B1. ARTICLES & EXCERPTS, 1600-1795
Peter Nabokov and Robert Easton. "Modifying Factors in Native American
Architecture." American Architectural History: A Contemporary Reader. pp
These authors discuss varied forms Native American tribe's architectural
styles-iglus, teepees, wigwams. Their main point is the all buildings
were affected by six "modifying factors": technology, climate, economics,
social organization, religion, and history.
Kimball, Fiske. "Architecture in the History of the Colonies and of the Republic." American Historical Review. Vol. 27 No. 1 (October 1921): 47-57. [jp]
This article explores the development of American architecture in a colony vs. mother country environment, making a strong argument for its development not out of desperate conditions and lack of economy and materials in the colonies, but of a new form of cultural independence that arose in America, freeing those who would not have had the financial or social means to do so in England to build and develop land or dwellings in whatever style they chose to emulate from England. The article also overviews many of the same residential and meetinghouse patterns laid out in some of the survey texts I read.
Ameri, Amir H. "Housing Ideologies in the New England and Chesapeake Bay Colonies c. 1650-1700." The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Volume 56 No. 1 (March 1997): 6-15 [jp]
This article was a comparison of the deviations from a basic building style that arose in the New England and Chesapeake Bay colonies. Ameri frames the argument that, contrary to general opinion, the differences in chimney placement and building materials in the two colonial areas' basic two-room housing style were due more to the ideologies and social priorities of the regions rather than climate and material differences. It makes a very interesting point about the physical expression of either desire to depart from English tradition (New England) or to maintain it (Chesapeake) for status and publicity reasons.
Upton, Dell. "Vernacular Domestic Architecture in Eighteenth Century Virginia." Winterthur Portfolio. Vol 84. (1982) 95-119. [jp]
Here, Upton outlines the development of vernacular architecture in Virginia in the seventeen hundreds, focusing on the "mixture of indigenous forms and more broadly distributed folk and academic ones that are combined in a distinctive local manner." The article moves through residence styles adapted from English and then eventually expanded on, the changes in room names within living spaces, and the social adaptations of architecture to the standards of who and what should be seen when during this period in Virginian history.
"Vernacular Domestic Architecture in Eighteenth-Century Virginia,"
Upton, Dell, Winterthur Portfolio 17, 2/3 (Summer-Autumn 1982): 95-119 [pp]
Frame: This article addressed Vernacular architecture, or regional
architecture, of 18th century Virginia and how Vernacular buildings
display a mixture of indigenous forms and show case the characteristics of
a particular region. This article also addressed the various changes that
occurred in 18th century Virginian houses, ie. the addition of living
spaces, the naming of these new spaces and the changes in the exterior
façade of these houses.
Point: To explain Vernacular domestic architecture's origins and
manifestations in 8th century Virginia from a historical and cultural
Upton, Dell. "Parish Churches, Courthouses, and Dwellings in Colonial Virginia." Keith L. Eggener, American Architectural History (New York, 2004), 73-88. [jp]
Dell Upton discusses here the cultural significance and evolution of the more public architectural structures in Virginian culture, churches, meetinghouses, and eventually dwellings like plantations. Churches were obviously the first and most carefully constructed of public buildings in this colony, with outward appearance and emulation of English styles providing a strong vernacular and cultural link to the religions of England. The churches also began serving secular functions in growing towns, so the rise of meeting house construction led to often less ornate styles of public buildings. Upton says that meetinghouses were, nevertheless, very important to the society in terms of a prominent display of "character" and control in a courthouse. Great Plantation houses were the final building type discussed here, taking the spirit of competitiveness and communal display of wealth or power to its highest level yet, disengaging from the community power that churches and courthouses displayed and focusing on the power of the individual landowner or plantation master.
Upton, Dell, "Parish churches, courthouses, and dwellings in Colonial Virginia," Eggener, Keith, American Architectural History (New York, 2004), pp. 73-91. [lbw]
The article discusses the function and structure of churches, courthouses, and residences specifically in Virginia. It describes the form for each of these buildings and its role as a community space.
The author explains that the church and courthouse are structurally built for the community and include physical social class barriers. The residences (Mount Vernon for one) command the surrounding landscape from hills. The area is described as a gentry landscape with a place for everyone.
Wenger, Mark R. "The Dining Room in Early Virginia." Perspectives
Vernacular Architecture. v 3. pp 149-159. [bf]
This article discusses the creation and ascent of the dining room from the
early 1600s to the early 1700s. It argues that hosting meals became
something like a ceremony-something the gentry class used to show their
status. In the following century, with a decline in the old aristocracy's
position, the importance of the "dining room".
