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Kathryn E. Holliday

"Telephone City: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Rise and Fall of the Bell Monopoly"

Kathryn E. Holliday

Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies

"Telephone City" is a book project that explores architecture and design as expressions of corporate monopoly that shaped the American city. Until its court-ordered break up in 1984, AT&T established the largest monopoly in the history of the United States, dominating the telephone service market. But AT&T also made massive investments in physical infrastructure, creating an alternative "network city" through strategic acquisitions of real estate and rights-of-way. AT&T's investments in telephone buildings and in the surrounding urban landscape dictated who had access to the network and how, and continue to shape how we perceive the role of technology in our everyday lives.

Kathryn E. Holliday is a professor of architectural and landscape history at the University of Texas at Arlington in Dallas-Fort Worth and is founding director of the Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, which connects the university to local communities and non-profits. Her work focuses on the varied ways that architects, critics, city governments, and corporations shape the built environment in American cities. She is the author of Leopold Eidlitz: Architecture and Idealism in the Gilded Age (2008) and The Open-Ended City: David Dillon on Texas Architecture (2019). She holds a PhD in Architecture and an MA in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in Art History and Environmental Studies from Williams College.