Part 1 – History - The Master Street Plan

Report
Douglas C. Allen, ASLA
The Street
What comes first?
The House or the Street?
Suq Khan-E-Zeit, Jerusalem. The Roman Cardo, constructed in 136 AD
Jerusalem. The Roman Cardo, constructed in 136 AD.
Morphological (Form)
COMPARISON
BLOCK
DENDRITIC
Morphological (Form)
COMPARISON
BLOCK
DENDRITIC
The Street
Dendritic
Mesopotamia
UR
c. 2600 BCE
Land Use
Religious
Shops and markets (retail)
School
Residential
UR: The numbers represent how many rooms distant from the street
Mesopotamia
Assur: c. 1300 BCE
Streets in Sana’a
Sana’a: Tertiary Street
Fes: Tertiary Street. Source, National Geographic
The Street
Block
The houses of the gods were
transferred or diagramed into a
regularized map of four primary
divisions. Each primary division
had another four divisions, making
a total of sixteen. The Pars
Postica (Posteriori (literally)
“behind me”), corresponded to the
unseen gods of the infernal
regions, and of the sky. Iuppiter,
Juno, and Minerva belonged to the
eastern or “oriental” division of this
region. ”. The pars antica
(Anteriori: (literally): the parts in
“front of me”) related to the gods of
the earth, the harvest, the fields,
and the forest.
The East – West division
corresponds to the Decumanus.
The North-South Division
corresponds to the Cardo.
Templum of the Sky
Templum of the Earth
Pomerium
"...this ground the ancient Etruscan
used to consecrate with augural
ceremonies when a new town was
to be founded. It was a narrow
strip, precisely defined in width and
following the course which the
town wall would follow when it was
built; its purpose was to keep the
wall, on their inner side, clear of all
buildings...and at the same time to
leave, on the outer side of the
walls, an area unpolluted by the
use of man. The whole strip, then,
which it was felt to be impious to
build over, on the one side, or to
cultivate on the other, was called
'pomerious' by the
Romans...Whenever, with the
growth of the city, it was proposed
to increase the area enclosed
within the walls, this strip of
consecrated ground was pushed
outward accordingly."
(Livy….trans. A. de Selincourt,
Penguin edition).
Templum: The four
divisions of the sky are
now united with the
earth, oriented to the
east, west (Decumanus)
and to the north-south
(Cardo)
Formation of the Pomerium (red line, boundary wall of the city); the two principal
streets (Cardo and Decumanus); the Forum at their intersection (blue); the Capitolium
to the north of the Forum (red rectangle), and subsequent public buildings around the
edges (Basilica, Curia, other temples, and public buildings) The blocks formed by the
streets are called Insula
Timgad, North Africa
View looking west on Decumanus. To the right is the theater. The two
columns on the immediate right were originally associated with one of
two nymphaeae, or fountains that flanked the theater. This one was
converted to a Christian oratory in the early 4th century AD. St. Augustine
of Hippo was awaiting passage to his native Numidia (Algeria) with his
mother St. Monica. When she died in the early fourth century, AD.
Towns of Roman Origin
York
Provincial capital
Eburacum.
Stonegate Street, York, England
Decumanus Inferiore: Herculaneum
Distribution of Human Activity in
Space
Conceptual diagram of a City
A: Constitutional Order
1.
Boundaries
2.
Streets
3.
Public Gathering Places
This precedes individual
identity. Before there is a mine
and a yours, there must be a
division of territory that allows
each of us to have an identity in
relation to one another. This
same diagram could apply to a
house.
B: Economic Order
All else that exists within the
boundaries of the
Constitutional Frame.
Really
Important Thing
(that insures
our well-being)
.
In Architectural terms:
A= PROPERTY LINE, WALL & Gate , STREET
,MONUMENT
PUBLIC PLACE. Each is carved out of the bounded
world and normally would contain a
MONUMENT OR OTHER PUBLIC BUILDING the purpose
of which is to secure the future welfare of the group.
In its own
collective
(public) space
Distribution of Human Activity in
Space
Conceptual diagram of a City
A: Constitutional Order
1.
Boundaries
2.
Streets
3.
Public Gathering Places
Mine
Yours
His
Hers
This precedes individual
identity. Before there is a mine
and a yours, there must be a
division of territory that allows
each of us to have an identity in
relation to one another. This
same diagram could apply to a
house.
Theirs
Theirs
Theirs
Theirs
OURS
B: Economic Order
All else that exists within the
boundaries of the
Constitutional Frame.
Theirs
Theirs
Really
Important Thing
(that insures
our well-being)
.
