A renewed look at urban renewal

2 min read

Radcliffe Gymnasium was filled on Monday afternoon when Lizabeth Cohen, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, delivered her inaugural dean’s lecture, “Place, People, and Power: City Building in Postwar America,” to a crowd of faculty, students, and friends of the institute.

Harvard University President Drew Faust, who established the tradition of inaugural dean’s lectures when she was the founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute, introduced Cohen and briefly described her award-winning books. “Liz Cohen has crossed traditional disciplinary boundaries in ways that have brought fresh insight to some of the most important issues of our time,” she said. “What an important contribution for a dean of the Radcliffe Institute to have made.”

An expert on 20th-century American social and political history, Cohen spoke about her current book project, Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age, which explores the history of post-World War II urban renewal in Boston, New York, and New Haven through the work of Ed Logue. Logue, who the Washington Post titled “the Master Rebuilder” in 1967, remains well-known for an urban redevelopment career that spanned nearly half a century.