A Study in City Planning and Rebuilding
Lesley Deborah Slavitt
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
the degree Master of Science in Historic Preservation and
the degree Master of Science in Urban Planning
Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
This discussion of the implications and consequences of Europe's post-World War I reconstruction is a purely historical undertaking. It allows the perspective of time and a critical view to the participants, techniques and plans which evolved in the United States and Europe after the close of that conflict. The emerging internationalism and participation in World War I and the rebuilding of Europe had a profound effect on the professionals who assisted in its rehabilitation and on subsequent international relations generally.
Post-war reconstruction commonly refers to the financial rebuilding of a nation or nations and does not immediately denote the rebuilding of the physical environment. This is quite natural; although it ignores one of the major consequences of war, its effect on the people who have lost their homes, monuments and memories and had to live in places which no longer had any life. The most profound authorities on the reconstruction died well before the beginning of World War II. Practitioners such as Patrick Geddes, for instance, understood the need not just to rebuild but to create a lasting peace. The lesson he tried to teach was based upon an intuitive understanding of the way in which society functioned under stringent political authorities. His advice was not heeded.
The relevance of this discussion is brutally obvious today. It is not just an appreciation for the city or the consequences and meaning of rebuilding or the practical requirements for such an effort which can be gained from this research. One important appreciation I have taken from this work forces me to reconsider the efforts of Geddes and others who gave of their time, resources and skill to bring Europe back to life after World War I. It brings questions to mind such as who creates and benefits from such conflicts and asks what power the built environment has to either heal society or monumentalize history.
Present-day focus now turns business, industry and our skilled professionals to Vietnam and, one day, to Bosnia- Herzegovina. There are many lessons to be learned from our inability or unwillingness to create a true and lasting form of peace between and within nations and the sensitivity and skill which must be coordinated in their rebuilding. I hope this endeavor offers insight into the motives, meaning and possibilities for reconstruction to rehabilitate not only the physical environment but the conditions under which we ascribed meaning to people and places in our very own communities and abroad.
Post-World War I reconstruction was a complex and dynamic undertaking. The "war-to-end-all-wars" galvanized opportunities on an unprecedented international scale to professionalize the practice of city planning, apply and transfer the techniques of planning practice and create a pool of experts in the field. The changes in society brought about by the shock and horror of the war in Europe transformed the unfamiliar technology of mass destruction represented by the war into new theories of decentralization, city building and construction technology. A new post-war aesthetic which understood the possibilities of adaptive wholesale destruction and land clearance to remake the way people lived found acceptance within society. Consequently, World War I formed the psychological and design initiative for the idea of construction as reconstruction which came to be understood as "urban renewal." This is evidenced in the post-World War I era as strongly by the work of designers like Le Corbusier as it is by the decision of Belgian authorities to not rebuild unsightly residential quarters demolished by the German Army.
A new internationalism developed after the war which generated international communication and co-responsibility on the part of individuals and world nations on a one-to-one footing extending beyond the bonds of imperialism. International organizations, private industry and political authorities recognized the impact of such a devastating war on their own interests, whether those interests were humanitarian, financial or authoritarian. The role of the international organization and a growing pool of experts also helped to legitimize theories of decentralization which were as relevant for the practice of city planning in the post-World War I era as they were for the political ideology of the League of Nations. Although such a league, as designed by Woodrow Wilson, could not be nonpartisan, and avoid the influence of those politicians who made the war inevitable or not concern itself with the imperial expansion and colonialism of nations, it was an attempt to put into practice many of the same notions about decentralization which were more successfully translated into the birth of the regional planning movement in the United States and Europe after the war.
The development of numerous experts, organizations and ideas resulted from the impact of the war on professionals and the general population alike. The complex effort to reconstruct Northern France and Belgium, where most of the fighting occurred, was a dynamic undertaking which can best be understood through the exploration of the different techniques, causes and concerns of those who participated in the massive effort. Economic restructuring and international finance and civilian relief initiatives, among other components of the reconstruction, are largely ignored in this paper. Although relevant to the rebuilding and rejuvenating of Europe and its population, they are deserving of lengthy inquiry in their own right and beyond the scope of this investigation. This effort seeks to inform, enlighten and explore the techniques, decisions and meaning behind the physical reconstruction of the built environment after the unprecedented destruction of the First World War and analyze their profound relationship and effect on later events of the twentieth century.
City Planning and World War I
The emergence and growth of city planning in the first two decades of the twentieth century helped prepare practitioners, governments and theoreticians for the necessities of rebuilding Europe after the devastation of World War I. The acknowledgment of city planning as a profession which resulted as a course of the war provided the authority for such practitioners to replan and regulate for urban order in the United States and abroad at the close of the conflict. This role was buttressed by an emerging internationalism on the eve of the war which enabled city planners to look to other countries for models of good planning and to transfer developing techniques and models across the ocean. Germany was the model for city planning in the pre-World War I era; however, when all things German became "sinister," new advances in city planning were demanded from Allied countries.
World War I was a catalyst for international exchange and cooperation and spearheaded a search for a newly regulated urban order. The war devastated European society and hastened new ideas of city building which would come to dominate urban planning and policies for urban renewal and reconstruction later in the twentieth century. These ideas, deeply rooted in the psychological impact of the war, helped to further separate city planning from architecture even if they did not form the basis for any reconstruction efforts in the devastated regions of Northern France and Belgium after the close of the war in 1918.
In a search for professional legitimacy for the planning profession in the United States and Great Britain in the first years of the twentieth century, practitioners looked to Germany as a model of professional practice and began to transfer German innovations to their own countries. Until the arms race began in 1907, Britain had a natural relationship with Germany; Kaiser Wilhelm was a cousin of Queen Victoria. The progressive reformers and advocates of scientific management in the United States found Germany to be a unifying influence. The hated disorganization, urban clutter and congestion symbolic of rapid industrialization and the turn of the century city had been avoided in German cities, and Americans found German legal approaches particularly compelling. German advances in city planning of zoning, redevelopment regulations and metropolitan utility companies discouraged land speculation, protected the historic heritage of cities and, most importantly, proved that rapid urban growth did not have to lead to disorganization and congestion. For Great Britain and the United States the German example showed that the practice of city planning could reorganize cities into coherent, orderly, modern industrial cities with happy workers and high productivity.<(1) William R.F. Phillips, "American and British City Planning and the 'German Example' at the Turn of the Century." >
A series of interlocking circumstances helped the practice of city planning evolve in Great Britain and the United States at the turn of the twentieth century.<(2) Gordon Cherry, "The Turn-of-the-Century Origins of Town Planning: A New Look at the Evidence from Great Britain."> Until the close of World War I in both Great Britain and the United States the development and application of city planning was impacted by the struggle between the actions of private parties and advocates of public/governmental control and authority. Planning was, at its essence, a political and social response to the conditions of late nineteenth and early twentieth century society. Rapid industrialization, unregulated building, land speculation and the deplorable living conditions of the urban poor and working man plagued cities in both Great Britain and the United States. However, at the turn of the century labor viewed the impact of the burgeoning city planning movement in quite a different fashion, namely as another means by which the working class could be regulated; notwithstanding, housing became the cornerstone of British planning policy after World War I.
The evolution of city planning in Great Britain at the turn of the century brought the reform movement and a number of key academics and entrepreneurs into concert with increasingly powerful local governments. This reform movement was rooted in a long- standing concern for public health and the search for quality housing, as embodied by the Garden City Movement, established and organized without government assistance. Industrialization brought a new scale of urban growth which gave rise to congestion, overcrowded living conditions and a lack of suitable housing. Key actors saw these changes in the city as an opportunity. Academics such as Patrick Geddes, Thomas Adams and Raymond Unwin began a discourse on town planning practice and offered the notion that planning needed its own discipline and pedagogy. Proponents of the Garden City Movement, such as Ebenezer Howard, found an alternative to urban problems by rejecting the city in favor of an alternative workers' settlement which offered proper housing, sunlight and a connection to nature. The institutional transformations of early twentieth century Great Britain placed more power and responsibility in the hands of local government. Local councils were required to deal with the problems of housing, public health and local service needs.<(3) Ibid.> Most notably, these efforts culminated in the Housing and Town Planning Act of 1909. This interplay of reform efforts, academic interest in the practice of town planning and government reorganization were the contributions of the British to the practice of city planning until the government reforms of the post-World War I era.
Conditions in urban America at the turn of the twentieth century paralleled those of Great Britain. A small number of reform advocates called for the building of garden cities in the United States as a solution to the problem of housing the workingman and the evils of the industrialized city. The first garden city was built in Britain in 1904 and by 1907 a Garden Cities Association of America had been established and was calling for the construction of garden cities at several sites in America. Forest Hills Gardens in New York City, the first garden city in the United States, was not built until 1909. Other than the legislative initiatives being undertaken in Germany, at this time the garden cities concept was one of the few fully conceived city planning ideas made available to any audience during the early twentieth century.
Addressing the condition of cities at the turn of the century helped to bring about the practice of city planning in the United States as it had in Britain. Two divergent but equally important movements characterized town planning practice in the United States before the war: the City Beautiful and the City Efficient. These movements found their nexus at the First National Conference on City Planning held in Washington, D.C. in 1909. On the eve of unveiling the landmark City Beautiful Chicago Plan, a new emphasis was directed towards the social and economic health of the city and away from the urban design reform advocated by the City Beautiful Movement and its supporters.<(4) Blaine A. Brownell, "Urban Planning, the Planning Profession, and the Motor Vehicle in Early Twentieth-Century America," Shaping an Urban World, ed. Gordon E. Cherry, p. 61.> The Conference was mainly attended by the progressive reformers who were to develop the practice of city planning in the United States and who were concerned about the science of city management. The decline of the City Beautiful Movement began at this time and coincides with the birth of city planning in the United States.<(5) Mario Manieri-Elia, "From City Beautiful to City Planning," The American City: From the Civil War to the New Deal, ed. Georgio Ciucci, p. 105.> This separation of city planning from the profession of architecture, which begins to take place just before the outbreak of war in Europe, is a key element in the professionalization of planning and greatly impacts rebuilding efforts and images of the city in the post-World War I era.
The City Beautiful Movement, championed most notably by Daniel Burnham, was a purely architectural effort to remake the physical form of the city and plan for its future. It was characteristically undertaken by private business interests who believed the physical form of the city directly impacted upon real estate values, tourism and corporate prominence. American cities found themselves in competition with the older, grander capitols of Europe and through Burnham found a dynamic program of comprehensive redevelopment and rebuilding that could transform the American city.
The progressive reformers and advocates of the City Efficient vehemently opposed the City Beautiful. They argued it held a blatant disregard for the ill health, congested conditions and working population of the city; further, it ignored completely the causes of urban decline and offered no practical solutions to insure appropriate and safeguarded future urban growth. On the other hand, the need for comprehensive plans, zoning regulations and local planning commissions to manage the growth of the city, based largely on German models, was ardently advocated by reformers.
Benjamin Marsh, Executive Secretary of the Committee on Congestion of Population in New York, voiced many of the prevailing attitudes of the reformers in 1909 when he captioned his discourse on city planning as "... Democracy's Challenge to the American City."<(6) Benjamin Clarke Marsh, An Introduction to City Planning. Democracy's Challenge to the American City.> Marsh concluded there was a need for government intervention to secure good living conditions, the taxpayer held the responsibility for paying for the ills of uncontrolled congestion, establishment of the appropriate administrative bodies was needed to carry out required planning activities and a city plan was needed which would secure healthful conditions for the entire city.<(7) Ibid, p. 152.> Reformers immediately embarked upon a campaign to educate the public about city planning through a series of exhibitions and lectures and proposed to show how it was "good business" to plan for a city's future development and not squander its resources. The condition of German cities was also publicized by the reformers who hoped to gain a certain professional legitimacy for the tools and practice of city planning with such models.
George B. Ford, one of the most ardent and articulate of the reformers and advocates of the science of city planning, campaigned for height restrictions, zone systems (districting) and municipal planning commissions to manage American cities. He believed American cities were "impractical and unbusinesslike."<(8) , "Unpractical City Planning," The New York Time, April 11, 1911, 7:1.> Uncontrolled industrial growth and tall buildings, Ford claimed, negatively impacted on adjacent property owners and would cause unfettered harm to commercial properties in addition to a more congested urban environment in which these buildings would usurp all available light, air and ventilation. Skyscrapers were further described as poor investments that seldom failed to pay more than a 2.5% or 3% return on investment and created a more intensive transportation glut and would cause greater congestion because one would have more people at any one location at a given time who would need to be transported to and from work.<(9) , "Calls Skyscrapers Poor Investments," The New York Time, Aug. 6, 1915, 11:5.> The city planning commission, as advocated by reformers like Ford, would manage these various controls and regulations and prepare the city for its future growth and development. Although a small number of planning commissions were established before the war, the establishment of rudimentary zoning ordinances in a few cities, such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis and, most notably, New York, were the most significant achievements of the emerging practice of city planning in the United States before World War I.