In Architectural terms:
A= PROPERTY LINE, WALL & Gate , STREET
,MONUMENT
PUBLIC PLACE. Each is carved out of the bounded
world and normally would contain a
MONUMENT OR OTHER PUBLIC BUILDING the purpose
of which is to secure the future welfare of the group.
B = Mine, yours, hers, his, theirs. This could be any
part of the domestic or economic order. It represents
each such activity within the Constitutional Frame
In its own
collective
(public) space
Constitutional Order
Economic Order
The Constitutional Order brings a collective structure into being. It is
political in nature. It organizes society, separates us from one another
and joins us in a collective structure. It is prior to individual building.
Every city has a Constitutional Order.
The representational order animates the constitutional frame and
gives it meaning. The representational order is economic in nature.
The Representational Order changes more rapidly over time than
the constitutional order. It is fluid and subject to variations in
exchange value. Its shape and nature, however, respond to the
presence of the Political frame. It consists of:
Boundaries: The Boundary is the fundamental tectonic unit of the
City. It separates and joins discrete identities into a collective whole.
Houses ( all types, including farms and Industrial production)
Streets: Streets are the primary structural unit of the City. They allow
us to communicate and to move about. They constitute the order within
the collective whole. Streets are complex “institutions” with great
social, political, and economic depth. Giving them over to single
functions depletes them of their historical role.
Markets (Commercial and Office)
The vast majority of architectural production falls within this
category. Individual acts of building over time animate, to a large or
small degree, the political framework.
Public Places: Places where the public gathers, outside of their
appropriation by the Oikos, where one is aware of their identity as a
citizen.
(An ambiguity has arisen where the market (private) has appropriated the
forms of public spaces as surrogates for true public space. The giant plaza in
front of the office building and the shopping mall are two common examples:
the first driven by zoning incentives and a desire to be polite, the second as an
ersatz street. These are social spaces and they have their relative value, but
are not part of the political frame.)
Monuments: Though representational in nature, the monument and
the memorial belong to the Politikos not to the Oikos. The purpose of
the monument or the public building is to forge a bond between the
past and the future, Monuments never look to the past, but to the
future as they are intended to last, if not forever, for a very long time.
In the United States today, the first three of these are controlled
by Subdivision Regulations
In the United States today, these are controlled by zoning
ordinances.
HOOVER COMMISSION
1923
Congressional Approvals
1924-1928
A STANDARD ZONING ENABLING ACT
1924
In the United States today, the Economic
Order is controlled by Zoning Ordinances.
A STANDARD CITY PANNING ENABLING ACT
1928
In the United States today, the
Constitutional Order is controlled by
Subdivision Regulations
A STANDARD CITY PLANNING ENABLING STATUTE
SUMMARY
Enabling Statute: This is the
compelling public purpose. Section 6
spells out not only the general
powers of the lawful exercise of the
Police Power, but obligates the
municipality to prepare a
Comprehensive (Master) Plan. Of
note, here, is that the original (1928)
conception of the comprehensive
plan was clearly a physical plan, not a
policy document. These two forms of
representation have yet to come to
terms.
Subdivision Regulations
Conforms to AASHTO Standards
Regardless of the form it takes, cities consist of two orders:
1. Constitution: (Streets, Boundaries, Public Spaces, and Monuments)
2. Economic: (Land uses: residential, Commercial, and Industrial, Agricultural)
Georgia 400 at Haynes Bridge Road:
To the right is the pattern of land use, roads, and buildings in 1976. The same area in 2010 is on the left
Georgia 400 at Haynes Bridge Road: Public Streets and Roads forming blocks
Georgia 400 at Haynes Bridge Road: Public Streets and Roads forming blocks
Georgia 400 at Haynes Bridge Road: Preserved public open space.
Georgia 400 at Haynes Bridge Road: Public Streets and Roads forming blocks and public space
Georgia 400 at Haynes Bridge Road: Public Streets and Roads forming blocks and public space, combined with private streets, drives, used as public streets (yellow and light blue
Georgia 400 at Haynes Bridge Road: Characterized by a street hierarchy based on capacity of traffic and horizontal differentiation of land use, combined with wetland and stream
protection.
Observation: Since 1928, average block sizes have increased by a factor of 3.2
Pre 1928 Block Size
Post 1928 Block Size
avg.
max
avg
max
acres
acres
acres
acres
1
Atlanta, GA
3.70
8.26
1
Atlanta, GA
22.87
44.49
2
Boston, MA
3.09
4.13
2
Boston, MA
9.45
14.46
3
Baltimore, Md
3.29
5.78
3
Baltimore, Md
14.93
22.72
4
Charleston, S.C.
