Historic Districts

Michael’s dissertation looked at the history of historic districts, which began as attempts by certain cities to preserve the architectural, urban and landscape elements that attracted tourists. By the mid-20th century, historic districts had become an amalgam of the antiquarian historic preservation movement and the community planning movement, where citizen activists sought more control over their built environment.

Michael compared historic districts in Chicago and New York City in the second half of the 20th century to explore and bear out this thesis. His dissertation was awarded a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and completed in 2007.