Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay.

The Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.52-53 (Jan.-June 1918)) online

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situation, and that jirivate capital at this time, ior financing housing com-
panies on a com])rchensive scale, is almost impossible to obtain. All our
available funds are .going into Liberty lionds, to the (lovernment, as they
should, and the (iovernment should loan them back to us where needed.
Two million dollars loaned on the ^\'ilmington basis at Los .\ngeles Harbor,
and another $2,000,000 or possibly $3,000,000 at San Francisco, at this time,
would enable the completion of Carden City projects which will furnish the
best kind of housing at the lowest terms, within a reasonable time. In our
opinion, Government aid is bound to come anyway, but if we wait another
six months, the danger is that with winter \\]mn us, a lot of cheap tem])orary
shacks will be built with which no self-respecting workingmen can long
remain contented, instead of attracti\e small homes, well laid out, in well
planted and well protected garden suburbs, where he can assume the re-
sponsibility of ])ernianent citizenship and find the greatest degree of com-
fort and contentment.


I-. .\K(lliri:( T AND KXGIXEER



Councsy Ho<;b=.

California Urges Practical City Planning

Hy MARK C. COHX, iJircctcr of HousiiiK and City PlaiiniiiK.
State Commission nf Immigration and Housing;.

THl-L urLjcnt necessities of war have served, as never before, to force upun
us a much more careful phinninij and re,u,"ulation of livinjj and housing
conditions, also the ])lannini,^ of indu>trial facilities and of workini^-
and labor conditions. The zonin*; of our cities alonp; practical lines as a war
expedient, as an impetus for better business, and in the interest of a broader
and healthier community life has l>een repeatedly urpjed by the representa-
tives and meni'bers of this Commission. \Ve look forward to the time when
there will be established a city ])lannini; and housini; commission in every in-
corporated city and town in.Californi-i, These ccimmissions will have the full
co-operation of our bureau.

Now is the time for California cities tn j^et busy u]>on the study of better
housing and living conditions. .-\mt>rica is called upon to conserve her re-
sources. Cjood housing is of vital im)X)rtaucc to the conservation of hmnan
life, conservation of human energy and of the man power. There will be less
opposition now when people are less selfish than ever before and miderstanil
the benefits to be derived from the establishment of regidations that guarantee
the greatest goo<l to the greatest niuuber. .\t ])resent. and ]>robably for several
years, for ])atriotic reasons we are restrained from all building activities. There-
fore our cities can sit down calmly and carefully to plan out for the expansion
of building and the greatest economy ]>ossible in improvement when conditions
permit us to resume the building of homes and public improvements on the
large scale necessary to catch up with the years that wt- aregetting behind.




Men from all our cities are now in France. That little war-torn nation is
inakinij city plans in these times for the rebuilding' necessary as soon as the war
is over and is establishing' zone ordinances and building regulations. They are
tearinj^ out factories and moving them to other districts, preparing for the
building of model housing i)rojects, apjjlying the English garden city prin-
cii)les to these projects and providing for those things that will be conducive to
the best conditions for the w'orkers. If France can do these things in the midst
of war. .Xmerican cities may well profit by the example.

The ideal in better housing is possible only when permanency is assured.
Housing of the right kind is as important as niedicine and surgery. ( )ik' is
preventative while the other is palliative.

Sensible zoning, city planning and housing ordinances in all cities is in the
interest of better business. Misunderstandings and consequent opposition is
bound to develop, but it will lie largely ignorant and selfish opixisition and un-
warranted. This opposition largely comes from the same class of penple who
opi>ose every kind of progressive legislation.

In Xew York City the realty men. before their zone ordinance was passed,
opposed the iieight liniitatinn of buildings. These same men now sav that they
were mistaken and that they have stood in the light of their own interests. Our
Commission has found that in nearly every case where strong o|)|Kisition devel-
oi>ed against the recommendations of the Commission the opposition r.-\er-
come as soon as the objects and purposes of the recommendations were under-

The sudden urgent need of industrial housing for ship workers and others
on account of the war was anticipated by our Commission as far back as the
year l'n4 when a study was made of the best t\|)e of homes for workers in tiie
iu<lnstrial centers of the country and how California could best undertake to




iiNM 1500 ,., -''4j

14^,^11 losAngeles !j IBM


Plan Now To stop Tenementsin your City


"Healtli is Wealth"

The worl'inii people of A mer/os lose n72.S'i: jioO
a year because of Sicbne^s. ^^^



Sewage. Garbage. Fitth. mean
Flies and Disease.





