MUMFORD Lewis - Autograph Letter Signed 1968 discussing civic centers and urban planning
Lewis MUMFORD (1895-1990)
Autograph Letter Signed (“Lewis Mumford”) to “Dear Mrs. Meisel” [most likely the wife of the writer and professor of political science James H. Meisel], discussing civic centers and the issues surrounding urban planning.
2 pages large 8vo, together with autograph envelope, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 24 November 1968.
“I appreciate your story about the loud-speakers on the Leonardo: but the problem you put to me after that is not an easy one to answer at a distance, or indeed to answer at all. There are plenty of books that describe Civic Centers, old and new: but I know none that I could recommend as guides at this early stage. If I could sit down with your committee I would first ask them what they mean by a civic center, what functions and purposes it would serve, and why they believe the institutions they wish to bring together should be centralized, and for what reason should they be big. It’s some forty years or so since I was last in Ann Arbor: so I have no notion of what has gone on there – though, knowing many other American cities, I suspect it is mainly for the worse. What your city may really need is a number of small centers, with either a school or a shopping center as a formative nucleus. Most of the older civic centers (Springfield, Mass., San Francisco, Cleveland) were misconceived and have turned out to be disappointments.
My final advice is not to begin thinking about buildings – that is the last step. Think first about people and purposes.”
Lewis Mumford’s views were once described as focusing on “ecological urban planning” and a humanist point of view of the environment created by town planners and architects. During the 1960s, and particularly in the turbulent year of this letter, 1968, he drew attention to the importance of the environment in which people lived as a means of dealing with the discontent and problems faced by American cities. His ideas influenced writers such as E.F. Schumacher, and would resonate with many who today grapple with the ecological sustainability of our cities.
Autographs can be delivered worldwide. Delivery costs are calculated at the time of order and items will be sent by the most appropriate means, depending on your location and the value of the item. This will usually be by Royal Mail Special Delivery within the UK and Royal Mail Tracked outside the UK.
The current delivery charges are:
Royal Mail Special Delivery £8.50
Europe Royal Mail Tracked £15.00
EU customers should note that, following brexit, local VAT and customs duties may apply to their purchases.
Royal Mail Tracked £21.00
Rest of the World:
Rest of the World Tracked £18.00
Customers should be aware that all letters and documents over 50 years old require an export licence, which may delay delivery by anything from one to three weeks. Signed photographs are not subject to export licence regulations, and can be sent immediately.
There is no charge for the export licence and I will take care of the application, the only inconvenience to you will be the delay.
The authenticity of the letters and documents offered is guaranteed.
Online sales orders
Payments made via the website are processed by Shopify Inc and can be made using Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
Telephone sales orders
Items may be purchased by phone. Please contact me using the website Contact Form and I will call you within 48 hours to discuss your requirements. Payment for purchases ordered by phone can be paid upon receipt of the invoice and must be paid within 7 days. Phone orders can be paid by cheque (in pounds sterling only) or bank transfer.
Items will be reserved for one week following the order confirmation and will be dispatched either within 7 days after full payment has been received, or after any required export licenses have been granted.
Should you be in any way dissatisfied with your purchase, items may be returned within six weeks of delivery and a full refund will be made upon receipt of the returned item. The item must be received by Richmond Autographs in the same condition as when dispatched. For full details, please read our Terms and Conditions.
We Also Recommend
ASQUITH Margot - Autograph Letter Signed 1924 giving her views on statues and Liberals v. Tories