House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate is an ongoing, multi-year research project conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. The initiative seeks to encourage a public, historically informed conversation about the intersection of architecture and real estate development. The untimeliness of this history, as indicated by the project’s title, is twofold. First, it returns us to financial matters widely discussed in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 foreclosure crisis and only now reentering the American public sphere via the campaign trail. Second, it discloses surprising repetitions of themes, tendencies, and actions—reminding us that the economic infrastructures on which architecture rests are the outcome of such repetitions, rather than an a priori, natural ground. These infrastructures locate housing at the center of the current economic regime, with the United States as an influential node in a transnational network.
  •  
  • House Housing consists of a growing body of research that draws on multimedia sources. The results have appeared in numerous locations as exhibitions, panel discussions, and publications, and relate to different institutional frames. Following exhibitions in Venice during the 2014 Architecture Biennale, in 2015at the National Public Housing Museum during the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, and as a part of the Wohnungsfrage (“The Housing Question”) project at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, House Housing comes to the MAK Center at the Schindler House. The artifacts assembled in the installation consider typologies ranging from architect-designed houses to prefabricated apartment blocks to suburban gated communities. All of these architectures are analyzed in light of their position at the intersection of design, policy, and finance. New narratives emerge out of surprising juxtapositions.


Evidence:

event
 
Architecture and Real Estate Reading List

In the summer of 2014, a team of Buell Center researchers led by Erik Carver sought out the required and recommended reading from syllabi of representative graduate-level real estate development courses in the U.S. This literature was subsequently edited into the “Architecture and Real Estate Reading List.” The researchers consulted book reviews and other summaries to provide supplemental information, as visible in the annotations. This work-in-progress is intended to serve as a primer on the history of architecture and real estate for professionals and scholars alike.

document
 
Textbooks and Guides

Dictionaries

 

Friedman, Jack P., J. Bruce Lindeman and Jack C. Harris. Dictionary of Real Estate Terms. 5th ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series Inc, 2000.

Good guide for beginners

Harvard (recommended)

 

Talamo, John. The Real Estate Dictionary. 6th ed. South Bend, IN: Financial Publishing Co., 1999.

Wharton (recommended)

 

General Finance

 

Brealey, Richard A., Stewart C. Myers and Franklin Allen. Principles of Corporate Finance. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007.

A clear and engaging introductory text on the theory and practice of corporate finance, it emphasizes the efficiency of markets.

Sloan, Wharton (ch.3,7,8),Yale

 

Copeland, Thomas E., J. Fred Weston and Kuldeep Shastri. Financial Theory and Corporate Policy. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.

The classic text in financial theory, (more advanced than Brealey), written at a level for students with intermediate experience in finance or math.

Wharton (ch. 6)

 

Fabozzi, Frank J., Franco Modigliani, and Michael Ferri. Foundations of Financial Markets and Institutions. Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice Hall, 1994.

Yale

 

Kendall, Leon T. and Michael J. Fishman, eds. A Primer On Securitization. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996.

Introductory, non-technical collection of seminar lectures on how financial assets have been securitized since the 1970s, mostly in the US, though touching on Europe and emerging markets.

Wharton (supplemental)

 

Malkiel, Burton G. A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing. 10th ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2012.

A guide to investing which takes the position that past performance is of little value in determining future value.

NYU (opt.)

 

Shiller, Robert J. Finance and the Good Society. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

An argument for the importance of finance in mitigating risk, and a call for new, more ethical innovations in finance.

Yale

 

Urban economics

 

Brueckner, Jan. Lectures on Urban Economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011.

Introductory but rigorous textbook on urban economics

 

DiPasquale, Denise and William C. Wheaton. Urban Economics and Real Estate Markets. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995.

A book on the economics of real estate in urban markets, it succinctly presents thinking behind equations to provide a grasp of basic concepts in residential and non-residential real estate, as well as the relationship between government and real estate.

Sloan (req.), Wharton (ch.1-3,8)

 

McCann, Philip. Modern Urban and Regional Economics. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press USA, 2013.

 

Mills, Edwin S. and Bruce W. Hamilton. Urban Economics. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997.

Uses economics to analyze city dynamics and urban-rural shifts, as well as transportation, poverty, education, and environment. It discusses history as well as theoretical models, and includes chapters on urbanization in developing countries and housing finance. It emphasizes the role of economics over institutions.

Harvard (supplemental), Wharton (required)

 

O’Sullivan, Arthur. Urban Economics. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2012.

Wharton (required)

 

RE—Non-residential

 

Geltner, David, Norman G. Miller, Jim Clayton and Piet Eichholtz. Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investments. 2nd ed. Mason, Ohio: Thompson South-Western, 2007.

Detailed and quantitative

Columbia (recommended), Sloan (required), Wharton (alternate)

 

Gibbs, Robert. Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley and Sons. 2012.

UCLA (recommended)

 

Kramer, Anita. Retail Development Handbook. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute. 2008.

UCLA (recommended: ch.3)

 

Randel, James A. Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur: What It Takes to Win in High-Stakes Commercial Real Estate. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.

NYU (optional)

 

RE—Residential

 

Hecht, Ben. Developing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Non‐Profit Organizations. 3rd ed.  Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley and Sons. 2006.

Harvard (ch.8-12), UCLA (rec.: 6,7,9)

 

Talbott, John R. The Coming Crash in the Housing Market: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Protect Your Most Valuable Investment. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

 

RE —Finance topics

 

Block, Ralph J. Investing in REITs: Real Estate Investment Trusts. 4th ed. Princeton, NJ: Bloomberg Press, 2011.

Wharton (sup.)

 

Bryant, Willis R. Mortgage Lending: Fundamentals and Practices. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1956.

Written by a banker, this is primarily a guide on how to operate as a mortgage lender, but also clearly explains small residential mortgages, and a gives a history from the 1920’s to 50’s, including the VA and FHA. Hyman cites it in Debtor Nation.

