Title

Working for Walpole: Restorative Spaces in the Progressive Era

Date

6-1-2017 9:45 AM

End Time

1-6-2017 10:00 AM

Location

WUC Columbia Room

Department

History

Session Chair

Elizabeth M. Swedo

Session Title

History Senior Thesis presentations

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Kimberly Jensen

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In early twentieth century America, industrialization reshaped the physical environments Americans occupied, the ways they conceived of them, and the ways they believed they could use them. Historians of the Progressive Era have discussed these physical and conceptual transformations extensively, but have spent much less time elaborating on how reformers utilized public spaces to initiate positive changes. City planners and community leaders, such as those in Walpole, Massachusetts, began to utilize the design and implementation of “restorative” spaces such as town forests, wider roads, planned neighborhoods, and other civic improvements. In a 1916 article from The American City, a magazine published for municipal authorities, writer and Walpole collaborator John A. Murphy acknowledged that the constructed environments themselves could advance the social, political, and economic well being of the community. As implemented in Walpole, these carefully and pragmatically planned spaces embodied the optimism, community emphasis, and the social and political anxieties of the Progressive Era reforms.

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Jun 1st, 9:45 AM Jun 1st, 10:00 AM

Working for Walpole: Restorative Spaces in the Progressive Era

WUC Columbia Room

In early twentieth century America, industrialization reshaped the physical environments Americans occupied, the ways they conceived of them, and the ways they believed they could use them. Historians of the Progressive Era have discussed these physical and conceptual transformations extensively, but have spent much less time elaborating on how reformers utilized public spaces to initiate positive changes. City planners and community leaders, such as those in Walpole, Massachusetts, began to utilize the design and implementation of “restorative” spaces such as town forests, wider roads, planned neighborhoods, and other civic improvements. In a 1916 article from The American City, a magazine published for municipal authorities, writer and Walpole collaborator John A. Murphy acknowledged that the constructed environments themselves could advance the social, political, and economic well being of the community. As implemented in Walpole, these carefully and pragmatically planned spaces embodied the optimism, community emphasis, and the social and political anxieties of the Progressive Era reforms.