Edward J. Logue was the major innovator
in the revitalization of US cities after WWII. He
was able to bring together elected officials, the
federal government, citizens, business to form new
institutions to bring back life to cities suffering
from changes in the economy and suburban flight.
His arenas were New Haven, Boston and New York State.
He worked with Mayor Dick Lee, Mayor John Collins,
Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. The tangible results are
thousands of units of affordable housing of quality
and good design, millions of square feet of commercial
space, vibrant neighborhoods. He worked with elected
officials to invent the BRA and UDC to break through
bureaucratic obstacles. Seeing the need for a high
quality professional staff to accomplish his objectives
he assembled new organizations alongside of the
established departments. Hundreds of people who
participated (as staff, professionals, public officials
and politicians) learned and took those lessons
and skills to communities all over the country and
internationally. Yet he is all but forgotten today.
All of Urban Renewal is tarred with the brush of
clearance and destruction of neighborhoods. Ed Logue's
use of Urban Renewal power may be distinguished
from this general perception in many ways:
the experiments in housing design and integration
may be seen as irrelevant; his methods uneconomic
and overreaching; and not all of his projects and
programs successful or worthy; they all stand as
important lessons for the future.
renewal was thought of as a comprehensive planning
matter. In Boston virtually the whole city was
included in planning areas.
with neighborhood and people was as important
as with businesses and institutions. Integration
of people of differing races and income levels
was an objective attempted.
provision of better housing at affordable rents
was a major objective. This housing effort combined
new housing on limited selected sites, research
and development of new types, with the rehabilitation
of large areas of existing housing.
all efforts there was the insistence on high
quality of planning and architectural design.
The participation of prominent professions was
encouraged and obtained. The value of distinctive
historic areas and building was recognized.
The purpose of the Friends of E.J. Logue is to document,
organize and communicate the history of Ed's 40
year public service career ( '50' to '90's). Some
of the tasks are:
a chronology of events, projects, etc. Assemble
a bibliography of published materials
an annotated list of participants (staff, professionals,
officials, citizens, academics, etc) involvement
(dates, projects, programs, etc.)
participants writings, oral histories, documents
(plans, photos, memos, etc.)
existing archival materials and explore the
establishment of a site (e.g. Boston Public
Library) to store the material.
and promote scholars, writers, documentary makers
to use the material for research and the analysis
of the era.
organization of a conference to set the dimensions
of the study and to promote interest.
a first step, to create a web site for communication
among participants, for collection of new material
and to disseminate material as it is assembled.
Stephen Diamond, Tunney Lee and Anthony
© 2003. FRIENDS OF EDWARD J. LOGUE.