21H.234J / 11.339J / 11.026J Downtown

As taught in: Spring 2005

A photograph looking up from the streets of New York City.

New York City, one of the world's most vibrant examples of downtown. (Image courtesy of Keith McCluskey, © opifice.com.)


Undergraduate / Graduate


Prof. Bernard Frieden

Prof. Robert Fogelson

Course Highlights

Course Description

This seminar focuses on downtowns in U.S. cities from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Emphasis will be placed on downtown as an idea, place, and cluster of interests; on the changing character of downtown; and on recent efforts to rebuild it. Subjects to be considered will include subways, skyscrapers, highways, urban renewal, and retail centers. The focus will be on readings, discussions, and individual research projects.