August 8, 2022
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A cheerful man, who typically wearing a bow tie and obsessed over the cityscape wherever he was, Mr. Garvin insisted on taking virtually all the images for his books and traveled around the globe to see firsthand the locations he wrote about.

Educated as an architect, he was skeptical of the flexibility of buildings alone to remake cities. The important thing to a profitable metropolis, he believed, was a vibrant, energetic downtown with plenty of public area, often made potential by public funding, and a wholesome combination of residents, business exercise, tradition, eating places, parks and transit.

In his ebook “What Makes a Nice City” (2016), Mr. Garvin used Bilbao, Spain, for instance, taking difficulty with the argument that Frank Gehry’s celebrated Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which opened in 1997, had single-handedly turned the town round. He argued that the town’s resolution years earlier than to put money into a brand new transit system, decontaminate its polluted river and construct waterfront parks made the Gehry constructing potential. The Guggenheim was the fruits of a a lot deeper revival, not the beginning of it, he wrote.

Alexander Garvin was born in New York on March 8, 1941, to Jacques and Margarita Garvin. His father owned Claridge Meals Firm, a canned items producer, and his mom was a designer and ceramist. He grew up on the Higher East Aspect and would dwell for the remainder of his life inside a couple of blocks of his childhood dwelling, although he prided himself on figuring out virtually each part of all 5 boroughs.

New York taught him, he would say, that cities work greatest when they’re each dense and various and have ample public area. He noticed Frederick Legislation Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the designers of Central Park, as heroes. He walked by way of the park each day till a couple of weeks earlier than his loss of life.

After graduating from the Riverdale Nation Faculty within the Bronx, he went to Yale, the place, he recalled, a roommate gave him a replica of a newly printed ebook known as “The Dying and Lifetime of Nice American Cities,” by Jane Jacobs, an assault on the assumption that troubled downtowns have been greatest mounted by demolishing and rebuilding them.

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