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SHALER, Robert. The Boy Scouts for City Improvement. Cleveland, Arthur Westbrook [c1914]. Octavo publisher's colour illustrated wrapper (inner hinges strengthened); 160pp. Some browning of the cheap paper but a pretty good copy. Au$150
Not the first edition but much preferable to the Hurst, New York edition in cloth with an anodyne, generic cover of boy scouts holding hands. Camp enough but hardly relevant to the story.
I'll bet few town planning collections anywhere have a copy of this. It is perhaps more civic improvement than planning but the subjects go hand in hand and few pieces of planning art show the passion and the thrill that is inherent in a city plan such as is displayed here.
Shaler wrote a string of these scout books in an incredibly short time - some twenty titles in a year - but after reading a few paragraphs it's easy to see that the hardest bit was coming up with a subject.
SHALER, Robert. The Boy Scouts for City Improvement. NY, Hurst . Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in red and black; 160pp. Au$40
First but less desirable edition; the better one to have is the cheap reprint done by Arthur Westbrook in Cleveland with a properly dramatic cover.
RICHARDSON, Benjamin Ward. Hygeia a City of Health. London, Macmillan 1876. Octavo disbound; 47pp. Last leaf loose. Au$300
The sanitary reformer's outline for an utopian city of 100,000 people which he is confident that, within two generations, will reduce mortality to five per thousand. An outline it is, but a closely worked one; from the laying out of streets - with subway trains beneath - to their paving and camber. It is to be, more a less, a garden city but the detail is in the details, to coin a paraphrase. Housing is treated particularly: nothing is to be below ground; the brickwork is to be impermeable but laid with removable wedges that allows cavity air to be flushed or heated; the interior walls and arched ceilings are to be of glazed brickwork (of colours and patterns to the inhabitants' taste and purse) which makes unnecessary the poisons of glues, papers and distempers - and allows the complete interior to be washed down with water. Each room is worked out - by purpose, placement and design; communication and ventilation provided.
Outside, factories, sanitation works, abbatoirs and suchlike are removed some distance from the city and trades (tailoring, shoe-making, lacework) are taken out of the homes to convenient blocks of offices and workrooms. Small, almost portable, model hospitals are provided every few blocks and the insane, infirm and incapacitated are cared for in houses indistinguishable from the rest.
Given the debate on cremation vs burial, Richardson plumps for tradition but not current practice. The dead are to be interred in shrouds only into artificial carboniferous soil where they can return to dust in no time at all; monuments can be erected in some hall or temple.
MORRELL, J.C. Town Planning. Report to the Honorable the Minister of Public Works. Melbourne, Govt Printer 1915. Foolscap library cloth; 82pp. numerous photo illustrations, plans &c numbered to 83 (there are several bis). Not the prettiest copy, the outer pages are marked and the title has a perforated stamp but all there, worthy enough and a not uninteresting provenance: the Kansas City Library - Kansas City being a featured city in the report. Au$250
One of the handful of essential early documents of town planning in Australia and scarce enough to justify offering this blemished copy. 500 copies were printed and few escaped institutions.
A report from investigations made in England, Scotland and the United States into advances in planning and slum clearances. It is well illustrated with examples of better known and more obscure projects (Kansas City, Denver, Pasadena, Torrance &c), and finally returns to Melbourne, its problems and possible solutions.
BRADFIELD, J.J.C. Linking Sydney With North Sydney. In: Proceedings of the Sydney University Engineering Society, vol XVIII, 1913-14. Octavo publisher's cloth; pp95-164, numerous plans and illustrations (some folding). Au$175
A notable contribution to Bradfield's long running campaign to bridge the harbour, with an historical summary of proposals (including tunnels), technical requirements and details, comparative studies of likely requirements, &c, and his cantilever bridge recommended by the Public Works Committee 1913.