4.12
6.07
4
Charleston, S.C.
16.89
25.25
5
Chicago, Illinois
3.51
4.96
5
Chicago, Illinois
14.74
19.10
6
Los Angeles, CA
4.41
7.89
6
Los Angeles, CA
8.01
16.08
7
New York, N.Y. (Manhattan)
2.60
3.67
7
New York, N.Y.
(Outside Manhattan)
7.72
13.31
8
Omaha, Nebraska
4.34
8.26
8
Omaha, Nebraska
8.27
13.42
9
Portland, Oregon
1.92
3.72
9
Portland, Oregon
2.69
4.24
10
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3.07
6.33
10
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5.03
5.88
Average
3.41
5.91
11.06
17.90
Median
3.40
5.93
8.86
15.27
Std. Dev
0.79
1.80
6.14
11.42
Using Google Earth measuring tool, ten blocks known to have been constructed prior to 1928 were selected for each of ten cities; and ten blocks known to have been constructed after 1928 were
selected for each of ten cities. Anomalies (airports, high schools, etc. ) were thrown out.
Observation 2: the standard deviation of average block size in the following selected cities has increased
from .79 to 6.14 from pre-1928 subdivision to post -1928 subdivision.
Pre 1928 Block Size
Post 1928 Block Size
avg.
max
avg
max
acres
acres
acres
acres
1
Atlanta, GA
3.70
8.26
1
Atlanta, GA
22.87
44.49
2
Boston, MA
3.09
4.13
2
Boston, MA
9.45
14.46
3
Baltimore, Md
3.29
5.78
3
Baltimore, Md
14.93
22.72
4
Charleston, S.C.
4.12
6.07
4
Charleston, S.C.
16.89
25.25
5
Chicago, Illinois
3.51
4.96
5
Chicago, Illinois
14.74
19.10
6
Los Angeles, CA
4.41
7.89
6
Los Angeles, CA
8.01
16.08
7
New York, N.Y. (Manhattan)
2.60
3.67
7
New York, N.Y.
(Outside Manhattan)
7.72
13.31
8
Omaha, Nebraska
4.34
8.26
8
Omaha, Nebraska
8.27
13.42
9
Portland, Oregon
1.92
3.72
9
Portland, Oregon
2.69
4.24
10
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3.07
6.33
10
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5.03
5.88
Average
3.41
5.91
11.06
17.90
Median
3.40
5.93
8.86
15.27
Std. Dev
0.79
1.80
6.14
11.42
Map of North Fulton County,
GA. Red Lines are blocks as
defined by Fulton County
Subdivision Regulations
North Fulton County,
Alpharetta, GA
Map of Blocks
A block is here defined by
a street that closes on
itself, forming connections
with other streets in a
network. In some cases,
the blocks of North Fulton
County are larger than
one mile per side.
5280 feet
160 acres
40
acres
One square = 330 x 330 ft.
Scale in Miles
0
1
2
Learning from Philadelphia
Philadelphia: Penn-Holme Plan of 1682
Philadelphia, 1794
Philadelphia, 1794
Penn envisioned four public
squares and a square of ten acres
at the intersection of the two
main streets. But the city
developed according to market
forces, with the economic center
shifting to the intersection of the
river and the primary street. The
public squares and civic buildings
would be made visible only later
through their animation by
individual acts of private building.
It was not until the last decades of
the 19th century that the present
city hall was erected on the
“public square”. If we think about
this in a certain way, it becomes
clear that the diagram of the city,
that is its plan, is itself a kind of
building and as with the case of
the Theater of Pompey, this
“building” conditions the
formation of the city as it is
augmented by individual
architectural acts over time.
Put another way, the plan of the
streets, the formation of blocks,
the subdivision of blocks into lots,
and the designation of unprogrammed public gathering
places allows for the maximum
articulation of individual
architectural expression and
responsiveness to the economics
of use, while stabilizing the whole
as an indexical system.
Philadelphia, 1794
Penn envisioned four public
squares and a square of ten acres
at the intersection of the two
main streets. But the city
developed according to market
forces, with the economic center
shifting to the intersection of the
river and the primary street. The
public squares and civic buildings
would be made visible only later
through their animation by
individual acts of private building.
It was not until the last decades of
the 19th century that the present
city hall was erected on the
“public square”. If we think about
this in a certain way, it becomes
clear that the diagram of the city,
that is its plan, is itself a kind of
building and as with the case of
the Theater of Pompey, this
“building” conditions the
formation of the city as its is
augmented by individual
architectural acts over time.
