A City For Children: Women, Architecture, And The Charitable Landscapes Of Oakland, 1850-1950 by Marta GutmanA City For Children: Women, Architecture, And The Charitable Landscapes Of Oakland, 1850-1950 by Marta Gutman

A City For Children: Women, Architecture, And The Charitable Landscapes Of Oakland, 1850-1950

byMarta Gutman

Hardcover | September 19, 2014

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American cities are constantly being built and rebuilt, resulting in ever-changing skylines and neighborhoods. While the dynamic urban landscapes of New York, Boston, and Chicago have been widely studied, there is much to be gleaned from west coast cities, especially in California, where the migration boom at the end of the nineteenth century permanently changed the urban fabric of these newly diverse, plural metropolises.

In A City for Children, Marta Gutman focuses on the use and adaptive reuse of everyday buildings in Oakland, California, to make the city a better place for children. She introduces us to the women who were determined to mitigate the burdens placed on working-class families by an indifferent industrial capitalist economy. Often without the financial means to build from scratch, women did not tend to conceive of urban land as a blank slate to be wiped clean for development. Instead, Gutman shows how, over and over, women turned private houses in Oakland into orphanages, kindergartens, settlement houses, and day care centers, and in the process built the charitable landscape—a network of places that was critical for the betterment of children, families, and public life.  The industrial landscape of Oakland, riddled with the effects of social inequalities and racial prejudices, is not a neutral backdrop in Gutman’s story but an active player. Spanning one hundred years of history, A City for Children provides a compelling model for building urban institutions and demonstrates that children, women, charity, and incremental construction, renovations, alterations, additions, and repurposed structures are central to the understanding of modern cities.
Marta Gutman is professor of architectural and urban history at the Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York and a member of the doctoral faculty of art history at The Graduate Center, City College of New York. She is also a licensed architect.
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Title:A City For Children: Women, Architecture, And The Charitable Landscapes Of Oakland, 1850-1950Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:September 19, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226311287

ISBN - 13:9780226311289

Reviews

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

ONE / New Ideas from Old Things in Oakland
TWO / The Landscape of Charity in California: First Imprints in San Francisco
THREE / The Ladies Intervene: Repurposed and Purpose-Built in Temescal
FOUR / The West Oakland Home: The “Noble Work for a Life Saving” of Rebecca McWade
FIVE / The Saloon That Became a School: Free Kindergartens in Northern California
SIX / The Art and Craft of Settlement Work in Oakland Point
SEVEN / “The Ground Must Belong to the City”: Playgrounds and Recreation Centers in Oakland’s Neighborhoods
EIGHT / Orphaned in Oakland: Institutional Life during the Progressive Era
NINE / Childhood on the Color Line in West Oakland: Day Nurseries during the Interwar Years

Epilogue
Oral Histories and Interviews
Abbreviations Used in the Notes
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“The central motif of A City for Children is that a charitable landscape developed as a spatial entity with various “nodes” in a shifting urban network. Gutman reconstructs the presence, appearance, and experience of institutions, most of which are now long gone. Using archives, oral histories, photographs, fire insurance maps, city directories, and census and tax records, Gutman gives spatial coherence to a story that is by nature fragmentary. Her own architectural renderings and schematic drawings of neighborhoods are especially helpful in reconstituting a story that is simultaneously architectural, urban, and social.”