Clarence Samuel Stein (June 19, 1882 – February 7, 1975) was an American urban planner, architect, and writer, a major proponent of the Garden City movement in the United States.
Stein was born in Rochester, New York into an upwardly mobile Jewish family. While a youth, his family transplanted to New York City. There he was immersed in the milieu surrounding the Ethical Culture Society, attending its Workshop School and developing his sensibilities within the context of Progressive thought: the integration of physical and mental labor, the importance of a universal humanistic philosophy, the concept of a nurtured individualistic sensibility. Intense, even overwrought, the young Stein had a nervous collapse shortly before he was scheduled to leave for college, experiencing a bout of what was then called neurasthenia, for which he was sent to Florida to endure a rest cure.
He returned to New York but did not immediately matriculate; instead, he worked in his family's casket business, where the combination of physical and mental labor matched the philosophy in which he'd been educated. After a year or so, he prepared to attend college; one essential step was the American upper-middle-class version of the Grand Tour: travel to the artistic and cultural centers of Europe, in this case in the company of his father. Returning to the United States, he again postponed university education, immersing himself in work in the Progressive settlement house movement. In concert with his brothers and a small cohort of like-minded young men, many of whom would be influential partners for the rest of his career, Stein started the Young Men's Municipal Club, an organization modeled on many other such burgeoning social-studies movements, and dedicated like them to studying and then agitating for improvements to the chaotic life of the modern city...
Quotes by Clarence Stein
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