Put another way, the plan of the
streets, the formation of blocks,
the subdivision of blocks into lots,
and the designation of unprogrammed public gathering
places allows for the maximum
articulation of individual
architectural expression and
responsiveness to the economics
of use, while stabilizing the whole
as an indexical system.
Philadelphia, 1794-1849
1794
1830
1849
Philadelphia, 1862-1930
1862
1885
1927
Philadelphia, 2005
View down
Broad Street
from Locust
toward the
“Public Square
of Ten Acres”
Philadelphia 1855
Philadelphia 2009
Plan for Philadelphia. The original Plan is still visible in the urban structure of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia 2009
Plan for Philadelphia. The original Plan is still visible in the urban structure of Philadelphia.
Learning from Savannah
Savannah, Georgia 1734: This engraving by John Gordon was made in 1734, one year after the founding of the Colony. Note that the “squares” are the residual condition of the lot
arrangement, not “objects” as they are perceived today.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
WARD 675'/675'
LOT 60'/90'
Dimensions
675'
202'-6"
Tithing: 60 x 90 ft.
Trust 60 by variable within the range of
120 to 180 ft..
90'
A.
B.
300'
60'
LOTS:
300'
* Streets normally 37’-6” and lots 60 ft.
202'-6"
90' 22'-6" 90'
60'
60'
60'
60'
60'
75'
675'
BLOCK 300'/202'-6"
38' 59'-6"
East-West and North-South Internal: 75 ft.
North South Through Streets: 60 to 120 ft.
East West through Streets 60 ft.
Internal Through Streets 37’-6”*
Alleys: 22’-6”
90' 22'-6" 90'
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
59'-6" 38'
STREETS:
75'
300'
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
WARDS as Cellular Units
The wards form cellular units, repeated in serial fashion. The
result is a complex grid comprised of streets internal to the
wards and external streets between the wards. The external
streets parallel to the river became major retail and commercial
streets and planted avenues, while those running perpendicular
to the river emerged as one-way arterial streets connecting the
historic core of the city to the suburbs beyond.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
WARDS as Cellular Units
The wards form cellular units, repeated in serial fashion. The
result is a complex grid comprised of streets internal to the
wards and external streets between the wards. The external
streets parallel to the river became major retail and commercial
streets and planted avenues, while those running perpendicular
to the river emerged as one-way arterial streets connecting the
historic core of the city to the suburbs beyond.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
WARDS as Cellular Units
The wards form cellular units, repeated in serial fashion. The
result is a complex grid comprised of streets internal to the
wards and external streets between the wards. The external
streets parallel to the river became major retail and commercial
streets and planted avenues, while those running perpendicular
to the river emerged as one-way arterial streets connecting the
historic core of the city to the suburbs beyond.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Squares Objectified:
When the wards are repeated, the squares become objects,
connected visually across the wards. The streets internal to the
wards are interrupted by squares, perhaps the best known
contemporary feature of the plan. Originally the residual area
remaining from the subdivision of the lots, the squares took on
a variety of memorial and civic functions over time. The
perception of the city today is of the repetitive squares, each
with a different programmatic or memorial representation
associated with it.
SAVANNAH
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Directional Bias: Lots
The lot configurations are NOT directionally neutral, but are
biased, directionally. This produces a reinforcement of the
squares as objectified civic space for both the tithing and trust
lots that :face” the squares. The streets at the north and south
edges of the wards face outward. As additional wards are
added, these lots bind their face to the lots across the street.
Over time, this animation of facades along the streets parallel
to the river (east-west below), creates streets with an
architectural character and land use pattern quite different
from the inward facing lots.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Streets Type A:
Streets formed by the ward
(internal to the ward) connect
the outside to the inside.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Streets Type B:
Streets formed along the seams of the wards. These
become through streets connecting the center of the city
(River) to the fields (and suburbs) beyond. Streets between
Wards became alternating one-way pairs of higher speed
arterial streets connecting the historic core of the city with
the suburbs
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Streets Type C:
Streets formed along the
seams of the wards (East
West). These become Avenues,
connecting the east side of the
city to the west side of the city.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Directional Bias: Lots
As additional wards are added, these lots bind their
face to the lots across the street. Over time, this
animation of facades along the streets parallel to
the river (east-west below), creates streets with an
architectural character and land use pattern quite
different from the inward facing lots.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Alleys
The bias in lot direction is
derived form the alleys that
split the tithing blocks into two
sections. The alleys are 22’6” in
width (varying slightly over
time to between 21 and 24
feet)
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Streets Type C₁
Streets formed along the
seams of the wards (East
West). These become Avenues,
connecting the east side of the
city to the west side of the city.
