05-600, Shorter Assignments
12 Sept., 7 Nov: Philadelphia
For our projects delving into local historical evidence and resources, it will be helpful to build both a framing overview and some spots of narrower but deeper knowledge of the Philadelphia area's urbanistic and architectural history. Locate and read some focused scholarly writings on Philadelphia places, whether articles in scholarly journals or discrete parts of books, etc. Don't settle for picture or guide books -- these should be the kind of writings that show urban or building plans, and cite sources of information. Use bibliographical tools and check out the shelves to get a good idea of what exists on the subject, and choose your readings with purpose. Be adventurous in your reading; try to choose pieces that contrast to one another in focus, period, or approach.
In an email by next Sunday evening, please report precisely what you've read, using a standard bibliographical format found in that literature, and in a few sentences describe (a) the frame, the subject boundaries and approach, and (b) the point, the motivating argument or purpose, for each reading. The amount of reading should be roughly the equivalent of two or three scholarly articles of 10-20 pp. each, or a comparable amount in book chapters or shorter pieces.
Please bring your brief write-up with you in a digital form for our next class, 19 Sept., along with your laptop; if you haven't before, you'll learn in a very basic way to 'web it.' We'll do this again before the second project, with a webpage and/or an email report by Sunday evening, 13 Nov.
19 Sept. Website
Finding and Review:
Find a few websites about the history of places or architectural/urbanistic history resources that seem to be conceived similarly to the sort we'll take on, but focused on places other than Philadelphia. Try your hand at making a website that gives the url and provides a one-sentence description of each.
By evening of Sunday, 2 Oct., please send an email with the urls and writeups (or the URL of your webbed version), and in class, 3 Oct., be prepared to discuss these, both in terms of content and of matters of presentation, both positives and negatives.
31 Oct. Historic Nomination Processes:
As a short break between projects, we'll explore the issues in play where historical research becomes the premise for decisions about preservation protections and incentives at local, state, and national levels. To prepare for this, please read National Register Bulletin #16A, "How to Complete the National Register Registration Form" [http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb16a/], and also one nomination itself. You should also browse NRB #39, "Researching a Historic Property" [http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb39/] to see if there's anything that might be valuable that hasn't come up. There are some NR nominations available on-line, but not all; some can be accessed through the NRIS [http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/research/nris.htm] and others through the individual states' SHPO websites linked to that page. If you're not having success in finding one from afar, PA seems to be pretty good about having posted these for properties in that state [http://www.arch.state.pa.us/].
Please come to class on 7 Nov. (at the Philadelphia Historical Commission, Room 576, City Hall) havng done this reading and browsing, and prepared to comment on these matters of how history is meant to serve the public interest through preservation.