 

RE —Development & Finance

 

Brett, Deborah L. and Adrienne Schmitz. Real Estate Market Analysis: Methods and Case Studies. 2nd ed. Washington D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2009.

Columbia (required), UCLA (recommended: 5,7,8),

 

Brueggeman, William and Jeffrey Fisher. Real Estate Finance & Investments. 14th ed. Homewood, IL : Irwin, 2011.

Widely read basic textbook on real estate finance.

Harvard (required), NYU, Wharton (alternate)

 

Dasso, Jerome J, and Alfred A Ring. Real Estate: Principles and Practices, 11th ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1989.

Columbia (ch.3-6)

 

Floyd, Charles F. and Marcus T. Allen. Real Estate Principles, 7th ed., Chicago: Dearborn Real Estate Education, 2002.

 

Johnson, David E. Fundamentals of Land Development: A Real-World Guide to Profitable Large-Scale Development. Hoboken: J. Wiley and Sons, 2008.

 

George Lefcoe, Real Estate Transactions, Finance, and Development, 6th ed. (Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2009).

Lefcoe teaches at USC Law.

NYU (req.), Wharton (req.)

 

Linneman, Peter. Real Estate Finance and Investments: Risks and Opportunities. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Linneman Associates, 2011.

Clearly written book based on lectures. Linneman has a Phd in economics from Chicago and is emeritus professor of real estate at Wharton.

Columbia (required), Wharton (required)

 

Long, Charles. Finance for Real Estate Development. Urban Land Institute, 2011.

Beginner-level introduction.

UCLA (recommended), Harvard (required)

 

Lusht, Kenneth M. Real Estate Valuation: Principles and Applications (The Irwin Series in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate). New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

Wharton (ch.2,3,6,25)

 

Miles, Mike E., Gayle L. BerensMark J. Eppli and Marc A. Weiss. Real Estate Development: Principles and Process. 4th ed. Washington D.C.: Urban Land Insitute, 2007.

Harvard (background), NYU (optional) UTA (required)

 

Peca, Stephen. Real Estate Development and Investment: A Comprehensive Approach. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009.

Columbia (preface-p.13)

 

Peiser, Richard and David Hamilton. Professional Real Estate Development: The ULI Guide to the Business. 3rd ed. Washington D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2012.

Harvard (recommended), UCLA (required)

 

Poorvu, William J. and Jeffrey L. Cruickshank. The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide to Decision-Making and Investment. New York: The Free Press, 1999.

Helpful general textbook on real estate finance and investing.

Columbia, NYU (required)

 

Sirota, David. Essentials of Real Estate Finance. 12th ed. New York: Kaplan Publishing, 2009.

NYU (required)

 

Wiedemer, John P, Joseph E. Goeters and J. Edward Graham, Real Estate Investment. Various Editions (?) Prentice Hall

Books 1990–2014

Economics & History of Economics

 

Brown, S.J. and C.H. Liu, eds. A Global Perspective on Real Estate Cycles, The New York University Salomon Center Series on Financial Markets and Institutions, Vol. 6, Springer, 2001.

Economic analysis finding in part that global real estate markets are separate but converging.

 

Glaeser, Edward L. Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium. New York: Oxford University Press USA, 2008.

(AKA Lindahl lectures). An accessible study in urban economics asking why people live in dense cities and how density relates to productivity. It looks also at housing prices, social interactions, and governance.

 

Jones, Daniel. Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Intellectual and political history of neoliberalism from 1920’s Austria to the 1970’s U.S. & U.K., emphasizing the role of historical circumstances for its entry into mainstream politics.

 

Shiller, Robert. Irrational Exuberance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000.

A clear explanation of the formation of stock bubbles, past and present. The author finds financial markets to be both irrational and overvalued in 2000, and presents a plan for economy-and sector-wide investment markets.

 

Shiller, Robert. The New Financial Order: Risk in the 21st Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003.

The author presents a vigorous case for subjecting modern financial markets to an ethical system derived from John Rawls, in order to produce a more equal world which better manages risks, ranging from employment sectors to neighborhood home values to national GDPs.

 

Economic History

 

Calder, Lendol Glen. Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

A social and cultural history of credit in US from 1890-1940. From pawnbrokers to consumer credit, Americans have long been trapped in debt. Calder teaches history at Augustana College.

 

Gelpi, Rose-Maria and Francois Julien-Labruyere, The History of Consumer Credit: Doctrines and Practices. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000.

A history of western credit in two parts: Hammurabi to 19th century, and 20th century. Written by French business-academics, it argues that credit has often been a scapegoat for other economic problems, and has an extensive bibliography. Part One following Weber, focuses on culture and religion. Part Two celebrates American innovations.

 

Hyman, Louis. Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.

An economic and cultural history of American personal debt over the course of the 20th century. Hyman tells a nuanced story of the interactions between marketing and credit, and the complications arising from reforms as well as business innovations.

 

Urban History: Architecture & Planning

 

Beauregard, Robert. When American Became Suburban. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

 

Esperdy, Gabrielle. Modernizing Main Street: Architecture and Consumer Culture in the New Deal. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

An architectural and political history of FHA-funded retail modernization which touches on social and economic questions.

 

Isenberg, Alison. Downtown America: A History of the Place and the People Who Made It. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

A history of American cities from 1890 to the 1970s—City Beautiful to festival markets—which challenges narratives of the decline of main street. The book uses business and government records, brings in race and gender, and focuses mostly on downtowns and retail. Isenberg studied at Penn and teaches urban history at Princeton.

 

Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

 

Klemek, Christopher. The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal : Postwar Urbanism from New York to Berlin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

An intellectual history of the rise and fall of urban renewal, which also considers policy history. The urban renewal order combined modernist aesthetics with optimistic public policy, but was replaced ultimately by grassroots and neoconservative planning. Much of the study concentrates on MIT, New York City, and U Penn. Berlin, London, and Toronto also appear. Klemek teaches History at GWU.

