READINGS, Part 2: 1795-1845
Jay D. Edwards. "The Origins of Creole Architecture", Winterthur
Portfolio, Vol. 29 No. 3, 155-189. [kla]
Starting with an introduction to Louisiana French Creole architecture and
studies that have formerly done, the article progresses to a history of
Caribbean, Spanish, French, and English influence in the evolution of
Creole plans. Also the history is much earlier than the unit we're in,
Louisiana Creole emerges in full force with the sugar cane crops in the
The point of the article is to provide a thorough history of this, mostly
vernacular, architecture as well as filling in the gaps in the history and
influence apparent in Creole architecture by the Spanish
Anonymous, "Excerpt from 'On the Architecture of America,' 1790"
Building the Nation:Americans Write About Their Architecture, Their
Cities, and Their Landscape. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press, 2003. pgs 9-10. [ldv]
In this excerpt, the anonymous author responds to a quote by Thomas
Jefferson: "The genius of architecture has shed maledictions over our
The anonymous author argues that American architecture can take great
strides if Americans take some time to gain knowledge of the history and
traditions of architecture. American buildings are, thus far, fairly
insignificant , because they are being built for neccessity, not to make a
Mills, Robert, "The Progress of Architecture in Virginia"and "The
Architectural Works of Robert Mills,"in Don Gifford (ed), The Literature
of Architecture (New York, 1966), pp 80-91. [ag]
Frame: These are primary sources by the architect Robert Mills in which
he discusses his own taste in architecture as well as his own theories on
Point: Mills believes that American architecture should be adapted to its
own people and specific use instead of simply imitating other styles. He
also strongly believes in the idea that architecture should be natural and
that is why he believes that Greek architecture is a good model for
Richard M. Candee, "Social Conflict and Urban Rebuilding: The Portsmouth,
New Hampshire, Brick Act of 1814," Winterthur Portfolio 32:2 (1997):
Frame: Candee attempts to explore the social and political significance
of Portsmouth's (re)building post major fires. He accounts for the
differences before the fire of 1813 and those after in relation to the
Brick Act of 1814. Candee uncovers deep social inequalities between
Portsmouths rich elite and poorer artisans. Moreover, this accounts for
"conflicting ideas about appropriate construction methods, property
rights, and who should control the early national urban landscape."(121)
I also think this says something about the publics perception of style
and an economic bias of materials (wealthy brick vs. poorer wood) and
Point: Candee determines that the Brick Act created/entrenched deep social
divisions, deligitmated social and political authority and contributed to
a declining population and economy. Physically, these affects can be seen
on the layout of the city and the opposing juxtoposition of brick
structures and wooden "infill" (construction post-1824 with the Acts
Kirker, Harold and James, Charles Bulfinch: Architect as Administrator, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Vol. 22 (1963): pp. 29-35. [lbw]
a) Frame: The article examines the life of Chales Bulfinch as both an architect and an important adminitrator in Boston.
b) Point: Charles Bulfinch was a rich young man of Boston with an interest in architecture. The article describes how he was an architect on the side ( unlike Latrobe) of his real work as a politican. Though he has a reputation as an architect, his architecture was mostly a result of his desire to improve the city of Boston through state projects.
Woods, Mary N. The First Professional: Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Eggener, Keith, American Architectural History : A Contemporary Reader (New York, 2004), pp. 112-131. [lbw]
a) Frame: The article discusses the life and work of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. It describes him as the first mix between scholar and carpenter to form the first true architect.
b) Point: The article captures Latrobes professional personality- characterized mostly by pride and arrogance. Woods argues that despite his temperment, none were equal in his drawing and structural knowledge. She discusses many of his projects and problems associated with them, such a financial and personal problems. Overall, she portrays him as a tragic figure who complained of the misfortune of being a gentlemen and his trouble finding capital in American to underwrite his projects.
Miller, J. Jefferson II, The Designs for the Washington Monument in Baltimore, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Vol. 23 (1964): pp. 19-28. [lbw]
a) Frame: The article describes the conception of the monument and specifically of the design for the Washington Monument in Baltimore.
b) Point: After the revolution, the monument was a new and exciting concept. The people of Baltimore petitioned to raise funds for a Washington Monument to honor great men who did heroic deeds and would stimulate emulation in society and among youths. A design competition was held and Robert Mills was selected to build the monument, which used the Doric order to shows the simplicity of character of Washington.
