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Donald H. Elliott, innovative urban planner, dies at 89

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Donald H. Elliott, innovative urban planner, dies at 89

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“He infused great youthful energy (only 34 when he was appointed president) into the reform of the town planning department,” Judge Marrero said via email. “To do this, he recruited an impressive cadre of young planners and architects outside of the civil service, which meant making some bureaucratic interests very unhappy.”

Paul Goldberger, former New York Times architecture critic, said in an email: “Donald Elliott was a realist who believed in the need to make the city more livable, and he used inventive legal tactics to trying to balance the forces at play in New York. New York’s whole approach to planning has changed and he has played a key role in almost every innovation.

Donald Harrison Elliott was born August 20, 1932 in Manhattan, the son of Harrison Sackett Elliott, professor of religious education and psychology at Union Theological Seminary, and Grace (Loucks) Elliott, national president of the YWCA.

After graduating from the New Lincoln School in Manhattan, he received a bachelor’s degree in 1954 from Carleton College in Minnesota and a law degree in 1957 from New York University.

In 1956 he married Barbara Ann Burton; she died in 1998. In addition to their son Drew, he is survived by two other sons, Steven and Douglas, and six grandchildren.

A Reform Democrat, Mr. Elliott was an administrator of urban renewal on the Upper West Side in the early 1960s. He worked on the successful 1965 election campaign of John V. Lindsay, a Liberal Republican congressman from Manhattan, after specializing in land use regulation in Mr. Lindsay’s law firm. He then managed the transition of the administration of Mayor Robert F. Wagner and oversaw the anti-poverty and housing programs for the new mayor until he was appointed to the planning committee and appointed director. of the town planning department in November 1966. He served until 1973.

In this position, he created an Urban Design Task Force made up of several architects – Jaquelin T. Robertson, Richard Weinstein, Myles Weintraub and Jonathan Barnett – whom Mr. Lindsay authorized to “advance the cause of aesthetics. in all areas that the Town Planning Commission can influence. , from street signs to skyscrapers.

Today Headlines World news Donald H. Elliott, innovative urban planner, dies at 89

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