One of the most significant urban developments of the 1950s and 60s, the Prudential Center anchors the Boston skyline with its tall gray tower. It is also a beacon of a mid-century moment when insurance companies like Prudential deployed buildings in cities to symbolize and advertise their intangible product: financial security. The Prudential’s story also exemplifies the transition from the nineteenth century metropolis to the post-industrial city organized around highways and easy parking. In his new book, Insuring the City: The Prudential Center and the Postwar Urban Landscape, Yale architectural historian Elihu Rubin tells the full story of "The Pru," placing it in its political, economic, and architectural contexts and providing new insights into urban renewal in postwar America. Elihu Rubin is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Yale. He received a doctorate in architecture and a master’s in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
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