The coffliTiOTie5l
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Arcliitects and Engineers

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solve this pnil)lcni. A study of tlic needs of California was also made by the
Commission. With this information an educational caini)ai<,ni was launched
tlirous^diout the state pointing out the necessity for practical liousin-; and city
plannin;,'- laws. As a result of the study made by this Commission and with the
co-operation of the cities of the state, and many organizations and individuals,
we were successful in having enacted by the legislature three of the best hous-
ing laws in the country and also city planning and zoning laws. Each citv,
town and county in the State should bend every effort to the end that these laws
be diligently and impartially enforced. Every civic organization in the State
could well afford to spend the time to become acquainted with the provisions
of these laws and also with the objects and purjio-es thereto sn that a more
harmonious understanding may prevail.

Now that the Federal government has ofticially decided to undertake the
financing of industrial housing it is probable that we shall have some more
or less model housing schemes developed in California. It is to be hdjied that projects will follow the best city planning, housing and architectural ad-
vice. Jn England and in the East such schemes have i)roved successful and
have provided homes at moderate i)rices that are solving to some e.xtent the
'■"lOusing problem. In California there does not a])pear to be anv reason for the
building of temporary shacks which will cause trouble later, if the local coni-
numities co-ojierate with the government authorities with forethought and a
firm determinatidu to solve tlie problem on a permanent basis.



The Tenth National Conference on City Planning
at St. Louis, Missouri

Z()XIX(1 and IiKlustrial liousing- were the ])rincii)al
topics of discussion at the Tenth National Confer-
ence on City I'lanninq- held in St. Louis, the last
week in May. The St. Louis City Planning Commission
has heen for some time making special studies preparatory
to the zoning of this important city, and had asked that
zone ordinances form the main suhject at this conference.


A valuahle pa]K'r on Industrial Zoning was presented
by Herbert S. Swan, Executive Secretary of the Zoning
Committee of New York City. It is interesting to note
that while Tammany succeeded in stopping temporarily at
least the city planning work of New York City when it
\"asc \ersaiiies took ovcr municipal control in January, the large prop-

erty owners of the city have leagued themselves to-
gether to maintain a permanent, unofficial Zoning Committee, with a legal
striff and secretary to guarrl the Xew York Zone Ordinance, and any amend-
ments to it that may be proposed, for the protection of their propertv inter-
ests. Mr. Swan said in part:

"That the relative competitive strength of a city in the domestic and
foreign markets of the world is frequently conditioned to quite as great an
extent by the arrangement of the industries within the city as by the availability
cf raw materials and that the proximity of a consuming public is just beginning
to dawn upon us. Economical means of transferring and distributing freight
within a city contribute proportionatelx' no less to the development and ex-
pansion of its commercial and industrial hinterland than efficient outside con-
nections by rail and water. Heavy terminal costs are as much a drag upon a
city's prosperity as high freight charges. Every cent saved in needless trucking
means just that much more available for the extension of the city's commercial
and industrial radius by rail or water.

"When factories and warehouses are not located with reference to freight
terminals, a situation frequently develops where the down town streets are un-
necessarily congested to the inconvenience and financial loss of the whole city.
.\ similar condition results where mutually interdependent industries locate in
widely separated parts of the city instead of near one another. It is maladjust-
ments of this kind that zoning is designed to remed\'.

"If ex])erts on transportation are correct in telling us that the movement
of freight increases as the fourth power of the ])opulation. that the freight
traffic floubles every time the population increases twenty per cent — then the
street congestion experienced by our large cities of today is as nothing com-
l>ared with what our larger cities of tomorrw will be obliged to endure. Thev
will be com])elled to ado])t every possible means in order to keep traffic moving
or choke under their own growth.


'\\ special feature of the llerkeley ordinance, and of the ])roposed Eresno
ordinance, is the exclusion of residences from the heav\- manufacturing dis-
tricts and the nuisance districts, 'j'his jjlan has many distinct merits. The very
reasons that make it desirable to e.xclude factories and nuisances from resi-
dence districts. api)ly with e(|ual, if not greater, force when it comes to prohibit-
ing the erection of new dwellings in districts set aside for industrial develop-



nient. If it is unliealtlifiil for people to live near a factory isolated in the resi-
dence district, it is all the more iinhealthful for them to live in a home
isolated in the industrial district. To permit residence buildin^js in factory
districts, moreover, tends to increase the size of these districts beyond their
natural requirements as the area included in this classification must also make
provision for the erection of a considerable number of dwellings.