 

Kostof, Spiro. The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History. London: Thames and Hudson, 1991.

An architectural history of the global city as morphological pattern and historical artifact (its companion volume, City Assembled, focuses on components). Kostof taught architectural history at Berkeley.

 

Jennifer S. Light, From Warfare to Welfare : Defense Intellectuals and Urban Problems in Cold War America (Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).

Institutional history, documenting the transfer of technologies from the military and systems analysis to urban planning. The book makes judgments on failures (dispersal planning, scenarios, cybernetics, cable tv), and successes (accounting, GIS). Light studied History of Science at Harvard and teaches Communication Studies, History, and Sociology at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research.

 

Vale, Lawrence. From Puritans to Public Housing: Public Housing and Public Neighborhoods. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000.

An intellectual and policy history focusing on Boston over three centuries. Vale shows how charity and concepts like the “public neighbor" evolve, and how poverty becomes displaced and federalized over time. Vale teaches history of urban design at MIT.

 

Zipp, Samuel. Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

A history of urban renewal between the 1940s and 1970s, the book draws on NYCHA archives to document the redevelopment processes for four large projects, and reconstructs the neighborhoods which existed before, in order to question the designation of “blight." A vertical global, metropolis is pitted against intimate neighborhoods defended by Jacobs and others. Battle lines are complex, with geopolitical influences, and tensions between progressives and working class residents. Zipp matriculated in American Studies at Yale and teaches at Brown.

 

Business & Labor

 

Cowie, Jefferson. Capital Moves : RCA’s Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999.

A labor, business, and geographical history tracing RCA’s series of relocations in search of cheaper labor, through the US and Mexico from 1930 to the 1990s. Cowie teaches labor history at Cornell.

 

Harris, Richard. Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914–1960. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

A scholarly history of the home improvement store (and the do-it-yourselfer), bringing in economic, demographic, planning information, as well as business archives and consumer retail history. Harris teaches historical geography at McMaster University.

 

Loeb, Carolyn. Entrepreneurial Vernacular: Developers’ Subdivisions in the 1920s. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

A business, social, and architectural history, using three case studies looking at different classes of housing in San Francisco and Detroit. Building on Marc Weiss, Loeb connects the history of large developers with builders and tradespeople. The book considers standardization, the constrained role of architects in design, and the neighborhood unit. Loeb studied at CUNY Grad Center and teaches art and architectural history at Michigan State.

 

Radford, Gail. Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal Era. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

A history of housing policy and politics in the 1930s, focusing on Catherine Bauer, nonprofits, the PWA. Case studies in Philadelphia and Harlem detail the influence of social housing on American urbanism, as well as the resistance it faced, especially from NAREB. Advocates of broad-based public housing ultimately lost out by accepting a system targeted at the poor. Radford teaches American history at SUNY Buffalo.

 

Rilling, Donna. Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism: Builders in Philadelphia, 1790-1850. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.

A clear description of the complex histories of microeconomics, contracting, and construction in antebellum Philadelphia, the book abandons the decline of the artisan narrative in favor of continuity in the face of changing material and economic conditions. It explains the ground-rent system (which lowered barriers to entry for builders) and focuses on the role of the mechanic-builder. Rilling teaches history at Stony Brook.

 

Class

 

Beckert, Sven. The Monied Metropolis : New York City and the Consolidation of the American Bourgeoisie, 1850-1896. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

A history of the rise of the industrial bourgeoisie, which details the interconnections of state and business interests, and patterns of consumption as they displace the earlier, mercantile elite. Beckert teaches American History at Harvard.

 

Cohen, Lizabeth.  A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.

A socio-cultural and political history from 1930 to 2000. Good citizenship and consumerism became conjoined in the postwar US consumer culture, while fragmenting along lines of race, class, and gender. Focusing on New Jersey, it includes sections on the suburban spaces of housing and shopping malls. Cohen studied at Berkeley and teaches American Studies at Harvard.

 

Hornstein, Jeffrey M. A Nation of Realtors: A Cultural History of the Twentieth-Century American Middle Class. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.

Cultural history of the professionalization of the curbstone broker into the realtor, crucially in the 1920s. The book also traces the turn to homeownership as the American Dream by the postwar, and the entry of women into the field in the 1950s. Hornstein is an independent scholar with a Phd from UMd.

 

Harris, Richard. Unplanned Suburbs : Toronto’s American Tragedy, 1900 to 1950. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

A history emphasizing the significance of working-class owner-builders in Toronto suburbs, it challenges narratives of speculative development and the white, nuclear family house. As sanitary standards, taxes, and codes encroached, these workers were forced to sell to wealthier occupants.

 

Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors : The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001).

History of the rise of new right in the 1960s, taking Orange County, California as case study. Rather than the decline of the Democratic coalition, the book traces the modern rise of an anti-government, religious class in an environment lacking traditional community, and shows how its fears mutate from anti-communism to law and order over time. McGirr teaches history at Harvard.

 

Massey, Douglas S. et al. (Len Albright, Rebecca Casciano, Elizabeth Derickson, and David N. Kinsey). Climbing Mount Laurel:The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2013. 

 

Nicolaides, Becky.  My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920–1965. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

A scholarly, thick, data-rich portrait which argues for bottom-up origins to segregation and working-class conservatism. In considering industry, consumption, religion, and the importance of the family home, it contrasts with approaches emphasizing policy and the elite suburbs. Nicolaides received a PhD in history from Columbia, was tenured at UCSD, and is now an independent scholar.

 

Osman, Suleiman. The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

An urban renewal history documenting the gentrification of Brooklyn in the 1950s and 60s by white-collar liberals pitted against technocratic urban renewal on one hand, and the Democratic machine on the other. Restored brownstones anchored idealized histories of the neighborhoods mobilized by this emerging social group. Suleiman studied at Harvard and teaches American Studies at GWU

 

Culture

 

De Grazia, Victoria. Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance through Twentieth-Century Europe. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2005.

