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Desert Visions and the Making of Phoenix, 1860-2009 by Philip R. VanderMeerWhether touted for its burgeoning economy, affordable housing, and pleasant living style, or criticized for being less like a city than a sprawling suburb, Phoenix is a city that by all environmental logic should not exist. Yet despite its extremely hot and dry climate and its remoteness, Phoenix has grown into a massive metropolitan area. From its origins in the 1860s to its present status as the nation's fifth largest city, this exhaustive study examines the history of how Phoenix came into being and how it has sustained itself. From the beginning, Phoenix sought to grow, and although growth has remained central to the city's history, its importance, meaning, and value have changed substantially over the years. The initial vision of Phoenix as "An American Eden" gave way to the Cold War Era vision of a "High Tech Suburbia," which in turn gave way to rising concerns in the late twentieth century about the environmental, social, and political costs of growth. To understand how such unusual growth occurred in such an improbable location, Philip VanderMeer explores five major themes: the natural environment, urban infrastructure, economic development, social and cultural values, and public leadership. Through investigating Phoenix's struggle to meet the expectations of a major American city, his study also offers a unique view of what it means to be a desert city.
A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston by Stephanie YuhlCharleston, South Carolina, today enjoys a reputation as a destination city for cultural and heritage tourism. In A Golden Haze of Memory, Stephanie E. Yuhl looks back to the crucial period between 1920 and 1940, when local leaders developed Charleston's trademark image as "America's Most Historic City." Eager to assert the national value of their regional cultural traditions and to situate Charleston as a bulwark against the chaos of modern America, these descendants of old-line families downplayed Confederate associations and emphasized the city's colonial and early national prominence. They created a vibrant network of individual artists, literary figures, and organizations--such as the all-white Society for the Preservation of Negro Spirituals--that nurtured architectural preservation, art, literature, and tourism while appropriating African American folk culture.
Publication Date: 2005
Historic Preservation for a Living City : Historic Charleston Foundation, 1947-1997 by Robert R WeyenethWith this book Robert R. Weyeneth charts the changing philosophy of the American preservation movement during the last half-century. Weyeneth traces Historic Charleston Foundation's pathbreaking approach to preservation, from the organization's establishment by a handful of Charlestonians to its current wide-ranging concern with the conservation or rural spaces in the surrounding region. He argues that Historic Charleston Foundation has been a leader in broadening the field of historic preservation from its purely educational focus, concerned primarily with the establishment and operation of house museums, to its current scope as a form of urban and environmental planning."
Morning Glories Municipal Reform in the Southwest by Amy BridgesIn one of his most famous remarks, George Washington Plunkitt dismissed municipal reformers as "morning glories" who "looked lovely in the mornin' and withered up in a short time, while the regular machines went on flourishin' forever, like fine old oaks." Although this remark rings true for the Northeast in the days when Tammany Hall ruled New York City, municipal reformers have governed the big cities of the Southwest for most of this century. Obscuring this fact and ignoring the Southwest in general, familiar accounts of municipal reform have focused on small towns and suburbs as the only locations where reformers achieved their goals.Amy Bridges redresses this neglect by tracing the reform politics and government in large Southwestern cities since 1901, thereby giving a more complete account of municipal reform.
Publication Date: 1997
Phoenix in Perspective: Reflection on Developing the Desert by Grady GammageA prominent Phoenix land-use attorney and community leader offers a personal perspective on the explosive growth and development of Phoenix, recounting the history of real estate, water, and urban and suburban development in the Valley of the Sun, with emphasis on the significance of the way water, air-conditioning, and the car have shaped the metropolis.