Monday, February 15, 2010


The readings this week I thought were very interesting. Hayden’s research on the early stages of suburbs was fascinating. Even to think that at one time Brooklyn was referenced as a suburb. I also stared comparing the first suburbs to the suburbs that we have in the present. Most people who lived in the suburbs were very wealthy. Now many other people live in the suburb and in my opinion a lot of wealthy have moved back into areas of the city. Look at Buckhead for instance in Atlanta. Many cities have area were the wealthy live. As Hayden describes most people back when suburbs began had to be extremely wealthy and there were no middle class.
I also enjoyed looking at how transportation improved vastly in a short period of time. The first transportation showed was the Brooklyn ferry. Then shortly after omnibuses pulled by horses appeared. After this was in action for a while they discovered the street car. With the street car land speculators could find cheap land and sale due to the fact they would run a street car line out to the suburb. Even back in that time everyone was out for money. The land speculators were very sneaky and often had a political partner or friend.
Another aspect of the readings I thought was interesting was how people in the suburbs approved of gardening. Downing made a living on designing gardens and landscape for people. How you kept your lawn often showed status. Beecher was also mentioned as the designer of the inside of your home. Beecher wrote literature on how to create as much space with your home as possible. Hayden described her as being quite famous and popular for her writings on that issue. In all the Hayden’s first few chapters of her book show the begging stages of what is now a mostly suburban country.

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