Inventing the Charles River by Karl Haglund
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Inventing the Charles River
By Karl Haglund

Inventing the Charles River

By (author) See other recent books by Karl Haglund
Foreword by Renata von Tscharner See other recent books by Renata von Tscharner
Format: Hardback

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Inventing the Charles River by Karl Haglund

Book Awards

  • Joint winner for Boston Author's Club Awards: Special Award 2004.

Book Description

The Charles River Basin, extending nine miles upstream from the harbor, has been called Boston's "Central Park." Yet few realize that this apparently natural landscape is a totally fabricated public space. Two hundred years ago the Charles was a tidal river, edged by hundreds of acres of salt marshes and mudflats. Inventing the Charles River describes how, before the creation of the basin could begin, the river first had to be imagined as a single public space. The new esplanades along the river changed the way Bostonians perceived their city; and the basin, with its expansive views of Boston and Cambridge, became an iconic image of the metropolis. The book focuses on the precarious balance between transportation planning and stewardship of the public realm. Long before the esplanades were realized, great swaths of the river were given over to industrial enterprises and transportation -- millponds, bridges, landfills, and a complex network of road and railway bridges. In 1929, Boston's first major highway controversy erupted when a four-lane road was proposed as part of a new esplanade. At twenty-year intervals, three riverfront road disputes followed, successively more complex and disputatious, culminating in the lawsuits over "Scheme Z," the Big Dig's plan for eighteen lanes of highway ramps and bridges over the river. More than four hundred photographs, maps, and drawings illustrate past and future visions for the Charles and document the river's place in Boston's history.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262083072
ISBN-10: 0262083078
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 254mm x 38mm)
Pages: 515
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 17-Jan-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Karl Haglund

Karl Haglund is project manager for the New Charles River Basin at the Metropolitan District Commission.

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