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First Comprehensive Monograph

Hegemann – Flick, Caroline. Werner Hegemann. Stadtplanung, Architektur, Politik – ein Arbeitsleben in Europa und den USA (City Planning, Architecture, Politics – A Working Life in Europe and the USA). Ed. by Historische Kommission zu Berlin. In German. 2 vols. 2005. Large 8vo. XXII pp., pp. 1-677; XI pp., pp. 679-1262, 3 ll. white. With c. 240 illustrations. Orig. cloth.

Einzelveröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission zu Berlin XXCIV (Separate Publication by the Historic Committee at Berlin XXCIV). – With profiles on contemporaries, an extensive documentation of sources and the first comprehensive index of Hegemann’s publications. Furthermore indices on persons and places.

Started as master thesis Flick here presents the first extensive monograph on the city planner, critic, and publicist Werner Hegemann (Mannheim 1881 – New York 1936), critically joining and discussing previous studies which were limited to just parts of his life or isolated activities. Furthermore adding new material, not least from family property made available by Hegemann’s son, Flick

unfolds  a  life  beyond  simple  categorization ,

covering  the  last  decade  of  Prussian-German  monarchy ,

the  roaring  twenties  as  the  great  start  into  urban  modernity ,

and  finally  the  political  exile  in  the  States :

Werner Hegemann’s graduation in national economy is followed by first visits to America between 1905 and 1909, with stays in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston where he directs the first city planning exhibition. Back in Germany he becomes the secretary general of the city building exhibitions in Berlin and Dusseldorf in 1910. Already in 1913 he is in America again, this time for eight years, with major projects as Milwaukee city planning, Washington Highlands, Wyomissing Park, and Lake Forest. Returning to Europe in 1921 and to Berlin the following year he publishes, together with landscape planner Elbert Peets, “American Vitruvius: An Architect’s Handbook of Civic Art” as his first great work on urbanism, adhering rather contrarily to his enthusiasm for modern municipal planning in the New World to classic aesthetics. As a brilliant critic Hegemann achieves decisive influence on the architectural development of Berlin, vigorously defending traditional architecture against modern building, culminating, however, in his major work, “Das steinerne Berlin” (Rocky Berlin) of 1930, an emphatic vote for modern – or democratic – urban planning, and followed by an extended voyage to South America for a series of lectures. Besides Hegemann writes satirical historic novels. For his “Entlarvte Geschichte” (Unmasked History) his publications are burnt in 1933, he himself is expatriated. Via Geneva and Paris Hegemann once more comes to the United States where he is appointed Visiting Professor of Housing at the New School of Social Research, followed in 1935 by associate in architecture at Columbia University, both in New York, but dies there the other year.

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