As the science of town planning gained professional stature in Great Britain and the United States, planning practice began to focus on internal issues and philosophies. The war in Europe had begun some three years before the United States entered the conflict and, by that time, Germany's aggressive tendencies had already created a distinct disfavor of all things German in the international public eye. Notwithstanding, the search for legitimacy by a nascent planning practice forced practitioners to look abroad and turn away from their own traditions of city building. On the eve of war in Europe an international congress of cities and town planning was devised, and it formed the basis for the burgeoning internationalism which would put forth the techniques, practitioners and ideologies of post-war reconstruction.
The internationalization of city planning was first displayed in October, 1910 at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Town Planning Conference in London. As opposed to the conference held one year prior in Washington, D.C., the progressive reformers from America did not attend. Burnham and the City Beautiful Movement made their last big pitch, advocating the "formal-classical approach." Burnham purposely spoke only of his work as a planner and made no mention of his architectural career; but his efforts to display the innovative private sponsorship and coordination necessary to carry out his plans did not greatly impress his audience. The "sociological approach" of Howard's Garden City Movement and of Patrick Geddes found greater appeal and offered new innovations and legitimacy different from the traditional German model.<(10) Manieri-Elia, p. 107.> The garden city idea attracted the reformers; it offered a decentralist theory, a good business investment and was entirely programmed and planned. As such, it could integrate the housing problem with planning practice.<(11) Francesco Dal Co, "Transforming the City, 1893-1920," The American City: From the Civil War to the New Deal, ed. Georgio Ciucci, pp. 210-11.>
Geddes made the most significant and revolutionary contribution to the RIBA Conference with his 'Civic Survey of Edinburgh.' It was a comprehensive survey of the geology, history, housing, architecture and social and economic conditions of Edinburgh and its region.<(12) Philip Boardman, The Worlds of Patrick Geddes. Biologist, Town Planner, Re-Educator, Peace-Warrior, pp. 215-16.> Geddes campaigned for an interdisciplinary approach to sociology and the city and fathered the civic survey technique and regionalism for the profession as a whole. Geddes's exhibition was quite significant and represented "the most specialized planning tool in general use."<(13) Brownell, p. 68.> The technique of the civic survey was to become much more specialized in the aftermath of World War I and the massive efforts at reconstruction which followed.
The final and least noteworthy or innovative school of thought represented at the RIBA conference was the traditional technocracy of German functional zoning and city management which was rapidly losing its significance as a legitimizing tool in the international arena with the advent of new techniques and approaches, most of which were represented by the "sociological approach."<(14) Spiro Kostof, The City Assembled; The Elements of Urban Form Through History, p. 231.>
The birth of the international conference was distinct from the international exhibition which had been made famous by the various innovative architectural monuments constructed for such fairs since the 1850's and held both in Europe and the United States. The international exhibition was an effort to materialize the ideal city and did not represent any one place or technique for city planning or city management. It was a vision of the perfect city and was known to be ephemeral and impermanent.
The Ghent International Exhibition held in Belgium in 1913 was the first international congress of city planning. The RIBA Conference was more revolutionary for the techniques and discourse between different town planning practice represented. Ghent's "Cities and Town Planning Exhibition" and the "International Congress of Cities" was, according to Patrick Abercrombie, "the first professedly international congress of town planners" ever held.<(15) Patrick Abercrombie, "The First International Congress of Town Planning and Organization of City Life," The Town Planning Review, Vol. 4, Nu. 3 (Oct., 1913), p. 205.> It also exposed Geddes's technique of survey to a much wider audience, discussed the organization of city life, exhibited the profession of city planning internationally and called for the formation of a Permanent International Committee and Bureau for Municipal Affairs. The conference served the further and, as it turned out, essential purpose of creating an international community of planning practitioners and the exchange of principles for town planning practice. These relationships and exchange of ideas formed the basis for the transfer of ideas, improvement of techniques and coordination involved in the reconstruction of the devastated regions of Northern France and Belgium after the war.
World War I reorganized the prevailing notions of city life in the United States and Europe. The new economy of war and the necessity of housing industrial workers in the United States and rehousing and reconstituting devastated cities and populations in Northern Europe intensified exchanges between planning practitioners of the philosophies and tools of city planning. It also created a pool of experts in these emerging techniques who further spread the ideas of regionalism, survey and state-wide planning legislation which emerged during the war. Their application developed into the post-war reconstruction which became the cornerstone for the growing practice of city planning, which was completely legitimized as a profession in the aftermath of the war.
The participation of the United States in World War I also resulted in the progressive reformers succeeding in their campaign to achieve government-wide participation and financing in city planning. Furthermore, the "war economy," which was an emergency measure set up by the government to increase industrial production and buying power, instituted a search for better building practices, planning standards and workers' housing. Two distinct bodies were organized by the federal government to create the unprecedented number of new housing units which had to be constructed to house all the new industrial workers created by increased war production. The United States Housing Corporation (USHC) of the Department of Labor and the Emergency Fleet Corporation (EFC) of the Division of Transportation and Housing were organized in the hopes of creating an efficient industrial complex. More than 120 architects and planners were hired by the government; among them Henry Wright, Clarence Stein and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. They set about building a number of garden cities and model villages. The USHC, which constructed and operated these industrial villages, spent $52 million and constructed some 5,998 units for families and 7,181 units for single people working in the munitions industry. The EFC gave construction capital to private companies with the stipulation that they could not charge more than a certain interest rate on loans to the occupants who purchased the units; they gave $70 million in loans and built 9,185 units for families and 7,564 units for single people working in the munitions industry. For example, Yorkshore Village in Camden, New Jersey was designed by Electus D. Litchfield for the EFC; the entire land area of the site is 225 acres, of which 90 acres was subdivided into 2,400 lots with 27 different dwelling types. The average house cost $2,700 and purchasers paid no more than a 5% rate of interest. (See Figure 1.)<(16) Francesco Dal Co, "From the First World War to the New Deal: The Regional Planning Association of America," The American City: From the Civil War to the New Deal, ed. Georgio Ciucci, pp. 221-222.>
The coordination, technical progress and government intervention obtained during World War I was not readily abandoned by the reform advocates, who had successfully won recognition for their profession. As one of the results of World War I on town planning practice internationally, the spread of the Garden City Movement helped form the Regional Plan Association of America (RPAA), which was established in 1923 by many of the architects and planners who had worked for USHC and EFC during the war. The RPAA, undeniably influenced by the ideologies and writings of Geddes during the early years of the war in Europe, intended to develop a series of garden cities, prepare comprehensive plans on a regional scale, work with the regional activities of other related professionals and undertake a series of larger regional survey projects.<(17) Ibid, p. 231.> The RPAA represented the continuing reform-minded activities of planning professionals whose ideology was firmly rooted in the economic and social reform of the progressive era and who advocated the further decentralization of the city in the post-World War I era.
One of the major efforts of pre-war city planners in the new post-war American city concerned a return to the fight against the skyscraper and for more restrictive zoning. The American city had only intensified those ills identified by planning professionals, such as Ford, who had picked up the fight for comprehensive planning and against the rampant congestion caused by the tall building. This problem had only intensified due to construction technologies which had developed during the war. City planning had undeniably been legitimized with the war and, to a large degree, this was because it brought planning into the public realm and further away from the direct control of private enterprise. Greater acceptance and internationalization of planning techniques was also a direct result of the war; the English garden city model became an easily available tool offered by the British to solve problems of industrial production during the war and in the post-war reconstruction in Europe. The civic survey continued to evolve and by the end of the war it had matured into a fully-comprehensive planning tool as had the Geddesian concept of regionalism.
British planners could for the most part only offer the garden city model and the Housing and Town Planning Act of 1909 as contributions to international planning and reconstruction efforts throughout the war. Although British planners were aware of the different patterns of urban and rural development in Great Britain and Belgium, through the Garden Cities and Town Planning Association, a conference was arranged in February, 1915 to fully inform Belgian town planners, many of whom spent the war in London, about the garden city idea in the event that they became interested in it as a model for reconstruction. A small number of garden cities were eventually built in Belgium as a reconstruction tool, Ypres for instance. This appears to be mostly an effort to quickly build aesthetically pleasing workers housing and insure that the older, unsightly and unhealthy urban working quarters of the pre-war city were not rebuilt.<(18) G. Topham Forrest, "The Rebuilding of Ypres," The Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Vol. 31, Nu. 3 (8 Dec., 1923), pp. 68-70.> Such efforts of British planners did help to spread the garden city model internationally and increase the legitimacy of the profession. Also, a series of model cities were planned as part of the British reconstruction in conjunction with a rural regional development program of light railways to connect rural towns with the main railways. Materials used by the British in France during the war were to be made available with demobilization after the war ended in order to significantly reduce the costs of construction.<(19) , "British Reconstruction," The New York Times, Jan. 9, 1919, 3:6.>
The evolution of the civic survey in Great Britain came about primarily as a war measure to keep architects employed. The Architects' War Committee first proposed the idea in 1914 and argued to the government that these surveys "will form an important supplement to the existing municipal statistics and will prove of the greatest value in influencing future development."<(20) , "Civic Surveys in War Time," The Town Planning Review, Vol. 5, Nu. 3 (Oct., 1914), p. 247.> The techniques and schedule of information proposed for collection and analysis evolved over the next year or so as architects and planners in Britain attempted to keep themselves employed and develop an appropriate and useful war measure for the devastated regions of Northern France and Belgium. It was argued that such surveys would be invaluable sources of information which would enable planners to make the most appropriate and intelligent decisions concerning the future development of a locale. The civic survey was most directly advocated by the British at this time and became an invaluable technique for reconstruction and regional planning after the war's end.
The use of surveys in Britain as a local planning initiative, as advocated by the Architects' War Committee, fit directly with the Housing and Town Planning Act of 1909 which had put planning in the hands of local government. Although not a very successful piece of legislation in its own right, as it was too bureaucratic, the 1909 Town Planning Act was revolutionary. It made housing the responsibility of local authorities without the benefit of a subsidy. It was, however, an ill-used legislation, as only 13 plans were submitted. Its most significant advancement was in emphasizing the responsibility of the state to improve the social and economic conditions of Great Britain and the "relevance of town planning" to such an effort.<(21) John Minett, "The Housing, Town Planning Etc. Act, 1909," The Planner, Vol. 60, Nu. 5 (May, 1974) p. 676.> Housing was the most important issue in post-war Britain; it was not only a political campaign tool- 'Homes for Heroes'- but, it was the key cause for reformers who felt it was their duty to provide safe and healthy living conditions for a morally traumatized post-war population. The 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act significantly reduced the cumbersome administrative obligations of the earlier legislation, made town planning a duty of local governments with a population of 20,000 or greater and "provided a new encouragement for the development of town planning during the twenties."<(22) Gordon Cherry, "The Housing, Town Planning Etc. Act, 1919," The Planner, Vol. 60, Nu. 5 (May, 1974), p. 681.>
These efforts at comprehensive planning and greater government responsibility led to plans for the preparation of a guide for the future development of London by the London Society. The Society formed a number of committees, most notably the Unhealthy Areas Committee governed by Neville Chamberlin and the Greater London Regional Planning Committee under the direction of Raymond Unwin. However, these efforts were unable to obtain the funding and institutional support needed to develop such a plan and eventually dissolved.<(23) Patrick Abercrombie, Greater London Plan 1944, pp. 1-2.> Such effort, however, did not go unnoticed, and laid the important groundwork for the Greater London Plan of 1944, prepared by Patrick Abercrombie, which was to be the guide for post-World War II reconstruction in Great Britain.
City planning evolved as a course of the war and prepared practitioners, governments and the population for the consequences of the war's devastation. A legitimate body of professionalized town planners were able to translate the dynamic impact of the war into a philosophy of city management, urban regulation, hygienic order, decentralized living and a new regionalism for cities worldwide. A new professional with specific knowledge, tools and abilities emerged distinctly from the profession of architecture; and, these skills and ability, honed by the very practice of war, created an international network of planning practitioners and techniques of the profession which could legitimately influence, manage and evolve cities from the close of World War I onward.
