I teach courses on World Cities, History of New York City, the History and Theory of Historic Preservation, the Philosophy of Architecture and Urbanism. I have taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgia State University, Yale University, MIT, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
I am the Director of the Historic Preservation Program at UMass Amherst.
You can learn about my books on the home page.
Selected Articles in Academic Journals
“The Arc of Memory and the Arc of Justice: Memories of State Terrorism in Buenos Aires,” Massachusetts Review, Fall 2013.
“Urban Design and Civil Protest,” Places 20:1 (2008)
“Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America,” review essay in Journal of American History (June 2005)
“The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster,” review essay in Journal of Planning History (November 2003).
“The Future of the Past: New York History after 9/11,” inaugural issue of the new New-York Journal of American History (May 2003).
“Comment on James Cohen, ‘Abandoned Housing: Implications for Urban Policy and Local Planning,'” Housing Policy Debate (Fall 2001).
“Radical Public History in the City,” in Radical History Review 79 (2001) 114-116.
“The City That Workers Built,” in Reviews in American History 29:3 (September 2001), with Eve Weinbaum. Review article of Joshua B. Freeman, Working-Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II.
“Four Ways of Looking at City-Building in America.” Review article of four books concerning contemporary urban development by Anthony Orum, Michael Logan, Diana Tittle, and Michael O’Connor, Journal of Urban History (September 1999).
“’A Vanished City is Restored’: Inventing and Displaying the Past at the Museum of the City of New York,” Winterthur Portfolio 34:1 (March 1999).
“‘Uses of the Axe’: Street Trees and the Meaning of Nature in New York,” American Studies (April 1999).
“The Life and Death of a Document: Lessons from the Strange Career of The Diary of Anne Frank,” The Public Historian 21:1 (Winter, 1999).
“From ‘Miserable Dens’ to the ‘Marble Monster’: Historical Memory and the Design of Courthouses in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (December 1995).
“Yale’s Old Brick Row: The Struggle for a Campus,” New Haven Colony Historical Society Journal (Spring 1989).
Selected Articles in Books
“The Armory Show in the Provisional City,” in Marilyn Kushner, Kimberly Orcutt, Casey Blake, eds., The Armory Show at 100: Modernism and Revolution (New York: New-York Historical Society and Giles Ltd., 2013).
“The Heights and Depths of Urbanism : Fifth Avenue and the Creative Destruction of Manhattan,” in Roberta Moudry, ed, The American Skyscraper : Cultural Histories (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
“The City’s End: Past and Present Narratives of New York’s Destruction,” in Lawrence Vale and Thomas Campanella, eds., The Resilient City: Trauma, Recovery, Remembrance (New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 2004).
“Creatively Destroying New York: Fantasies, Premonitions, and Realities in the ProvisionalCity,” in Joan Ockman, ed., Out of Ground Zero (New York: Prestel Publishing, 2002).
“Chicago’s Maxwell Street: A Crucible of Cultures,” in City Sites, an electronic book by the 3Cities Project of the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham, at www.citysites.org.uk (December 2000).
Several entries (including a two-thousand word entry on New York City) in Robert Gregg and Gary McDonogh, eds., The Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture (2000).
“Skyscrapers: The Politics of Corporate Architecture,” with Steven Conn, in Invisible America, edited by Neil A. Silberman (Henry Holt, 1995).
Selected Articles in Magazines and Newspapers
“The Ideals Behind UMass’ Stained Concrete,” Boston Globe, March 24, 2013
“On Edge, Again: Fear in New York after September 11,” The New York Times, cover article for The City section (October 21, 2001).
“The Houston Pavilions: Towards a Mixed Use Downtown?” Cite, Spring 2009.
“Designing for God: The Reemergence of Tradition at the new Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston,” Cite, Spring 2008.
“The Urban Ear: Sounds of the City,” New York Times (July 22, 2007)
“Sprawled Out,” Architecture (October 2006). I was the Public Realm columnist for Architecture in 2006.
“Shifting the Memorial Paradigm,” Architecture (August 2006)
“The Preservation Act at 40,” Architecture (June 2006)
“Crashing to Earth, Again and Again,” on the 75th Anniversary of the Empire State Building, New York Times (April 23, 2006)
“Welcome Back, King Kong,” Op-Ed in the Boston Globe (December 17, 2005). Reprinted in the Philadelphia Inquirer and International Herald-Tribune.
“The Kindness of Strangers: Rebuilding New Orleans,” Architecture (December 2005)
“Germany’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe,” Architecture (June 2005).