J. Jefferson Miller, II., "The Designs for the Washington Monument in
Baltimore," The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 23:1
(Mar. 1964): 19-28. [kc]
Frame: Miller details the process of Baltimore's Washington Monument from
its inception, competition, proposals and "completion." Miller is careful
to cover the different possibilities for the monument--such as Godefry's
triumphal arch, an anonymous column and Mills' multiple ideas and how they
all relate to the innate symbolism of specific styles. Miller eventually
focuses his story on the intentions of Robert Mills' winning design and
its compromises over the years of building. He detials the controversy
over alterations and the limitations based on money that seriously
downsized the decorative elements of the monument.
Point: Eventually, Miller makes the claim that Washington's Monument
remains incomplete and naked in light of the missing corner sculptures.
Ultimately, Miller illuminates the differences between the professional
(architect) communities' expectations of style during the early 19th
Century period and the low-style of citizenry that sort of accepted the
monument as complete--evident even in the motivations of Baltimore's
elite. Moreover, he points out the different signfiers that come to
"honor" the American heroes as compared to traditional or maybe, the
expected, forms of honor.
J. Jefferson Miller, II. "The Designs for the Washington Monument in
Baltimore", Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 23
No. 1, 19-28. [kla]
The article covers every detail of the design of the monument, from the
initial design queries and competitions to the unfinished product still
The point is to declare the debacle over the ornamentations, particularly
the overdone trophies that keep the monument unfinished, according to the
original final design.
Robert L. Alexander. "The Union Bank, by Long after Soane", Journal
Society of Architectual Historians, Vol. 22 No. 3, 135-138. [kla]
Article searches for the inspirations and templates behind the Union Bank
in Baltimore and outright suggests Sir John Soane's works.
The argument is more of a comparison between the Bank of England (by
Soane) and the Union Bank (by Long) and how this was another American
effort to "keep abreast of the latest European innovations" (Alexander
Matthew Baigell. "John Haviland in Philadelphia, 1818-1826", Journal
the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 25 No. 3, 197-208. [kla]
Article provides an account of not only the architect's career previous to
his arrival in Philadelphia, but also the state of architecture in the
city at his arrival.
Baigell argues that Haviland should be known more for his Grecian
facsimiles in Philadelphia than his prisons. Another claim is that
Haviland arrival took the city out of a six year architecture slump and
that he became the best architect of the stated years in the city.
Matthew Baigell, John Haviland in Philadelphia, 1818-1826, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol.25, No. 3 (Oct., 1966), 197-208. [mmh]
This article discusses the work of John Havilandknown for designing the Eastern State Penitentiaryin Philadelphia, during a specific frame of time.
Working to distinguish Haviland for his other architectural contributions beyond prison design, the author works to highlight his role in a period of the city which he felt he greatly influencedparticularly with regard to Greek Revival design. Baigell works to connect as many aspects of Havilands work as possible, to demonstrate that he was one of the citys first practitioner of the style, as well as his presence during a time when Philadelphia was lacking a sense of architecture professionalism.
Jane B. Davies. "A. J. Davis' Projects for a Patent Office Building,
1832-1834", Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 24
No. 3, 229-251. [kla]
Outlines the issues (i.e. space) and styles that affected the design of
the Patent Office, the capital's first Greek Revival government building.
Article argues that although many architects had input on the design, the
final product still proves to be one of the best examples and most studied
of his works.
Maynard, W. Barksdale. The Greek Revival: Americanness, Politics, and Economics, Eggener, Keith, American Architectural History : A Contemporary Reader (New York, 2004), pp. 132-141. [lbw]
a) Frame: The article examines the Greek Revival in post- independence America.
b) Point: While many claim that the Greek Revival was an expression of democracy and liberty in America, Maynard claims that the revival was not distinctly American. He claims that the revival was a result of fear of British criticism that pushed American architecture back to a past style. He says that the revival had nothing to do with political motives, but was more about sophistication, aesthetics, and economics. Woods, Mary, Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia: Planning the Academic Village, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Vol. 44 (1985): pp. 266-283. [lbw]
a) Frame: Woods describes the planning and building of UVA by Jefferson and how it differs from other American and English colleges of the time.
b) Point: Woods argues that Jeffersons college was different from any before it because it was sensitive to the effect of architectural arrangement on education, discipline, health, and morale. Jefferson viewed the university as a self-contained community and buildings were built with a purposeful relationship to one another. This differed from the single academic building plan of most colleges, and created an academic village based on Palladian designs.