"Industrial zoning as applied to factories has often been aclvocated with a
view to effecting a decentralization of population, it being supposed that a
judicious distribution of factories would at the same time prevent a piling up
of the workers in congested tenements.

"To scatter the factories for no better reason than that many factories
as,senibled at one place will require a large number of employees is to ignore
some of the fundamental facts in the case as a decentralization of a city's indus-
trial development does not necessarily mean a zoning of workers by place of
work. In the first place the different members of a workman's family work in
different places. If the head of the family lives where he can walk to his work,
will not his daughter who clerks in a department store, or his son who keeps
books in a down-town office, have to ride? In the second place, small indus-
trial areas can be used intensively, especially when occupied bv light manufac-
turing. In Xew ^"ork there are blocks improved with loft buildings accommo
dating more than 5.000 operatives.

"Is not the answer to the dilemma that intensive industrial development is
no excuse for a congestion of population, that a decentralization of population
can go hand in hand with a concentration of industry? Factory centers like
business centers must have convenient transportation. If there are many
workmen employed in one place, it is not essential to house them on the same
area which a smaller number would inhabit more sparsely. Through the con-
struction of transit lines the housing area can be enlarged to such an extent that
each family will still live in good surroundings.

"For years the pecuniary losses suffered on account of unregidated building
in certain sections of Xew York have not only equalled, but exceeded those
suffered from fire. Investigation might show that this state of facts was true
of the metrof)olis as a whole. The city that does not protect its citizens against
fire is generally considered derelict in its sense of public duty. The same is
rapidly becoming true of the city that does not protect its citizens against un-
regidated building."


This subject was discussed by Dr. Robert H. Whitten. Secretary of the City
Planning Commission of Cleveland. r)hio. and former Secretary of the City

(Continued on page 114)



The National Conference on War Housing


seventeen States.


< ) what extent shall war workers be housed in tem-
]iorar)' barracks — in permanent homes? Shall
lionses for war workers be rented or sold?- Shall
we ])rovide for the housing of many women workers?
What is the bes-t way to house the woman worker?
These (|uestions, which are questions of policy arising
in connection with projected Government housing oper-
ations in shi])building and munitions centers, were the
subjects of the live discussions which characterized the
first American conference on war housing, held at Phil-
adelphia, February 2.S. under the auspices of the Na-
tional Housing As-iocialion.

The conference, ])resi(led over ;)y Mr. Lawrence
\ eiller, secretary of the association, wa.s attended by
manufacturers, real estate men, architects, city plaimers,
contractors, builders, labor leaders, civic and social
workers and housing experts to the number of 2-I-I- from
There was no reading of papers — five-minute discussions
only were permitted — as a result of which a much more general and conclu-
sive expression of opinion was obtained.

More or less of the administration viewpoint on the several questions raised
was expressed by I\Ir. Frederick Law Olmsted, city planner, who for months
has been in Washington on emergency construction work, and by Mr. Philip
Hiss, chairman of the sub-committee on housing of the advisory commission of
the Council of National Defense English experience as furnishing a criterion
for American policies was described by Mr. Thomas Adams, advisor of the
Canadian commission of conservation, and Mr. P'rederick L. Ackerman, archi-
tect, of New York City. Mr. Joseph Richie, general organizer of the Ameri-
can Federation of Labor, sjxike for the workers.

Permanent as against temporary construction in government operations was

Mr. Olmsted pointed out that the sole interest of the government in housing,
at the present moment, lies in its bearing upon the shipping anfl munitions in-
dustries. Housing, in this connection, is purely a means to an end and that end
is the quick concentration and stabilization of the labor supply in important cen-
ters. Government interest in the type of construction is concerned chiefly with
the elements of speed and salvage value, provided the housing is good enough
to secure the welfare and contentment of the workers.

Speaker after speaker, however, emphasized that the welfare and content-
ment of the worker demand permanent construction — or a type of temjx)rary
construction that would offer little advantage as to speed and less as to salvage

"Shipyard workers and munitions workers are generally men with families,"
said Mr. Richie. "They are a .group of men who want to be housed per-
manently. If you make a temporarv home for a man, you make a temjiorary
job, and we don't want men considering that they have a tem|)(irary jol) in the
shipyards at this time."

