"What spaces, what activities, what buildings form the creative center of human communication?" This probing philosophical question, posed in 1955 by American architect Louis I. Kahn, underlies the buildings and projects for which he is known, including his studies of Philadelphia's downtown. Kahn had very few building projects in the 1950s, but he was at the forefront of Philadelphia's immense urban redevelopment initiative. His numerous studies, many of them made without a commission, focused on the historic downtown district. Kahn believed that only by a centralization of buildings and activities, supported by a clear ordering of streets and traffic, would meaningful civic life be preserved.
Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007.