Edmund N. Bacon was born in his family's home in West Philadelphia on May 2, 1910. He had two older brothers and a younger sister. His father was vice-president of the J.B. Lippincott publishing company. Bacon says, "We were so middle class that in the Academy of Music... my family always went to the family circle. And they thought if you went up to the Ampitheater, where I go now because I can't afford the family circle, that it would be very dangerous cause that's where the ruffians were and they thought that everybody below them in the balcony and the parquet and the boxes were the stuck up rich."
Bacon's family owned a second home in Wallingford and he attended Swarthmore High School. He earned his degree in architecture from Cornell University. Although our television program "Hometown Legends: Ed Bacon" indicates he rode his bicycle from England to China, he actually only rode to Rome and made the rest of the trip through various means, including by boat.
Bacon has authored or co-authored 3 books on the subject of city planning including his highly regarded Design of Cities which he wrote in 1967 and which was recently republished as a deluxe edition in Chinese.
He was an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania from 1950-1987.
Bacon's awards include:
1961 Recipient Art Alliance Philadelphia medal
1962 Man of the Year award, City Business Club Philadelphia
1962 Brown medal award, Franklin Institute
1963 Rockefeller Award
1974 Gold medal, Royal Institution Chartered Surveyors
1976 R.S. Reynolds award for community architecture
1983 Philadelphia Award
1987 National Endowment of the Arts Distinguished Designer fellow
1989 Chicago Architectural Award
1990 Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize, International Union of Architects
1993 Planning Pioneer Award, American Institute of Certified Planners
View Quicktime clips from the program:
Bacon on designing plans for the land which would become Penn Center »
Bacon on his way of thinking »
Bacon's complete thought on a memorial in his honor »