Catalogue

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Building the South Side : urban space and civic culture in Chicago, 1890-1919 /
Robin F. Bachin.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2004.
description
ix, 434 p.
ISBN
0226033937 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2004.
isbn
0226033937 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5123389
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Robin F. Bachin is the Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History at the University of Miami.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Building the South Side explores the struggle for influence that dominated the planning and development of Chicago's South Side during the Progressive Era. Robin Bachin examines the early days of the University of Chicago, Chicago's public parks, Comiskey Park, and the Black Belt to consider how community leaders looked to the physical design of the city to shape its culture and promote civic interaction. The built environment created in these spaces compels us to rethink the significance of Progressivism by framing the era's political history within the context of broader cultural conflicts of the period. The creation of the University of Chicago, for instance, was intended to help the city overcome its reputation for greed and materialism. Yet the school was deeply indebted to Chicago businessmen and real estate developers for financial backing. Comiskey Park, meanwhile, was meant to be an emblem of the legitimacy of commercial leisure and mass amusement in the culture of big cities. But in the wake of the ruinous 1919 Black Sox scandal, it became the inspiration for debates over Americanism, democracy, and loyalty. Bachin highlights how the creation of a local terrain of civic culture was a contested process, with the battle for cultural authority transforming urban politics and blurring the line between private and public space. In the process, universities, parks and playgrounds, and commercial entertainment districts emerged as alternative arenas of civic engagement.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-12-01:
The meaning and use of public spaces has become a focus of recent history. In particular, urban historians and others working on groups within cities have focused on this as a promising area of inquiry. A recent study of Philadelphia, The Middle Class City, by John Hepp (CH, Mar'04), is a very good example of this approach. In this excellent study of Chicago's South Side we have a similar study of the use of public space as a means of social self-definition. Bachin (Univ. of Miami) divides his study into three broad sections, each dealing with different social segments of the very diverse population of Chicago. All of the institutions and/or public spaces that are studied were developed or underwent radical change during the period under consideration. The first section looks at the Univ. of Chicago, the second, public parks. The third part consists of two very different venues: Comiskey Park and the section of South State Street that was the "main drag" for the African American population. Despite the variegated nature of the groups and institutions, the author does more than adequate justice to the subject. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. I. Cohen emeritus, Illinois State University
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This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2004
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Summaries
Main Description
Building the South Sideexplores the struggle for influence that dominated the planning and development of Chicago's South Side during the Progressive Era. Robin Bachin examines the early days of the University of Chicago, Chicago's public parks, Comiskey Park, and the Black Belt to consider how community leaders looked to the physical design of the city to shape its culture and promote civic interaction.The built environment created in these spaces compels us to rethink the significance of Progressivism by framing the era's political history within the context of broader cultural conflicts of the period. The creation of the University of Chicago, for instance, was intended to help the city overcome its reputation for greed and materialism. Yet the school was deeply indebted to Chicago businessmen and real estate developers for financial backing. Comiskey Park, meanwhile, was meant to be an emblem of the legitimacy of commercial leisure and mass amusement in the culture of big cities. But in the wake of the ruinous 1919 Black Sox scandal, it became the inspiration for debates over Americanism, democracy, and loyalty.Bachin highlights how the creation of a local terrain of civic culture was a contested process, with the battle for cultural authority transforming urban politics and blurring the line between private and public space. In the process, universities, parks and playgrounds, and commercial entertainment districts emerged as alternative arenas of civic engagement.
Main Description
Building the South Side explores the struggle for influence that dominated the planning and development of Chicago's South Side during the Progressive Era. Robin F. Bachin examines the early days of the University of Chicago, Chicago's public parks, Comiskey Park, and the Black Belt to consider how community leaders looked to the physical design of the city to shape its culture and promote civic interaction. Bachin highlights how the creation of a local terrain of civic culture was a contested process, with the battle for cultural authority transforming urban politics and blurring the line between private and public space. In the process, universities, parks and playgrounds, and commercial entertainment districts emerged as alternative arenas of civic engagement. "Bachin incisively charts the development of key urban institutions and landscapes that helped constitute the messy vitality of Chicago's late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century public realm."Daniel Bluestone, Journal of American History "This is an ambitious book filled with important insights about issues of public space and its use by urban residents. . . . It is thoughtful, very well written, and should be read and appreciated by anyone interested in Chicago or cities generally. It is also a gentle reminder that people are as important as structures and spaces in trying to understand urban development." Maureen A. Flanagan, American Historical Review
Main Description
Building the South Sideexplores the struggle for influence that dominated the planning and development of Chicago's South Side during the Progressive Era. Robin F. Bachin examines the early days of the University of Chicago, Chicago's public parks, Comiskey Park, and the Black Belt to consider how community leaders looked to the physical design of the city to shape its culture and promote civic interaction. Bachin highlights how the creation of a local terrain of civic culture was a contested process, with the battle for cultural authority transforming urban politics and blurring the line between private and public space. In the process, universities, parks and playgrounds, and commercial entertainment districts emerged as alternative arenas of civic engagement. "Bachin incisively charts the development of key urban institutions and landscapes that helped constitute the messy vitality of Chicago's late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century public realm."Daniel Bluestone,Journal of American History "This is an ambitious book filled with important insights about issues of public space and its use by urban residents. . . . It is thoughtful, very well written, and should be read and appreciated by anyone interested in Chicago or cities generally. It is also a gentle reminder that people are as important as structures and spaces in trying to understand urban development." Maureen A. Flanagan,American Historical Review
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
The University and the City
A new Order of Things: Planning and Building the University of Chicagop. 23
The City Seeking aid from Alma Mater: Collegiate Culture, Coeducation, and the Boundaries of College and Communityp. 73
Parks as Public Space
To lay the Foundations for Good Citizenship: Neighborhood Parks and Outdoor Recreationp. 127
Let Your Watchword be Order and Your Beacon Beauty: The Burnham Plan and the Civic Lakefrontp. 169
Commercial Leisure and Civic Culture
Baseball Palace of the World: Commercial Recreation and the Building of Comiskey Parkp. 205
A Mecca for Pleasure: Leisure, Work, and Spaces of Race Pridep. 247
Conclusionp. 298
Notesp. 309
Indexp. 401
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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