GARNIER, Tony. Les Grands Travaux de la Ville de Lyon. Etudes, projets et travaux executes. Paris, Massin . folio, loose as issued in publisher's portfolio of cloth backed printed boards; 12pp and 56 plates - drawings, plans, elevations and photos. Au$1200
In Garnier's work in Lyon, instigated by the mayor Edouard Herriott from 1906 on, he realised many of the ideas set forth in his Cite Industrielle and some of the ideas in Cite Industrielle came from his work in Lyon. Une Cite Industrielle was largely finished by 1904 but not published until 1918 so he had the chance to plug a few of the gaps in his imagined city from his real city. Some projects here were completed in later years and some never realised.
BENOIT-LEVY, Georges. Extreme Urgence. [Lyon, 1920]. Octavo publisher's illustrated wrapper; 40,pp and 12 plates. Back cover mildly tidemarked; a very good copy. Au$600
A most uncommon piece of concentrated polemic by France's foremost garden city proponent, born out of the Congres de l'Habitation in Lyon organised by Garnier's patron Mayor Herriott.
London Plans. Report from the Select Committee on Metropolitan Communications; together with the proceedings ... minutes of evidence, and appendix. London, House of Commons 1855. Foolscap folio contemporary half calf (base of the spine worn, some rubbing); xiv, 204pp, 36 plans and plates numbered to 34 with two bis (all but a couple folding, some quite large, several with added colouring), three unnumbered leaves of printed descriptions. A couple of plates with some misfolding, one with a closed tear, nothing serious. Au$1750
One of the most exciting gatherings of proposals for city improvement of the 19th century. London's population had doubled in forty years and faced with a clogged city the committee gathered schemes and proposals to alleviate the problem from about forty architects, engineers and busybodies. The proposals range from the prosaic to the fabulous and among those we might wish were built are Paxton's Great Victorian Way, a girdle around central London of atmospheric railways, shops and boulevard all under glass; Haddan's Westminster Railway Terminus, a thousand foot long iron and glass (by the look of it) station on a bridge over the Thames; similarly Baly's South Western Railway Station to be built on Charing Cross Bridge; Gisborne's elaborate rebuilding of the Thames embankment with railway, viaduct, stores, shops and dwellings, gardens,etc, with basins behind for docks; and, not least, Moseley's Crystal Way, with an atmospheric railway overlooked by dwellings and roads all under a glass-roofed, shop-lined pedestrian way. The committee were very fond of Paxton's plan and Charles Pearson's subterranean railway and street improvements but while some of the more prosaic schemes did reach fruition in some form probably the best that can said of immediate results of their work is that it added impetus to the partially approved but as yet unsettled Metropolitan Line - which finally opened as London's first underground in 1863.
London Plans. Metropolitan Railway Commission. Minutes of Evidence Taken Before the Commissioners Appointed to Investigate the Various Projects for Establishing Railway Termini Within, or in the Immediate Vicinity of, the Metropolis. [and] Maps, Plans, and Sections of Metropolitan Railways and Termini ... London HMSO 1846. Two parts foolscap, together in modern half calf; iv,369pp; 39 folding plates numbered to 28 with eleven bis, most quite large. Some misfolding, smudges and signs of use, pretty good. Au$1250
"If you took a sponge and sponged out the whole of the City, leaving St. Paul's standing in the midst, I think probably you would be able to have accommodation there for carrying on your traffic;" (Joseph Baxendale, carrier, speaking of the conglomeration of proposed stations). The 1846 commission was one those vital moments in shaping London - like the fire and the blitz but in reverse. Some may lament that some of the more extravagant, visionary schemes remain unbuilt but those who like central London now will be thankful to the commission. Railway mania was at its peak and with London overcrowded schemes for transforming the city with railways were queued out the door. Grand Central terminuses, floating piers, elevated atmospheric railways ... all were kept out of the city north of the river.
