architecture in colonial and post-colonial america
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DESCRIPTIONArchitecture in Colonial and Post-Colonial America (their Influences, Character and Examples)
Architecture in Colonial and Post-Colonial AmericaClint Jun A. MaturanInfluencesThe study of the progress of architecture in new country, untrammeled with precedent and lacking the conditions obtaining in Europe, is interesting; but room is not available for more than cursory glance.
During the eighteenth century (1725-1775) buildings were erected which have been termed colonial in style, corresponding to what is understood in England as Queen Anne or Georgian.
In the New England States wood was the material principally employed, and largely affected the detail. Craigie House, Cambridge (1757), is typical of the symmetrical buildings. It has elongated Ionic half-columns to its faade, shuttered sash windows the hipped roof and the dentil cornice of the Queen Anne period; the internal fittings resembling those of Adam and Sheraton.
Economically and Socially the most advanced nation of the continent was the U.S.A., where a sense of national identity had been reinforced by the war with Britain of 1812-14. By 1840 the countrys trade was worth 250 million dollars per year, almost half being earned by New York. Cotton of Louisana and extensive coal and iron resources of Pennsylvania.InfluencesThe presidency of Andre Jackson gave impetus to wider democratic ideals and greatly encouraged individual enterprise. The westward movement being dramatically accelerated by the discovery of gold in California in 1848.
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States.InfluencesThe coming to power in 1861 of an anti-slavery government under Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) brought to a head the rivalry between the more dynamic Northern States and cotton producing Southern States, with their long-established plantation system based on slavery, and kindled the tragic civil war (1861-65), during the course of which, in 1863, slavery was abolished. The victory of the Northern States, and of the union, was decisive for the future of the country and encourage industrial development, which in turn greatly increased the rate of immigration generally, the period following the civil war was one of continuing commercial expansion, an age offering great opportunities and high material rewards to individual industrialist, bankers, farmers, and railway owners. This situation, clearly reflected in the architecture of the time, continued until the financial crash of 1929 and ensuing depression. The opening up of the country by railways was essential to development, and the continent was finally transverse by rail from coast to coast in 1869. Alexander Graham Bells invention of the telephone in 1876 further facilitated communications across the vast country which, in 1865, had been linked to Europe by trans-Atlantic cable. Finally the mass production of the motor car between the two world wars further extended communications and movement.InfluencesAs far as industry is concerned, Canadas development was much less rapid, her economy being based almost entirely on the export of lumber and wheat.
Like Canada, the countries of South America relied on the export of natural products rather than on manufacturing, and opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 was great significance in the development of the countries of the Pacific Coast.CharacterEuropean influence in both North and South America remained strong throughout the period, although materials, local skills, social customs and especially climatic conditions played their part, and buildings continued to posses strong regional characteristics.
In the U.S.A. itself, a conscious striving for a truly national architecture became evident soon after the war of independence, and architecture in that country can be considered as passing through three broad and loosely phases:
a.) Post-Colonialb.) First Eclectic Phasec.) Second Eclectic PhaseCharactera.)Post-Colonial (1790-1820)Architecture of this period moved away from the English Georgian idiom which had become established along the eastern seaboard of the country Neo-classic elements were introduced.
b.) First Eclectic Phase (1820-1869)During this period the revived Greek style was predominant receiving a more whole-hearted acceptance that it did in England and developing specifically American characteristics. The Gothic and Egyptian styles found some popularity but compared with the Greek revival, these were minor streams.
The type of timber framing known as the baloon frame came into use during this period and revolutionized timber construction. As its name suggest, rather than relying on an essentially post-and-lintel construction, the baloon-frame owes its strength to the walls, roofs, etc., acting as diaphragms. Comparatively light timber sections are employed which are nailed together, floor, and ceiling joist, forming ties, the whole stiffened by the external timber sheathing.CharacterThis period saw considerable developments in the use of cast-iron as a building material.
Characterc. ) Second Eclectic Phase (1860-1930)American architecture achieved international significance during this period and followed two main streams. The first related to the Gothic revival and initiated as a Romanesque revival with H.H. Richardson as its first important exponent, gained considerable momentum and reached great vigor and vitality in the work of Louis Sullivan. In some respects the movement in its later stages can be equated with that of the arts and crafts in Britain and it culminated in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.The second stream was more academic in character. Influence by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris its architecture inspired by the great periods of the past, the Italian and French Renaissance, ancient Greek and Roman and late Gothic.
CharacterTwo important and influential exhibitions belongs to this period; the centennial expositions 1876, Philadelphia and the worlds Columbian exposition (Chicago 1893).
The period is noteworthy for structural experiment and achievement. The Skyscraper, often regarded as Americas greatest single contribution to architectural development, was a product of this phase and was closely related to metal frame construction the non-load-bearing curtain wall and the lift or elevator. The period saw also the establishment of many schools of architecture in the U.S.A., the first at Massachusetts Institutes of Technology in 1868, under W.R. Ware.Examples (Domestic Buildings)The WHITE HOUSE, Washington D.C. (1792-1829)
the official residence of the president of the U.S.A. was designed by James Hoban, an Irish architect, in the English Palladian Style. After damage sustain in the war of 1812, it was restored and considerable restoration has been carried out in the present century. The porticoes were designed by B.H. Latrobe.
James Hoban (c.1758 December 8, 1831) was an Irish architect, best known for designing the White House in Washington, D.C.Examples (Domestic Buildings)Robie House, Chicago (1908)by Frank Lloyd Wright, is dominated externally by its strong horizontal lines which seem to make it almost one with the land on which it is built. Constructed of fine, small brick with low-pitched hipped roofs, the house is planned in an open and informal manner, interesting use being made of changes of level internally, the flowing internal spaces being generated by a central core containing staircase and fireplaces.
Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1000 structures and completed 532 works. Examples (Domestic Buildings)Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia (1793)
Was designed by Thomas Jefferson third person of the U.S.A. For his own use. The first house, and elegant example of colonial Georgian, was completely remodeled in a free and imaginative Palladian manner.
Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (18011809). Examples (Domestic Buildings)BILTMORE, Ashville, North Carolina (1890-5)
by R.M. Hunt, the first American architect to be trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, in style of an early French Renaissance chateau.
Richard Morris Hunt (October 31, 1827 July 31, 1895) was an American architect of the nineteenth century and a preeminent figure in the history of American architecture. Hunt was, according to design critic Paul Goldberger writing in The New York Times, "American architecture's first, and in many ways its greatest, statesman.Examples (Domestic Buildings)STOUGHTON HOUSE, Cambridge, Mass (1882-3)
by Mckim, Mead and White, is a timber-framed house, its walls clad externally with wood shingles providing an important example of the so-called Shingle style.
Stanford White (November 9, 1853 June 25, 1906) was an American architect and partner in the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, the frontrunner among Beaux-Arts firms.
William Rutherford Mead (August 20, 1846 June 19, 1928) was an American architect, and was the "Center of the Office" of McKim, Mead, and White, a noted Gilded Age architectural firm.
Charles Follen Mckim (August 24, 1847 September 14, 1909) was an American Beaux-Arts architect of the late 19th century. Along with Stanford White, he provided the architectural expertise as a member of the partnership McKim, Mead & White.Examples (Domestic Buildings)STOUGHTON HOUSE, Cambridge, Mass (1882-3)An external cladding of wood Shingles over a timber frame became popular in domestic building during the second half on the 19th century. Internally, the plan arrangement shows a loosening and foreshadows the Free Plan, to be developed later by Frank Lloyd Wright.