The City and Architecture in Warfare
World War I was the first "total" war and the first technical war in Europe.<(24) Paul Virilio and Sylvere Lotinger, Pure War, pp. 8-9.> It was a war virtually without visible enemies; the origin of the tank, long range artillery and the evolution of the bomber all designed a war in which a soldier rarely, if ever, came into direct contact with his enemy. Mass destruction of industry, agricultural lands and cities and towns where the fighting took place was inevitable with such a horrific and devastating war. Britain lost some 900,000 men, and French war deaths numbered nearly 1.4 million. It is not surprising that "a certain style of life, a social order, a sense of stability and confidence seems to have vanished forever" in the aftermath of the war.<(25) Norma Evenson, Paris: A Century of Change, 1878-1978, p. 159.> It created, for the first time, a gap between the young and the old, and cities were filled with young women and old men.<(26) Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change, p. 59.>
The advent of strategic bombing raised a number of moral and legal issues regarding such attacks against civilian populations. Most large cities, according to The Hague rules for land warfare, contained too many arsenals to be considered an "open city." In 1914 the World Peace Foundation did finally establish the legality of bombing raids "however much," the organization stipulated, "it might offend the world's sense of humanity."<(27) Lee Kennett, The First Air War 1914-1918, p. 55.> Paris, more often then not attacked for propaganda value, sustained the first strategic air attack of the war in August, 1914 in which the first of 500 Parisians who died as a result of German bombing raids perished. This raid by one German Taube also damaged Notre Dame de Paris.
German cities were well beyond range of Allied air attacks, and not a single bomb fell on Berlin during the war. The Germans, however, sustained a program of bombing the capitals of its enemies because it made for good morale at home and they enjoyed the psychological impact of the raids upon civilian populations.<(28) Kennett, p. 55.> Not all people accepted the legitimacy of such bombing raids, not to mention the lack of humanity. It began to damage the reputation of Germany with still neutral nations like the United States. The Germans succeeded in terrorizing civilian populations and creating animosity and frustration towards their own leaders who were unable to protect them.<(29) Lee Kennett, A History of Strategic Bombing, pp. 21-23.> In 1918, the last year of the war, the Germans made a sustained effort to destroy Paris which was only sixty miles from the front. Continuous day and night shelling by an embankment of guns surrounding the city known as the "Paris Guns" bombarded the city, as well as a newly initiated bombing campaign. On Good Friday, 1918 one of the most horrific of the forty- four air raids which plagued the city from March to August and claimed half of all fatalities Paris sustained during the war began.<(30) Kennett, p. 36.> One shell hit the fully occupied Church of Saint-Gervais on that day, killed one hundred worshipers and destroyed the vault of the church. German plans to develop a new incendiary bomb, the Elektron, to completely destroy Paris did not materialize before the end of the war nor did German plans to bomb New York City; by the end of the summer of 1918 the war had turned in favor of the Allies and was coming to a close.<(31) Kennett, pp. 213-14.>
In addition to the psychological impact of the German campaign against Paris, the city began to take on a "new geography" as a result of the war. Paris became identified with the northern "uncertain boundaries of a war-torn country" for southern Frenchmen-- a condition only heightened by the fact that access to the city was completely cut off from most routes and could only be entered from the south.<(32) Jean Meral, Paris in American Literature, pp. 106-7.>
Paris itself was transformed in the aftermath of the war. Not only were a number of main streets renamed and plazas created to commemorate the war but, in a design competition held by the French government in 1920 for the future development of Paris and its region, the question of what should be done with the fortifications handed over to the city by the state was raised.<(33) Adrian Berrington, "The Paris Competition," The Town Planning Review, Vol. 8, Nu. 3-4 (Dec., 1920), p. 163.> (Paris was still a walled city at the end of the war.) To address the massive housing problems in providing for soldiers' families after the war France developed a subsidized housing program in addition to its new town planning legislation. Squatters' shacks had previously been concentrated around the edge of the city, and it was decided to construct a development of new housing and services around the city. The fortifications were taken down, as they had lost any military value and were not able to protect the city and its civilian population from mechanized warfare.<(34) Gregory John Ashworth, War and the City, p. 159.> A band of subsidized housing known as the Red Belt, because of the red clay earth in the immediate vicinity from which it was made, replaced it. (See Figures 1, 2 & 3.)
The notion that France continually suffers for its capital, expressed by Patrick Geddes for one, helps the development of much of the ideology of decentralization popular in post-war French town planning initiatives and impacts strongly on post-war planning worldwide. It further assisted in developing the post-war regionalism which became as popular in French planning in the 1920's and 1930's as it did in British and American planning in the post-war era.
Mechanization had not always had such a negative perception in European cities. Mechanization was seen as a positive vehicle for urban modernization and an advanced, civilized society. It was in the pre-war years, according to art historian Robert Hughes,
"unqualifyingly good, strong, stupid, and obedient... a giant slave. The machine meant the conquest of process... the 'romance' of technology... because more and more people were living in a machine-formed environment: the city."<(35) Hughes, p. 11.>
The city was where machine and people interacted. The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, was a living celebration of the machine. It towered over the city of Paris and celebrated an emerging technology for all to see and brought a new understanding of the city and its surrounding region from the magnificent views it afforded. At the turn of the twentieth century the city began to undergo drastic changes with industrialization and the introduction of the automobile and tram.<(36) Reyner Banham, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, p. 100.> This technology, however, was not only embraced but celebrated. For instance, Eugene Henard, Architect of the City of Paris from 1900-1914, proposed that the Champ de Mars be converted into the first in-city landing strip in the world.<(37) Peter Wolf, "The First Modern Urbanist," Architectural Forum, Vol. 127, Nu. 3 (Oct., 1967), p. 52.>
The Futurists in pre-war Italy felt, according to the manifesto text The Messagio, that the problems of modern living had
"nothing to do with defining formalistic differences between the new buildings and the old ones," but "gleaning every benefit of science and technology, settling nobly every demand of our habits and our spirits, rejecting all that is heavy, grotesque and unsympathetic to us (tradition, style, aesthetics, proportion), establishing new form, new lines, new reason for existence. Such an architecture cannot be subject to any law of historical continuity. It must be as new as our state of mind, and the contingencies of our moment in history."<(38) Banham, p. 128.>
The expression of such an ideology was astounding in 1914, on the eve of World War I, "because it puts together," according to architectural historian Reyner Banham, "the predisposing causes and newly emergent ideas of the pre-War epoch in a manner which did not become general until the War was over, and-more important-it takes up attitudes to those predisposing causes according to those new ideas."<(39) Ibid., p. 130.> The war put an end to the debate between traditionalists and the emerging modernists in the pre-World War I era. By the end of the war, not only had mass production, construction technology and the essential building materials of structural steel, glass and concrete sufficiently evolved, but the war had put an end to pre-war values and faith in society and political elites that had questioned Futurist notions. It demanded a complete reorganization of beliefs and a turning away from the past.<(40) Barbara Miller Lane, Architecture and Politics in Germany, 1918-1945, p. 3.>
De Stijl, Dada and Surrealism were the first artistic movements which evolved as a direct result of the war.
"After 1914, machinery was turned on its inventors and their children. After forty years of continuous peace in Europe, the worst war in history canceled the faith in good technology, the benevolent machine. The myth of the Future went into shock, and European art moved into its years of irony, disgust, and protest. World War I changed the life of words and images in art, radically and forever. It brought our culture into the age of mass-produced, industrialized death. This, at first, was indescribable."<(41) Hughes, pp. 56-57.>
This new art brought to fruition many of the trends which have influenced art and architecture throughout the twentieth century-- one which would be fully conscious of its role in art and the ways it could reflect and shape society, while questioning its own validity. The post-war art was a specific reaction to war and the involvement of artists who glorified World War I as European culture, the very culture which had caused the war. It relinquished the traditional controls of society and created an "anti-art" which demanded a new, expressive form that broke from all traditional symbols and directly explored a subconscious world aroused by the horror of the war.
In the post-war aftermath planners and architects who did not choose to participate in the massive efforts to rebuild and recapture what had been lost as a result of the war turned to reinvent the world and build a rational new age with only token monuments from the past remaining, at best. War is supposed to be waged for reason and out of logic, yet the violence and destruction of war has none. The relationships and precedents destroyed by the war allowed for the gesture of erasing the old city and constructing a new one in its place. The emergence of twentieth century urbanism and its efforts to create new machines for living is inseparable from the impact of the war.
Work by Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bruno Taut and Le Corbusier, among others, created new forms that responded to their new world. Borrowing inspiration from the avant-garde, the new aesthetic for hygienic living, pre- war industrial building types and modern materials, these architects developed a monumental ideology which could reorder society. This notion of construction from reconstruction found its expression through architecture in the post-war years and only later, towards mid-century, did it profoundly reorder notions of city building throughout the world. The International Style, or the Machine Aesthetic, as it came to be known, had a characteristic lack of ornament and an emphasis on functionalism and completely rejected the traditions and heaviness of previous architectural forms. The reliance on modern materials, glass for instance, spoke to this aesthetic and created an architecture of peace which was transparent, ephemeral and pure.<(42) Ibid., pp. 177-78.>
This new architecture of the International Style designed whole new cities and remade older ones with a complete disregard for the past. Visions by, most notably, Le Corbusier called for new modular machines for living in modernist towers which would erase the urban problems of congestion and increasing motorized traffic and old, uncomfortable, dingy and dense buildings which had not protected or advanced daily living before the war.<(43) Ibid., p. 187.> Such city building ideology, although not directly significant to the rebuilding effort of post-World War I Europe, found its way to America from the political changes in Europe on the eve of the Second World War and formed the design intentions of "urban renewal" in the U.S. and Europe alike in the post World War II era.
The techniques of modernism impacted on this new architecture and the practice of town planning after the First World War. The aerial photo survey and military reconnaissance and mapping techniques were all coopted by such practitioners after the war. The advent of a purely modernist tradition after World War I also helped to solidify the legitimacy of town planning professionals by distancing architecture from growing regulations and city management, regionalism and decentralization, all of which gained distinct importance after the war.
Patrick Geddes: Planning for Peace and a New Internationalism
Patrick Geddes (1854-1931) wrote more profoundly than any other planning practitioner on the consequences and outcomes of World War I. A Scottish town planner by practice and a sociologist and botanist by training, Geddes advocated a post-war order which would plan and rebuild a greater culture than the one destroyed by the war. He advocated a more careful and decentralized internationalism which would put an end to the rampant imperialism which had caused World War I. It was, Geddes felt, important to stop "sacrificing life to things" and to begin to reemphasize the importance of human beings in post-war culture. Geddes's greatest aim was to find a way to create a new form of peace which would not be "latent war" waiting for yet another conflict to begin.
Geddes campaigned for new decentralized planning and regionalism throughout his career. He felt that through a regional perspective a greater welfare could be created for all men, as opposed to the more civic minded approach to "constructive betterment" which took mostly independent measures as, for instance, towards social services or the care of historic monuments.<(44) Philip Boardman, Patrick Geddes: Maker of the Future, pp. X-XII.> Geddes based much of this thinking on his earlier efforts to promote the idea of the civic survey; he felt this general assessment of a city and its relationship to the surrounding region would identify the inherent resources of a place, analyze its complex conditions and relationships and plan for a more noble future.
All of this thinking came together in London in the summer of 1915 at a meeting devoted to a discussion of the war and the problems which were anticipated to arise in the post-war era, known as the "Summer Meeting." These lectures initiated by Geddes and his colleague, historian and economist, Gilbert Slater, formed the basis for a series of publications on war and peace broadly titled, "The Making of the Future."<(45) Ibid., pp. 362-63.> These publications were organized and edited mostly by Geddes's friend, banker, Victor Branford, after Geddes left for India shortly after the conference.
Curiously, although it seems to have organized and clarified his interest and practice in town planning more than any other event, Geddes did not participate in any reconstruction efforts either during the war or after its conclusion. He merely hoped, it seems, to influence the practitioners and political elites who would create and have to manage the peace from a conflict they had made inevitable; Geddes still hoped they would be able to install a real, lasting form of peace. He did not return to Europe for any lengthy period of time until 1924, only seven years before his death. He spent most of his time abroad doing comprehensive city plans and civic surveys in Palestine and India and established the Institute of Civics at the University of Bombay. It can only be assumed, given Geddes's great passion for the problems of war and peace, that he felt no matter how noble and important his ideas were that they would never come to change the world and the minds of men who seemed to have learned nothing from the war's terrorizing destruction of human life and dignity.
