Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The City as Museum

"But if the big city is largely responsible for the invention and public extension of the museum, there is a sense in which one of its own principal functions is to serve as a museum:  in its own right, the historic city retains, by reason of its amplitude and its long past, a larger and more various collection of cultural specimens than can be found elsewhere.  Every variety of human function, every experiment in human association, every technological process, every mode of architecture and planning, can be found somewhere within its crowded area."

Lewis Mumford, "The City in History," quoted in Anthony M. Tung, Preserving the World's Great Cities:  The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis 413 (2001).

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