Thanks to Rebecca Price for doing the legwork on this and to Mark Pompelia for updating the website. It’s so nice to have these all in one place in order to see all of the important & brilliant work our colleagues are doing! If you know of a session that is not included, please contact me at email@example.com or comment below and I will make sure it is added.
Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, Art Institute of Chicago
In 2016, historian David Garrard Lowe, author of Lost Chicago, donated a collection of approximately 1,100 photographs and ephemeral items, ranging in date from the 1880s to the 1980s, to the Ryerson & Burnham Archives of the Art Institute of Chicago. The collection currently is in the process of being digitized, and a selection of materials is on display through June 15 in an exhibition in the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries’ Franke Reading Room.
Nathaniel Parks, Tigerman McCurry Art and Architecture Archivist, curated “Memoir of a City”: Selections from the David Garrard Lowe Historic Chicago Photograph Collection, to highlight Lowe’s generous gift. Lost Chicago, originally published in 1975, was both a love letter to the city and an impassioned plea for preservation of Chicago’s unique architecture. Lowe, a third-generation Chicagoan, begins the work “Chicago was always, for me, a magical city,” and proceeds to present images of long-vanished structures that defined the city alongside captions on their significance, making locations such as Bertha Palmer’s picture gallery, Dwight L. Moody’s Tabernacle, Crosby’s Opera House, and the Sherman House hotel come alive for the reader.
The exhibition follows the table of contents in Lost Chicago, organizing the cases thematically around pre-Fire Chicago; culture and recreation in the city; residential architecture; transportation and infrastructure; government and commercial architecture; the 1893 and 1933 World’s Fairs; and significant Chicago people and events. Viewers can explore Pullman Town, the White City of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Francis apartments, and reminisce about civic structures such as Comiskey Park (“the baseball palace of the world”), the Trianon Ballroom, and Central Station. In addition to photographs, some of which have not been previously published, the exhibition features playing cards from the Century of Progress International Exposition, menus, postcards, souvenir photo books, news clippings, and both the design and advertisement for “a modern Christmas tree” that may have inspired Irving Berlin’s song, White Christmas. This representative selection of materials demonstrates both the variety of evocative materials in the David Garrard Lowe collection, and the variety of research questions that can be explored through this compilation of primary source materials.
The Ryerson and Burnham Archives are a fitting home for this significant collection. The David Garrard Lowe collection will be accessible alongside the papers of Chicago architects such as Daniel Hudson Burnham, Louis Sullivan, and Bertrand Goldberg; historic preservationists such as Richard Nickel and John Garrett Thorpe; and collections such as the Chicagoland Building Brochure collection and the World’s Columbian Exposition Photographs by C. D. Arnold. Once the Lowe materials have been digitized, they will join the more than 500,000 items available freely online in the Ryerson & Burnham Archives’ digital collections.
If you’re planning to visit to view the exhibition, please join us for a conversation with David Garrard Lowe, “Lost Chicago”—The Past, Present, and Future of Historic Preservation, in the Morton Auditorium at 6:00 on May 24. Lowe will be joined by author and former Art Institute of Chicago curator John Zukowsky; Founding Partner and Design Principal of the architecture, interiors, and urban planning firm UrbanWorks, Patricia Saldaña Natke FAIA; and School of the Art Institute professor and former director of research for the city’s Department of Planning and Development Historic Preservation Division, Terry Tatum, for a lively discussion on the history and future of historic preservation in Chicago’s rich architectural environment. He will also discuss his landmark book Lost Chicago, and his recent gift to the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries.
Architecture Library, University of Maryland
The University of Maryland’s graduate architecture program starts off with the Integrated Design Studio. Students often work on the same building for the entire semester, and they meet with mechanical and structural engineers as well as their studio critic. Materials and construction methods must be understood, and included in the design of the building. This is an intensive, immersive course, with a co-requisite of the structures course. It also comes with a significant recommended reading list, that includes reference materials, precedent studies, certain architects monographs and current articles on newest building technologies.