Although eight separate volumes in all, the three most important publications in which Geddes discussed the problems of war and the creation of a true peace were: Ideas at War, The Coming Polity and Our Social Inheritance.<(46) Ibid.> Geddes believed there were five basic issues which needed to be addressed in any discussion of war and peace: one, the end to the crushing militarism of Prussia impacting on all peoples, including the German people; two, the destruction of the "war-capital" and bureaucratic regimes; three, the equal need to repair the devastated regions of Northern France and Belgium and the inner-city industrial slums of cities like Liverpool and Chicago; four, the re-creation of the university to make it a place of true scholarship instead of bureaucratic requirements and to develop its potential as a type of 'regional' institution which could cross national interests; and five, to establish a "Federation of Cities" to work as a true League of Nations.<(47) Ibid., pp. 364-65 and 381.>
The Making of the Future: Ideas at War by Patrick Geddes and Gilbert Slater was the most comprehensive and informative representation of their thinking. Finally published in 1917, after editing by Victor Branford, it outlines three distinct ideas concerning reconstruction identified by Geddes and explores the history, tools and needs for rebuilding civilization.<(48) Ibid., p. 371.> The Coming Polity: A Study in Reconstruction by Patrick Geddes and Victor Branford expounds upon Geddes's efforts to build a nobler and grander world than the one which was destroyed and further advocates the reconstitution of the spiritual health of the population as being just as central, if not more important than, its material well-being.<(49) Ibid., pp. 376-77.> Our Social Inheritance continues such ideas and provides examples of the possibilities of creating a greater world than the one destroyed, using the birth of the Golden Age out of the construction of the Parthenon in Ancient Greece from the ruins of the Acropolis destroyed by the Persians as an example.
Ideas at War was based upon the notion that war was a state of mind, that war and peace comes from ideas and that it was the gap between knowledge and the application of knowledge which created the problem. Geddes felt communication was central and that the world had to stop accepting war, or slums and poverty, as inevitable conditions beyond its control.<(50) Ibid., p. 390.> Reconstruction could stress the importance of human relationships and patriotic pursuits, focusing on national as opposed to international interests and creating regionalism, the humanist interpretation of society through history or ideas of civic betterment.<(51) Patrick Geddes and Gilbert Slater, The Making of the Future: Ideas at War, pp. VII-VIII.> With Ideas at War, Geddes campaigned for the need of a science of cities which could study and interpret the war, its consequences and the condition of cities and rural localities. This effort propelled the use of the civic survey to greater importance and further helped to legitimize the role of the professional town planner.
Geddes ardently advocated the rebuilding of ruined lands but felt that problems would develop "if we aim at reconstruction after the war on a lower level than the life before the war" because people are thrown back to their basic primary needs and live at a much lower level and sense of humanity as a consequence of war, and so must return to something of greater significance to achieve a state of being more memorable than the war itself.<(52) Ibid, p. 177> The real reconstruction for Geddes was a spiritual renewal and reconstitution of human relationships which, in conjunction with a material rebuilding, would be the only vehicle for undertaking a true reconstruction and creating a lasting peace.
Geddes praises the efforts of Belgian architects to produce "nobler and grander" designs of greater clearness and purpose than the ones that existed before the war but questions the integrity of rebuilding the cathedral at Rheims. Rheims, he argues, was admired for a religious life and tradition which was no longer present when the city was destroyed. Geddes raises important questions about what in fact one would be reconstructing and asks for a definition of the cathedral's meaning for the city, its region and the country.<(53) Ibid., pp. 51-59.> The reconstruction at Rheims, in the long run, failed for Geddes. Although no expense was spared to design plans for a grander, more efficient city, no greater sense of history or glory was recaptured by the city; it remained only one of 81 departments of the bureaucratic government exploited, according to Geddes, by its capital.<(54) Boardman, p. 387.> Certainly an interesting notion for reconstruction and urban redevelopment; however, it must be noted that this discussion only seems suitable to Northern France and Belgium and ignores the less discussed and poorer countries of Serbia, Poland and Romania who were also desperately fighting for reparations, economic aid and reconstruction assistance in the aftermath of World War I.
Conquering the Geddesian defined "war-capital" was of ultimate importance in reconstruction. The "war-capital" profited from war and, most especially, victory. Countries united and fought wars by the whim of their capitals and the hold they had on the life of the country. According to Geddes, a new regionalism was needed to develop and diffuse the power of governmental elites to create conflict and sustain a bureaucratic political machine.<(55) Geddes and Slater, pp. 184-86.> In The Coming Polity Geddes further explores this notion by expressing his disdain for the efforts of the League of Nations, which was composed, for Geddes, by the very same leaders who created the imperialism that had caused the war. He proposed a "League of Cities" in its place where all provincial centers, and not just the "war-capitals," would have power. He proposed that Barcelona and Rheims should regain their historical prominence and serve with as much influence as Berlin and Paris. It was not, after all, the skilled workers of Nuremberg or the musicians of Vienna that the French and British hated but the militarism and glory- seeking behavior of Berlin.<(56) Boardman, pp. 382-84.>
As elaborated on in Ideas at War, a true peace could also be created by a new form of decentralized internationalism. This peace would result from the establishment and relationship of international organizations composed of experts in a particular specialty. Membership in such international organizations would transcend national boundaries and develop serious scholarship and expertise on varying disciplines. Geddes proposed placing headquarters of these organizations at different locations around the world with the aim of decentralizing the authority of political elites from the "war-capitals" because new centers, or rather capitals, would be created.<(57) Geddes and Slater, pp. 198-200.> The "University Militant" as discussed in The Coming Polity was the university organism Geddes created to reunite a disparate population in such a way. Focus on scholarship, tolerance and the birth of such centers concerned with local interests but also focused on broader concerns crossing national concerns could help to unite civilization by propelling decentralized thinking.<(58) Boardman, p. 381.>
Geddes did effectively develop a theory of regionalism which influenced post- World War I town planning. This thinking influenced planners working in Europe and the United States after the war and, more than any other of the needs for reconstruction he advocated, decentralization became the most well-conceived and developed by the profession. The civic survey which he originated directly impacted upon post-war society as well. It became one of the most effective tools to analyze the devastation of the war and prepare for its reconstruction. It also helped confirm the importance of planning for the future needs of cities through thinking about their history, condition and the ensuing future for cities world-wide.
Reconstruction as a more fundamental rebirth of the spiritual and material health of a nation and its peoples, the planning for and rebuilding of a nation to greater glory and the creation of a new regionalism comprise the basic tenets of Geddes's philosophies of war and peace. These conclusions were aimed at establishing a lasting peace which would heal a damaged society and prevent the political and economic systems which had caused World War I. Ultimately, though he died some years before the outbreak of World War II, Geddes made a series of startling premonitions for how this damage and imperialism would reflect upon future events if not curtailed in his time-- turmoil which not only did not come to an end with the bloodiest war known to man at that time, but seems only to have magnified in its wake.
George B. Ford in France: The Planner as International Consultant
"If war is the source of the city, then, being an urban planner, I'm for war.?
George Burdett Ford (1879-1930), born in Massachusetts and educated in engineering and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Ecole des Beaux Arts, made his career as a town planner. An ardent advocate for building height regulations, comprehensive planning and the need for city-wide planning commissions, Ford campaigned for the scientific management of cities in the debate between the City Beautiful and the City Efficient in pre-World War I America. Ford's most significant contribution to the profession of town planning, however, came with the survey work he did during the war as an international consultant with the American Red Cross and, later, with his post-war reconstruction work. He was hired as an expert to advise the work of the French organization La Renaissance des Cites and asked by them to prepare the reconstruction plans for the city of Rheims, France.
Ford first went to France in 1916 as one of the original members of the American Industrial Commission. The Commission was initiated largely to study the industrial and commercial reconstruction needs of France after the close of the war. The visit established relationships with the French Trade Commission and formed the foundation for the participation of American banking and industrial institutions' in post-war restructuring and rebuilding.<(59) , "Will Aid to Rebuild Shattered France," The New York Times, Aug. 5, 1916, 3:7.>
Full-fledged American participation in war relief began in 1917 when the American Relief Clearing House was taken over by the American Red Cross and the American Friends Service Committee began to participate in civilian relief and minor rebuilding efforts. In March of that year Ford began his work with the American Red Cross. He first organized the Reconstruction Research and Propaganda Service of the American Red Cross. Its mission was to establish a working relationship with French technical professionals and government officials in order to experiment with construction techniques, town planning schemes, sanitation and agriculture for the reconstruction. (See Figure 1.) Ford first began to survey reconstruction in France in October, 1917 when he documented the model repair projects the American Red Cross had undertaken in five villages in the Somme. After the American Red Cross began to demobilize, the survey work initiated by Ford was turned over in February, 1919 to the La Renaissance des Cites which had been founded in 1915 as a voluntary advisory committee composed of leading French town planners, bankers, engineers, artists, lawyers, etc. who could assist the French government and local communities in reconstruction efforts.<(60) George B. Ford, Out of the Ruins, pp. 230-31.>
Actual rebuilding was difficult during the war. Many of the most damaged areas were inaccessible because of fighting and, once the Germans were driven back, there was no guarantee that a reclaimed village would not be invaded again. It was dangerous to inhabit these areas and it was expensive to rebuild them-- especially if they were only going to be destroyed again. Civilian relief and the construction of temporary barracks- type wooden structures became a much more suitable and responsible policy at this time. The immediate quality of life and needs of the population were being responded to by the French Government, French organizations and foreign relief associations, mostly funded by Americans. Concerns over industrial, economic and agricultural devastation early in the war, however, evolved into a concern over long-range issues which the French Government had to be prepared for in the aftermath of the war.
France suffered profound devastation as a result of the four year-long war, most of which was fought on French soil. The agricultural lands of Northern France, being 2% of the land area of the entire country, lay completely in ruin at the end of the war. 2,600 cities and towns, in which approximately 900,000 individual buildings and 23,000 factories had been destroyed, needed to be rebuilt.<(61) , "French Lands Restored," The New York Times, July 13, 1925, 11:2.> A complicated arrangement of international economic restructuring, international securitization, war reparations and loans financed the massive reconstruction efforts, which cost the French Government some 100 billion francs (approximately $33 billion in 1920's United States currency). The entire restoration effort was so daunting that it took the combined efforts of governmental and private French organizations and by various, primarily American, relief agencies. The French divided their reconstruction into agriculture and industrial "reconstitution," town planning, housing and physical rebuilding of the devastated lands.<(62) , "Great Work of Reconstituting France. Co-operative System the Basis of Efforts to Repair the Fifteen Billion Dollars' worth of Material Damage Done by the Invading Germans," The New York Times, June 22, 1919, Section IV, 8:1.>
From the onset of the war, the French Government took the responsibility of providing for displaced refugees and developing a program of just compensation for property losses. This responsibility, taken up similarly by the Belgians, was wholly revolutionary for its time; no other government had ever taken it upon themselves to be financially responsible for such losses as a result of war. France paid all war damages; two bills, passed in December, 1914 and April, 1919, insured state reimbursement for all material losses. Most significantly, the 1919 law provided that property owners who wanted to remain and rebuild on their original property would be reimbursed the pre-war appraised value with an additional allowance to pay for the increased costs of materials and labor. Property owners who decided not to rebuild at the original site but moved to a new area received only the pre-war value of the property.<(63) , "Reconstruction in France," The New York Times, Aug. 6, 1922, Section III, 15:2.>
The French Government felt it was indispensable to:
"...assure the reconstruction of our villages in a logical, hygienic, and aesthetic manner, taking into account all forms of modern progress, while at the same time paying heed to the limits imposed upon the inhabitants of each region by the climate, the available building materials, the nature of their work, and the customs of each locality."<(64) , "Architects Design New Homes for Ruined Lands. Competition Under French Government Auspices Produces Hundreds of Artistic Plans for Rebuilding of Devastated Northern France," The New York Times, March 3, 1918, Section VII, 7:1.> Public or religious buildings were required to be reconstructed in "...the same character, importance, and use as the destroyed building."<(65) George B. Ford, Out of the Ruins, p. 131.>
Early experiments in state-initiated reconstruction called for decentralization of the population, an important trend in post- war planning, and the replacement of ruined towns with garden cities. The state looked to the model garden city of Draveil, France built in 1909. It was a co- operative town, completely self-supporting. The French Government hoped more such towns could be constructed and it would only have to acquire the land for leasing and facilitate loans to such co-operatives.<(66) , "Garden Cities for France," The New York Times, July 10, 1917, 3:7.> However, such experimental ideas never truly materialized into any organized reconstruction program for the French; individuals, in most part, wanted to return to their towns and wait for them to be rebuilt rather than live in a new town, whenever it was constructed. Therefore, the French Government became more involved with a series of revolutionary legislative efforts relating to hygiene, public health, housing and town planning. Reconstruction efforts in France aimed to regain a sense of place and character for the destroyed cities and towns but without the burdens of centuries of unregulated development.
