Life of Great American Cities

555 Hudson St

This red house with white windows is not peculiar because of its architecture but because a local deity lived here. This pretty generic townhouse is the former home of Jane Jacobs on 555 Hudson in Greenwich village. Jane Jacobs was the author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” in 1961 where she documented the life of this block. She criticized the prevailing modernist urban planning of the 1950’s and 1960’s and influenced the change that is apparent in many cities today.

She was one of the first to realize that the city is not only a place for men commuting from the suburbs – her theory of mixed neighborhoods came from day-to-day observations on her own street. She hasn’t been living here since 1968 and the house has experienced many changes – it now houses a children’s store.

So, thank you, Jane Jacobs for saying out loud that cities should include mediocre, beautiful and unexpected stuff side by side.

The other one is here because it looks like it’s sleeping (Stanton St).

Sleeping House on Stanton St

2 thoughts on “Life of Great American Cities

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