10 That Changed America Blog

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Dan Protess

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We’re very excited to be embarking on our new television and web series for PBS, 10 that Changed America. Over the next few months we’ll be training our camera on some of America’s most influential homes, parks, and towns.

This is going to be so much more than a TV series about architecture.

We’ll be looking broadly at our built environment. In an episode titled 10 Homes that Changed America we’ll discover how our ideas about housing have evolved over the years, through the lens of a variety of homes—and not just mansions—we’ll explore a tenement, a public housing project, and prefabricated housing. 10 Parks that Changed America will trace the evolution of our city parks: from public squares, to picturesque landscapes, to play lots carved out of overcrowded immigrant enclaves, to postindustrial pleasure grounds. 10 Towns that Changed America will offer a primer in the history of urban planning. We’ll learn about the evolution of the suburb with the popularization of the automobile, meet idealistic city planners who tried (and often failed) to reinvent urban living, and end with the current trend of walkable, transit-oriented developments.

And we’ll be exploring these places using a variety of platforms—online, through a curriculum, and at live events across the country.

We’ll try our best to capture the inner-workings of these great works of art and engineering. And we’ll interview some of the nation’s most notable architects and historians to understand why these places are such an important part of America’s cultural heritage.

As we film the series, we’ll be using this site to reveal which 10 homes, 10 parks, and 10 towns made the cut. We invite you to check back here in the coming months.