Hayden, Dolores 1945–

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HAYDEN, Dolores 1945–


Born March 15, 1945, in New York, NY; daughter of J. Francis and Katharine Hayden; married Peter Horsey Marris (a sociologist and author), 1975; children: Laura Hayden. Education: Mount Holyoke College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1966; Girton College, Cambridge University, diploma, 1967; Harvard University, M.Arch., 1972.


OfficeYale University, School of Architecture, 180 York St., P.O. Box 208242, New Haven, CT 06520-8242. E-mail[email protected]


Writer, architect, and educator. University of California—Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, lecturer in architecture, 1973; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, assistant professor, 1973-76, associate professor, 1977-79; University of CaliforniaLos Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, associate professor, 1979-81, professor of urban planning, 1981-91; Yale University, New Haven, CT, professor of architecture, urbanism, and American studies, 1991—. The Power of Place (nonprofit arts and humanities organization), founder and president, 1984-91; Stanford University, Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA, fellow, 2006-07.


Phi Beta Kappa.


Farrand fellow, 1972; National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, 1976-77; Radcliffe Institute fellow, 1976-77; Rockefeller Foundation fellow, 1979-80; Guggenheim fellow, 1981; National Endowment for the Arts fellow, 1982, 1986-87; American Council of Learned Societies fellow, 1988; Ford Foundation fellow, 1988; Medal, Radcliffe Graduate Society, 1991; Whitney Humanities Center fellow; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts grant; Lincoln Institute of Land Policy grant; Notable Book Award, American Library Association; Excellence in Design Research award, National Endowment for the Arts; Paul Davidoff Award, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, for outstanding book in urban planning; Diana Donald Award for feminist scholarship, American Planning Association.


Seven American Utopias: The Architecture of Communitarian Socialism, 1790-1975, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1976.

The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1981.

Redesigning the American Dream, Norton (New York, NY), 1983, revised edition, 2002.

The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

Playing House (poetry), R.L. Barth (Edgewood, KY), 1998.

Line Dance (poetry), R.L. Barth (Edgewood, KY), 2001.

Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000, Pantheon Books (New York, NY), 2003.

American Yard (poetry), David Robert Books (Cincinnati, OH), 2004.

A Field Guide to Sprawl, photographs by Jim Wark, Norton (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor of poetry to periodicals, including Yale Review, Southwest Review, Poetry Northwest, Verse Daily, Kenyon Review, Witness, and Michigan Quarterly Review.


Dolores Hayden is a registered architect, urban historian, professor, and writer. Her work focuses mainly on the history of American urban landscapes and on the multifaceted politics of design and urban planning. Hayden is also a poet whose work has appeared in a variety of literary journals. She has three published poetry collections to her credit, and has been a featured poetry reader at the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas. In addition, she has appeared reading her works on the radio program, Poetry Connecticut, noted a biographer on the Dolores Hayden Home Page.

Hayden's book The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities explores American architectural history in light of the work of material feminists in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Hayden focuses on little-known plans designed to reorganize not only the physical structures of homes and communities, but also their socio-cultural structures. Architectural critic Paul Goldberger wrote in the New York Times Book Review that "this is a book that is full of things I have never seen before, and full of new things to say about things I thought I knew well. It is a book about houses and about culture and about how each affects the other, and it must stand as one of the major works on the history of modern housing."

The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History describes several long-term historical restoration projects in downtown Los Angeles by Hayden and the nonprofit organization she founded, called The Power of Place. Hayden argues against notions of historical preservation that ignore or downplay the roles of those who lived, worked, and struggled within the historical locations when they were everyday buildings and landscapes. The "real past," Hayden insists, consists of more than the mansions of the wealthy and the work of the most famous architects. It involves the work and lives of those of more modest status, too, whose efforts remain an integral part of the everyday fabric of history. Her book "is about rescuing that real past from invisibility," commented reviewer Ralph H. Saunders in Economic Geography. "It is about efforts to preserve the buildings and places central to the everyday lives of ethnic minorities, women, and workers, places otherwise ignored by elite urban historians and landmark preservation committees," Saunders stated. The book "begins and ends with well-argued assertions that History is driven by, and perhaps is even epiphenomenal to, the day-to-day street-level interactions of the less-than-great," remarked Steven E. Flusty in Urban Studies. Among the projects outlined in the book are the creation of a monument to Biddy Mason, an African-American midwife, investor, and freed slave; the creation of a sidewalk illustrating the folk history of a block in Little Tokyo; and preservation of the Embassy Auditorium, a focal point of labor union meetings and activities throughout most of the twentieth century. Although Flusty expressed concern over how well these projects will convey their historical stories to future generations ("As public history contains enormous volumes of information, public history condensed into an artifact requires enormous unpacking," he noted), he concluded that The Power of Place is "a vital contribution to current debates over the construction of history and the recentering of space in public discourse."

Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000 presents an "engaging and richly illustrated account of the conflicts among entrepreneurs, residents, planners and bureaucrats who battled to realize competing visions for the suburbs," commented Eric Klinenberg in the Nation. Although Hayden's book "does not offer a grand reinterpretation of suburban history," it still "makes several major advances," Klinenberg observed, chief among them being the introduction of "a novel conceptual scheme for distinguishing seven modes of suburban development, each defined by an assemblage of distinctive architectural styles, marketing strategies, building techniques and attitudes about nature." These modes—borderlands, picturesque enclaves, street-car suburbs, mail-order and self-built suburbs, mass-produced, urban-scale sitcom suburbs, edge nodes, and rural fringes—offer new ways of seeing and interpreting patterns of development in suburban areas. For Hayden, as she told CA, "each landscape was produced by a different 'growth machine,' or alliance of developers and local officials."

Hayden also explains that all good intentions inherent in early suburban planning vanished when the original reformers moved on and speculators arrived. "The two pressures that undermined the picturesque enclave—residents' drive for class segregation and developers' hunger for profit in the mass market—return in every stage of Hayden's account, devastating so many of the virtues embedded in each suburban form," Klinenberg stated. Klinenberg also called Hayden's explanation of the deleterious effects of 1950s federal legislation that allowed accelerated depreciation of commercial and residential buildings "revelatory." David Banash, writing in Utopian Studies, concluded: "Hayden's sure grasp of the history and controversies of suburbia, along with her practical and provocative suggestions for restoring and sustaining it, make this a welcome addition to the scholarship."

A Field Guide to Sprawl offers a series of terms and definitions related to sprawl and unrestrained expansion and growth in urban and suburban settings. The more than fifty definitions are supplemented by aerial photography that illustrates the concepts contained within the terms. Among the definitions offered are those for LULU (locally unwanted land use), TOAD (temporary, obsolete, abandoned, or derelict), ball pork (publicly subsidized sports stadiums), export garbage (trash and waste shipped to other districts), and more. "The irreverence is a treat, and even if you think you know them all, you'll pick up new facts—and great images," noted a reviewer in Planning. The guide is "successful in illustrating the many things we Americans have done wrong in shaping the countryside around us," concluded David A. Schneider in American Scientist.



American Scientist, March-April, 2005, David A. Schneider, review of A Field Guide to Sprawl, p. 170.

Economic Geography, January, 1997, Ralph H. Saunders, review of The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History, p. 135.

Journal of Urban History, November, 1997, Eric Sandweiss, review of The Power of Place, p. 88.

Mother Jones, July-August, 2004, Clara Jeffery, "Sprawling toward Bethlehem," review of A Field Guide to Sprawl, p. 88.

Nation, June 28, 2004, Eric Klinenberg, "Bourgeois Dystopias," reviews of Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000 and A Field Guide to Sprawl, p. 40.

New York Times Book Review, July 5, 1981, Paul Goldberger, review of The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities, p. 4.

Planning, October, 2004, "Pictionary," review of A Field Guide to Sprawl, p. 43.

Urban Studies, August, 1996, Steven E. Flusty, review of The Power of Place, p. 1221.

Utopian Studies, spring, 2005, David Banash, review of Building Suburbia, p. 280.


Dolores Hayden Home Page,http://www.doloreshayden.com (October 9, 2006).