America's original GI town : Park Forest, Illinois /
Gregory C. Randall.
Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.
xviii, 236 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
0801862078 (acid-free paper)
More Details
Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.
0801862078 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Gregory C. Randall is a professional landscape architect and planner at Randall Planning and Design.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-09-01:
Located 26 miles south of Chicago, Park Forest, Illinois offered those in search of a place to call their own a home and a community in the making after WW II. The brainchild of Philip N. Klutznick, Carroll Sweet, and Nathan Manilow, Park Forest reflected lessons learned from the New Deal Greenbelt program as well as the tenets of the Garden City movement and concepts of the Neighborhood Unit approach to community planning. An important aspect of Park Forest was that it was a private, not public development; residents were intended to be integral elements in the development of community life. Randall, a former resident and sympathetic analyst, explores the development, implementation, and management of Park Forest from its conception to the early 1960s, with a brief look at its more recent past. The book's strength is Randall's discussion of Park Forest within the history of new community-planning initiatives. Its weakness rests in the author's nostalgia, which wafts throughout the chapters that specifically address the Park Forest experience. However, because his study is more about structure than people, his sympathy for this experiment in community building breathes life into what would otherwise be a fairly sterile analysis. All levels. P. Melvin; Loyola University in Chicago
Review Quotes
"This is a sound history, an engaging, crisp narrative." -- Arthur W. Turner, Journal of Illinois History
"Greg Randall has written an engaging and instructive book. What I especially like about Randall's work is that it provides the reader with a holistic appreciation of a distinctive community. That he does so as an insider makes his narration all the more compelling."--Michael H. Ebner, author of Creating Chicago's North Shore, a Suburban History
"This book provides a readable narrative of Park Forest's development, with photos and anecdotes that capture the enthusiasm of its early residents."--D. Andrew Austin, Urban Affairs Review
"The book's strength is Randall's discussion of Park Forest within the history of new community-planning initiatives."-- Choice
"Gregory C. Randall makes a valuable contribution with his book, the first full-length history of the [Park Forest] community... [it] will be a boon to scholars interested in exploring some of the many interesting questions surrounding Park Forest and the postwar suburban phenomenon."--Robert W. Blythe, Vernacular Architecture Newsletter
"Randall's account of Park Forest effectively challenges the conventional distinction between 1930s idealism and the postwar materialism that shapes so many accounts of post-1945 America."--Robert Fishman, Journal of American History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2000
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Main Description
At the close of World War II, Americans became increasingly concerned about the problem of housing for returning veterans, relocated defense workers, and their families. Designs such as the garden city that dated from the turn of the twentieth century or earlier were prominent once again, as planners saw a renewed need for ready-made communities. One such community--among the first and, perhaps, most representative -- was Park Forest, Illinois, a privately built and publicly managed town twenty-six miles south of Chicago. In this book, Gregory Randall presents the history of the planning, design, construction, and growth of Park Forest. He shows how planners -- who dubbed the new community a "GI town" -- drew on lessons learned from English garden cities and New Deal greenbelt towns to cope with America's emerging peacetime housing crisis. He also shows how this new town changed community planning throughout the United States, including its effects on community development up to the present.
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this work, Randall presents the history of the planning, design, construction, and growth of Park Forest. He shows how the town changed community planning throughout the US, including its effects on community development up to the present.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
The Buildersp. 1
The Beginningp. 16
Acquiring the Site and Other Playersp. 52
The Planningp. 59
The Constructionp. 91
The First Residentsp. 100
America Rebornp. 122
The Shopping Centerp. 140
The Single-Family Homesp. 157
The Legacyp. 185
Epiloguep. 204
Elbert Peets's Correspondence with Walter Blucherp. 209
Preliminary Prospectus for the Community, July 25, 1946p. 214
Notesp. 217
Bibliographyp. 224
Indexp. 229
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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