A history of American business and consumer culture’s effects on, appropriations of, and transformations by Europe. The study especially focuses on the interwar period and works through a series of case studies: Rotary Club, chain stores, standard of living, Ford, brand names, and advertising. De Grazia studied and teaches history at Columbia.

 

Environment

 

Rome, Adam. The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

An environmental history of the suburbs in the 1950s and 60s, looking at the ironies and conundrums inherent to sprawl. Sections cover the growth of energy consumption and under-insulated homes; federal actions, like the sponsorship of sewers in the 60s; the growth of environmentalism by residents of suburbs; and the failure of the 1970 Land Use act in the face of development interests and property rights. Rome teaches environmental history at the University of Delaware.

 

Race

 

Gotham, Kevin Fox. Race, Real Estate, and Uneven Development: The Kansas City Experience, 1900-2000. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

A political history of segregation arguing that segregation was an intentional goal of government and real-estate institutions.

 

Hirsch, Arnold.  Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940–1960. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Urban history documenting the production of the postwar ghetto via public and private discrimination and urban renewal.

 

Brooks, Charlotte.  Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends: Asian Americans, Housing, and the Transformation of Urban California. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. 

A social, political, and urban history of Asian Americans in 20th-century California. In explaining the dramatic transformation in Asian American rights in the 40s and 50s, the book emphasizes cold war geopolitics. Brooks teaches history at Baruch.

 

Diaz, David R. Barrio Urbanism: Chicanos, Planning, and American Cities. New York: Routledge, 2005.

An urban-planning and policy history of Chicanos in the 20th century, tracing migrations, and looking at the blind spots of planning with respect to poverty, racism, environmental justice, and land use.

 

Freund, David. Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

This book is half history of 20th century segregation in the U.S., half case studies rooted in Detroit. Freund argues for a more continuous history of suburbanization, in that early suburbs were adjacent to and indistinguishable from cities.

 

Loewen, James W. Sundown Towns. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2005.

 

Satter, Beryl. Family Properties: How the Struggle over Race and Real Estate Transformed Chicago and Urban America. New York: Henry Holt, 2009.

 

Sugrue, Thomas J. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.

In determining the cause of postwar urban crises, Penn urban historian Sugrue argues against the simple narrative that riots caused white flight in his look at 1940s Detroit. Factors include wartime black immigration, spatial discrimination by working class whites, postwar unemployment, a McCarthyite resistance to economic reform, and the inability of middle class blacks to move out of the ghetto.

 

Thomas, June Manning  and Marsha Ritzdorf, eds. Urban Planning and the African American Community: In the Shadows. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1997.

 

Wiese, Andrew. Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the 20th Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

With demographic and policy evidence, as well as first-person accounts, this book argues for the importance of black suburbanization and middle-class emergence. This history stretches from 1900 to beyond the civil rights era, but peaks in the mid-20th century. It looks at a handful of suburbs in the South, Northeast, and Midwest. Wiese studied urban history at Columbia and teaches at San Diego State.

 

Collections

 

Sugrue, Thomas J. and Kevin M. Kruse. The New Suburban History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

The new suburban history this book represents challenges the earlier generation of suburban histories by presenting a heterogeneous, nonconformist suburbia. Essays tackle racial diversity, integration, coalitions, and busing; tax revolts; elite, university suburbs; etc. Sugrue has a book in progress titled For Sale: Real Estate and the Building of Modern America

 

Law & Legal History

 

Banner, Stuart. American Property: A History of How, Why, and What We Own. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011.

A readable, theoretical study of legal changes over several centuries of history, with attention to unusual cases. Banner is a legal historian at UCLA.

 

Mann, Bruce H. Republic of Debtors: Bankruptcy in the Age of American Independence. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

A history of the reform of debt laws in the late 18th century, focusing on the importance of commerce in changing the image of the debtor, culminating in the federal bankruptcy law of 1800.

 

Policy & Political Science

 

Acharya, Viral V., Matthew Richardson, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh and Lawrence J. White. Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011.

Policy-oriented bibliography by four professors at the NYU Stern School.

 

Bauman, John F., Roger Biles, and Kristin M. Szylvian, eds. From Tenements to the Taylor Homes: In Search of an Urban Housing Policy in Twentieth Century America. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000.

 

Caplin, Andrew, Sewin Chan, Charles Freeman, and Joseph Tracy. Housing Partnerships: A New Approach to a Market at a Crossroads. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.

Economic policy proposal for an alternative to mortgages, where institutional investors would share home equity with homeowners

 

Fischel, William A. Do Growth Controls Matter? A Review of Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Local Government Land Use Regulation. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1990.

A balanced review of a number of studies on land use controls with respect to efficiency, property values, and so on; arguing ultimately that most controls do impose a net cost


Singer, David Andrew. Regulating Capital: Setting Standards for the International Financial System. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007.

Writing just before the crash, Singer uses public choice theory to understand why some international accords, like Basel II (bank reserves) succeed, while others (securities) fail or do not become issues (insurance). Looking at U.S., U.K., and Japan, he argues that powerful nations are able to come together to produce standards to their benefit.

 

Sociology and Sociological history

 

Massey, Douglas and Nancy A. Denton. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.

A sociological history of American segregation in the 20th century. Using a significant amount of data, it argues that segregation is a product of 20th century industrialization. After the civil rights era, segregation persisted in the form not of explicit codes, but private forms of discrimination and steering practices. Redlining and deindustrialization left ghettos isolated from jobs and resources, and made race outweigh class in determining mobility. The authors conclude with a call for a comprehensive reform of the American real estate system focused on better integration rather than on increased spending in ghetto areas.

 

Oliver, Melvin. Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality. New York: Routledge, 1995.

This sociological study of racial stratification makes the argument that wealth is a better indicator than income for understanding poverty, and makes policy recommendations. Blacks and whites have similar savings patterns; what sets whites apart is inherited income, access to capital, and home values.

