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A History of Housing in New York City Paperback – April 15, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0231062978 ISBN-10: 0231062974 Edition: Reprint

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A History of Housing in New York City + The Death and Life of Great American Cities
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Product Details

  • Series: Columbia History of Urban Life
  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Reprint edition (April 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231062974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231062978
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

New York City has been, and continues to be, a city of contrasts when it comes to housing: elegant mansions of merchant millionaires coexist with the squalid tenement slums of immigrant workers, and garden apartments coexist with high-rise apartment towers. In this revealing study, Plunz traces the history of housing in New York from 1850 to the present, examining the complex roles that city planning, real estate development, housing reform, building codes, contruction technology, and government policies--and politics--play in the process. Plunz shows how specific housing types developed over time and analyzes their successes and failures in meeting the diverse needs of their occupants. The book's comprehensive scope and high degree of detail makes it recommended reading for anyone interested in housing.
- H. Ward Jandl, National Park Service , Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Housing, historically one of most perplexing problems, turns out to be a fascinating perspective from which to assess our incomparable city. Professor Plunz provides an erudite, revealing, and relentlessly engaging portrait of a great urban place and its people. -- Review

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Frenchman on October 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you can only buy one book about housing in the USA (this isn't just for those interested in NYC), this is the one to buy. It makes terrific reading just as an evolving narrative -- how many books on housing can one say that about? From the earliest dwellings to highrise towers in the park, the book tackles important social and design trends. Robert Moses of course comes in for a bow but all that underpinned his vast reshaping of NYC is detailed. You want floor plans? It's got floorplans galore. My one quibble is that it ends in the early 90s and so much as happened since then. Time to write a companion book, Professor Plunz.
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