Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2017

Publication Title

ArchNet-IJAR : International Journal of Architectural Research

ISSN

1938-7806

Volume

11

Issue

2

First Page

123

Last Page

136

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v11i2.1159

Abstract

After over a decade of reports, designs, and public outreach, the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco was dedicated in 1976. Using historical documents such as government reports, design guidelines, letters, meeting minutes, and newspaper articles from archives, I argue that while the construction of the UN Plaza has failed to completely transform the social and economic life of the area, it succeeds in creating a genuinely public space. The history of the UN Plaza can serve both as a cautionary tale for those interested in changing property values purely through changing design, and as a standard of success in making a space used by a true cross-section of urban society.

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