 

Sassen, Saskia. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.

This landmark book posits global cities as centers of control, finance, innovation, and consumption. It provides empirical data, details capital flows, and describes new labor conditions. The global city concentrates power and inequality, while production is dispersed.

 

Zukin, Sharon. Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disneyworld. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

As an analysis of the contemporary city, the book displays the influence of critical geography and public sphere theory as it identifies a new alignment between finance and place. It looks at five case studies: two steel towns, New York’s corporate suburbs, lower Manhattan, and Disneyworld. Zukin teaches sociology at Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center.

 

Urban practice

 

Duany, Andres and Jeff Speck with Mike Lydon. The Smart Growth Manual. New York: McGraw Hill, 2010.

A guide for implementing new urbanism, full of policy, planning, and architectural directives. Theory is mixed in with practical advice.

 

Fainstein, Susan. The City Builders: Property Development in New York and London, 1980-2000. 2nd ed. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2001.

Urban planning analysis of three pairs of case studies, eg. Times Square and King’s Cross, with nuanced assessments of public-private partnerships. It begins with recent political economic history with respect to business cycles and urban policy, and concludes with an attack on post-structuralist critique and a call for an enlightened version of public-private development.

 

Dissertations

 

Flint, Barbara J. "Zoning and Residential Segregation: A Social and Physical History, 1910–1940," University of Chicago, 1977.

 

Gyger, Helen. "The Informal as Project: Self-Help Housing in Peru." Columbia, 2012. Advisor: Reinhold Martin.

 

Stevens, Sara Kathryn. "Developing Expertise: The Architecture of Real Estate, 1908-1965," Princeton, 2012. Advisor: Sarah Whiting.

A business and institutional history following developers in the early 20th century as they gain expertise in greenfield development, then apply this in the postwar via urban redevelopment. There are several case studies: J.C. Nichols in Kansas City, Herbert Greenwald in Chicago, and William Zeckendorf in New York. It looks also at professionalization, the ULI, finance and life-insurance investment.

 

Popular Press

 

Bernstein, Peter L. Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1996.

An entertaining, non-academic history of risk management from ancient Greece to the present

 

Hall, Craig. Timing the Real Estate Market: How to Buy Low and Sell High in Real Estate. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Tips on how to make a killing in commercial real estate

 

Kamenetz, Anya. Generation Debt: Why Now is a Terrible Time to be Young. New York: Riverhead Books, 2006.

Popular, journalistic account of the plight of 18–29 year olds, using economic data and cultural analysis to document a generation indebted by new conditions at universities, workplaces, and government

 

Morris, Charles R. The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash. New York: Public Affairs, 2008.

Bestselling book from a lawyer and former banker, explaining the 2008 crash by clearly laying out its mechanisms and problems, starting more-or-less with the rise of Friedman the 1960s, and evolving into a lack of regulation.

Books 1990–2014

Becker, Gary S. The Economics of Discrimination. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957.

Foray by an economist into questions of sociology. It concludes that competition reduces discrimination, but that discrimination, when widespread, hurts the larger economy. Prejudice against minorities as unproductive becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Behrens, Carl F. Commercial Bank Activities in Urban Mortgage Financing. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1952.

 

Caplovitz, David. The Poor Pay More: Consumer Practices of Low-Income Families. New York: Free Press, 1967.

Sociological study of the “poverty penalty"

 

Caro, Robert A. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. New York: Vintage Books, 1975.

A 1,336-page biography which combines journalism and historical research. It is a critique of rationality, a study of the role of power in urban development, and a history of New York.

 

Colean, Miles L. The Impact of Government on Real Estate Finance in the United States. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1950.

A history of the political economy of real estate from colonial times to 1950. It covers shifts in agrarian and frontier land law and financing, and looks at the effects of increasing federalization

 

Davies, Pearl Janet. Real Estate in American History, Washington, DC: Public Affairs Press, 1958.

 

Edel, Matthew, Elliott D. Sclar, and Daniel Luria.  Shaky Palaces: Home Ownership and Social Mobility in Boston. New York, Columbia University Press, 1984.

Neo-marxist history of the political economy of urban development and real estate in metropolitan Boston from 1890 to the 1970s, providing both quantitative and qualitative analysis. A class struggle has fueled suburbanization, fiscal policies, the ideology of social mobility, nd the mirage of homeownership, thus constraining American life.

 

Eichler, Ned. The Merchant Builders. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1982.

Business history written by an insider, charting the rise and operation of American homebuilders in the postwar era

 

Fisher, Ernest M. Urban Real Estate Markets: Characteristics and Financing. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1951.

Economic analysis of U.S. real estate from 1900 to 1950, which creates a framework proposing multiple related markets (rather than a unitary market) in part to explain why some markets are “spotty" and to evaluate rent control. Includes FHA data.

 

Fisher, Roger, William L. Ury and Bruce Patton. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. New York: Penguin Books, 2011. [1981]

Best-selling book on the psychology of negotiation, emphasizing non-adversarial bargaining and identifying fixed vs. flexible positions.

 

Grebler, Leo. The Role of Federal Credit Aids in Residential Construction. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1953.

 

Grebler, Leo, David M. Blank and Louis Winnick. Capital Formation in Residential Real Estate: Trends and Prospects. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1956.

 

Harriss, C. Lowell. History and Policies of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. New York: H. Wolff Book Manufacturing Company, 1951.

 

Hayden, Dolores. Redesigning the American Dream. New York: W.W. Norton, 1984.

 

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House, 1961.

A critique of modernist urban planning, in favor of density, walkability, mixed use, and diverse building stock.

 

Lewis, Michael. Liar’s Poker. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

Popular finance book that clearly explains mortgage-backed securities

 

Long, Herman H., and Charles S. Johnson. People vs. Property: Race Restrictive Covenants in Housing. Nashville: Fisk University Press, 1947.

