Title

Mass Housing, Late Modernism, and the Forging of Community in New York City and East Berlin, 1965–1989

Abstract

Co-op City in New York City and Marzahn in East Berlin were constructed in the late 1960s and late 1970s, respectively. This article explores both the intentions of their planners and the experiences of their residents in these two very different societies. It challenges the standard narrative of urban modernism, which sees its demise with the growth of new urbanist critiques of the 1960s. Instead, it posits that urban modernism proved flexible enough to respond to this challenge with developments like Co-op City and Marzahn, which were simultaneously more ambitious, more defensive, and more thoughtful about the nature and meaning of urban community than their modernist predecessors in the immediate postwar period. Finally, I argue that late modernist ideas about community, in particular a kind of urban community that offered a contrast to American-style consumerism, provide a connective thread across the Iron Curtain in the later Cold War.

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Publication Date

3-28-2016

Publication Title

American Historical Review

Department

History

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1093/ahr/121.2.492

Keywords

Urban history, East Germany, Postwar, New York City, Berlin, Modernism, Transnational

Language

English

Format

text

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