Transforming Boston Series :: From Basket Case to Innovation Hub (10.14)

Transforming Boston Series :: From Basket Case to Innovation Hub Program 1—Turning the City Around, 1945–1970
Wednesday October 14

At the end of WWII, Boston faced a dreary economic climate. In response to the drab financial forecast, planners and politicians began to assemble the tools necessary to chart the city’s development which led to the creation of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). The broad powers granted to the BRA created one of the most powerful planning agencies in the country. It soon became a crucible for national urban policy. Though the period was economically difficult for many—early plans displaced neighborhoods and created an organized and skeptical population—Boston became the center of some of the most creative planning and architecture in the country.

Lizabeth Cohen, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University
Frank DelVecchio, retired attorney
Mel King, community organizer
David Fixler,EYP

Moderator: Tunney Lee, MIT

We are grateful to our underwriter The Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF) and our contributors The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston and The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) for helping to make these programs possible.

  • The Architectural Heritage Foundation is thrilled to be invited to contribute to MHS’s efforts to understand this critical period of transformation in Boston’s recent past and in particular is providing this support in acknowledgment of the efforts and commitment of its founder, Roger Webb, to the great city of Boston and to helping to turn it around by helping to preserve and save some of the City's most enduring architectural icons.

Non-Profit Partners: 
Boston Architectural College
Architectural Studies Program of the History of Art and Architecture Department at Boston University
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
University of Massachusetts Boston