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Adams, Thomas (10 September 1871–24 March 1940), city and regional planner, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of James Adams and Margaret Johnston, dairy farmers. Educated in Edinburgh, he married Caroline Weierter in 1897; they had five children, two of whom, James Adams and Frederick Adams, also became distinguished planners. Farming, local Liberal politics, and writing were followed by the secretary-managership (1903–1906) of Letchworth, the first garden city, a new town intended to combine the advantages of town and country without the disadvantages. After a spell as Britain’s first planning consultant, Adams became its first planning inspector (1910–1914) and founded the Town Planning Institute (inaugural president, 1913–1914). “Justly looked up to as the head of the profession in Britain,” he served as town planning adviser (1914–1921) to the Canadian Commission of Conservation, promoting the British mode of controlling future urban development by provincial legislation, publicity, planning education, research, model communities, and the Town Planning Institute of Canada (founder-president, 1919–1921). After 1919 the collapse of Canadian progressivism compelled him to seek fresh opportunities in Britain and the United States via a transatlantic planning practice. He made numerous regional plans in the United Kingdom, introduced the American profession of landscape architecture, virtually founding the Institute of Landscape Architecture (president, 1937–1939), and remained the foremost advocate of planning in Britain....

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Bassett, Edward Murray (07 February 1863–27 October 1948), city planner and lawyer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Charles Ralph Bassett, a traveling peddler, and Elvira Rogers, a former school teacher. In 1871 the family moved to Watertown, New York, where Bassett attended local schools while his father sold dry goods in nearby villages. Bassett proved an excellent student and, despite his father’s disapproval, he entered Hamilton College on scholarship, hoping to become a teacher of Greek and Latin. Halfway through his second year, he transferred to Amherst College, graduating with an A.B. degree and several prizes in 1884. He then taught school in New York City while attending Columbia Law School at night. After receiving his LL.B. degree in 1886, Bassett moved to Buffalo, where he and his brother established Bassett Bros., a firm that built and ran waterworks for nearby towns. In 1890 he married Annie Rebecca Preston; they would have five children. His company closed in 1892, having earned a modest profit....

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Bauer, Catherine Krouse (11 May 1905–22 November 1964), housing advocate and urban-planning educator, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the daughter of Jacob Louis Bauer, a highway engineer, and Alberta Louise Krouse, a suffragist. Bauer graduated from Vassar College in 1926, having spent her junior year at Cornell University studying architecture. Following graduation she lived in Paris and wrote about contemporary architecture, including the work of the modernist Le Corbusier. In New York from 1927 to 1930, she held a variety of jobs and began a friendship with the architectural and social critic ...

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Bennett, Edward Herbert (12 May 1874–14 October 1954), architect and city planner, was born in Cheltenham, England, the son of Edwin Charles Bennett, a master mariner, and Margaret Julia Callas. Bennett emigrated to San Francisco, California, in 1890, where he apprenticed with several architects, including Robert White. In 1895, through the influence of architect ...

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Burnham, Daniel Hudson (04 September 1846–01 June 1912), architect and urban planner, was born in Henderson, New York, the son of Edwin Burnham, a wholesale drug merchant, and Elizabeth Keith Weeks. In 1855 the Burnham family moved to Chicago, where Burnham’s father achieved significant commercial success and served as president of the Chicago Mercantile Association. Daniel Burnham was sent back east in 1863 after high school in Chicago, where he had excelled at drawing but not at academic work. For several years he studied to prepare for Harvard or Yale, but suffering from what he later termed “stage fright,” he failed the college entrance examinations. Burnham returned to Chicago in 1867, worked for four months as a sales clerk, tried a stint as a draftsman apprentice in the office of the noted Chicago architect ...

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Coit, Elisabeth (07 September 1892–02 April 1987), architect and urban planner, was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, the daughter of Robert Coit, an architect, and Eliza Richmond Atwood. Her mother died when she was a young girl. After attending Radcliffe College (1910–1911) and the Museum School of the Boston Museum of Fine Art (1911–1913), Coit graduated in 1919 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in architecture....

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Dealey, George Bannerman (18 September 1859–26 February 1946), Dallas civic planning pioneer and newspaper publisher, was born in Manchester, England, the son of George Dealey, Sr., a shoeshop manager, and Mary Ann Nellins, the daughter of Dublin’s William Nellins, one of Wellington’s officers at Waterloo. Dealey’s family moved to Liverpool, where he attended primary school and worked in a grocery, but after the family’s bankruptcy in 1870, they sailed on a cotton windjammer freighter, the ...

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Gruen, Victor David (18 July 1903–14 February 1980), architect and planner, was born Viktor David Grünbaum in Vienna, Austria, the son of Adolph Grünbaum, an attorney, and Elizabeth Lea Levy. Reared in privileged surroundings, he assimilated at an early age the elegant and cosmopolitan cultural life of Vienna. He circulated among the actors, writers, and musicians of Vienna’s flourishing theatrical world and with his family frequently traveled throughout central Europe....