London Plans. Report from the Select Committee ... on Railway Schemes (Metropolis); together with the proceedings of the committee, minutes of evidence, and an appendix. London, House of Commons 1864. Foolscap publisher's printed wrapper (some tears without loss); 84pp, largish folding map. Signs of use, label of Michael G. Max on the front wrapper. Au$75
The success of the first stage of the London underground brought the rash of schemes considered here, many of which the committee didn't like. Two lines which would be pneumatic - the committee didn't like the idea of central London being an experiment - and four new bridges - two of "gigantic size" - were unwanted. The map shows existing and proposed lines - the unwanted lines are coloured red.
BURICH, Eva, Max Dupain &c. Castlecrag. Castlecrag . Oblong octavo publisher's illutrated boards; 56pp, map by Marion Griffin and photo illustrations by Max Dupain. Au$200
A privately produced work in aid of the local school with contributions by Gwen Meredith, Bernard Hesling, Betty Roland and others. A fair bit is of course devoted to Walter Burley and Marion Griffin and their plans for an idyllic Griffin community.
Kon Wajiro. 新版大東京案内 [Shinpan Dai Tokyo Annai]. Tokyo, Chuo Koronsha 1929 (Showa 4). Octavo publisher's illustrated boards and slipcase (wear and a couple of chips from the slipcase, rubbing and surface loss to some of the spine of the book - probably a label removed); 380pp and four double page maps, illustrations throughout, several full page. Text block pretty much detached from the covers. Not the best but certainly not the worst copy of this graphically smart but badly made book. Au$100
A new guide to a new Tokyo by the founder of modernology. This is not a guide to carry round, the flimsy construction puts paid to that if you try. Tokyo is divided into culture, purpose and theme more than districts. It comes out of the years spent documenting Tokyo and its people after the 1923 earthquake - what is now called urban ethnology - and work done with other designers and architects shaping the new Tokyo. It is sort of an adjunct and a preface to the Modernologio books to come in the next few years.
City Planning. Xinjing or Shinkyo (Changchun) - Manchukuo. 國都建設の全貌 [Kokuto Kensetsu no Zenbo]. Shinkyo, Manshukoku Kokumuin Kokuto Kensetsukyoku 1935. Colour printed sheet 54x78cm with colour bird's eye view on one side; colour plan, smaller b/w photo illustrations and text on the other. Folded as issued, minor signs of use. Official looking stamp dated 4.6.18 (June 18 1935). Au$750
In many ways the new capital of Manchukuo was - is - a planner's dream. Here was an empire building militaristic government wanting to both experiment with all that had been learned about city planning and show the west that not only could they do it, but do it better.
Changchun, a hybrid Chinese-Russian-Japanese railway town, was appointed the new capital, it was renamed, a five year plan for a new city was drawn up under the guidance of Professor Riki (or Toshikata) Sano in 1932, a quick compromise with a competing plan was made, and building was underway in early 1933. Local interests (ie the Chinese and Manchu population) and business were allowed notional input but the brief was clear: social theory, technology and architecture that made for an efficient colonial capital could be put into place, local self-interest could not.
Of course it was not so simple. This was to be a pan-Asian showcase, superior to western, especially colonial western, models, not equal. Confucianism, traditional ritual and Asian racial harmony were to be a central part of the city. What more could any urbanist ask for?
Students of the plan might like to start with Yishi Liu's 2011 doctoral thesis, 'Competing Visions of the Modern;' where Griffin's Canberra plan and Griffin's diagrams for road classification are illustrated beside Xinjing's. By 1935 - when our view of the future city was produced - a lot was still dust and open space but, by the gods, whatever else they learnt from Burley Griffin's Canberra - and it was a lot - about planning a city, they certainly learnt how not to build a city.
