76 Chapters
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The American Landscape

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

The purpose of this excursion has been to understand the choice that made the American landscape. Living in villages in Jamestown and Plymouth, English people understood village life, and they knew of an alternative: enclosure. In both places, they abandoned the village for separate farms. They did not risk their lives on a black ocean to repeat the old but to create the new. They came to get rich. Religious rhetoric and the resistance of the native people could retard but not stop the spread of enclosure.

Jamestown and Plymouth might have been twin points of origin for a landscape unified by enclosure. Instead, history led to regional difference. In New England, the Puritans fought dispersal and isolation, returning by choice to the openfield village. They located a meetinghouse at the center of town and scattered tillage in strips through the open fields, rededicating themselves to the way of the Lord. New England developed in tension between the opposed energies of compression and dispersal. Villages predominated in some areas, notably the lowlands of the Connecticut Valley. In other places, high, rough, and marginal, the farmhouses stood alone. The scene in the South was simpler. Houses, churches, and even courthouses stood apart. Old Virginia was the first impeccably capitalistic landscape.

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Medium 9780253009913

4 - Socialist Generic and the Branding of State Socialism

Fehérváry, Krisztina Indiana University Press ePub

IN THE 1960s, economic reforms injected color, diversity, and forms of abundance into a commercial sphere that had been relatively sparse in the 1950s. The Kádár regime placed new emphasis on quality of life, including the provision of more consumer goods, leisure activities, and forms of entertainment. The department store Luxus opened in Budapest and catered to the segment of the population that wanted and could afford the higher quality and more expensive clothing it offered. At the same time, a chain of new self-service stores appeared, playfully called “ABC” (standing for all the letters in the alphabet) that offered consumers a wide variety of things under one roof and allowed them to access goods without going through a salesclerk. The first state-run warehouse for new furniture opened in Budapest in 1974, called Domus after the Italian design academy (Vadas 1992:183) and in 1976 a new department store chain called Skála opened its glass-clad flagship store in Budapest to great fanfare. The Skála was different from existing department stores in that its wares were supplied by new and more independent cooperative workshops (szövetkezet), making for more diverse offerings than previously possible through central planning channels. The Dunaújváros branch of the Skála was housed in a large, windowless set of cubes in a sienna orange. State-sponsored commercial media expanded, including the use of neon signs and television advertising; so did apolitical print media, such as magazines for car aficionados, fisherman, and photographers, as well as for cooking and women's fashion.

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Medium 9780253353627

4: Equality ~ Shared Light

Henry Plummer Indiana University Press ePub



Transom over Dining Room Doors Church Family Dwelling House Hancock, Massachusetts


Transom windows, frequently placed by Shakers above inner as well as outer doors, provide a means to increase the light shared between neighboring rooms, and maintain this flow even when doors are fully closed. Interior transoms are typically set over doors connecting dark corridors and well-lit perimeter rooms, and take shapes ranging from multi-paned rectangles to arched or semicircular fanlights.

Fanlight between Kitchen and Dining Room Center Family Dwelling House Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

Arched Transom over Infirmary Door Center Family Dwelling House Pleasant Hill, Kentucky


The stretching of light, and the open feeling, afforded by an interior window are especially impressive when able to transform an utterly mundane space, such as a back stair or closet. An ingenious device to siphon daylight deeply into a building, this glazed opening serves also to share illumination between rooms demanding acoustic separation, so as to spread light in a peaceful way, free of disrupting noise.

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Medium 9780253016706

Conclusion: The Remains of the Past, A Look toward the Future

Noga Kadman Indiana University Press ePub

THE LOWER GALILEE VILLAGE of Saffuriyya had over four thousand residents in 1948. In July of that year the village came under aerial bombardment and artillery attack by the IDF, which led most of its residents to flee, including the village’s armed defenders. The following year the villagers who remained were expelled. Some of the village refugees today live in nearby villages, and others live beyond Israel’s borders, mostly in Lebanon.1 The houses of the village were razed to the ground, and only a few public buildings remain. In 1949 a moshav was established next to the village site, on its land, by Jewish immigrants from Turkey and Bulgaria. A forest was planted over part of the village site by the Jewish National Fund. The rest was declared a national park by the Nature and Parks Authority, with the aim of preserving the site’s ancient history and the traces of the Jewish center that had existed there in the Roman period.

The official name given to the site where Saffuriyya stood was Tzipori—the ancient name of the place, preserved in the Arabic variant. The same name was also given to the Jewish moshav built nearby. The official Israeli map shows the village site with marks signifying a ruin and ruined houses, and a caption—Tzipori National Park. The signage at the JNF forest on the site mentions a convent that remains from the village, but not the village itself. The national park signs refer to the remains of the village and describe it as “small and miserable” for most of its days. The text is oblique as to the circumstances of the village’s depopulation, stating curtly that the village was conquered and “ceased to exist,” and that its residents “moved out.” The information leaflet handed to the park’s visitors speaks of the village only in the context of battles and conquest. It says that “gangs” inhabited the village, and that it was later conquered and “abandoned by its dwellers.” A publication by moshav Tzipori describes its own establishment as a revival of the local Jewish community on the site, after temporarily providing a home to Muslims who brought about its decline. The Arabic name of the village is absent from the text, which states that the village was conquered after its residents “ran for their lives.”

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Architectural Technology

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

The relation of the human and nonhuman begins its transformation in the first step of technology, the selection of materials. A distinction between local and imported materials was among the first criteria that writers, in England particularly, used to define vernacular architecture. Vernacular buildings are composed of local materials, they argued. During travel, they enjoyed watching the substrate of the earth rise and form into buildings, crossing the land in bands of sandstone, limestone, and granite, and they deplored the rash of red brick buildings that spread along the railways, oblivious to geological differences. Their taste was built on conventional dichotomies: natural and artificial, native and alien, old and new, local and national, handmade and industrial. The contemporary cynic would find their view easy to deconstruct as elitist and dismiss as sentimental. But they were on to something.

During architectural fieldwork, I have taught myself to concentrate on form, but everywhere I go the people whose houses I study classify buildings by materials, and especially by roofing. I found in Turkey that the local historians separated old houses with flat roofs from new houses with pitched roofs covered by purchased materials. In Bangladesh, village people, thinking less about history than social class, divide buildings by the materials of their walls — stuccoed brick versus puddled mud or bamboo lashed in tension — and by their roofs of thatch or tin. In Africa and Latin America, thatch is comparably yielding to tin, and in the rural United States one age gave way to another when wooden shingles were replaced by shiny sheets of metal.

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