 

McEntire, Davis. Residence and Race: Final and Comprehensive Report to the Commission on Race and Housing. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960.

 

Newman, Katherine. Falling From Grace: The Experience of Downward Mobility in the American Middle Class. New York: Free Press, 1988.

 

Perin, Constance. Everything in Its Place: Social Order and Land Use in America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977.

 

Weiss, Marc A. The Rise of the Community Builders: The American Real Estate Industry and Urban Land Planning. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.

Business and institutional history of developers, with LA in the 1910s & 20s as a case study. A clinical account shows how large developers and trade associations effectively captured government to legislate small operators out of business. The single-family house on its own lot emerged as optimal real-estate product. Race is briefly touched on but simmers below the surface.

 

Wolf, Peter M. Land in America: Its Value, Use and Control. New York: Pantheon, 1981.

 

Weaver, Robert C. The Negro Ghetto. New York: Russell & Russell, 1948.

 

Wright, Gwendolyn. Building the Dream. New York: Pantheon, 1981.

Articles

History

 

Heathcott, Joseph. “Black Archipelago: Politics and Civic Life in the Jim Crow City.” Journal of Social History Vol. 38, No. 3 (Spring, 2005): 705–736.

 

Heathcott, Joseph. “The City Quietly Remade: National Programs and Local Agendas in the Movement to Clear the Slums, 1942-1952.” Journal of Urban History 34, No. 2 (January, 2008): 221–242.

 

Hyman, Louis. “American Debt, Global Capital: The Policy Origins of Securitization." in The shock of the global: the 1970s in perspective, Niall Ferguson, Charles S. Maier, Erez Manela, Daniel J. Sargent eds., Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2010.

 

Jackson, Kenneth T. “Race, Ethnicity, and Real Estate Appraisal The Home Owners Loan Corporation and the Federal Housing Administration," Journal of Urban History Vol. 6, no. 4 (August 1, 1980): 419–52.

 

Julian, Elizabeth K., and Michael M. Daniel. “Separate and Unequal—The Root and Branch of Public Housing Segregation.” Clearinghouse Review 23 (1989): 666–676.

 

Kramer, Carl E. “The Evolution of the Residential Land Subdivision Process in Louisville, 1772-2008," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Vol. 107, No. 1 (Winter 2009), 33–81.

 

Massey, Jonathan. “Risk and Regulation in the Financial Architecture of the American House." in Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, Governing by Design: Architecture, Economy, and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012. 21–46

 

Rome, Adam. “Building On the Land: Toward an Environmental History of Residential Development in American Cities and Suburbs, 1870–1990," Journal of Urban History, Vol. 20, No. 3, May 1994, 407–434.

 

Snowden, Kenneth A. and Jonathan Rose. “The New Deal and the Origins of the Modern American Real Estate Loan Contract," Working Paper, The National Bureau of Economic Research, Sept. 2012.

Snowden teaches Economics and History of Economics at UNC Greensboro; Jonathan Rose is an Economist at the Fed.

 

Snowden, Kenneth A. “The Anatomy of a Residential Mortgage Crisis: A Look Back to the 1930s," Working Paper, The National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2010.

 

Snowden, Kenneth A. “Mortgage Banking in the United States, 1870-1940," Special report of the Research Institute for Housing America, Mortgage Bankers Association, Oct. 28, 2013.

Not a critical history, given its sponsor, but finding others has proven challenging and this includes a long bibliography.

 

Von Hoffman, Alexander. “Calling Upon the Genius of Private Enterprise: The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 and the Liberal Turn to Public-Private Partnerships," Studies in American Political Development, 27 (October 2013), 165–194.

Von Hoffman studied history at Harvard, is a senior fellow at Harvard JCHS, and teaches planning at GSD

 

Wyly, Elvin, C. S. Ponder, Pierson Nettling, Bosco Ho, Sophie Ellen Fung, Zachary Liebowitz and Dan Hammel. “New Racial Meanings of Housing in America," American Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3, Sept. 2012, 571–604.

 

Residential RE

 

Calem, Paul S., Kevin Gillen and Susan Wachter. “The Neighborhood Distribution of Subprime Mortgage Lending," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics Vol. 29(4) (December 2004), 393–410.

 

Case, Karl and Robert Shiller, “Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?", Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2003 (2), 299–362.

 

Case, Karl E., Robert J. Shiller, and John Quigley, “Stock Market Wealth, Housing Market Wealth, and Consumption," unpublished paper, 2001.

 

Deng, Yongheng, Stephen L. Ross and Susan M. Wachter,. “Racial differences in homeownership: the effect of residential location," Regional Science and Urban Economics Vol. 33(5) (Sept. 2003), 517–556.

 

Gabriel, Stuart, and Frank Nothaft. “Rental Housing Markets, the Incidence and Duration of Vacancy, and the Natural Vacancy Rate." Journal of Urban Economics 49, no. 1 (2001), 121–149.

 

Green, Richard K. and Susan M. Wachter. “The American Mortgage in Historical and International Context," Journal of Economic Perspectives Vol. 19(4) (Fall 2005), 93–114.

 

Green, Richard K. and Susan M. Wachter. “The housing finance revolution," Proceedings—Economic Policy Symposium—Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, 21–67.

 

Himmelberg, Charles, Christopher Mayer, and Todd Sinai, “Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions", Journal of Economic Perspectives Vol. 19, no. 4 (2005), 67–92.

 

McMillen, Daniel, and John McDonald. “Reaction of House Prices to a New Rapid Transit Line: Chicago’s Midway Line, 1983-1999." Real Estate Economics 32, no. 3 (2004), 463–486.

 

Oates, Wallace. “Property Taxation and Local Public Spending: The Renter Effect." Journal of Urban Economics 57, no. 3 (2005), 419–431.

 

Henry O. Pollakowski and Susan M. Wachter, “The Effects of Land-Use Constraints on Housing Prices," Land Economics 66, no. 3 (August 1, 1990): 315–24.

