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Description - Developing Expertise by Sara Stevens

Real estate developers are integral to understanding the split narratives of twentieth-century American urban history. Rather than divide the decline of downtowns and the rise of suburbs into separate tales, Sara Stevens uses the figure of the real estate developer to explore how cities found new urban and architectural forms through both suburbanization and urban renewal. Through nuanced discussions of Chicago, Kansas City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Denver, Washington, D.C., and New York, Stevens explains how real estate developers, though often maligned, have shaped public policy through professional organizations, promoted investment security through design, and brought suburban models to downtowns. In this timely book, she considers how developers partnered with prominent architects, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and I. M. Pei, to sell their modern urban visions to the public. By viewing real estate developers as a critical link between capital and construction in prewar suburban development and postwar urban renewal, Stevens offers an original and enlightening look at the complex connections among suburbs and downtowns, policy, finance, and architectural history.

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