McInnis, R.A. Plan of General Development for the City of Mackay. Printed by Smith & Paterson, Brisbane 1934. Small quarto publisher's stiffened printed wrapper; ,117pp, plans & diagrams through the text; a large (70x94cm) colour plan and a mosaic photographic aerial view (44x58cm) fold into an envelope mounted inside the back cover. A few short tears to the yapp edges of the wrapper and tears to the envelope. An excellent, fresh copy. Au$400
There may be a more rare Australian city planning scheme but I haven't met it yet. Obscure as this may be to all but the most diligent students it is or should be a landmark. This was just about the first city plan that actually made it into the statute books with the 1934 "City of Mackay ... Act." It was a long time before such a thing would happen again.
CHAMBLESS, Edgar. Roadtown. NY, Roadtown Press . Octavo publisher's cloth blocked in white with an onlaid colour illustration; ,172pp. A little flaking of the white blocking, an excellent copy. Au$750
The deluxe issue. For an extra ten cents ($1.35 against $1.25 for plain) you could buy this with the cover illustration hand coloured. Now one of the more arcane and elusive utopian schemes for a new kind of city, leading to a new society. Roadtown is a ribbon, the extreme lineal city. At the bottom, underground, is the railway - noiseless and smokeless - above come housing, work and communal areas - each home with its own plot of land - and at the top is a promenade. In short the perfect blend of the virtues of city and country. W
hat surprises from this distance is how much apparently sensible support Chambless garnered. Construction was to be prefabricated concrete and Edison donated his patents; transport was by monorail and Boyes donated his patents; there was a pretty impressive list of people lending their efforts, both practical and rhetorical. Ten mile stretches of experimental or exhibition Roadtown seemed likely, even imminent, for years but Chambless beavered away at Roadtown for almost forty years, until his death in 1936, to wind up virtually forgotten.
Town Planning. Official Volume of Proceedings of the First Australian Town Planning and Housing Conference and Exhibition. Adelaide .. 1917. Adelaide 1918. Quarto, publisher's printed wrapper; 162pp & 74 plates, illustrations & plans (many full page, some folding). A bit used but a very decent copy. Au$650
Papers by Reade, Burley Griffin, Sulman, Bradfield, Morrell, Prentice, George Taylor and host of others on matters general and specific, polemical and technical.
Sydney. Old Military Barrack Square Allotments. Minutes of evidence taken before the select committee...Monday 6 September, 1847. Sydney, Govt Printer 1847. Foolscap modern cloth; 4pp & 2 large folding litho plans. Au$750
Proposals for the redevelopment of what is now the Wynard area in the city. The two plans propose either a square in George street or something close to the present Wynard park.
This was, as usual, an interminable discussion. Lewis, the colonial architect, says that he has been looking at draft plans since 1840 and he offers the new plan with the square in George street. The other plan, which was actually by Thomas Mitchell, is dated 1842. Other witnesses (who prefer Lewis' plan) point out that the land in question is worth a fraction of what it was in 1840. Lewis plan was adopted - the Sydney Morning Herald called it a "splendid improvement" - over the objections of Mitchell who immediately revised his plan.
Sale of the land went ahead in accord with Lewis' plan but somewhere in there the government changed its mind and, despite an outcry, refunded some money, took back the land and we lost our handsome George Street square. Other copies may be buried in collected volumes of papers but Trove finds only the SLNSW copy.
Victoria Road, Sydney. Proposed Road to Gladesville via Balmain and Five Dock. (Correspondence &c ..). [Sydney, Govt Printer 1869]. Foolscap disbound; 42pp and folding plan. Au$100
Not as straightforward nor as dull as you think. One of Sydney's main arterial and most annoying roads, the birth of Victoria Road has its fascinations. This documents eight years of dispute, inertia and recalcitrance finally ending when Charles Abercromby, owner of Birkenhead Estate, withdrew his prosecution of the government surveyor for trespass and other crimes. The dotted lines across Mr Abercromby's patch are a confusion - perhaps recommended routes for a surveyor fleeing the hounds.
COOK, Fred C. City of Hobart Plan. Hobart 1945. Quarto publisher's cloth; 84pp, folding colour plans, photo illustrations. Au$175
Uncommon. Another of the major city schemes that - fortunate in this case - had little result.