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Hubbard, Henry Vincent (22 August 1875–06 October 1947), pioneering landscape architect and planner, was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Thacher Hubbard, a physician, and Clara Isabel Reed. Hubbard attended Harvard College, as had five generations of Hubbards before him, and graduated in 1897. Hubbard studied at MIT in 1897–1898, completing in one year the first two years of the course in architecture and hoping to continue study in landscape architecture. Since instruction in this subject was not available in any school in the United States at that time, he enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School, where he studied under the direction of ...

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Samuel LeFrak. New York City, 1968. Courtesy of AP Images.

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LeFrak, Samuel J. (12 February 1918–16 April 2003), urban planner, builder, and architect, was born Samuel Jayson LeFrak in New York City, the son of Harry, a builder, and Sarah Schwartz LeFrak, a homemaker. LeFrak graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush, Brooklyn, in 1936, and from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1940. As a college student, he worked for his father, supervising the completion of his first building, a sixty‐family, sixteen‐story building in Brooklyn. Following his graduation from the university LeFrak married Ethel Stone; they had four children. LeFrak also took classes at Columbia University and Harvard Business School and during his lifetime received numerous honorary degrees....

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Logue, Ed (07 February 1921–27 January 2000), urban planner and public administrator, was born Edward Joseph Logue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the eldest of four children of Edward J. Logue and Resina Fay. His mother was a teacher and his father a real estate assessor for the City of Philadelphia who died when Logue was twelve, leaving him with responsibilities for his younger siblings and the family in tight financial straits, dependent on a small monthly insurance payment and when his mother returned to work, her modest salary as a kindergarten teacher. Raised in a liberal Irish Catholic household, Logue was inspired by President ...

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Moore, Charles (20 October 1855–25 September 1942), city planner, journalist, and historian, was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the son of Charles Moore, a merchant, and Adeline MacAllaster. His parents died when he was fourteen years of age, and his brother-in-law became his guardian. Moore’s parents left an inheritance that permitted him to attend Harvard College (now University), where he studied humanities and eventually became the editor of the student newspaper, ...

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Charles Moore. Photomechanical print, first half of the twentieth century. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90838).

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Robert Moses. With model of proposed Battery Bridge. Photograph by C. M. Spieglitz, 1939. Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection: LC-USZ62-136065).

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Moses, Robert (18 December 1888–29 July 1981), public official, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Emanuel Moses, a department store owner, and Bella Silverman. His family moved to Manhattan when he was nine. He attended various private schools, including the Ethical Culture School and the Dwight School, supplemented by private tutoring. At fifteen he was sent to the Mohegan Lake Academy, a boarding school near Poughkeepsie, before he returned to New Haven to attend Yale in 1905. Moses graduated in 1909, one of only five Jews in his class. An avid reader and reportedly a brilliant student, he continued his education first at Oxford and then later at Columbia University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in political science in 1914. His doctoral dissertation, which he had started at Oxford, was titled ...

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Nolen, John (14 June 1869–18 February 1937), city planner and landscape architect, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Christopher Nolen, a carpenter, and Matilda Thomas. His father died when Nolen was less than a year old. When the boy reached the age of nine, his mother enrolled him in Girard College, a school for fatherless boys. The college imbued Nolen and his classmates with the precept of self-improvement through hard work, intellectual development, clean living, and physical exercise. After graduating with high honors at the age of fifteen, Nolen worked for the Girard Estate Trust Fund, seeking to save sufficient money to continue his education....

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Olmsted, Frederick Law, Jr. (24 July 1870–25 December 1957), landscape architect, planner, and public servant, was born on Staten Island, New York, the son of Frederick Law Olmsted, the progenitor of the profession of landscape architecture in the United States, and Mary Cleveland Perkins Olmsted, the widow of Olmsted’s brother. Called Henry Perkins at birth, he was renamed Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., at about age four by his father and thereafter informally known as “Rick.” Since his father worked from home, Olmsted was immersed in the family business from his earliest years. He traveled with his father to job sites and on European study trips and helped out in the office during school vacations. In 1881 the senior Olmsted moved the family to Brookline, Massachusetts, where the Olmsted firm continued in practice for nearly a century. Frederick Olmsted received his A.B. in 1894 from Harvard, having planned his course of study with the expectation of becoming a landscape architect....

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Owings, Nathaniel Alexander (05 February 1903–13 June 1984), architect, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Nathaniel Owings, a fine-wood importer, and Cora Alexander. After his father’s death in 1914, his mother supported the family by working as an accountant. In 1920 Owings won a Rotary Club trip to Europe, where he saw the cathedrals of Notre Dame, Chartres, and Mont-Saint-Michel. The experience determined his course in life. In 1921 he began studies in architecture at the University of Illinois but left after a year on account of illness. He returned to school, attending Cornell University, where he graduated in 1927 with degrees in architecture and engineering. He began his career in the New York architecture firm of York and Sawyer. In 1931 he married Emily Hunting Otis; they had four children....

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Perkins, Dwight Heald (26 March 1867–02 November 1941), architect and planner, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Marland Leslie Perkins, a federal judge and lawyer, and Marion Heald. Widowed in Chicago, Perkins’s mother raised and educated her son there, where she joined ...