Survey Project:

Our next assignment will be a collective class project, with components carried out in pairs. We're going to try to build an illustrated web unit for teaching Philadelphia architecture.

We'll base our choices of what's a first-tier target for illustrating the story by comparing texts that take on all or parts of the story, and seeing what they illustrate to make their points, then gridding these to create a concordance. The idea would be that scholars and critics have picked illustrations pointedly, and we'll follow their lead to cover the most expected places by which they story can be illustrated. Then we'll look to shoot our own and/or find usable historic images of the places that lie at the intersection of multiple tellings.

Tatum's 145 figures from his 1961 account would of course be a good start, but we want to broaden beyond one scholar's selection, gridding his choices alongside others for the same period in order to identify our targets. We'll also offer very brief bullet points on what each author celebrated about each, and variants on dates or architectural credit.

So we'll need to seek other historical accounts of Philadelphia architecture, partial or full, to map against one another and Tatum. Here too we'll have to be resourceful, as very few are quite like Tatum's. (We'll avoid guidebooks.) And we'll have a major leg up in that people have aready done this for American and world architectuire surveys, and can immediately draw those illustrations into our units, hitting the most famous examples, although we may amplify them graphically.

In addition to Tatum (PGT), one might examine illustrations in

The four groups will each take a chronological section:

A: before 1840
B. 1841-1895
C: 1896-1940
D. 1941-1980

So the first part of this will be to create a simple spreadsheet for your period, populating it with examples. One small set that you won't have to deal with covers the most obvious examples across all four periods, a dozen or so already represented in a concordance of American architectural history survey texts. They're listed here [].

Here's a rough conceptual model; start collecting and we'll move the data into a more refined model in Excel later.

 bldg name, or client name plus function  location  architect or builder  dates, variants  repr in  later:
 PP  PGT  WTO  DTB  3C        
 Second Bank of the United States  420 Chestnut Street, philadelphia  William Strickland, architect


1819-24 (PP)

fig. 27  fig. 17              
  • PAB proj URL
  • ills (aspects, sources)
  • significance bullets
 James Smith house  1200 Old Gulph Road, Lower Merion  Fred Smith, builder  1893        p. 24          
  •  PAB proj URL
  • ills (aspects, sources)
  • significance bullets

Give it a try, and get started trying to identify some buildings that should be included.
More soon.

survp.html; last rev. = 21 Oct.04