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Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

A Review of the Documentary Film

By

Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

Daniel Burnham

Photo courtesy of the Archimedia Workshop
Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City is an extraordinary documentary film that explores the life and legacy of visionary architect and city planner, Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912). A century ago, as Chairman of the McMillan Commission, Daniel Burnham helped develop a plan for Washington, DC that shaped the National Mall that we enjoy today. Burnham also developed city plans for Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco and Manila and Baguio City in the Philippines. Daniel Burnham was an inspiring figure who had a great impact on our nation. This 56-minute film is engaging and a fun way to learn about the history of architecture and urban planning.

Make No Little Plans uses drawings, photographs, letters and interviews with historians to creatively tell the story of Daniel Burnham’s fascinating life. Burnham became famous for his work on the World's Columbian Exposition, also known as The Chicago World's Fair, in 1893. The exposition featured nearly 200 new buildings of classical architecture and there were more than 27 million recorded visits during its six-month run. Burham’s experience designing the World’s Fair led to proposals for the Chicago lakefront and river and the first comprehensive plan for the controlled growth of an American city. The plan set the standard for urban design and city planning.

Joan Allen, actress and Academy Award Nominee, narrated Make No Little Plans with music by composer Michael Bacon. The film will be screened at a free outdoor event on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington DC at 4th Street in the same location as Screen on the Green. It is a rain or shine event. WETA Washington, DC will also air the film in a national broadcast on September 6, 2010. For more information, visit www.thearchimediaworkshop.org

The writer was provided with a complimentary DVD for the purpose of the review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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