English experience as described by Messrs. .Adams and Ackerman adds
weight to this statement, for in many cases where England permitted the plea
of expediency to justify makeshift construction, she found it necessary, for the
sake of stabilizing the labor su]>])ly, to untlo much of her work and to do it over
on more substantial lines. She found, moreover, that "the worker nnist have
more than shelter for his head, and the wastes disposed of : he must ])la\- and be


recreated," and that "housing" means not merely houses but all tiic amenities
of the modern communit)'.

It was shown, furthermore, that consideration of community as well as
individual welfare adds another coimt in favor of permanent construction.
Temporary housinof, as demonstrated repeatedly, too easily deteriorates into
slum conditions, while permanent houses of good character would tend to ele-
vate the standards of the conmiunity.

The objection that there exists, in the zeal of those advocating pernianent
housing, the danger of building beyond the capacity of the community to ab-
sorb, was answered first, by the argument that industry tends to seek those
communities in which the housing is adequate, and, second, that in the readjust-
ment which will fuUow the war, the probabilities are in favor of the occupancy
of the better houses and the vacation of the unfit, thus automatically eliminating
undesirable conditions.

The spirit and conclusions of the conference are perhaps best summed up in
the words of Mr. Thomas Adams : "Take a large view of this question. Estab-
lish these new communities upon a permanent basis. Create garden cities now
because you have an opportunity you never had before, and recosjnize that in
this country you are increasing your population twenty or twenty-five millions
every fifteen years and that if you build houses with 100 or 200 million dollars
of government money you are only building one-sixth of the yearly demand
for new houses in this country and you need have no fear of the danger of hav-
ing an excessive supply after the war. Do not fail to recognize that you had a
housing problem before the war and that you are going to have a housing
problem after the war quite independent of the conditions created by the war.
That, I think, ought to have a considerable influence upon the method of ap-
proach and the consideration which you apply to this question of war housing
conditions.'" — National Municipal Review.

The following wire was sent the Conference from California: —

"We are extremely interested and recommend against temjXJrary barracks ;
favor permanent homes. Houses should be sold wherever possible on small first
payment and monthly installments not exceeding twenty-five per cent of monthly
earnings. Women workers where supporting families should be treated same as
men. Federal Government must help. Bank loans too small and too short
term. Private capital all going into Government loans. Same problems exist
on the Pacific Coast as you have in East. We find principal difficulty in financ-
ing under war conditions. Secretary McAdoo should be asked to lay stress on
exception of this class of building from his general ruling against home building
and to give such exception wide publicity. Signed (Archbishop) E. J. Hanna,
John .\. I'.ritton. Mrs. .Abbie E. Wilkins, Geo. C. Holberton. Chas. E. Hevves,
Thos. H. Reed, Chas. II. Cheney."

Luxembourg, Paris.


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C. U, Knvricr. C. E

David C. Allison

^'ears ago Mr. C'lieney had the fore-
>i,i;lu to concentrate his work on that
WORkT OF "'^''^^ "^ ^" architect".s ex-
yjip /-i-fY periences which we term
PI AIMNIFD '"''-^ planninsf. It seems
HLAlNINtK to' me that the words
"city ])lanninfj" are misleading, and
that many think that a city planner is
an engineer who squeezes out the larg-
est number of lots to the acre and then
plants a few geranium bushes in front
of the lots.

The city planner's work is rather
that of a prophet than mere arrange-
ment and hygiene. He must get all
the data he can. and from this data he mold this and that in such a way
that the town or city will tiltimately
;,'ro\\ into a thing of healthfulness and

The city planner evidently must
have the vision and a good deal of the
training in analysis and study of de-
sign required to produce an architect.
He must also have understanding of
engineering, particularly of practical
building requirements and of munici-
])al engineering improvements. He
should have some knowledge and feel-
ing for planting, parks and landscape
design. Yet, if he cannot balance this
knowledge and apply it with an under-
standing of the laws of economics, so-
ciology and municipal government, his
city plans are not liable to go ahead,
however worthy in design they may

L'p to about fifteen years ago all our
city plans were in the hands of local

Online LibraryThomas Babington Macaulay MacaulayThe Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.52-53 (Jan.-June 1918)) → online text (page 50 of 55)