Zoning Redux…

zoning book

And apropos intersecting collections in the Baruch Archives that we just wrote about…


Eight years after Bernard Baruch’s 1889 graduation from the City College of New York in its original location on Lexington Avenue and 23d Street (it would later become a separate unit named for Baruch), another notable alumnus bade farewell to its ivied walls. Upton Sinclair, soon to write “The Jungle” and other muckraking classics, graduated in 1897.


Why mention this now?

Because the previous post about how Luther Gulick and master publicist Edward L. Bernays engineered passage of the momentous 1960 rezoning of New York overlooked a key document.

On March 24, 1960, as Gulick and co-chair Robert W. Dowling of the Committee for Modern Zoning struggled to overcome a tide of business opposition to tightening the building restrictions, they wrote Sinclair hoping for an expression of support.

Sinclair obliged, scrawling on the bottom of the letter: “A city without zoning is a lunatic asylum without a superintendent.”

1960-03-24 Upton Sinclair

Could you ask for a better endorsement than that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *