Check out this 1957 segment from the television quiz program What's My Line?
It features the show's panelists—with their witty, postwar Manhattan-after-8 p.m. patterttrying to guess the profession of guest Clarence B. Litchfield. Litchfield designed houses. As in "The Big House." He was a prison architect.
Litchfield designed federal penitentiaries in Terre Haute, Indiana and Lewisburg, Penn; the midrise Brooklyn House of Detention; and state and county hoosegows across the country. He designed prisons with places for recreation and education and believed—according to one interview—that the correctional system should rehabilitate inmates rather than simply punishing them.
When he died in 1981 at the age of 78, a New York Times obituary said Litchfield "was widely regarded as the country's leading prison architect."
The What's My Line? panel never guessed Litchfield's occupation. But the questions are entertaining nonetheless. The video was posted on YouTube by a user who has other interesting uploads there too.
We've viewed and thought of Gary, Indiana as an urban ruin for so long, we've forgotten what the city once was.
I found the above video on YouTube yesterday. It shows what the steel town looked like around 1960: a vibrant city of more than 100,000 souls. Broadway — Gary's main drag — bustles with commerce and even a parade in the video. We see a new, modern school, the Marquette Park bathhouse, designed by Chicago architects Maher & Sons and more.
The video was posted on YouTube by Anthony Diaz, director of imaging for the Mid-American Heritage Preservation Foundation, a non-profit group in Whiting, Indiana that digitally restores old film depicting Northwest Indiana. More good stuff to watch here.