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(Left to right): Julian Steele, deputy regional administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Association; Mayor Richard C. Lee; Joseph Baruch, head of Presidential Realty Company; and Harry Barnett, chairman of the New Haven Redevelopment Agency, execute the groundbreaking for Madison Towers on June 20, 1961
This contemporary view of Madison Towers (left) and University Towers (right), photographed from the south, shows the abundance of surface parking and street traffic surrounding the buildings.
Francesca Russello Ammon’s New Article in the Journal of Planning History
Reversing the Tide of Suburban Families? The Design, Marketing, and Occupancy of Urban Renewal’s High-rise Housing
City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation Associate Professor Francesca Russello Ammon has a new article in the 2020 issue of Journal of Planning History. The article is titled “Reversing the Tide of Suburban Families? The Design, Marketing, and Occupancy of Urban Renewal’s High-rise Housing” and is an occupational history of New Haven, Connecticut’s first downtown high-rises.
Abstract: During the postwar urban renewal era, many US cities constructed high-rise downtown apartment buildings to lure families back from the suburbs. These projects met demand for high-end downtown housing. They often remain occupied today—in stark contrast to the more rapid demise of many other redevelopment projects designed for shopping, entertainment, or public housing use. Yet, they also often fell short of their larger demographic goals. This occupational history of New Haven, Connecticut’s first downtown high-rises shows that the projects’ architecture, site planning, public realm, and rental structures never lived up to either suburban alternatives or their own marketing promises.