People, Power, Places

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Sally Ann McMurry, Annmarie Adams
University of Tennessee Press, 2000 - Architecture - 295 pages
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From workers' cottages in Milwaukee's Polish community to Alaskan homesteads during the Great Depression, from early American retail stores to nineteenth-century prisons, different types of buildings reflect the diverse responses of people to their architectural needs. Through inquiry into such topics, the contributors to this volume examine a variety of building forms as they assess the current state of vernacular architecture studies.

Because scholars in vernacular architecture have come to consider thematic questions rather than simply to look at types of structures, the essays chosen for this collection address issues of how people, power, and places intersect. They demonstrate not only the inextricable links between people and place but also show how power relationships are defined by spatial organization--and how this use of space has helped define the distinction between private and public.

The essays examine a wide range of forms, from camp meetings to trolley cottages, to consider what buildings might reveal about their makers, users, and even interpreters. One article, for example, will give readers a new appreciation of balloon framing in Midwest farmhouses, refuting popular notions that it was a single individual's invention. Another considers servants' quarters in Apartheid-era South Africa to explore the relationship between black domestic workers and their white employers.
Drawn from the Vernacular Architecture Forum conferences of 1996 and 1997, these thirteen essays make significant contributions to the study of design and building processes and the adaptation of architectural forms and spaces over time. They help redefine the scope of "vernacular" and provide new models for better understanding the built environment.

The Editors: Sally McMurry is professor of history at Pennsylvania State University and author of Families and Farmhouses in Nineteenth-Century America.

Annmarie Adams is associate professor of architecture at McGill University and author of Architecture in the Family Way: Doctors, Houses, and Women, 1870-1900.

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About the author (2000)

The Editors: Sally McMurry is professor of history at Pennsylvania State University and author of Families and Farmhouses in Nineteenth-Century America.

Annmarie Adams is associate professor of architecture at McGill University and author of Architecture in the Family Way: Doctors, Houses, and Women, 1870-1900.

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