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Gropius Urges Harvard, M.I.T. Construct Showcase Community


Walter Gropius, professor of Architecture, emeritus, has proposed that the Harvard and M.I.T. schools of design join forces in planning and constructing a model community of homes and industries in order to demonstrate the practical and aesthetic advantages of careful city-planning.

Delivering the closing address of a two-day conference on urban design, Gropius noted that although scientific progress has brought the nation abundant physical and materialistic well-being, there has as yet been little effort towards producing planned communities with "an attractive and sociable pattern."

He said that "If the citizen can see with his own eyes what 20th century living could be like, if he can talk to the inhabitants of such a proposed experimental development and watch the improvements made, he will become fed up with his own chaotic environment and will begin to press for the rehabilitation of his own community."

Gropius called attention to the discrepancy between "the high intellectual standards of this University and the haphazard mess that makes up its environment."

"The minute we step out of the pleasant Yard," he said, "we are surrounded by that typical chaos of ugliness and in significant non-form which characterizes so many of our towns and cities because the public simply does not know what we have in mind when we talk of beauty or of better space relations."

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