Brucken, Carolyn. "In the Public Eye: Women and the American Luxury
Hotel". Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 21, No. 4, Gendered Spaces and
Aesthetics (Winter, 1996), 203-220. [ldv]
In this article, Brucken describes the rise of the luxury hotel in
American ad the relationship between gender roles and both its design and
Brucken argues that while the design of the luxury hotel encouraged
separation of the sexes, it provided the female gender with an
architectural importance rarely seen before. The presence of women in the
luxury hotel was integral to both its economic success and its
Carolyn Brucken, In the Public Eye: Women and the American Luxury Hotel, Winterthur Portfolio Vol., 31, No.4, (Winter 1996), p.203-220. [jk]
This article discusses womens role in the development and growth of luxury hotels between 1825 and 1860. Brucken raises awareness of the luxury hotels design to cater for women and how their presence at the hotel affected its design, purpose, and social symbolism.
Carolyn Brucken, "In the Public Eye: Women and the American Luxury Hotel,"
Winterthur Portfolio 31:4 (Winter 1996): 203-220. [kc]
Frame: Brucken wanted to determine "how gender was essential to the
production of middle-class public space in antebellum America."(203)
Using historical accounts and travel writing, Brucken attempted to
deconstruct the origins of the luxury hotel. First she considers the male
dominated views based on transportation, tourism and technological
developments and contrasts this approach with the expanding role of women
in public space and aesthtics (desirability of "ladyhood"). Instead of
exploring hotel style, Brucken is concerned with the organization of space
as effected by women.
Point: Brucken determines that women affected the design of hotels and
contributed to and reflected the gendered construction of space with their
increasing public visibility. For example, the ladys parlor indicates a
commercial production specifically for women. Women developed a
commercial value and consumption of ladyhood that is evident in the
development of the hotel and a quest for a moral quality of commodity in
Brucken, Carolyn, "In the Public Eye: Women and the American Luxury
Hotel," Winterthur Portfolio Vol 31, NO. 4 Winter 1996, pp 203-220. [ag]
Frame: Brucken sets out to explain how womens' role in society shaped the
design of the luxury hotels.
Point: The emerging middle class and the new ideals of how middle class
women should act shaped the way in which hotels were laid out. There had
to be a seperation between the public and private space as well as the
mens' business areas and areas for families, which created a unique layout
for the hotels that differed from inns and coffee houses.
Hayward, Mary Ellen, "Urban Vernacular Architecture in Nineteenth-Century
Baltimore," Winterthur Portfolio Vol. 16, NO 1 (Spring 1981) pp 33-63. [ag]
Frame: Hayward examines how the vernacular of the working class in
Baltimore was expressed and changed as the city grew and developed.
Point: The architectural style of the working class was a direct
emulation of the en vogue styles of the upper classes. The upper class
styles including the Federal, Greek revival, and Italianate type were
modified and simplified for the working classes. The houses of the
working class had simpler facades due to economic reasons, and the floor
plans were different from those of the upper classes due to the economic
necessity of a purely functional space.
Mary Ellen Hayward, Urban Vernacular Architecture in 19th century Baltimore, Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Spring 1981), 33-63. [mmh]
Using the city of Baltimore, Hayward looks at how the vernacular architecture of a city is derived from the popular, high-styles of its region. Tracing the dominate styles of the time periodfrom Federal, to Greek Revival and the later 19th century period of Italianate, a pattern of working-class architecture of constructed.
Hayward, through various elements and physical description, shows how the more elaborate and formalized styles of the higher classes are translated and modified for the middle and lower classesfrom size and less ornate qualities of design. In doing so, she draws a number of comparisons between Baltimore and Philadelphia.
"The Millionaire's Palace: Leland Stanford's Commission for Pottier &
Stymus in San Francisco," by Strazdes, Diana
Winterthur Portfolio 36, 4 (Winter 2001): 213-243. [co]
A close examination of the mansion built in 1875 for leland stanford in
san fransisco. The article paid especially close attention to the
interior finish and furnishings. The rise of the industrial robber baron
ushered in a new era of spectacularly opulent houses. Some rooms took as
their model the palaces of the french kings from the 1600s, but managed
to be tackier, overflowing with gilt moldings, marble, and intricately
Leland Roth, ed., America Builds (New York, 1983).
