Reconsidering Hilberseimer’s Chicago

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Commentary | Open Access

Reconsidering Hilberseimer’s Chicago

  • Philip Denny Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, USA
  • Charles Waldheim Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, USA

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Abstract:  The German architect and urbanist Ludwig Hilberseimer spent the second half of his career as an internationally influential urbanist, author, and educator while living and working in Chicago. The city of Chicago provided both context and content to inform his theories of planning the American city. While in Chicago, Hilberseimer taught hundreds of students, authored dozens of publications, and conceived of his most significant and enduring professional projects. Yet, in spite of these three decades of work on and in Chicago, the relationship between Hilberseimer’s planning proposals and the specific urban history of his adopted hometown remains obscure. This commentary reconsiders the role that Chicago played in Hilberseimer’s work as well as the impact that his work had on the planning of the city.

Keywords:  decentralization; economic order; regional pattern; settlement unit; urban renewal

Published:   30 June 2020


© Phillip Denny, Charles Waldheim. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.