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Feature: BWAF Bookshelf, October 2013

From the BWAF Bookshelf

books

From left: Architecture School, Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America; Chicago’s Historic Hyde Park; Architecture and Capitalism: 1845 to the Present (credits below).

The October 2013 BWAF Bookshelf features books presenting architecture education throughout America’s history; depicting the histories and relationships of architects and residents of Chicago’s Hyde Park; and a collection of essays edited by BWAF advisor, Peggy Deamer, on the relationship between the economy and architectural design. Books include Architecture School, Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America; Chicago’s Historic Hyde Park; and Architecture and Capitalism: 1845 to the Present.

Edited by Joan Ockman
(The MIT Press, 2012)

Rooted in the British apprenticeship system, the French Beaux-Arts, and the German polytechnical schools, architecture education in North America has had a unique history spanning almost three hundred years. Although architects in the United States and Canada began to identify themselves as professionals by the late eighteenth century, it was not until nearly a century later that North American universities began to offer formal architectural training; the first program was established at MIT in 1865. Today most architects receive their training within an academic setting that draws on the humanities, fine arts, applied science, and public service for its philosophy and methodology. This book, published in conjunction with the centennial of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), provides the first comprehensive history of North American architecture education.

Architecture School opens with six chronological essays, each devoted to a major period of development: before 1860; 1860–1920; 1920–1940; 1940–1968; 1968–1990; and 1990 to the present. This overview is followed by a “lexicon” containing shorter articles on more than two dozen topics that have figured centrally in architecture education’s history, from competitions and design pedagogy to research, structures, studio culture, and travel.

 

Chicago’s Historic Hyde Park
By Susan O’Connor Davis
(The University of Chicago Press, 2013)

Stretching south from 47th Street to the Midway Plaisance and east from Washington Park to the lake’s shore, the historic neighborhood of Hyde Park—Kenwood covers nearly two square miles of Chicago’s south side. At one time a wealthy township outside of the city, this neighborhood has been home to Chicago’s elite for more than one hundred and fifty years, counting among its residents presidents and politicians, scholars, athletes, and fiery religious leaders. Known today for the grand mansions, stately row houses, and elegant apartments that these notables called home, Hyde Park—Kenwood is still one of Chicago’s most prominent locales.

Physically shaped by the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and by the efforts of some of the greatest architects of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—including Daniel Burnham, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe—this area hosts some of the city’s most spectacular architecture amid lush green space. Tree-lined streets give way to the impressive neogothic buildings that mark the campus of the University of Chicago, and some of the Jazz Age’s swankiest high-rises offer spectacular views of the water and distant downtown skyline.
In Chicago’s Historic Hyde Park, Susan O’Connor Davis offers readers a biography of this distinguished neighborhood, from house to home, and from architect to resident. Along the way, she weaves a fascinating tapestry, describing Hyde Park—Kenwood’s most celebrated structures from the time of Lincoln through the racial upheaval and destructive urban renewal of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s into the preservationist movement of the last thirty-five years. Coupled with hundreds of historical photographs, drawings, and current views, Davis recounts the life stories of these gorgeous buildings—and of the astounding talents that built them. This is architectural history at its best.

 

Edited by Peggy Deamer
(Routledge, 2014)

Architecture and Capitalism tells a story of the relationship between the economy and architectural design. Eleven historians each discuss in brand new essays the time period they know best, looking at cultural and economic issues, which in light of current economic crises you will find have dealt with diverse but surprisingly familiar economic issues. Told through case studies, the narrative begins in the mid-nineteenth century and ends with 2011, with introductions by editor Peggy Deamer to pull the main themes together so that you can see how other architects in different times and in different countries have dealt with similar economic conditions. By focusing on what previous architects experienced, you have the opportunity to avoid repeating the past.

With new essays by Pier Vittorio Aureli, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Keller Easterling, Lauren Kogod, Robert Hewison, Joanna Merwood-Salisbury, Robin Schuldenfrei, Deborah Gans, Simon Sadler, Nathan Rich, and Micahel Sorkin.


Excerpts of the descriptions were obtained from the publishers’ websites.
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Photo Credits: Photos were obtained from publishers’ websites.

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