Greg Heller’s: Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics, and the Building of Modern Philadlephia featured on the front page of the University City Review.
Wed, May 01, 2013
By Nicole Contosta
Most Philadelphians have at least heard the name Ed Bacon. They may know him as the 92-year-old daredevil who skateboarded across Love Park to demonstrate his opposition to the legislation eventually outlawing it. Or they may know him as the father of popular actor Kevin Bacon.
But to those interested in urban planning, Ed Bacon remains nothing short of a visionary. President of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission from 1949 to 1970, Bacon’s long list of credits includes Penn Center, the transit orientated shopping of Market East as well as the restoration of the Society Hill neighborhood.
“Bacon is viewed as the face of urban renewal,” explained Greg Heller, the author of the first-ever biography on Ed Bacon from a coffee shop Friday, April 26th. “But why is that?” Heller asked, getting to the basic premise behind Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics and the Building of Modern Philadelphia. “Why is it that in other cities, like New York, Robert Moses is viewed that way? But Moses was a developer,” Heller said, adding, “and Bacon was planner.”