Harland Bartholomew

Harland Bartholomew, the dean of comprehensive city planning in the United States, died Saturday December 2, 1989 at his home in Clayton, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. He was 100 years old.  

Mr. Bartholomew, a consulting engineer, was appointed to Federal planning committees by three Presidents, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.  In 1941 President Roosevelt appointed Mr. Bartholomew to  a committee to recommend a limited system of national highways. He also helped plan the Metro subway system in Washington, and he represented the Rockefeller interests in the restoration of historic Williamsburg, Va. 

President Eisenhower appointed Mr. Bartholomew chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission, a position he held for seven years, A City Planner in Newark Mr. Bartholomew became the nation’s first full-time city planner in 1914. Two years later he went to St. Louis as a city engineer, and he later opened a consulting firm, Harland Bartholomew & Associates, which now has its headquarters in Memphis. He retired in 1965. His firm prepared comprehensive plans for more than 500 cities and counties, including Bal Harbor, FL., St. Croix, V.I., and Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas. Mr. Bartholomew also prepared plans for the reconstruction of the resort community of Bar Harbor, ME., after two-thirds of it was destroyed by a forest fire in 1947. 
His firm also assisted in the preparation of many zoning ordinances. Including a statewide ordinance for Hawaii. 

He was an early advocate of slum clearance and city planning, and served on the national Slum Clearance Advisory Committee. His ideas helped shape the Housing Act of 1937 and the Housing Act of 1949. 

Mr. Bartholomew was born in Stoneham, Mass., and received his civil engineering training at Rutgers University. He taught civic design at the University of Illinois from 1918 to 1956. 

Mr. Bartholomew, who was widowed three times, is survived by five stepchildren: George Ball of Traverse City, MI, Barbara Cowden of Manhattan, Dorothy Frosted of Washington and Georgianna Poll and R. F. Funston Jr., both of St. Louis. He is also survived by three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

1911-1915 Newark, New Jersey, comprehensive plan
1916-1920 St. Louis, Missouri, comprehensive plan
1920 Hamilton, Ohio comprehensive plan
1920 Memphis, Tennessee, comprehensive plan
1920-1921 Lansing, Michigan, comprehensive plan
1921-1922 Wichita, Kansas, comprehensive plan
1922 Evansville, Indiana, comprehensive plan
1924 Los Angeles, California, transportation plan
1924 Chattanooga, Tennessee, transportation plan, parks and recreation plan
1925 Kenosha, Wisconsin, comprehensive plan
1927 Peoria, Illinois, comprehensive plan
1927 Grand Rapids, Michigan. land use and transportation plan.
1926-1930 Vancouver, BC, comprehensive plan
1928 Saint Louis County, Missouri, transportation plan
1929 Rochester, New York, comprehensive plan
1930 San Antonio, Texas, comprehensive plan
1930-1934 St. Louis Regional Plans
1935 Williamsburg, Virginia, Colonial National Parkway tunnel
1931-1939 Edited “Land Subdivision Manual”, Manual 16 published by The American Society of Civil Engineer
1940-1944 Interstate Highway System, Principles for locating highways in urban areas
1953-1959 Transportation Plan, Washington, DC

If you wonder why some streets are wider than others, this is why.

1 thought on “Harland Bartholomew

  1. If you wonder why so many older Historic Buildings were razed, Harland Bartholomew is why. He was one of the Fathers of Urban Renewal.

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