 

Shiller, Robert J., and Allan N. Weiss, “Home Equity Insurance," Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 1999. Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper 1074. Link

 

Sinai, Todd, and Nicholas Souleles, “Owner Occupied Housing as Insurance Against Rent Risk," unpublished paper, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, May 2001.

 

Somerville, C. Tsuriel. “The Industrial Organization of Housing Supply: Market Activity, Land Supply and the Size of Homebuilder Firms." Real Estate Economics 27, no. 4 (1999), 669–695.

 

Song, Yan, and Gerrit-Jan Knaap. “New Urbanism and Housing Values: A Disaggregate Assessment." Journal of Urban Economics 54, no. 2 (2003), 218–238.

 

Thorsnes, Paul. “Internalizing Neighborhood Externalities: The Effect of Subdivision Size and Zoning on Residential Lot Prices." Journal of Urban Economics 48, no. 3 (2000), 397–418.

 

Waddell, Paul, Brian Berry, and Irving Hoch. “Residential Property Values in a Multinodal Urban Area: New Evidence on the Implicit Price of Location." Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics 7, no. 2 (1993), 117–141.

 

Wheaton, William. "Real Estate ‘Cycles’: Some Fundamentals." Real Estate Economics 27, no. 2 (1999), 209–230.

 

Wheaton, William and Gleb Nechayev. “The 1998-2005 Housing “Bubble" and the Current “Correction": What’s Different This Time?" Journal of Real Estate Research 30, no. 1 (2008), 1–26.

 

Unsorted: Economics, History of Economics, Policy, Real Estate, Etc.

 

Archer, Wayne, and Marc Smith. “Explaining Location Patterns of Suburban Offices." Real Estate Economics 31, no. 2 (2003), 139–164.

 

Beauregard, Robert. "The Texture of Property Markets: Downtown Housing and Office Conversions in New York City." Urban Studies, Vol. 42, No. 13 (2005), 2431–2445.

 

Benjamin, John, G. Donald Jud, and Daniel Winkler. “The Supply Adjustment Process in Retail Space Markets." Journal of Real Estate Research 15, no. 3 (1998), 297–308.

 

Case, Bradford, William Goetzmann, and Geert Rouwenhorst, “Global Real Estate Markets: Cycles and Fundamentals." Yale ICF Working Paper No. 99-03, March 1999. Link

 

Costello, James, et al. “Real Estate Risk: A Forward-Looking Approach." Real Estate Finance 18, no. 3 (2001), 20–28.

 

Figlio, David, and Bruce Blonigen. “The Effects of Direct Foreign Investment on Local Communities."Journal of Urban Economics 48, no. 2 (2000), 338–363.

 

Froot, Kenneth A. “The Market for Catastrophe Risk: A Clinical Examination," Journal of Financial Economics, 2001, v60 (2-3, May), 529–571.

 

Gyourko, Joseph. “Understanding Commercial Real Estate: How Different Is It from Housing Really," Journal of Portfolio Management Vol. 35, no. 5 (2009), 23–37.

 

Gyourko, Joseph and Donald B. Keim. “What Does the Stock Market Tell Us About Real Estate Returns?" Journal of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, Volume 20, Issue 3 (1992), 457–485.

 

Gyourko, Joseph and Peter Linneman. “Analyzing the Risk of Income-Producing Real Estate." Urban Studies, Vol. 27, no. 4 (August 1990), 497–508.

 

Gyourko, Joseph and Jeremy Siegel. “Long-Term Return Characteristics of Income-Producing Real Estate", Real Estate Finance Vol. 11, no. 1 (Spring 1994), 14–22.

 

Gyourko, Joseph and Todd Sinai. “The REIT Vehicle: Its Value Today and In the Future." Journal of Real Estate Research Vol. 16, no. 3 (1998), 251–269.

 

Herring Richard J. and Susan Wachter. “Real Estate Booms and Banking Busts: An International Perspective," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-27, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania, 1999.

 

Holmes, Thomas. “The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders." Journal of Political Economy 106, no. 4 (1998), pp. 667-705.

 

Hopkins, Robert, et al. “Evaluating Real Estate Risk: Debt Applications." Real Estate Finance 18, no. 3 (2001), pp. 29-41.

 

Linneman, Peter. “The Equitization of Real Estate." Wharton Real Estate Review Volume 10 Number 2 (Fall 2006), pp. 5-26.

 

Linneman, Peter and Stan Ross. “Real Estate Private Equity Funds" Wharton Real Estate Review Volume 6 Number 1 (Spring 2002), pp. 5-22.

 

Malpezzi, Stephen and Susan M. Wachter. “The Role of Speculation in Real Estate Cycles," Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center Working Paper #401, June 2002.

 

Pavlov, Andrey and Susan M. Wachter. “Robbing the Bank: Non-recourse Lending and Asset Prices," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics vol. 28 (2_3), 47–160.

 

Pavlov, Andrey and Susan M. Wachter. “Real Estate Crashes and Bank Lending," Wharton Real Estate Review Vol. 9 No. 1 (Spring 2005), 62–68

 

Porter, Michael E. “Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy," Economic Development Quarterly vol. 14 no. 1 (February 2000), 15–34.

 

Rosenthal, Stuart, and Robert Helsley. “Redevelopment and the Urban Land Price Gradient." Journal of Urban Economics 35, no. 2 (1994), 182–200.

 

Sagalyn, Lynne B. “Conflicts of Interest in the Structure of REITs." Real Estate Finance, Volume 13, Issue 2 (June 1996), 34–51.

 

Shilton, Leon, and Craig Stanley. “Spatial Patterns of Headquarters." Journal of Real Estate Research 17, no. 3 (1999), 341–364.

 

Shukla, Vibhooti, and Paul Waddell. “Firm Location and Land Use in Discrete Urban Space: A Study of the Spatial Structure of Dallas-Fort Worth." Regional Science and Urban Economics 21, no. 2 (1991), 225–253.

