Paradise Reclaimed

Streaming Video - 2007
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American pioneers had to overcome the dangerous wilderness; Americans at rest want to return to nature-not the wilderness, but a tamed and peaceful nature. Having cut down nature to build cities, we bring back the country through parks: New York's Central Park gives us a dreamlike, idealized New York with forests, lakes, hills, meadows, foot and bridle paths, and architecture to complement the picturesque settings; vacationers sought rusticity with comfort, and nature brought indoors became the fad. The ultra-rich built a private resort town around a country club (The Newport Casino, R.I.- both classical and colloquial, the first example of the Shingle Style); they found shelter in marble palaces (they called them cottages)-the Vanderbilts contributed to this genre; Addison Mizner concocted Palm Beach for it. Postwar Florida resorts bear the strong imprint of Hollywood-in the great hotels of Miami Beach and in the fantasy of Disney World, which gives us the elemental, mythically American


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