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Creative designers established the foundations of American community and regional planning in the second half of the 19th century, and early years of the 20th century. Their visions of a more ideal America, one that was orderly, clean, rational, functional, efficient, inspirational, and beautiful, kindled efforts in political reform that were realized in the community comprehensive plan, land use zoning and building bulk controls, capital budget processes, and public park and parkway planning.
Widespread efforts toward the physical improvement of American cities were inspired by the work of landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., designer of New York's Central Park (1857), and George Kessler, designer of the Kansas City Metropolitan Park System (1893), as well as by the work of architect Daniel Hudson Burnham, director of works for the widely acclaimed Columbian Exposition (the Chicago World's Fair of 1893). In addition, significant contributions were made by sculptors, including Augustus St. Gaudens, who collaborated with Burnham in preparing the plan for the Columbian Exposition and the McMillan Plan for Washington, D.C (1902).
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