Shukla was a professor of Political Economy at UT Dallas; Waddell studied PE at Dallas and teaches Planning at Berkeley.

 

Sugrue, Thomas J. “The Structures of Urban Poverty: The Reorganization of Space and Work in Three Periods of American History.” In Michael B. Katz, ed., The Underclass Debate: Views from History. Princeton University Press, 1993.

 

Economics, History & Policy, Articles pre-1990

 

Ibbotson, Roger and Lawrence Siegel. “Real Estate Returns: A Comparison with Other Investments," Real Estate Economics Volume 12, Issue 3 (September 1984), 219–242.

 

Nichols, J.C. “Housing and the Real Estate Problem," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 51, Housing and Town Planning (Jan., 1914), 132-139.

See entire issue. There is also a biography of Nichols by William S. Worley: J.C. Nichols and the Shaping of Kansas City, University of Missouri Press, 1990.

 

Roback, Jennifer. “Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life." Journal of Political Economy 90, no. 6 (1982), 1257–1278.

 

Weiss, Marc A. “The Origins and Legacy of Urban Renewal,” in Urban and Regional Planning in an Age of Austerity, P. Clavel, J. Forrester, and W. Goldsmith eds., New York: Pergamom Press, 1980.

 

Weiss, Marc A. “Researching the History of Real Estate,” Journal of Architectural Education, Vol. 11, No. 3, Spring 1988, pp. 38-40.

 
House Housing: Economies of One Type or Another
Jacob Moore, Susanne Schindler

This essay was written by the curators of the exhibition, House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes—Jacob Moore and Susanne Schindler—as an afterword to the pamphlet published on the occasion of the exhibition shown in Venice, June 2014. The essay is part of an ongoing conversation.


1. For instance in “Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program,” the name given to subsidies to low-income households to rent on the open market, which, studies have shown, have generally not lessened the economic and racial segregation that they were meant to counteract. (See, for example: US Housing Scholars and Research and Advocacy Organization, “Residential Segregation and Housing Discrimination in the United States: A Report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” January 2008). Or “Choice Neighborhoods,” 
the most recent federal program to improve areas impacted by “distressed public housing.”
2. See Laura Gottesdiener, “How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme–Again,” The Nation, November 26, 2013; Michael Corkery, “Wall St.’s New Housing Bonanza,” New York Times, January 29, 2014, B1.
3. This is referencing Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi’s work in the 1960s and 1970s, in particular their studies of Levittown and Co-op City.

For many people inside and outside the architectural profession, “housing” is a bad word. It conjures images of an imagined, probably governmental, agency warehousing passive individuals into high-rises. Hence “public” is the worst possible qualifier for the already maligned word, but even “multi-family” is a sign of moral failure. Housing haters instead prefer to speak of “community development,” “neighborhood,” or more recently, the “ecologies” enveloping us all. And they are right: life requires not only a “dwelling unit” as the language of zoning or the IRS might declare it, but a “home” with access to transportation, education, work, and so on.

But we don’t talk about work as an “income-generating context,” so why talk about housing that way? Feel-good terms like “community” or “choice” are generally invoked precisely when they are absent and corporate profit needs cover.1 Let’s talk about housing for what it is: “that fundamental and American right…a right to a roof over your head,” as Lyndon B. Johnson, to cite just one president to do so, declared upon the passage of the 1968 Housing Act.

In contrast to housing, talking about the “house” seems so much less problematic. It’s treated as if its definition were obvious: an ur-type, a free-standing structure for a single family, assumed to be the father-mother-children that live therein. But what does “house” really tell us? Just as in multi-story, multi-unit housing, we don’t know who its occupants are, or whether they “own” or “rent.” In either case, it is likely they are paying another entity for the right to be there — either the bank, who holds the mortgage, or the landlord, who is likely paying a bank for his mortgage with the rent paid by the residents. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the bank has increasingly become synonymous with the landlord, no longer dealing in mortgage-backed securities but in rental property–backed securities. At the same time, the properties’ actual physical structures remain the same, as do the people within (i.e. previous owners who were foreclosed have stayed, becoming tenants who can no longer be foreclosed, but rather evicted).2

Pitching house against housing is based on a misunderstanding of type, or rather, on an overemphasis of its morphological aspects. While a Cape, a rowhouse, a courtyard building, and a point tower certainly organize spatial relationships in different ways, the socio-economic connotations of these housing forms can change so rapidly that a former factory in the city now affords its residents a higher social status than a suburban cul-de-sac ranch. Conventional understandings of architectural types are able to account for the former differentiation, but the latter has proven more difficult. Bracketing the long-running and re-emergent theoretical debates about the nature of type, its proper role in design processes, and its place in history, how might typology take economic and cultural determinants more productively into account?

For contemporary practice in the United States, perhaps the more vexing issue is the conceptual split not between house and housing, but between housing and architecture. The problem with this is twofold. First, housing, especially since the turn toward market-driven policy in the mid-1970s, is considered a socio-economic issue, not a cultural endeavor. Housing is not evaluated or seen as architecture, but in contrast to architecture. Second, it is not enough for architects to contribute by claiming that the housing that is being built is alright since it serves its socio-economic purpose.3 Its often dismal quality is precisely what has led to the distinction in the first place.

So why have architects stopped staking a claim in housing? While it no longer seems permissible, from a professional perspective, to talk about housing as housing, i.e. as a real socio-economic need, it also no longer seems possible to talk about housing as architecture, i.e to bridge those real socio-economic needs and the project of design. Understanding type as an economic proposition may open new models of thinking within and beyond the profession. More fundamentally, understanding all works of architecture as devices through which multiple, recurrent, and contradictory historical forces circulate — and designing them with this in mind — might allow for change where it was previously hard to imagine possible. Thinking architectural history in this way, through house and housing, is what we have tried to do with this exhibition.

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