Donald W. Lindbaugh, "'All the Annoyances and Incoveniences of the
Country': Environmental Factors in the Development of Outbuildings in the
Colonial Chesapeake," Winterthur Portfolio Vol. 29 No. 1 (Spring 1994),
-Article relates the landscape of the Chesapeake to the structure of
outbuildings, otherwise known as structures separate from the main house
in colonial days, such as the barns or slave houses.
-Lindbaugh argues that changes in structure and location on the property
were due to environmental factors. Also, the move to outbuildings to begin
with was caused by the environment, according to the author.
St. George, Robert Blair, "Household Space in Boston (1670-1730)," Winterthur Portfolio (1997): pp. 1-37. [lbw]
The article describes the transition of Boston from a pasture to a mercantile city. The architecture and spatial arrangement of buildings changes significantly with this shift.
When the land was pasture, each building served a different function ( seperate house for kitchen, storehouse), but as the city condensed, these functions were incorporated into the row house (basement kitchens and storerooms). The author also argues that the amount of residential space cannot be a measure of socioeconomic means because location plays a key role.
"Isaac Norris's Fairhill: Architecture, Landscape, and Quaker Ideals in
Philadelphia Colonial Country Seat," by Reinberger, Mark, and McLean, Elizabeth
Winterthur Portfolio 32, 4 (Winter 1997): 243-274 [pp]
Frame: This article addresses Isaac Norris's motives, by explaining
Norris's history, for building the Fairhill house and walks the reader
through the plan of the house through text and drawings. This article also
deals with William Penn and his elaborate plan for land distribution in
Point: To tell the story of the Fairhills house and landscape within the
context of Anglo-American architecture and landscape of the time. This
article also explores the motives behind building Fairhill and what the
house [and the ideals it represented] meant to Isaac Norris and his Quaker
Hannah Benner Roach, "Thomas Nevel: Carpenter, Educator, Patriot,"
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Vol. 24 No. 2 (May
1965), 153-164. [ka]
-Article discusses the life and careers of Nevel as well as the history of
Philadelphia in brief throughout the outline.
-Roach argues that he is representative of the architecture of his age
because of his education and many talents besides the title ones.
John William Murtagh, "The Philadelphia Row House," The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 16, No. 4. (Dec., 1957), pp. 8-13. [mh]
Observing and constructing the development of the basic-and largely archetypal-row house in Philadelphia, the discussion is largely of a contextual nature.
Reaffirming traditional themes of colonialism, particularly in terms of recreating the Old World in the new, and the class structure, the row house represents an enduring form of its period.
Roger Kennedy, "Jefferson and the Indians," Winterthur Portfolio
Vol. 27, No. 2/3 (1992): pp. 105-121 [ldv]
Roger Kennedy describes the influence of the Native Americans on the
architecture of Thomas Jefferson.
While Jefferson did not consider Native Americans to be of equal status
of whites, he came to believe that they were capable of producing
monumental architecture and making geometric calculations. Native American
architectural styles influenced Jefferson to utilize circles and octagons
when designing Poplar Forest.
John E. Crowley, "'In Happier Mansions, Warm, and Dry':
Invention of the Cottage as the Comfortable Anglo-American House,"
Winterthur Portfolio Vol. 23, No 2/3 (1997): pp. 169-188 [ldv]
This article is a discussion of the evolution of the cottage in the
17th and 18th centuries and how it came to be associated with comfort.
The rise of the cottage as an American architectural structure reflects
an interest in comfort, as well as the invention of a single form of
housing which could be deemed acceptable for a multitude of social
Barksdale Maynard, N., "Best Lowliest Style" Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (2000): pp. 338-357.[lbw]
The journal article covers the early 19th century rediscovery of American Colonial Architecture.
Late 18th century contempt for American colonail buildings was spurred by Jefferson. As time passes, Americans begin to revere historical buildings and they become a matter of artistic attention. The period promotes buildings that are solid and simple. Barksdale argues that this period is actually is a result of the nativist reaction toward immigrants.
"From Lovers to Murderers: The Etiquette of Entry and
Implications of House Form," by Bergengren, Charles
Winterthur Portfolio 29, 1 (Spring 1994): 43-72 [co]
This investigated the changing arrangements around the entrance to the
house, focusing on a community in pennsylvania from 1700 to 1800s to
illustrate changes, as well as the use of unconventional sources
(fiction, court testimony) to examine historical attitudes towards the
entering of anothers home. Basically, as people got richer the kitchen
became more isolated from the public entrance to the house.
Kenneth Hafertepe, "Banking Houses in the United States," Winterthur
Portfolio Vol 35 No. 1 (Spring 2000), 1-52. [ka]
-Article discusses the evolution of form in banking houses from repurposed
buildings to taking a form of their own as well as the designers behind
the evolution of form.