“Careful Urban Renewal Twenty-Five Years Later: How the International Building Exhibition Berlin Has Stood the Test of Time,” Metropolis (March 2005).
“New Architecture in Berlin,” Architecture (September 2004).
“The Otis Elevator: The ‘Hoisting Apparatus’ That Changed America,” Hartford Courant (February 22, 2004).
“Rethink the Type of Memorial We Want,” Gotham Gazette, November 24, 2003
“Education By Design: New Architecture at the Five Colleges,” Architecture Magazine (October, 2003).
“Boxed In: The Galante Architecture Studio’s Falmouth, MA Recreation Center,” Architecture Magazine (July, 2003).
“Minuteman Athletics Logo Makeover Reveals Skewed Priorities at UMass,” with Eve Weinbaum, Worcester Telegram and Gazette (July 29, 2003).
“River of Innovation: Returning to the Tradition of Contemporary Architecture on the Charles River,” Architecture Boston (Summer, 2003).
“Takin’ It To the Streets: The Geography of Public Protest,” Architecture Boston (Spring, 2003).
“Trent Lott and the Color Line,” Valley Advocate (January 2, 2003).
“Opportunity Lost? Rethinking the Rebuilding of New York” Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer (August 18, 2002).
“Step Back from Ground Zero,” Op-Ed in the Christian Science Monitor (July 30, 2002).
“Speaking the Truth about Welfare into a Political Void,” Valley Advocate (April 3, 2002).
“Measuring the Value of Lives: A Critique of the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund,” Christian Science Monitor (January 4, 2002).
“Private Tragedies and Public Life: Privatization after September 11,” Valley Advocate (September 27, 2001).
“Unimaginable: Precursors to September 11,” History News Service (September, 2001). Reprinted in the Lexington Herald-Leader, and several other papers.
“The Gerrymandered Lower East Side Historic District,” Op-Ed in the New York Daily News (April 26, 2001).
“Unkind Legacy: The History of George W. Bush’s Presidency,” Op-Ed in the Philadelphia City Paper (March 29, 2001).
“Rage is Right: Renewing the Democratic Party,” The Politic (Spring 2001).
“Preservation Blues: The Destruction of Maxwell Street in Chicago,” Op-Ed in the Christian Science Monitor (December 28, 2000).
“Voter Cleansing: The Votes We Traded to Get Clean Machines,” Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times (November 29, 2000).
“A Concession Speech for George W. Bush,” Op-Ed in the Yale Daily News (November 16, 2000).
“Whither National Health Care? Simple and Profound Lessons from Great Britain,” Op-Ed in the New York Daily News (July 1, 2000).
“Redlined: All the News That’s Fit to Deliver, All the People Fit for Delivery,” Op-Ed in the Philadelphia City Paper (June 29, 2000).
“Crucibles of Culture: Artists Thrive in Big Cities for a Reason, ” Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times (May 15, 2000). Reprinted by the Salt Lake Tribune (May 21, 2000).
“Home with Dad on International Women’s Day,” Op-Ed in the New York Daily News (March 9, 2000).
“Wal-Mart’s British Invasion,” Op-Ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (September 8, 1999).
“Reading the Reading Room: The Life of the Mind in the New British Library,” Preservation (May/June 1999).
“What Have We Learned: Views from the End of a Semester,” Op-Ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (December 14, 1998).
“Chopstick Ruminations: Lessons about the Global Economy,” Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer (November 28, 1998, p. A17).
“The ‘City Too Busy to Hate’?: Forgetting the History of Segregation in Atlanta,” Op-Ed in the Creative Loafing (June 20, 1998).
“Turn to Berlin: German Capital Can Teach Atlanta How to Handle Success,” Op-Ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (June 1, 1998, p. A9).
“A Block of History,” Op-Ed in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (December 5, 1997, p. A23).
“The One Less Traveled By”: an Ode to MARTA,” Op-Ed in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (September 15, 1997, p. A9).
“Letter from Berlin: Hardly a True Memory,” The Forward (August 15, 1997, p. 1).
Bi-weekly columnist for the Daily Pennsylvanian (1995-96).
“Learning from the Trenches: Lessons from New York’s Homeless Shelters,” Reforum: A City Journal for Social Change (Fall 1994).
“The Mists of Todos Santos,” Photographic Essay on Todos Santos, Guatemala, Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective (Spring 1994).
“How to Stop the Uglification of America,” with Ronald Lee Fleming, The New York Times (October 24, 1987).