American Architectural History: A Contemporary Reader

By Keith L. Eggener | Go to book overview

Introduction

Keith L. Eggener

There is a new architectural history to be written, and there is an old
architectural history to be rewritten.

John Coolidge, 19421

As if in renewed response to Coolidge’s words, a new history of American architecture has emerged during the past two and a half decades. This collection of twenty-four previously published writings, with subjects ranging from colonial to contemporary times and representing a diverse group of individuals, sites, objects, issues, events, and scholarly viewpoints, provides an introduction to this development. Directed toward students and teachers of American architecture and cultural history, it surveys the evolving state of the field and aims to facilitate the formation of informed, critical perspectives on it.

American, architecture: these two words are so widely and variously used as to require regular redefinition. During the 1940s Nikolaus Pevsner said that “the term architecture applies only to buildings designed with a view to aesthetic appeal.” In the famous opening line of his book, An Outline of European Architecture, Pevsner declared that “A bicycle shed is a building; Lincoln Cathedral is a piece of architecture.”2 Forty years later, Spiro Kostof began his more inclusive A History of Architecture (1985) by stating that “all past buildings, regardless of size, status, or consequence,” should now be studied.”3 If anything, the boundaries of architecture have only continued to expand and blur in recent years. The essays featured here speak of a variety buildings, from unique examples of “high art” to prefabricated multiples, from the mundane to the monumental, from objects fashioned by professional designers to spaces created by their own unschooled inhabitants. Beyond buildings, however, these writings consider many other things as within the realm of architecture. Included here are examinations of building furnishings and associated artifacts, the rituals contained in and the social structures reinforced by particular built spaces, the modifications made to buildings and landscapes by their users (as opposed to their initial designers), the professional and cultural discourses and the urban and rural landscapes within which buildings are situated. Many of the writers talk “around” architecture, using buildings and design as launching points for wide-ranging discussions of culture and society. For many contemporary scholars the preferred terms for this extraordinarily complex physical, experiential, and imaginative terrain are the built environment or the cultural landscape.4 We might still identify all of

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
American Architectural History: A Contemporary Reader
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 449

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.