carol elizabeth pennell asheville native real estate broker 828.273.7770

John Nolen 1922


John Nolen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 14, 1869. John lost his father when he was but nine years old. His mother re-married, and John was sent off to ‘Girard College – Boys School for Orphans’ where he graduated in 1884. He then worked at the Girard Estate for six years saving up money, and then attended ‘The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School’ where he earned his ‘Ph.B’ in 1893. In 1903, after serving as ‘Secretary of the American Society for the Extension of University Teaching’ for a decade, He opened his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and enrolled at ‘The School of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’, where he earned his ‘A.M.’ after two years, and became a member of ‘The American Society of Landscape Architects’. John Nolen then launched into his career in public planning projects, and city planning. In the next thirty years John Nolen planned out 50 cities, including Venice, Florida. Some of his other more notable city plans included San Diego, California, Roanoke, Virginia, and Charlotte and Asheville North Carolina. By 1919, he had written two books. Also during Mr. Nolens’ famous career, he served as ‘President of the American City Planning Institute’, was elected in 1927 as ‘President of the National Conference on City Planning’, and the ‘International Federation for Housing and Town Planning’. His son, John Nolen, Jr followed in his footsteps somewhat, and served as ‘Director of the National Capital Planning Commission’ in Washington, D.C. John Nolen passed away on February 18th, 1937.


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