Friday, August 27, 2010

Make no Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

California Historical Society contributed an image of the map from Daniel Burnham’s Report on a Plan for San Francisco (San Francisco, Sunset Press, 1905) for this PBS documentary which will premiere Labor Day 2010.

MAKE NO LITTLE PLANS: DANIEL BURNHAM AND THE AMERICAN CITY, a new one-hour documentary by The Archimedia Workshop will air on Labor Day, Monday September 6, 2010, 10PM EST on PBS. The program is written, directed and produced by Judith Paine McBrien. Noted media arts organization Kartemquin Films and scriptwriter Geoffrey Ward consulted on the project.

MAKE NO LITTLE PLANS: DANIEL BURNHAM AND THE AMERICAN CITY is the story of a dreamer who shaped some of America’s best-known places and spaces. The film explores Burnham’s fascinating career and complex legacy as public debate continues today about how and for whom cities are planned.

Narrated by Oscar nominated actress Joan Allen, MAKE NO LITTLE PLANS combines digital models, original drawings, personal letters, animated graphics and stunning visuals to highlight dramatic developments that transformed both Burnham and the American city-- the early development of the skyscraper; the awesome impact of the 1893 World’s Fair; and the physical reconfiguration of existing cities, including our nation’s capital.

Insightful commentary by some of the country’s most distinguished historians, architects, critics and urban planners enlivens the story as does an original musical score by composer Michael Bacon, who is well-known to PBS audiences.

“He had a personality that was as big as the subject of cities”, explains architect David Childs, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and one of many noted commentators in the film. “We should care about Burnham because he was part of a group that changed ideas about planning and architecture and because of the fact that our cities are full of the history that he caused to happen.”
Check your local PBS station for listings.
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