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Mary Campbell Gallagher,J.D., Ph.D., Writer and SpeakerExpert on the Bar Examand Advocate for Traditional Urbanismand the Paris Skyline



I'm putting together the rest of my 2018-2019 pro-bono plan.
Invite me to speak to your group~"Contemporary Architecture in Paris: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."To see me speaking, watch the short video I made a while back in Paris, "Paris Towers May 2012"
I have delivered the keynote speech at the annual meeting of the Youth Foundation in New York City
"Does Paris Need to Look More Like New York?"
I have spoken at the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame, for the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art in New York City, for the Beaux Arts Alliance in New York City, for the annual meeting of SOS Paris, and for Patricia LaPlante-Collins's Sunday evening dinner in Paris for expats, "How to Save the Skyline of Paris."
The book of essays about towers in Paris that I have edited for the International Coalition for the Preservation of Paris (ICPP), in cooperation with SOS Paris, called PARIS WITHOUT SKYSCRAPERS will launch in the fall of 2018.

Please email me if you know of a solid charitable not-for-profit
that would like to hear me talk about successful and unsuccessful modernism in Paris, including the Mayor and City Council's plans to build skyscrapers.
I will show stunning images, explain why some new buildings are successful and others not, and tell success stories of other cities, including St. Petersburg and Venice, that have defeated inappropriate towers, and propose
what we can do to prevent damage to the beauty of Paris. -- MCG

Mary Campbell Gallagher Readers of The Nation, The Weekly Standard,, The International Herald Tribune and other national and international publications know Mary Campbell Gallagher not only as an authority and consultant on the bar examination but as an advocate for the urbanism and architectural traditions of Paris. Among her recent publications are "Who Will Save the Skyline of Paris?" in, "Can Parisians Defeat the Towers?" in, and "Peril to the Skyline of Paris" in Traditional Building Magazine. The architectural preservationist organization SOS Paris invited her to address its annual meeting, March 22, 2011, in Paris. Next, she organized the joint visit of SOS Paris and the board of the Council for European Urbanism (CEU) to the tower sites in Paris in October, 2011, which resulted in a CEU white paper on the towers. The columnist David Brussat, in his blog and Providence Journal column for March 29, 2012, applauded the CEU white paper, the work of Mary Campbell Gallagher, and the campaign of SOS Paris against towers inside Paris. "France Must Heed the Cry of SOS Paris."

Born and raised in Chicago and trained as a lawyer at Harvard, Dr. Gallagher is a professional speaker, the owner of a business, BarWrite® and BarWrite Press, that offers Continuing Legal Education classes and prepares candidates for the bar exam, and a writer dedicated to the prosperity of New York City's economy and to the preservation of Parisian urbanism.


Dr. Gallagher favors strong local shopping streets and advocates restraining big box stores. In Newsday for January 6, 2005, Dr. Gallagher showed that Wal-Mart's claim that it creates jobs is false. In exhaustive studies all over the country, economists have found that big box stores like Wal-Mart actually destroy jobs, instead. That same day, Dr. Gallagher testified on big box stores before the Economic Development Committee of the New York City Council.

In an earlier opinion piece in The Brooklyn Papers, Dr. Gallagher demonstrated that Ikea's arguments for building a big box store on the waterfront in Red Hook are unfounded. Contrary to Ikea's claims, not only are very few residents of Red Hook Houses actually unemployed, but jobs in large retail stores are in fact already available in and near Red Hook. Dr. Gallagher testified to that effect before the zoning and franchise subcommittee of the Land Use Committee on October 5.

Dr. Gallagher's blog has as subtitle: Ikea-Red Hook, the Future of Our High Streets, and the Future of the New York City Economy.

This is a list of studies I refer to in my Newsday op-ed "Superstores Come With Too High a Price" (January 6, 2005).

Emek Basker, "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor-Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion" Job Creation or Destruction? Labor-Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," Review of Economics and Statistics 87:1, 2005 (forthcoming).

Kenneth E. Stone, "Competing With the Discount Mass Merchandisers" (1995).

Kenneth E. Stone, "The Impact of Wal-Mart Stores on Firms in Competing Towns in a Typical Midwestern State" (March 1989).

Thomas Muller and Elizabeth Humstone, "What Happened When Wal-Mart Came to Town? A Report on Three Iowa Communities with a Statistical Analysis of Seven Iowa Counties," for the National Trust for Historic Preservation (May 1996).

Thomas Muller, "The Impact of Superstores on Small Business -- A Case Study of Wal-Mart," Testimony at Hearings of Committee on Small Business, House of Representatives" (August 10, 1994).


On October 5, 2004, Mary Campbell Gallagher testified before the zoning and franchise subcommittee of the Land Use Committee of the New York City Council, opposing the request of Ikea to erect a big box store on the waterfront in Red Hook, Brooklyn:

Good morning. My name is Mary Campbell Gallagher. I am a resident of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a writer and owner of a bar review business. I have no personal interest here except as a citizen. I will submit my Brooklyn Papers op-ed ["Why Red Hook Ikea Project Should be Rejected"] opposing Ikea in Red Hook, together with copies of my testimony.


Ikea is a Scandinavian company that wants business and profits. That is fine.

Ikea’s methods alone, however, should tell you that this particular tax-subsidized Ikea store in Red Hook is not a good idea.

Ikea’s methods are deception, seduction, and divisiveness.

DECEPTION. Ikea promises jobs to the people who live in Red Hook Houses, a public housing project. It creates the impression that a huge number of residents are unemployed, and there are no jobs. According to the latest census data, however, right on the Department of City Planning web site, in plain view, there were only 569 unemployed residents in Red Hook Houses. 569. And in fact there are already or soon will be a thousand jobs in large retail stores within walking distance of Red Hook Houses. Turn-over is forty to sixty per cent. One thousand jobs, 569 people. If an Ikea store in Red Hook is such a good idea, why is Ikea using deception to get it?

SEDUCTION. Ikea has bought Christmas presents for the children in Red Hook Houses, given trips to Ikea in New Jersey, water cups and Ikea T-shirts. If an Ikea store in Red Hook is such a good idea, why does Ikea have to seduce people to get it?

DIVISIVENESS. Ikea has deliberately divided the residents of Red Hook Houses from the Red Hook residents who have refurbished dilapidated structures there. If an Ikea store in Red Hook is such a good idea, why does Ikea need to use divisiveness?

There is one main question the City Council needs to ask.

Why aren’t the one thousand jobs in the retail stores near Red Hook Houses good enough for 569 people?

There are a lot of good ideas for development in Red Hook. This store is a bad IKEA.

--The End--

On October 12, 2004, Newsday published the following letter from Dr. Gallagher:

To the Editor:

Newsday emphasizes Ikea's claim that the tax-subsidized store it wants in Red Hook will provide jobs and the Red Hook Civic Association's objection that Ikea's 50,000 cars per week wil not fit onto the Red Hook peninsula, which has no highway, no subway and narrow cobblestone streets ["Brooklyn Ikea plan takes one step closer to council approval," Oct. 6].

If the City Council approves the Ikea store tomorrow, it will approve a gigantic tax-subsidized Ikea billboard on New York harbor.

Ikea can provide the same number of jobs in a more accessible and less sensitive location. It can provide the same number of jobs without blighting the New York waterfront.

Mary Campbell Gallagher
On June 3, 2004, the New York Post published the following letter from Dr. Gallagher:

To the Editor:

Robert Ward, research director of the Public Policy
Institute of the Business Council of the State of New York, says that Wal- Mart should be allowed to spread in Vermont because its low prices have contributed to low inflation and have assisted rising home ownership, business investment and creation of construction jobs
(“The [Class] War on Wal- Mart,” Opinion, May 31).

Ward should do some more research. Wal-Mart’s low prices result not only from the low wages of its own employees in this country and of its foreign manufacturing contractors, largely in China, but also from the contributions Wal-Mart receives from American taxpayers.

A study by the Institute for Labor and Employment at the University of California-Berkeley, for example, indicates that taxpayers have subsidized $20.5 million a year worth of medical care for Wal-Mart in California alone. Not only will Vermont destroy its beautiful small towns by allowing the spread of Wal-Mart, the economic costs will include an impoverished workforce and an increased burden on

Mary Campbell Gallagher
On December 26, 2003, The New York Sun published the following letter from Dr. Gallagher:

To the Editor:

The New York Sun has established itself as a thoughtful and rational voice not only in politics, but in the arts, in education and, especially with
Francis Morrone's column Abroad in New York, in appreciation of New York's great buildings and established building patterns. Accordingly, your
boosterish editorial support for Bruce Ratner's proposed Gehry-designed basketball arena, with offices and condos, at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in Brooklyn ("Building in Brooklyn," December 11, 2003) is surprising and disappointing.

Is Mr. Ratner's proposal really so wonderful that even residents of the surrounding neighborhood ("bananas" you call them) must be ridiculed for questioning it? Shouldn't we New Yorkers remember that shortly after being named Commissioner of City Planning, Amanda Burden promised to initiate responsible urban planning, replacing the prevailing practice of letting rich developers--like Bruce Ratner--do the planning for New York City? Before the Sun applauds merely at the sound of the words "economic development," shouldn't you at least warn your readers that Mr. Ratner's Atlantic Center mall nearby in Brooklyn is not just an eyesore but an economic flop?

Above all, shouldn't we New Yorkers reflect on the pleasures of walking in the great public spaces of our city, Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Terminal among them, and ask whether any Bilbao-style object that the architect Frank Gehry lands in Brooklyn can ever produce a New York sort of urban experience?

In short, when the Sun immediately embraced Bruce Ratner's newest schemes, what were you thinking? Certainly New Yorkers should entertain Ratner's proposal. But his proposal deserves only balanced consideration and measured debate, along with all reasonable alternatives, not name-calling, and not instant, unquestioning support.

Yours truly,

Mary Campbell Gallagher

Audiences applaud Mary Campbell Gallagher as a crowd-pleasing and compelling expert speaker, one who combines her professional training as a lawyer with a deep feeling for the variety of city life. They describe her speeches as "stimulating," "thought-provoking," and "exciting." She wrote about rebuilding the New York City economy in the January 6, 2003, issue of The Nation.

Dr. Gallagher is currently doing research on how to preserve diverse urban neighborhood shopping streets and how to retain and strengthen manufacturing in New York City. She is a member of the Authors Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the National Speakers Association, the Federalist Society, the Congress for the New Urbanism, the National Association of Scholars, and other professional and civic organizations. She belongs to the National Arts Club and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She has served on the board of directors of the New York Tri-State Speakers Association, Inc., and on the national Accreditation Panel of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.