France had a long-standing tradition of technocratic city planning and engineering well before the start of World War I. Even so, the new post-war emphasis on compulsory town planning was without precedent, even within the French traditions of urban design and city building. A March, 1919 law, adopted two months before a similar British law, required every town over 10,000 inhabitants to make a plan for its "improvement, embellishment and extension," before any permanent structures could be built and detailed that the plan shall determine:
"the direction, width, and character of the thoroughfares; the location, extent, and lay-out of public open spaces, including parks, playgrounds, and reservation; also the location of public buildings and monuments."<(67) Ford, pp. 144-45.>
A locality could hire a consultant of its own choosing and, if it could not afford the cost of a plan, the state would pay for it. Once completed, a plan had to pass the Bureau of Hygiene, a board of the local town commissioners and a national town planning commission.<(68) Ibid., pp. 145-46.>
The French Government also enacted a number of other laws affecting town planning. A rather controversial law, enacted in November, 1918, addressed the expropriation of private property for public use; its ultimate purpose, revised in March, 1919, was aimed at settling disputed property line battles and facilitating the reparceling of property.
The most restrictive laws passed by the French Government were a series of sanitation ordinances for both rural and urban communities. These laws, Model A for cities and Model B for rural communities, demanded complete compliance by all communities in the devastated regions and were urged upon all other areas of the country for adoption. These laws established requirements for all new construction, from the number of bathrooms required in specific dwelling types and floor to area height in bedrooms to which types of structures people were allowed to sleep in and building permit requirements.<(69) Ibid., pp. 151-55.> These restrictions on construction were enacted by the French in conjunction with other town planning legislation in order to rid their cities of the congestion, overcrowding and unsanitary conditions created by hundreds of years of organic urban growth. The French hoped to duplicate the historic prominence their cities and towns possessed before World War I and further saw the reconstruction as an opportunity to relieve many of the difficulties created by ancient towns trying to cope in a modern industrialized society.
Significant experiments and design ideas for the reconstruction were being solicited by the French government as early as 1916. Garden city advocates, most notably represented by the British, were eager to offer their ideas and participate in any exhibitions held by the French. Any number of groups organized around their interests and lobbied the government for legislation. Influenced by such lobbying, the French Government began to enact an exemplary set of laws to protect the rights of the population. It also began to look forward to the post-war reconstruction and the goals of the policies they were about to set in motion. The government saw the advantage of the vast amounts of talent, innovation and skill which had assembled itself internationally and understood that the reconstruction would be an opportunity to modernize their lands.<(70) William L. Chenery, "American Rebuilder of Martyred Rheims," The New York Times, July 11, 1920, Section III, 5:1.>
All of the French architectural societies organized into a national federation in order to combine their resources and avoid any repetition of reconstruction work. The first congress organized by the federation was held from November 26-28, 1918. The Office du Batiment et des Travaux Publics was formed at the event and was composed of the presidents of all the societies which were present at the congress; it was organized to meet once per week to discuss technical matters, share information and standardize reconstruction efforts, especially building techniques, whenever possible.<(71) Ford, pp. 233-35.>
Ford recognized the fundamental need of a written document which could succinctly summarize the existing data and information about the devastation and the reconstruction efforts. A survey was needed in order to have a fundamental comprehensive knowledge about the conditions and opportunities presented to the government so it could make the most suitable decisions.<(72) Ibid., p. VII.> This understanding for Ford was based, most likely, on his earlier work documenting the reconstruction experiments of the American Red Cross in 1917; he understood from first- hand experience, as Patrick Geddes and others were advocating, the need to make future decisions based upon some assessment of present day conditions and the history behind them.
This effort by Ford became organized under the Reconstruction Bureau of the American Red Cross, which he established to undertake the effort. His survey of Northern France is a compilation of documentation work undertaken by Ford, interviews with government officials and an analysis of information gathered by the Reconstruction Bureau. The manuscript was published in 1919 under the title, Out of the Ruins. It was the first comprehensive document of its kind. It attempted to give a coordinated representation and discussion of all the efforts at reconstruction in France. It outlines the general conditions and devastation of France, the development of the war, the organization and effects of private relief agencies, French governmental laws affecting compensation and town planning, the governmental organization and departments organized for reconstruction and the outcome and necessities of the French people as they existed in 1919.
It was a revolutionary effort-- especially by a foreigner; the French were furiously courting American aid but were weary of loosing a determinate say over their affairs and employment of French citizens to any foreigner. Most likely, Ford was only able to undertake such an effort because of his forthright commitment to work with the French and not by his own agenda since his arrival there. With the survey though, Ford cemented his relationship with the French and established himself as an up-to-date expert on town planning practice and reconstruction in France.
Soon after the publication of Ford's survey in 1919 the American Red Cross began to demobilize its services in France. La Renaissance des Cites took this as their opportunity to hire Ford to undertake plans for the reconstruction of the city of Rheims, France. Rheims had been a focal point of international interest and debate since the destructive force of Germany's attacks against French cities became known in the early years of the war.
Although the first competition for its reconstruction was not held until approximately May, 1919, plans for its reconstruction were being made by architects and engineers as early as 1916.<(73) , "Great Work of Reconstituting France. Co-operative System the Basis of Efforts to Repair the Fifteen Billion Dollars' Worth of Material Damage Done by the Invading Germans," The New York Times, June 22, 1919, Section IV, 8:1.> Since so much talk had centered on the destruction of the city and its famous history and cathedral, focus on the reconstruction was great; any architect would gain a great deal of prestige if chosen for this high profile commission. Twenty-two projects were entered in this first competition; in fact, such a debate raged over which project should be chosen that the city engineer attempted to make a composite plan of all the entries. The departmental commission, however, refused to accept the plan. When the process had to begin all over again as a result of the failed entry, the city council disbanded and new elections were held in which sixteen Socialists gained seats and called for a new competition. It became too political and difficult a process to agree on a Frenchman, so the La Renaissance des Cites asked Ford if he would consider the commission even though he had already rejected offers by them to design some 200 city plans.<(74) Chenery.>
By early 1917, Rheims had been completely devastated by German shelling. In the first three weeks of April of that year 65,000 shells hit the city. (See Figures 2, 3, 4 & 5.)
An international debate raged over the morality, or immorality, of shelling the cathedral. It was clearly made a symbol by the Allies of Germany's willful disregard of humanity and their barbarity. The shelling of the cathedral galvanized popular support for the French more quickly than the destruction of housing, libraries or even hospitals. It was an international symbol which represented the epitome of French history, tradition and charm. In addition, it was the type of monument for which people who had visited France before the war would have a particular memory. (See Figure 6.) The French made an international appeal for assistance in their claim that the shelling was willful unjustified destruction of a non-military target and concluded that
"whenever the Germans suffered a reverse anywhere along the western front they revenged it by landing a few more big shells on the venerable ruin, and that the number of shells was always proportioned to the gravity of the reverse."<(75) , "Bombarding Rheims Cathedral," The New York Times, April 28, 1917, 12:5.>
The Germans consistently maintained, however, that the towers were lookout posts for the military. The arguments raged in vain; by the beginning of May, 1917 the cathedral already lay in complete ruin and was, according to Cardinal Lucon, "the image of the devastation of desolation."<(76) , "Rheims Ruin Growing," The New York Times, May 3, 1917, 24:2.> The pinnacles were smashed, the roof mostly caved in with the vaulting collapsed, the flying buttresses were broken, etc. and it was feared the building might collapse. In fact, the shelling of the cathedral had been so severe the first few days of May that it caused eleven other fires to begin nearby and the Hotel de Ville caught fire and was destroyed.<(77) , "Rheims Cathedral May Fall," The New York Times, May 5, 1917, 3:5.> Damage to the city by the Germans was so severe that at the end of the war even the original street pattern of the city was no longer discernible. (See Figures 7 & 8.)
The meaning of the war and of the cathedral itself was addressed early by the French. Many felt that the cathedral was beyond repair and that it should stand as a relic- - a monument to the barbarity of the Germans. There was a proposal made in June, 1917 by an organization funded from America known as the French Restoration Fund which would make the cathedral a pantheon; it would be a "monument to the dead" which would be conserved in-situ as a ruin at which all allied nations could place their battle flags.<(78) , "For a Pantheon at Rheims," The New York Times, June 18, 1917, 4:3.> Translated to post-war reconstruction France, the preservation ideologies represented by these earlier discussions and proposals represented the anger of the French towards the war, and the Germans, and came to mean that they did not want the cathedral "restored." The French were opposed to building a replica or a replacement monument; they wanted their original cathedral rebuilt using as much of the original carvings, sculptures and materials as possible in order to regain the monument which had been lost.<(79) , "Rheims Not to be Restored," The New York Times, July 20, 1922, 16:5.> There was, however, something odd and unmistakedly different about what remained of the cathedral; ironically, its hue had changed as a result of all the shelling from a pre-war cold grey to warmer tones of red and brown.
Ford accepted the offer to design plans for the reconstruction of Rheims. He was certainly flattered by the offer of La Renaissance des Cites but, more importantly, he must have been excited by the opportunity presented at Rheims to make a noble, important city more efficient, sanitary and grand. It was as well a herculean task, of 14,000 buildings, 9,000 had completely disappeared and the other 5,000 were so badly damaged that it was estimated that only 2,000 of them may be repairable. All textile factories, the basis of the city's economy, had been decimated and the Germans had destroyed all water supply systems, electricity, rail road lines, canals and sanitation systems in Rheims. Ford had to rebuild the entire city, modernize it and yet respect its historic character, while replaning for an industrial city that could maintain an anticipated new population of 300,000 from a pre-war population of 150,000.<(80) Chenery.>
Ford's plans were submitted for approval early in 1920. Two local public hearings, lasting eighteen days each, were convened, in which much public interest and debate raged over his proposals. One of the most strident objections by the town was the use of private lands for public purposes. It was a difficult issue but, because there was so much damage, the council felt it was reasonable to rebuild wider and more suitable thoroughfares and roads. First the departmental committee and then the national committee in Paris, as required by law for adoption and the release of funds, approved Ford's proposal. It was, in fact, the first municipal plan submitted and approved, and it was hoped that it would serve as a model for others.<(81) A.C. Holliday, "The Rebuilding of Rheims, The Town Planning Review, Vol. 9, Nu. 1 (July, 1921), p. 5.>
Ford's plans called for the development of four new districts; one each to the north, south, east and west of the original city. These would be four entirely new communities with alternating districts of housing and industry, each with their own market and small community center. The historic center city was to be rebuilt with more functional modern thoroughfares connecting it to the new proposed developments although he tried to preserve the original street pattern wherever it was not necessary to create a new arterial.
A pattern of parks, playgrounds and open spaces were planned in order to open up the city and provide essential light, air and recreation. One of these open spaces was planned for the area behind the cathedral in order to afford a better view to the monument, which would be rebuilt.<(82) Chenery.> Ford designed plans to rebuild the rail roads, canals and sanitation systems as well, and he planned a new passenger station for the central city and a freight station for the new industrial areas. He planned building groups according to the notion of "districting" and placed public and semi- public buildings together according to function as much as possible and created a series of district centers for the different activities which took place at these groupings. In order to insure proper hygienic conditions he made certain to locate houses a sufficient distance from one another, close enough to get to work but not so close as to be unhealthy. Along the same lines, he instituted a building height policy which limited all buildings based upon the width of the street they faced.<(83) Holliday, pp. 7-11.> (See Figures 9 & 10.)
Once the plans were completed and approved Ford returned to America and left the actual reconstruction work to the French. Ford had received a great deal of support, assistance and input from the French since he agreed to take the commission and felt they could appropriately finish the work themselves; besides it was, after all, not his city, and he was always careful not to override French authority and position in reconstructing their own country. Ford had made his reputation by respecting the French and their concerns and expertise. The process of financing the reconstruction work was the next task after the plans had been designed and approved and Ford undoubtedly had no interest in waiting for the government to provide the capital or being involved in the further political maneuvers which would inevitably occur.
