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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:

  • City renewal was thought of as a comprehensive planning matter. In Boston virtually the whole city was included in planning areas.

  • Planning 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.

  • The 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.

  • Throughout 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.
Today 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.

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:
  • Compile a chronology of events, projects, etc. Assemble a bibliography of published materials

  • Compile an annotated list of participants (staff, professionals, officials, citizens, academics, etc) involvement (dates, projects, programs, etc.)

  • Collect participants writings, oral histories, documents (plans, photos, memos, etc.)

  • Identify existing archival materials and explore the establishment of a site (e.g. Boston Public Library) to store the material.

  • Encourage and promote scholars, writers, documentary makers to use the material for research and the analysis of the era.

  • The organization of a conference to set the dimensions of the study and to promote interest.

  • As 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 Pangaro