Liberty Street: A 200 ft. right-of-way with planted median forms
a broad avenue stretching form side to side.
SAVANNAH, GA.
1733 Plan
Bull Street
View from
Johnson Square to City Hall 2004
The Obelisk is a monument to Nathaniel Greene, Hero of the
Revolution. It is in Dialogue with City Hall.
The location of City Hall outside the field of wards, aligned
with one file of squares, charges that file as a civic spine,
allowing the squares aligned with it to function as sites for
memorials while leaving the other squares free to assume
other “duties”.
The location of City Hall outside the field of wards, aligned
with one file of squares, charges that file as a civic spine,
allowing the squares aligned with it to function as sites for
memorials while leaving the other squares free to assume
other “duties”.
The location of City Hall outside the field of wards, aligned
with one file of squares, charges that file as a civic spine,
allowing the squares aligned with it to function as sites for
memorials while leaving the other squares free to assume
other “duties”. The red square will become city market,
taking on an economic rather than a civic function.
SAVANNAH
Bull Street
Wright Square/
Johnson Square
1875
Old City Hall is on axis with the
square in the background. Note
the Obelisk, a monument to Gen.
Nathaniel Greene. The lot at the
bottom is an original Tything lot
with 60 ft. frontage onto the
Square.
SAVANNAH
Bull Street
View from
Wright Square to
City Hall 1924
Learning from new York
SAVANNAH
Bull Street
View from
Wright Square to City Hall
2004
The Obelisk is a monument to
Nathaniel Greene, Hero of
the Revolution
John Randel Jr., the secretary, surveyor and
chief engineer for New York City’s street
commissioners, was hardly the most popular
public servant of his day. Beginning in 1808,
21 year old Randel and his colleagues were
pelted with artichokes and cabbages; arrested
by the sheriff for trespassing (and often bailed
out by Richard Varick, a former mayor); sued
for damages after pruning trees; and attacked
by dogs sent by property owners who were
irate at the prospect of streets’ being plowed
through their properties (“many of whose
descendants have been made rich thereby,”
Randel noted later). Randel had quite a
commute. Nearly every morning beginning in
1808, he would walk north from downtown,
navigating a wooden plank over the ditch that
cut through Lispenard’s salt meadow. He
would hike past Aaron Burr’s former country
home at Richmond Hill, acknowledge Thomas
Paine, reading at the first-floor window of his
house on what became Bleecker Street, and
finally arrive at his office on Christopher Street
in the village of Greenwich.
The surveyors fought their way though forests,
shrubs and briars “impassible without the aid
of an ax.” Randel spent the next 10 years
staking out and marking the intersections
from First Street to 155th Street with 1,549
three-foot-high marble monuments and, when
the ground was too rocky, with 98 iron bolts
secured by lead. (He had to resurvey 30 miles
after vandals or disgruntled property owners
removed the markers.) He also charted the
terrain to the northern tip of Manhattan to
produce his “farm map,” of 92 sheets filling
four volumes that together would measure 11
by 50 feet.
Taking precise measurements with
instruments he invented (a 50-foot iron ruler
expands 0.0003585 feet with each degree of
temperature, he concluded), he filled more
than 40 leather books with field notes
John Randel’s map showing Midtown Manhattan. The area labeled Bloomingdale Square would be built over, but from 5th and
59th north would become Central Park.
The New York Times has published an interactive map that allows you to alternate between the 1811 plan
and the present. See: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/21/nyregion/map-of-how-manhattangrid-grew.html?ref=nyregion
View of Second Avenue looking north from 42nd Street by Egbert L. Viele, 1861. (Museum of the City of New York.)
View of Second Avenue looking north from 42nd Street 2011. (Google Earth Image)
SAVANNAH
Johnson Square 1872
Real history is not made
by preserving old
buildings or freezing
the present into an
ossified version of the
past. Real history is
made when each
successive generation,
subject to their own
condition, can write
their own story into a
place. The stability of
the public frame
(constitutional order)
allows the
representation of the
present to fluctuate
according to its own
needs, while assuring
continuity between
past and future.
The photograph on the
right is of a rally for
General Ulysses S.
Grant during the
Presidential Campaign
of 1872. The Doric
church on the right
(Trust Lot) is now a
parking deck. The Doric
church on the left
remains as it was 132
years ago.
The monument to
Nathaniel Greene is just
out of the photograph
on the left.

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