Two-thirds of Ford's plans for the city were implemented. The city had to obtain government permission to float 500 million francs ($1.5 billion dollars in 1920's United States currency) in loans for which the government would be accepting responsibility and paying the interest while the city would be capitalizing the amount due for its reconstruction from German reparations not yet paid.<(84) , "Rheims Seeks a Loan," The New York Times, Feb. 19, 1921, 17:3.> The cathedral was entirely rebuilt and bears a detailed resemblance to the pre-war building. (See Figure 11.) To what degree it became the same building it was before the war cannot be determined. Although Patrick Geddes disagreed, it did gain a more prominent position in the city due to the new view corridors which Ford opened up on to it even if the building did not become something greater then its past history. Geddes was unable to view it this way, but perhaps it gained a more notable importance because the reconstruction made it a testament to the will of the French people who rebuilt it and not a testimony to the war's horror which some suggested it remain. Ford did not comment on the condition of the cathedral's restoration but viewed the city in its entirety-- securing its future by trying to assert its historical building types and traditions while making it a thoroughly modern, sanitary and efficient city.
Upon his return to the United States Ford continued to campaign for the principles of the City Efficient and lectured on the importance of zoning ordinances and building height regulations. He maintained close contacts with La Renaissance des Cites and consulted on the reconstruction efforts at Soissons and other French cities, but he made his life in the United States after he had completed the plans for Rheims. Ford also aligned himself with the burgeoning regional movement taking form in post-World War I America and, before his death in 1930, consulted on the Regional Plan of New York and Its Environs and served as an advisor to the Regional Planning Federation of the Philadelphia Tri- State District. Ford's service in France remains the most significant of his accomplishments and a hallmark for the practice of international consulting and the expert city planner. He went to France and brought the techniques of his profession, refined their application and proved their usefulness, all while working within the parameters of French authority.
An International Effort at Reconstruction
World War I had a broad international impact. Politically and economically, as well as morally, the war reorganized the way individuals interacted with one another. It also brought about the development of more complex tools of international finance, construction techniques, international study and direct relationships between Europeans and Americans. Outside of United States public sector political and military interest in the war in Europe, the private sector in America participated in an unprecedented and undeniably important role in relief and reconstruction.
Private involvement in the war effort developed out of an economic interest in the post-war rebuilding, a philanthropic concern for aid and reconstruction and concerns by like-minded organizations and groups affected by the war in Europe. The new exchange of information, financial assistance and technical support brought new markets, notoriety and international legitimacy to many of these organizations and also substantially intensified techniques and relationships which otherwise may have taken years to develop. This international concern and curiosity about the impact of the war in Europe established new opportunities for Americans to go abroad. Individuals who participated in this effort gained distinct knowledge from the experience and transferred these experiences back to the United States. This helped to transform the United States and the American role in Europe in the post-World War I era.
A fundamental relationship between America and Europe began well before America entered the war. Beginning in 1916, private industrial and commercial concerns in the United States courted primarily the French. The American Manufactures Export Association and the American Industrial Commission began sending delegates to France to participate in studies which were aimed at hastening the rebuilding of French cities after the war.<(85) , "Delay Paris Exposition," The New York Times, March 17, 1916, 4:6.> American industrial interests recognized that since natural resources, labor and most all machinery would be completely devastated after the war France, and Belgium as well, would have to import most if not all of the materials needed for the reconstruction.<(86) , "Destruction By War Nearly Six Billions," The New York Times, Jan. 26, 1917, 10:3.> American manufacturers and contracting companies were attempting as early as 1916 to set the groundwork for American participation.
In 1917 the first contract to be closed by an American firm was signed by the New York banking firm of Kennedy, Mitchell & Co. It called for 200 million francs (c. $6.5 million U.S. currency) for the rebuilding of structures destroyed in the invaded French territories of Verdun, Argonne and the Heights of the Meuse. The United States was expected to provided most of the materials needed for the rebuilding, which would be purchased by the import and export departments of the banking firm.<(87) , "Americans to Rebuild Ruined French Cities," The New York Times, April 13, 1917, 6:4.> From this early relationship, commerce and industry saw the distinct advantages and financial incentives of a strong relationship with French reconstruction authorities. American government representatives felt that the war economy had post-war conversion applications and understood that they were going to have to lend money to Europeans so they could purchase American materials and, to do so, trade conditions and tariffs had to be stabilized to allow European authorities to purchase materials from the United States on an affordable basis.
Large construction contracts began to be awarded to American companies when the Armistice was signed in 1918. The French government had committed to repairing all war damages, and since the devastation of the country was so severe, the government began to issue securities against the German indemnity so that work could begin as soon as possible. Vulcan Steel Products Company (whose director was also one of the largest stockholders of United states Steel Corporation) signed one of these contracts awarded at the Armistice in association with two of the largest American contracting companies: McClintic-Marshall Construction Company and McArthur Brothers Company. This particular contract was for rebuilding the Nancy district and posted tentative costs at $250 million with a cap at $500 million. Structural steel and concrete were the most logical candidates for building materials because they were the cheapest and could be made to appear visually very similar to traditional French stone construction.<(88) , "Americans to Engage to Rebuild Nancy," The New York Times, July 2, 1919, 1:3.>
One distinct advantage of using American contracting companies for the French was the introduction of American large-scale construction methods. The French had a depressed labor force and industrial production capacity after the war and were actively seeking any labor and machine saving methods for reconstruction. They estimated it would take the available manpower nearly twenty years to rebuild the devastated regions without the introduction of new construction techniques.<(89) William L. Chenery, "American Rebuilder of Martyred Rheims," The New York Times, July 11, 1920, Section III, 5:1.> The French desperately needed assistance, but they wanted to ensure that no work would be taken away from French citizens and felt that this was a more adaptable solution to their dilemma. American large-scale construction techniques had been recently developed with the building of new buildings in modern materials which covered entire city blocks; and it was felt that the coordination inherent in "large-scale contracting" would be well suited to the problems of reconstructing whole towns devastated in the war.<(90) , "American Methods to Rebuild France," The New York Times, Aug. 19, 1923, Section II, 1:3.>
Although reconstruction was a lucrative proposition and American companies stood to make a great deal of money from the endeavor, United States involvement in relief and reconstruction was not characteristically provided by the contracting firms but by a network of concerned organizations providing financial and volunteer technical assistance to France. In fact, many of the original contacts made from the United States concerned civilian relief in the war-torn areas of France by philanthropic or special interest organizations. Organizations such as the Smith College Relief Unit, the American Fund for French Wounded, the French Restoration Fund, the American Committee for Devastated France and various church groups from the United States all significantly impacted upon the quality of life, health and well-being of French citizens living in the devastated regions of Northern France. These organizations were funded in the United States by support from philanthropists and contributions from the general public.
The American Restoration Fund was organized in 1917 to raise funds for restoring and replanning French monuments destroyed in the war. Mrs. Cecil Sartoris, whose fame was derived from being married to General Grant's grandson, believed that France could be rehabilitated through the restoration of its monuments.<(91) , "Would Restore French Art," The New York Times, April 17, 1917, 11:2.> Such noted Americans as Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Henry Clay Frick donated to the organization and served as executives. Most of the other organizations established before the end of the war, however, felt that civilian relief and minor rebuilding efforts would more significantly rehabilitate Northern France. These efforts also, however, seem to have relied on the personal memory and connection of at least some of the organizations members to France before the war. The need to raise funds and send relief originated from the shock of the disruption and destruction caused to something pleasurable in their personal memory, galvanized by a sense of moral responsibility and duty to relieve the burden of French citizens.
Anne Morgan, daughter of the late J.P. Morgan, founded the American Fund for French Wounded in 1917 to provide for civilian relief and care for battle wounded. In March, 1918, however, the organization divided and formed a second organization, the American Committee for Devastated France, whose mission was to rehabilitate the villages recaptured from German occupation.<(92) , "French Aid Society Split," The New York Times, March 20, 1918, 12:7.> Volunteers sent reports detailing the severity of the destruction caused by the Germans while administering civilian aid. Commonly, many of the groups organized to provide civilian aid found the devastation caused by the Germans unfathomable and recognized the importance of reconstruction to providing adequate renewal of the population. The various pleas for reconstruction aid from the private sector began to galvanize towards the end of the war, after the devastation had been reviewed and it was deemed safe to return to these areas.
One of the most curious forms of privately pursued reconstruction in Europe was a relationship known as "adoption." This process seems to have developed more as a curiosity than as a productive form of aid, but as the idea gained more publicity wealthier individuals began to adopt cities which had some special meaning for them and funded their reconstruction. Whole cities in fact adopted devastated towns in Northern France but these adoptions were not as productive in providing needed financial assistance and coordination for rebuilding. The idea gained such allure that cities such as Ham in the Somme shamelessly wrote to American newspapers advertising for an individual or American town to adopt them-- each city seeking adoption trying to persuade a potential benefactor of the great and noble history of their city, and some even promised references.<(93) , "For the Town of Ham," The New York Times, Nov. 10, 1918, Section III, 7:3.>
Vitrimont, for instance, was adopted by a group of California cities, initiated by two prominent female citizens of the state. Restoration of the town was finished by 1920 and, it was, in fact, the first French city to be completely restored. (See Figure 1.) Curiously, whether it was the French who portrayed it this way or the Americans who wanted to perceive it this way, the city was actually said to contain architectural elements from certain California cities; the rebuilt town hall, for instance, although conforming to French traditions was said to portray elements reminiscent of the architecture of San Diego.<(94) , "Vitrimont Now Restored," The New York Times, Jan. 14, 1920, 8:8.>
A more traditional relationship between benefactor and town was that of Belle Skinner and the town of Hattonchatel. A wealthy resident of Mt. Holyoke, Massachusetts, Ms. Skinner had visited the city before the war and thought that it resembled her New England town so, when reports from the Massachusetts regiment which liberated it from four years of German occupation detailing the extent of devastation were communicated in the United States, Skinner decided to fund the reconstruction. Reconstruction was completed in September, 1923 under the execution of the Boston architect John D. Sanford whom Skinner employed to undertake the assignment. It cost her an estimated $1.5 million, and she was presented with the key to the city at its ceremonial reopening on the 16th of that month.<(95) , "French Village Rebuilt," The New York Times, Sept. 15, 1923, 17:6.>
Such adoption arrangements did actually rebuild a few of the devastated towns. They also facilitated obtaining some of the loans for the cities which the French Government needed to obtain. The idea of adoption became a publicity technique and advertisement for some cities. Ex-Mayor of the city of Chicago and Ex-Governor of the state of Illinois Edward F. Dunne tried to initiate the adoption of Rheims; the mayor of Rheims gratefully responded to the idea and outlined the needs of the city for which Chicago could be helpful. No substantial relationship, however, developed from these contacts, and Chicago never made any offers of donations or assistance. It seems to have been merely a publicity attempt on the part of a machine progressive who succeeded in getting some notoriety for his city.
The French Government was a little cautious about the idea of adoption since it provided for the payment of all war losses in full and felt that adoption might mean some property owners were receiving funds to reconstruct a structure that a private benefactor had already rebuilt. The government was also concerned that if gifts of supplies and materials continued to be donated private business would not be properly reestablished. The Minister of Liberated Regions suggested that private individuals might give buildings such as public baths which are intended for all residents of a town and not rebuild losses for which the government would provide compensation.<(96) George B. Ford, Out of the Ruins, pp. 258-60.>
Catholic and Protestant religious bodies officially began to organize committees to provide for the rebuilding of destroyed churches in Northern France in 1919. Both groups advocated the need to rebuild these churches in order to help reconstitute society and relieve some of the suffering of their parishioners by providing a place of worship. The Catholic Society to Help the Devastated Churches of France and the Protestant Interchurch Committee raised money for the permanent reconstruction of the damaged churches and for the construction of structures which would serve as temporary places of worship until the original churches were reconstructed and then later be used as ancillary church structures like schools or parochial houses.<(97) , "French Church Needs," The New York Times, May 11, 1919, Section II, 2:4.>
Unique opportunities for international cooperation and study were presented by the course of the war. One group which organized in 1921 to take distinct advantage of the situation was the American Students Reconstruction Unit. It was based upon the Harvard Reconstruction Unit which had been organized by Robert L. Buell in the summer of 1920 and sent twenty-five Harvard students to France to intern under the French Ministry of Reconstruction. It had been such a valuable learning tool and useful endeavor that the architectural schools at Yale, Princeton, Cornell, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia and Pennsylvania endorsed an expanded program to be undertaken in the summer of 1921. Fifty architectural students from the associated universities were sent to Soissons, Rheims and Verdun under the direction of three professors from Princeton, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia. The purpose of the trip was to provide some training and practical experience for the students while also creating a better understanding of culture between the two nations. Students assisted in surveying land to determine original property lines and street configurations, making measured drawings for restoration plans and helping to design new schools, playgrounds and recreation centers.<(98) Rolf William Bauham, "Why Rebuild War Wasted France?," The New York Times, March 5, 1922, Section III, 14:1.> A group of the American students also helped establish a fund for Somme-Py which provided adequate funding for the construction of a new town hall in 1925 from plans which had been designed by the students in 1921.<(99) , "Thanks From France," The New York Times, Jan. 13, 1925, 18:6.>
Relief and reconstruction efforts initiated by private business, philanthropic and institutional concerns formed a more personal level of commitment and participation in the war effort on the part of many Americans. Americans pursued a relationship with the French for financial, moral, philanthropic and educational reasons. World War I hastened the development of production techniques, construction technologies, a distinct and rather romantic relationship of Americans to France, cultural understanding and training. In a very obvious fashion it also Americanized the culture of France; the way Americans "do business" or "get things done" was transferred to France as was a tradition of uniquely American forms of architecture through the professionals, students and benefactors who assisted in the reconstruction. Although these efforts may seem rather small or inconsequential, French society did become saturated at every level with American ideology, from the training of social service workers to the design of a new town hall, and this profoundly amended the traditions and international relations of France which had existed until that time.
