John Nolen and Mariemont
Building a New Town in Ohio
Winner of the Ohioana Library Association Award
To city planners, landscape architects, and historians, John Nolen is as important a figure in design and planning as was Frederick Law Olmsted, Jens Jensen, or Lewis Mumford. Scholars, however, have only recently begun to explore the extensive Nolen archives. Relying on rarely published materials from these archives and other sources, John Nolen and Mariemont: Building a New Town in Ohio details the planning and initial development of the community of Mariemont, outside Cincinnati. Hired by philanthropist Mary Emery, Nolen worked to transform farmland into a community of mixed-income housing complete with commercial space, playgrounds, and a village green.
This is the first book to examine the planning and building of Mariemont and one of the few books to focus on the process of American town planning in the early twentieth century. Regarded in the 1920s as an exemplar of planned communities, Mariemont remains one of America's most livable suburbs and has drawn great interest from the New Urbanism movement.
About the Author
Millard F. Rogers, Jr. is director emeritus of the Cincinnati Art Museum.
"Obligatory reading for residents past and present."
"Rogers delved into the rich cache of materials found in the John Nolen Papers to produce the definitive history of an American new town... An exemplary book that will appeal to practictioners as well as historians."
"For many practicing planners and academics, planning history may seem distant from current challenges and an unlikely source for workable planning concepts. In fact, we can learn much from studying important exemplars from the past. Nolen's work has been overdue for reexamination. John Nolen and Mariemont deserves a wide audience because it offers insights about the difficulty of creating a well-designed mixed-use community from scratch."
"I consider Rogers's well-written and usefully illustrated book the best assessment so far of the development of any American planned new town in the twentieth century. Anyone interested in community development will want to read this book."
"Rogers reconstructs Mariemont's planning and construction from 1920 to 1925... The value of this study to architectural and planning historians lies in the precision of the chronology."
"Mariemont stands out as a real gem, and this well-written, thoughtful book gives the town and its planners the exposure they deserve."
"A strong element of connoisseurship pervades the book, especially in the assessments of Mariemont's architectural and planning elements. With a fluid writing style supported by a considerable number of illustrations, Rogers offers the reader a guided tour of Mariemont's early residential, commercial, and public buildings."
"Rogers does a splendid job of taking us step-by-step through the planning and initial development of one of America's most significant early twentieth century 'model communities'—John Nolen's Mariemont. Better than any book I know of, this manuscript lays out the tremendous work that goes into creating a successful planned urban place."
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