Peter L. Laurence

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Originally from Philadelphia, a city where Jane Jacobs also learned a great deal about cities, author Peter L. Laurence has lived in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York, as well as Philadelphia. While an architecture student at Harvard Graduate School of Design, he wrote his thesis on Jane Jacobs; as a doctoral student of urban and architectural history and theory at University of Pennsylvania, he wrote his dissertation, the first draft of BECOMING JANE JACOBS, about her. As early as 2006, his new discoveries about Jacobs's early career began to reveal an "unknown Jane Jacobs." His groundbreaking writing about her place in the Rockefeller Foundation's urban design research program of the 1950s contributed to creating the foundation's new Jane Jacobs Medals. In addition to interests in the history of architecture and cities in a broad time frame, and special interest in intersections of ideas in architecture and urbanism with the history of science, Dr. Laurence's research on Jane Jacobs developed into independent studies of the history of architectural criticism and the history of urban design. He is the Robert Mills Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of Graduate Studies at Clemson University School of Architecture. He is now writing a reader's guide to The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
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