Reconstruction as International Pacifism: The Work of the American Friends Service Committee
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was founded in April, 1917, only twenty-four days after the United States entered World War I. On principle, the Quaker Society of Friends believed it was their responsibility to help alleviate human suffering, transform mankind and administer to mans needs, especially in times of crisis. The Quakers, who already had a long history of philanthropic relief service, philosophically objected to war and created the AFSC in order to relieve every Quaker of draft age from service and/or imprisonment from failure to serve. The Quakers equally found service in a noncombat position as a conscientious objector as objectionable as a combat position. The AFSC was established in an agreement with the United States government by which these young men of draft age would participate in the war effort but not as part of any military service.<(100) Mary Hoxie Jones, Swords into Ploughshares, pp. 13-16.>
With the work of the AFSC, the Quakers felt they could carry out a campaign of relief and reconstruction which would not only adhere to their principles of social responsibility and administering to the needs of others but also help to prevent the reoccurrence of violence.<(101) Clarence E. Pickett, Problems Involved in Administering Relief Abroad, pp. 23-24.> They felt it was their duty to both administer to the immediate needs of the population and help to plan a permanent rehabilitation which would improve the general conditions and standard of living of the population before the war. The AFSC helped to build temporary shelters, called maisons demonstables, tried to convert the materials of war into materials for peace and worked to improve the modern French farm, farmhouse, village, use of machinery and spirit of cooperation.<(102) Rufus Jones, The American Friends in France, 1917-1919, pp. 11-12.>
The construction of the temporary wooden barracks, known as maisons demonstables by the French (demountable houses), formed the core of the Friends Society's reconstruction work in France. They created a production scheme which adhered strongly to the principles of scientific management and developed a building type which reorganized French village life lasting well beyond the close of the war and establishing a precedent for constructing "temporary" structures by many different bodies-- structures which were adapted for new uses in the post-war era.
After a April 30, 1917 meeting at which fourteen different Quaker groups came together in Philadelphia to discuss the problems facing Quaker males of draft age, a committee of three Friends visited the head of the American Red Cross and the director of all foreign war-relief work to discuss the possibility of granting "furloughs" for all Quakers who went to Europe in civilian relief service. (See Figures 1 & 2.) The American Friends Service Committee which was formed established an agreement with the United States draft board in which Quakers could be released from military service and a "triangular merger" was formed consisting of the War Victims Committee of the English Friends, the American Red Cross and the American Friends Service Committee.<(103) Mary Hoxie Jones, pp. 13-17.> The agreement was satisfactory to the American government and the American Red Cross provided that the Friends paid to train and equip all their own workers themselves.<(104) Marvin R. Weisbord, Some Form of Peace. True Stories of the American Friends Service Committee at Home and Abroad, p. 4.>
The first AFSC unit was sent to France in September, 1917. It was known as the Haverford Unit because it trained for six weeks at Haverford College in the summer of 1917 prior to departing for France. It established their first equipe about 150 miles east of Paris at Sermaize. They divided their work details into five categories: medical, agricultural, transport, building and relief.<(105) Mary Hoxie Jones, p. 17.> The need, however, for housing displaced refugees and refugees returning to devastated towns recaptured from the Germans was most urgent. The Quakers wanted to help return the French to some form of civilized living and enable them to participate in the reconstruction efforts as soon as possible. The construction of shelters which could be assembled quickly and inexpensively and which would not impede later rebuilding was developed to address the acute housing shortage. Because wooden barracks were already being constructed by the government to billet soldiers, they were a somewhat familiar building type.
Each "demountable" wooden house consisted of two rooms, the larger approximately 13 square feet, and had a red-tile or tarpaper roof and window openings were all covered by oilcloth until glass started to become available toward the end of the war. The houses were assembled from 21 sections of pre-fabricated, one-inch thick plywood panels which were nailed on the outside of a frame. The floors were composed of eight tongue-and-groove sections and the roof was constructed from 18 of the same. The wooden houses were stained a dark brown and the doors were painted green.<(106) Weisbord, p. 12.> (See Figures 3, 4 & 5.) They were placed at an appropriate distance from one another in order to alleviate some of the "overcrowded, ill-planned, unsanitary" conditions of farm villages identified by the Friends workers as one of the traditional problems of French towns which could be remedied in the reconstruction.<(107) Rufus Jones, pp. 11-12.>
Most of these wooden barracks were set-up on the site of a destroyed dwelling, but some individuals did not want the ruins disturbed before they were inspected by an indemnity officer. Property owners felt that they would receive more sympathy if the officer saw a pile of ruins then if he saw a new cottage. In order to attend to this concern but still house the refugee populations, the AFSC began to build what were called "cite" adjacent to the devastated villages.<(108) It cannot now be determined how much these "cite" influenced the direction of the future growth of these towns or whether in fact they lasted long enough to actually form a relationship with the original town. Although at least some of these wooden demountable houses, built either as "cites" or as individual dwellings, do still exist today and are inhabited; they are occupied by lower-income residents and do not appear to be well kept.> These "cite" would generally consist of two rows of wooden houses built on either side of a main road.<(109) Rufus Jones, p. 14.> (See Figures 6 & 7.) The construction of these "cite" outside of a destroyed town also began to be used as a technique to house workers brought in to undertake the reconstruction of the town. They became so popular, in fact, that by the early 1920's there were "long avenues of barracks" located in Soissons, Rheims, Verdun and other areas of Northern France which became nearly as noticeable as the devastated towns themselves.<(110) Rolf William Bauham, "Why Rebuild War Wasted France?," The New York Times, March 5, 1922, Section III, 14:1.>
Demountable wooden houses were originally imported from Britain and transported to the work sites by a combination of rail and truck transport. After the Armistice, however, when these barracks needed to be constructed at a much quicker rate, two factories were established at Dole and Ornans in France to produce the prefabricated parts. (See Figures 9 & 10.) Laborers also began to organize themselves along the lines of an assembly line in order to construct the units more efficiently: two men set the concrete foundation; then two squads of three men laid the wood joists and installed the floors, walls and the roof; and, finally, French carpenters would take over and do the interior finishings.<(111) Weisbord, pp. 13-19.> (See Figure 11.)
With the German surrender and the signing of the Armistice the AFSC concentrated their efforts on rebuilding the Verdun area which had seen the greatest devastation of the war with 95% of all its buildings destroyed. The Friends developed two programs to help the area recover more quickly and further their belief in the need to rebuild society at large. Their first move was to purchase five army dumps at a cost of $50,000 from the United States Government. This alleviated many of the United States Army's problems with black marketeers and converted war supplies to peaceful uses. The AFSC planned to use whatever materials it could for the rebuilding effort and sell the rest for a small fee to French peasants and put the profits back into the relief effort. The dumps contained tools, machinery, barbed wire, railroad track, lumber, cement mixers, etc. The other post-war reconstruction scheme developed by the Friends was the use of German prisoners for labor to clear the dumps; the French first objected to this idea but later agreed on the provision that none would be allowed to escape and that they could not be paid a wage. Although the AFSC agreed to the conditions imposed by the French, they kept track of all the hours worked by each German and when the work of clearing the dumps was finished went to Germany, found each man's family and delivered his wages with a photo and a letter from him.<(112) Ibid., pp. 19-21.
All German prisoners of war were released in early February, 1920 although many Germans returned as paid laborers in accord with part of the reparations agreement made with France. This was an unpopular policy in France even though the French were desperately in need of workers; many French nationals found it morally objectionable that Germans who had destroyed their country and stolen their machinery should be compensated for its reconstruction.>
The AFSC left France in 1920 but remained in Europe until 1924 and sent units to Russia, Germany, Poland and Austria where they mostly undertook civilian relief, planting of fruit trees and setting up feeding centers for children. The American Friends Service Committee was, however, not disbanded, and the Quakers created a permanent Foreign Relief Section in 1925 as another of the organizations under the umbrella of the Society of Friends.<(113) Mary Hoxie Jones, pp. 128-33.
Although the Society of Friends still mobilizes to respond to foreign disasters and sends foreign aid and relief packages abroad, only a small international program still exists today as a remnant of the original Foreign Relief Section.> In France, the AFSC helped to restore 1,600 villages and house 46,000 families from a budget of $13,000,000 which was raised privately by the Quaker organization.
The work of the American Friends Service Committee in France was the exact effort Patrick Geddes hoped would help rebuild Europe after the war; he held their efforts up as an example of how to create a lasting peace from the war and rebuild not just the physical damage but the spiritual health of the population as well. The Friends did not discriminate against the Germans or the Austrians and hoped that through their efforts a genuine sense of cooperation could be established for all men. They expressed a concern for the needs of all mankind which might remind others of their individual social responsibility and, in turn, help prevent the development of new violence in the aftermath of this war. No matter how significant or wise their effort was, the contribution of the AFSC paled in comparison to, for instance, the over $5.2 billion Herbert Hoover's American Relief Administration provided from 1919-1923. Nor could such efforts ever compete with the aggressive nature of imperialism, markets and politics which had made the First World War, and would make any other such conflicts, inevitable.
Reconstruction in Belgium
Efforts by Belgian architects and planners to rebuild Belgium along modern lines were largely unsuccessful. Due to weak centralized planning authority and a keen desire on the part of the Belgian people to rebuild the history and values willfully destroyed by the Germans out of frustration because they could not successfully capture their towns, reconstruction in Belgium for the most part only saw the reinstitution of traditional town planning schemes and architectural expression. Most Belgian authorities and town planning practitioners did, however, spend the war in France or Britain in exile and helped to transfer modern notions of city planning to Belgium and further the international relationships of the profession. In addition, the modern notions advocated by progressives in the post-World War I reconstruction unequivocally formed the basis for Belgium's post-World War II reconstruction. When it was recognized that the efforts to reinstitute traditional values in lieu of modernization in the post-World War I reconstruction could not protect Belgians from similar devastation at the hands of the Germans some twenty-five years later, the Belgians called for a new tradition which broke from the past at the close of World War II.<(114) Pieter Uyttenhove, "Continuities in Belgian Wartime Reconstruction Planning," Rebuilding Europe's Bombed Cities, ed. Jeffry Diefendorf, pp. 49-58.>
"Destruction was perceived by the Belgians as a nation," in a similar fashion as the population of Northern France, "in order to erase its culture."<(115) Ibid., p. 53.> Approximately 100,000 buildings were completely destroyed or damaged beyond repair; all rail lines, sanitation, industrial complexes and roads in the western part of the country were decimated and Walloon cities such as Liege, Louvain and Ypres, with traditions of civic determination or world-renown universities, suffered much greater damage than that of the Flemish-speaking cities.<(116) Patrick Geddes and Gilbert Slater, The Making of the Future: Ideas at War, pp. 178-79.> Material damage was estimated at a value of $2 billion. In addition, some 6,100 civilians were assassinated by the Germans outside of military engagements.