G Wheeler, Cheap Wooden Dwellings (1855) p 53-55. [pp]
This reading focused primarily on the system of wooden framing for
houses and small warehouses, which replaced the heavy hewn and joined
frame. It also discussed G Wheelers book, Homes for the People, and his
ideas on building a balloon frame house.
The point of this reading was to expose readers to a different type of
house construction: the wooden frame construction. The reading also talked
about The Villa, the differences between villa size and the classes of
persons who seek houses in the country. It also gave readers instructions
on how to build Balloon Frames
Talbot Hamlin, The Rise of Eclecticism in New York, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 11, No. 2 (May, 1952), 3-8. [mmh]
In a particularly concise manner, this article outlines why eclecticism came to be employed in New York.
Noting the influence of specific individuals, new building materials such as iron and glass, and a desire to move away from traditional Greek and Gothic revivals of the time, this author denotes a more innovative approach drawing on a broader range of style, such as Italianate, Romantic, Greek Revival, and Egyptian. This all occurred, however, within a context of rationalism and a desire to logically plan structures, especially to address issues resulting from a growing urban space.
"The Lady and the Library Loafer: Gender and Public Space in Victorian
America,"by van Slyck, Abigail A.
Winterthur Portfolio 31, 4 (Winter, 1996): 221-242. [co]
Examined the now forgotten library feature of the "ladies reading room"
in the 19th century. This room was meant to seperate women from the more
serious library goers, often furnished to resemble the parlor of a home,
and stocked with light readings;cooking magazines and the like. Around
the turn of the century libraries began getting rid of the ladies reading
rooms, often converting them into childrens rooms.
The Lady and the Library Loafer: Gender and Public Space in Victorian
America, by van Slyck, Abigail A. Winterthur Portfolio 31, 4 (Winter, 1996): 221-242. [pp]
This article focused on Reading rooms, their purpose, location in the library and décor. It also addressed gender stereotypes held by society during the 19th century and the relationship between gender and space during the 19th century.
Besides focusing on Reading Rooms, their purpose, décor, location in the library and their evolution in the 19th and 20th century, the article also discussed the structure, interior décor, space distribution and purpose of the types of libraries [Free library and Athenaea] during the 19th century. Furthermore this article talked about society and the role of women during the 19th century.
Household Art: Creating the Artistic Home, 1868-1893, by McClaugherty,
Martha Crabill.Winterthur Portfolio 18, 1 (Spring 1983): 1-26. [pp]
This article talks about Household art and how it became a distinctive movement in the middle-class home decoration during the 19th century. It also talks about various literary works published during the 19th the goals of the authors and the effect they had on the middle-class society [in particular women].
The point of this article was to expose readers to the movement of Household Art and the aesthetic definition of beauty. It explained how this movement was important to the development of the unique attitudes that prevailed about the home and its furnishings during the 19th century. It also discussed the concept of beautiful objects having positive effects on spirit and mind and gave readers various examples [and pictures] of popular furniture designs of the 19th century.
Wagner, Virginia L. "John Ruskin and Artistical Geology in America".
Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 23, No. 2/3 (Summer-Autumn, 1988), 151-167 [ldv].
In this article, Virginia L. Wager discusses the theories of John
Ruskin, an English aesthetic theorist who encouraged landscape artists to
utilize scientific knowledge in their depictions of geological subjects.
19th century landscape artists were influenecd by Ruskin and began to
incorporate more geological forms into their paintings. Ruskin's formulas
for the universal characteristics of geology provided Americans with a
much greater understanding of the conflicts and connections between
science and art.
David T.van Zanten, Jacob Wrey Mould: Echoes of Owen Jones and the High Victorian Styles in New York, 1853-65, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 28, No. 1, (Mar, 1969) p.41-57. [jk]
This article discusses the influence of Jacob Moulds career from 1853 to 1865. David T. van Zanten proclaims Moulds catalytic effect in transitioning the architectural styles from Early to High Victorian styles. He argues that Moulds influence was due to his unique background and significant participation in the arts as a whole.