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C.A. Sharpe (CA)

Corner Windows and Cul-De-Sacs

Corner Windows and Cul-De-Sacs

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At a distance, Corner Windows and Cul-De-Sacs is a study of urban growth, planning, and household reform; up close, the study reveals a much more human story. In 1942, while Newfoundland was in an active war zone, the death rate in St. John’s was higher than anywhere else in the colony. Overcrowded and dilapidated tenements, huddled on a maze of narrow lanes, fell prey to rampant tuberculosis, shockingly high infant mortality rates, and infectious disease. In 1944, under crippling debt, the St. John’s Housing Corporation was formed, with a mandate to build a new garden suburb north of the city that would lead to the abandonment and demolition of the derelict housing. Churchill Park became the core of this residential development, and between 1945 and 1947 more than 200 houses and nearly 100 apartment units were constructed, laying the groundwork for the orderly post-war expansion of the city.

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Memorial Univ. Press


Chris Sharpe is Professor Emeritus of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. During his 40-year career at MUNL, he pursued an interest in urban landscapes and housing. He is co-author of Sweat Equity: Cooperative House-Building in Newfoundland, 1920–1974.

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