Meyerson, Martin 1922-2007
Meyerson, Martin 1922-2007
See index for CA sketch: Born November 14, 1922, in New York, NY; died of prostate cancer, June 2, 2007. Urban planner, educator, administrator, and writer. Meyerson spent much of his career bringing people and ideas together in one way or another. He was most visible, perhaps, during the Free Speech protests of the 1960s at the University of California in Berkeley, where he happened to be the dean of the environmental design school. Meyerson's brief service as temporary chancellor of the university did much to calm tensions during this period of unrest; though he was unable to please everyone, analysts credited him with addressing some of the student protesters' primary concerns and mediating the widely divergent views of the most vocal faculty contingents. The rest of his career was less dramatic, perhaps, but no less effective. In the late 1940s and the 1950s, first at the University of Chicago and later at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Meyerson promoted urban design and building projects that would bring people together in communities, foster public approval, and earn political support. His designs were not towers of isolation, but mini-neighborhoods with common areas and green spaces. As the president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1970 until his retirement, Meyerson replaced a scattered collection of institutional classroom buildings with an integrated, landscaped, and relatively comfortable urban campus. He also integrated the women's college as a fully equal component of the university and established the school's first affirmative action program. Meyerson was unusually active outside the university as well. He lectured at other institutions around the world and directed many academic and research facilities; he founded the Buckminster Fuller Institute of Design Sciences. He was also active at the national, state, and local levels in a wide variety of pursuits, from conservation and local government to the arts and humanities, to cultural and international cooperation agencies. Meyerson received dozens of honorary degrees in recognition of his work, along with national decorations from the governments of Italy, France, and Japan. He writings include Politics, Planning, and the Public Interest: The Case of Public Housing in Chicago (1955), Face of the Metropolis (1963), and The City and the University (1969); he edited The Conscience of the City (1970).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, June 7, 2007, Elaine Woo, p. B8.
New York Times, June 7, 2007, Dennis Hevesi, p. C17.
Washington Post, June 8, 2007, p. B7.