During the war, the government was in exile in Le Havre, as was the town planner Raphael Verwilhgen, who became Minister for the Devastated Regions after the war. There was no parliament and all laws were enacted by right of ministerial decree, not passed by any legislative body. Louis van der Swaelmen, who founded the Comite Neerlando- Belge d'Art during the war, while writing on the meaning of the reconstruction for Belgian monuments and towns, prepared the first book in French on town planning theory, which he wrote in collaboration with the Dutch. Those architects and town planners who spent the war in Britain were introduced to the ideas of the Garden City Movement by British town planners who wanted to contribute to the reconstruction and spread the garden city idea as up-to-date planning. A number of conferences and meetings were organized by the British for this purpose beginning in February, 1915. Belgian practitioners who spent the duration of the war in Paris were involved in French efforts to modernize town planning practice; a Belgian town planner was, in fact, asked to direct the newly created Ecole Superieure d'Art Publique established to serve as a documentation centre and give courses in town planning practice at the close of the war.<(117) Uyttenhove, pp. 49-50.>
The Belgians established many professional contacts during the war and helped to further legitimize town planning practice at its close through their efforts to define the requirements of Belgian town planning and reconstruction. The war provided the impetus for Belgians to go abroad in a literal sense-- to flee from the danger and as an academic endeavor in order to make study of the progress of the practice of town planning and the skills it embodied as distinct from the Belgian tradition of city building. The burgeoning profession of town planning in Belgium became aware of its opportunity to modernize devastated Belgian cities and replan more efficient and sanitary cities without the pre-war problems of congestion, inefficient transportation and unhealthful conditions which plagued the pre-war city.
Van der Swaelmen had distinct opinions about the need for Belgian cities to become more modern and better functioning; he also understood the dilemma in the context of planning for Belgium's historic cities. He realized there was somewhat of a dichotomy between experiences, but he felt certain that they could retain their character with greater efficiency. Van der Swaelmen was also the first Belgian practitioner to raise the philosophical issue of how to reconstruct the devastated monuments and historic buildings of the destroyed towns. He arduously claimed that Belgians would, in the long run, get no false comfort from the reconstruction and that monuments needed to show their age and experience-- claiming that modern replicas could not bring back the charms of the past or erase the memories of the war. He proposed that constructive parts of a structure could be rebuilt, but that anything handcrafted, such as a statue, would either have to be left blank or replaced by a modern original. These ideas translated for van der Swaelmen to an entire town; he felt old dwellings which were completely demolished could be rebuilt in the modern spirit which had evolved from the traditions of the past without borrowing the old style. From van der Swaelman's point of view the challenge was to find a way to reconstruct Belgian towns with improved efficiency and modern conveniences while retaining the same charm and general character of the towns before the war; one had also to try and reinstitute the traditional patterns of Belgian development within the requirements of modern business and industry and residential living.<(118) , "'Towns of Belgium Rising From the Flames: Art at Home and Abroad'," The New York Times, Aug. 19, 1917, Section VI, 12:1.>
When van der Swaelmen first began to write about the requirements of the reconstruction as he viewed them, his opinions were somewhat out of place. The Belgians, as expressed equally as vehemently by the French over their cathedral at Rheims, wanted at first to create a monument to the dead and the barbarous nature of the Germans with the ruins of such famous monuments as the Cloth Hall at Ypres for example. The most famous monument in the historic city, the Cloth Hall began construction in the thirteenth century for the great cloth fairs and trading exhibitions which passed through Belgium. When the town came under attack by the Germans at the beginning of the war, it was besieged and soon lay in complete ruin. (See Figures 1, 2 & 3.) This outcry to preserve many of these ruins, like the Cloth Hall, in-situ, were most popular immediately at the close of the war but soon translated, much more vigorously then they did in France, into an aggressive force against modernization and for a sensitive reconstruction which rebuilt not only the character of a city but its image as well. In some instances, in fact, the reconstruction was taken as an opportunity to make a city look more harmonious and picturesque then it did before the war by, for instance, rebuilding town house rows in the style of the most notable monument in a town. Only a few curiosities from the war such as the trenches near Nieuport and Dixmude on the Yser River were actually preserved in-situ.<(119) Emile Cammaerts, "The Reconstruction of Belgian Towns," Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Vol. LXXIII, Nu. 3779 (24 April 1925), p. 539-41.>
Even before the Armistice many Belgian towns started to rebuild. In the devastated town of Louvain, for instance, only the university and its famous library still lay in ruins by the end of the summer of 1919, less than a year after the Armistice was signed.<(120) , "Slow Reparations Vex the Belgians," The New York Times, Aug. 24, 1919, 7:1.> Towns like Louvain, for the most part, were not interested in modernization but merely wanted to regain their identity. Such work also helped set the tone for the larger, more coordinated government policies and legislative requirements which guided the overall reconstruction and all town planning practice in the post-World War I era. Further, the traditionally conservative city governments and city institutions felt any attempts toward government-wide instituted modernization would undermine their authority and usurp their power, in part because it would change the traditional patterns of urban land distribution. Consequently, the isolated attempts at reconstruction fostered by the German occupation of Belgium were adopted as a national policy for reconstruction with only minor intervention after the war.<(121) Uyttenhove, p. 50-56.>
The only politically acceptable deviation from this policy concerned ensuring that new slums were not rebuilt where they had been destroyed by the Germans. This goal, which was outlined in reconstruction law enacted in April, 1919, along with some modern construction techniques, was the only deviation by the national government from a policy set against modernization.<(122) Ibid., pp. 49-50.> Most notably a small number of garden cities were built on the outskirts of reconstructed towns, like Ypres, as a result and only concerned houses which were of no particular architectural significance.<(123) Cammaerts, p. 541.> The construction of these garden city neighborhoods was nearly the only opportunity town planners such as Verwilghen, who had spent so much of their time and effort studying town planning principles abroad, saw realized. Unlike France, where many organizations and individuals from abroad participated in the reconstruction most of the reconstruction in Belgium, with the exception of some financing, was undertaken without direct outside intervention. Consequently, the Belgians were under no direct influence from outside experts to adopt their viewpoints and found it quite simple to contain Belgian practitioners who returned after the war and wanted to participate in the reconstruction.
Any discussions concerning the Cloth Hall at the close of the war notwithstanding, the city of Ypres was faithfully reconstructed. Even the reconstruction of the Cloth Hall, which did undergo further debate as the city was being rebuilt, was only a matter of the great expense it would cost to reconstruct the monument. It was eventually rebuilt as the town which had gone from a pre-war population of 18,000 to not having a single inhabitant at the end of 1918 and only 2,000 inhabitants at the close of 1919 slowly began to reconstruct and repopulate. (See Figures 4, 5 & 6.) In the tradition of Belgian reconstruction, the town was being faithfully "transformed" back to its pre-war state which would not even give off a memory of the war, as if it had never existed both for the present day and future generations. (See Figures 7 & 8.) The undesirable working class areas of the city were rebuilt only to meet the needs of industrial production in the town. As to the government's concern over rebuilding slum areas which had existed before the war, two solutions were designed for Ypres: one, the construction of semi- permanent dwellings of wood and brick; and, two, the construction of a small garden city adjacent to the city.<(124) G. Topham Forrest, "The Rebuilding of Ypres," Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Vol. 31, Nu. 3 (8 Dec. 1923), pp. 64-70.> (See Figure 9.) The typical garden city solution allowed for some modernization but did not remake the traditional patterns of land ownership or attachments of the population to their city, how it worked or how it was generally used.
The reconstruction of the university library at Louvain is the only significant deviation from the reconstruction efforts undertaken in Belgium and was quite out of the ordinary in its own right. Not only was the reconstruction motivated by outside parties from the United States, it was also the only international architectural commission ever awarded to the American architect Whitney Warren of Warren and Wetmore and at a time when international architectural commissions were not commonplace. Warren actually rarely if ever built outside of New York City. Undoubtedly, his participation came as a result of a relationship with industrialists and philanthropists such as J.P. Morgan who organized to provide aid for the reconstruction of Northern Europe during the war and at its conclusion. The library at the University of Louvain, the only structure not yet reconstructed in the city less then a year after the Armistice, was just the type of high profile project which was easy and uncomplicated for such individuals to fund, especially in a country which had not solicited such aid or much civilian relief prior. (See Figures 10, 11 & 12.) The relief work of Wetmore's wife in France during the war may have established a relationship for her husband to Morgan and others. It can only be supposed that such a unique effort by Americans in Belgium was only undertaken as a token of their interest in Belgium and a representation of the liquidity of American industry.
Reconstruction efforts in Belgium were unlike those in France, although both had undergone a similar physical, industrial and moral devastation. The Belgians were, however, in essence banished from their own country and had no effective self-rule until the German retreat.<(125) Uyttenhove, p. 52.> A certain internationalism resulted as a course of the war and practitioners took the opportunity to establish relationships with English, French and Dutch town planners and transfer techniques of town planning back to Belgium and influence planning practice taking place in other countries as well. Although most of the ideas concerning town planning practice and preservation advocated by progressive Belgian planners did not take root for the post-World War I reconstruction, they were undeniably the impetus behind the policies of modernization and monument preservation advocated in the post-World War II reconstruction.
Belgian efforts to repair the damage caused by World War I hoped to erase all memories of the war and rebuild what they had lost with as little disruption as possible. This policy, however acceptable to heal the wounds of war, did not attempt to uncover its causes. It was as unfair of post-World War II authorities to blame the devastation of the Second World War on the built environment as it was ill- conceived of them to believe that life could return exactly to the way it was before the First World War if they could make it appear as if it had never taken place. Such a policy of not modernizing their cities could not ultimately eliminate the aggressive tendencies of Germany, imperialism, the economic impact of the Armistice or a post-World War I population which found itself living in a displaced moment in time.
World War I had a dynamic effect on the emerging twentieth century. The aggressions, relationships and military might of the dominant world powers reacted to one another based upon the interactions and consequences of the war and its aftermath. To what extent the actual decisions made about how most appropriately to rebuild the physical devastation and the meaning of these decisions affected the impact of the war as a whole are uncertain. The war did, however, unquestionably educate urban designers and city planning practitioners from the 1930's onward about the meaning of wholesale land clearance and rebuilding to remake the way in which people lived. This opportunity was seized upon by professionals in the post-World War II reconstruction and in the practice of urban renewal in America in the same era when building techniques and the large-scale coordination demanded by such an effort coincided with a society that seemed ripe for a break with the past.
It is a tenuous question to ask who is best able to make the decisions about how and in what way to undertake such a reconstruction as was pursued after World War I. Although governments typically must guide such an effort, their alliances frequently were the cause of the conflict in the first place. An outside expert may have the technical ability and skills necessary to complete such a task, but it is not for an outsider to impose his/her beliefs upon such a place. The population, as well, generally does not possess the independent knowledge to understand the consequences of certain decisions upon the future growth, livability or productive capacity of a place. No one group, it seems, contains the appropriate ability to pursue such a fundamental rebuilding; each group is vested with a certain right of information and authority or skill not inherent to another.
Although a few practitioners such as Patrick Geddes and Louis van der Swaelmen offered debate about the meaning of the built environment, such notions were generally disregarded by the authorities who guided the reconstruction. Whether or not these places would have had any authenticity for van der Swaelmen, their imagery had a distinct value for post-war culture. Ultimately, these places could not erase the memory of the war even though it seems from an objective point of view that they should not have even tried. If there is no evidence for future generations to learn about the meaning of the past and present-day relationships what good can come from such devastation?
What best can heal a population, a people or a generation may be unclear and not ultimately provide the best environment from which to go forward. Are any of these values powers invested in the built environment central to its meaning or merely a representation of personal memory? How in fact do we feel outside the arena of war; do we excuse people rebuilding their perceptions of place when another willfully took it from them but not in the case of natural or man-made disasters such as earthquakes or fires?
In the United States the historic preservation movement was born out of the shock of the wholesale demolition of large tracts of urban land demolished under the program of urban renewal; historic preservation and urban planning have not yet come to an understanding which would allow for a productive relationship of authority. Preservationists must turn from merely trying to protect a building from demolition to a more cohesive understanding of managing a city as a living organism with a past and a future. City planners as well should stop viewing their alternative course as one which seeks to tear cities down. Only slowly have American cities come to realize that the program of urban renewal imposed upon them demands just as much serious consideration and collective action as the post-war reconstructions in Europe.
Progressively more horrific armed conflicts have occurred throughout the twentieth century. It has allowed technology to transform itself from a tool which can improve the quality of human life and daily living to something dangerous and unleashed in times of conflict. Without excusing the devastation of internal armed warfare around the world, a generation sits in wait and must assume political authorities in our day and age understand that there is no longer room for debate about the meaning of reconstruction-- true war now no longer leaves anything, or most likely even anyone, from which to rebuild.
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