Manhattan’s Union Square occupies a central place in both the geography and the history of New York City. Since it was laid out in the mid-19th century, Union Square has served as a microcosm for the ongoing debates about the proper usage of urban public space. In Design for the Crowd: Patriotism and Protest in Union Square, Joanna Merwood-Salisbury explores two centuries of urban planning to weave the narrative of how the formal design of the square evolved in tandem with its changing public uses, from neighborhood beautification to Communist activism to the city’s best-known Greenmarket.
Joanna Merwood-Salisbury is the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation at the School of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her research focuses on architecture and urbanism in the late 19th- and early 20th-century U.S., particularly the Chicago School of architecture, as demonstrated in her 2009 book, Chicago 1890: The Skyscraper and the Modern City.