-The argument here is one for neoclassicism in bank facades and design of
Lanier, Gabrielle, "Samuel Wilson's Working World: Builders and Buildings
in Chester Co, PA: 1780-1827." Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture. v
4. pp 23-30 [bf]
This article is based from a stonemason, Samuel Wilson's account books.
Samuel held an unusual position in his town as he was both a landowner and
renter. The article describes the socioeconomic differences between his
clients and workers and the typical houses they might have lived in. The
author also spends good amount of time arguing how economically shrewd
this Samuel was.
Harold and James Kirker, "Charles Bulfinch: Architect as Administrator,"
The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Vol. 22 No. 1
(March 1963), 29-35. [ka]
-Article outlines the political and architectural careers and projects or
-The argument is that Bulfunch greatly improved the streets of Boston with
his administered political influence and architectural theory.
Kenneth Ames, "Robert Mills and the Philadelphia Row House," The
of the Society of Architectural Historians Vol. 27 No. 2 (May 1968),
-Article discusses the evolution of the row house out of spatial,
distance, and economic necessity in Philadelphia. It also shows the
evolution of form and why the form it finally took was chosen.
-Ames argues that Robert Mills restructured and updated the row house in
Philadelphia and greatly contributed to architectural form and basis in
Mark Gelernter, A History of American Architecture: Buildings
Cultural and Technological Context (Hanover, NH, 1999). Pg. 65-96 [pp]
Frame: Pg 65-96 discuss Colonial culture and the different periods in
history that influenced Colonial houses, in particular the Baroque and the
post-Baroque periods. This section addresses the Baroque and post-Baroque
era that took place in France, Spain and England and how changes in the
social, financial and political infrastructure of the colonies affected
the shape and form of houses built between 1650-1763.
Point: To explain the different factors that influenced the appearance of
Colonial houses and why they look the way they do.
Mark Gelernter, A History of American Architecture: Buildings in
Their Cultural and Technological Context (Hanover, 1999, pp. 65-96 [ldv]
In this chapter, Gelernter discusses Colonial Culture, 1650-1763.
Gelernter discusses Baroque and Post-Baroque architecture in Europe and
how each of these styles impacted architecture in Colonial America.
In this chapter, Gelernter suggests that while the Baroque style was
embraced by architects throughout several countries in Europe, it was the
architecture of England and Spain which directly influenced the architects
of the American British colonies.
Gelernter, Mark. A History of American Architecture: Buildings
in their Cultural and
Technological Context (Hanover, 1999), pp. 65-96. [lbw]
The Chapter is titled Colonial Culture (1650-1763) and touches on the shift between baroke and classical architecture in American colonialism.
The author makes a point of describing the cultural events occuring in Europe at this time, and shows their resulting impact on American Architecture. For example, the Baroque period resulted from a time of conflict in Europe, and the baroque American buildings reflect this period.
Gelernter. A History of American Architecture: Buildings in their Cultural and Technological Context. (Hanover, 1999). 56-84. [jp]
This survey text overviews the development of American architecture in the colonies with regard to its ties to European architectural ideals on several different levels. It explores the differences between New England and Chesapeake colonies (architectural development based on religious motivations versus financial motivations), discusses the timeline for the adoption and adaptation of European architectural styles like Baroque, Classical, and Anglo-Palladianism in America, and suggests reasons for the eventual departure from England's architectural "fashions" into a more independent form of higher culture that was uniquely American.
Gelernter, Mark. "Colonial Culture." A History
of American Architecture.
pp 65-96. [bf]
Gelernter discusses European influences on early American architecture at
length, focusing on French, Spanish and English political and ideological
differences. He begins with some architectural history of the late
Renaissance and goes through the mid-18th century. A main emphasis is the
changing notion of the "Baroque" style. Most interesting was the notion
that ideologies (e.g. those of rationalists vs. empiricists) literally
Alan Gowans, Styles and Types of North American Architecture (New York: Icon Press, 1993) pp 14-81. [mh]
Gowans develops the Colonial style, placing it within the formal bounds of a period between the colonization of the Americas and the United States' independence, by presenting a wide scope of the style.
Delineating the various functions and decomposing the various substyles, Gowans takes great care to draw out the underlying facets which define a style with incredible perpetuity. The Colonial style reflects an era based on heredity class constructs (and primogeniture), and accented by a plethora of European cultures (i.e., Spanish, French, Dutch, and Swedish, in addition to English).
David P. Handlin, American Architecture (London, 1985). 39-70(?) [co]
The chapter I read covered from approximately the 1770s to the early/mid
1800s. Talked about the beginnings of an American style in architect
designed buildings, rooted in ancient greek and roman models.