USHC Architects, Landscape Architects and Planners


Arthur Coleman Comey (1886–1954) 

Arthur Coleman Comey gained his degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University in 1907, where he studied under Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. Comey worked initially in park design in the public sphere after graduation. He shifted to a focus in urban planning a few years later and founded a consulting firm in Cambridge, MA. Through this firm he created large-scale plans and competitive designs for cities across the US (see below list).

Comey's experience in planning towns and suburbs made him an ideal candidate for Town Planner for the USHC from 1918-1919. Afterwards, he taught at Harvard from 1928-1930, initially as a lecturer in the School of Landscape Architecture, later as Assistant Professor in Harvard's School of City Planning and Associate Professor in the Department of Regional Planning. His Transition Zoning (1933) for that series reflects his belief that legal and regulatory aspects of planning are as as necessary as design.

Comey was a founding member of the American City Planning Institute in 1917 and served on its Board of Governors. He also founded and served as secretary and vice chairman of the Massachusetts Federation of Planning Boards. He was affiliated with the the American Society of Landscape Architects (as a Fellow), the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Institute of Consulting Engineers, and the American Planning and Civic Association, and the Boston Society of Landscape Architects. In addition to scribing his own contributions, Comey served as associate editor of the National Municipal Review and editor for the Harvard City Planning Series in 1946. (1)

Sample Projects
Planning report for the City of Houston, Texas
Competition entries for the design of the Australian Federal Capital; 160­acre Chicago development; 350­acre multiuse harbor complex at Richmond, California
Study of suburban planning for Detroit, Michigan
Plans for Billerica, Beverly, Brookline, Cambridge, Fitchburg, and Lawrence, Massachusetts
Plan for Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Major Publications

A Study of American Planned Communities, 1936
Transition Zoning, 1933
Regional Planning Theory: A Reply to the British Challenge, 1923.

Sources/Further Information:

(1) Biography by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University (available online here)

GoogleBook: Plan of Houston
GoogleBook: Copartnership for Housing in America