Approximately six years ago, the previous architecture librarian and the professor of the studio tried an experiment. What if the books for this specific course were placed in the studio to be available for the students the entire semester? Most architecture firms have working libraries as an integral part of their office. This would be another way to mimic the professional experience. In this case, the library is somewhat portable – a double-sided bookshelf on wheels, known as a kiosk, became the shelving system of choice for the studio. They are 49 inches tall, 25 inches wide, and 39 inches long with 3 shelves on each side.
My predecessor did the hard part, getting permission to send books out of the library, and getting the metadata staff to add categories to ALEPH – our catalog and circulation system. Then she ordered and assembled the kiosks. The books are treated like any other set of books put on reserve for a class, but instead of residing on a shelf in the library, they reside on a kiosk in the studio area.
The professor submits a list of books through the course reserves module of Canvas, our Enterprise Learning Management System. The Libraries use a system called ARES to manage course reserves. Within ARES, we can look up a book, get its call number, determine which library it is in, and print slips with the call number and course number on them. My student workers take the stack of slips and pull the books from the shelves in the architecture library. I order any new books, and recall books that reside in other libraries on campus. To put the books on reserve for the studio course, the collection is changed and the item status is changed. The collection is temporarily changed from general collection to SKISK, where SKISK means studio kiosk. This location code had to be added to the Library catalog and circulation system. The item status goes from regular to non-circulating. With these two changes, if the book ends up in the book drop or found somewhere, and we scan its barcode, it is immediately identified as a studio kiosk book, and gets placed back on the kiosk. We also place a ‘course reserves’ sticker on the spine of all course reserves books, so there is some visual identification, but these stickers tend to fall off over the course of the semester.
One the first day of class, the kiosk is rolled downstairs to the studio, and parked in a somewhat central location for the students. The main concern about this system was the security of the books. However, this is a graduate level studio with students who are used to the studio culture. The building itself is locked at 10 PM, and you need to be a student within the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation programs with a swipe card to gain access. There are always people working in the studio at all hours of the day and night, so if the book goes missing it is because a student is careless, not because a stranger has wandered in and stolen something. We have done this every fall for 6 years now, and have lost 3 books.
Students may take the books off the kiosk and put them on their desks, but I have never noticed coffee stains or physical damage to the books. At the end of the semester the books come back to the kiosk, the professor sends it back upstairs to the library and we re-check them all in, and change their location and item status back to their original categories. This is the same process we use for books that are placed on reserve in the library.
A library kiosk in the graduate studio. (Photo by Cindy Frank)
We also have a wood shop/ fabrication lab person who does a complete sweep of the studio spaces at the end of the semester, after the students have supposedly cleaned up and moved out. He usually finds a few library books, but often those are books that had been checked out individually by students, and not associated with the studio kiosk.
Of course, having the books assigned to the studio kiosk outside of the library cuts down on the gate count, if the students are no longer coming in and out of the library to check out the books or to pick them up from a course reserves shelf. It also reduces the loan counts of the individual books. However, the architecture program is the third largest user of course reserve items behind the History and English departments, and I am confident it is because of the numbers of books that go onto the studio kiosk.
The book kiosk has been quite popular, and it now has a partner,
the materials kiosk shown here.
Studio material kiosk. (Photo by Cindy Frank)
With some bins as well as shelves, the kiosk will hold objects like glass block or tile samples, styrofoam or wood veneer samples.
The architecture library is located upstairs from the studios, so it is not a hardship to walk upstairs, but when this project started, the library was not accessible 24/7 by swiping your ID card, like it is now. I walk through the studio occasionally and straighten the shelves on the kiosk. I feel that having the books in the hands of the students makes an impression, and maybe it gets them into the library the next semester to check out books individually. From my librarian point of view, the kiosk has been a successful project, and we will continue to do it as long as the professors continue to see the need.
Ann Baird Whiteside
Frances Loeb Library, Harvard GSD
Since the introduction of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software in the 1960s, industries that design and develop our built environment have been moving from pencil and paper to computers and digital files. The earliest adopters of the new technology were industries like aerospace and automotive, and since then the fields of architecture and design have been enthusiastic adopters. CAD has allowed architects to take previously unimaginable risks in their designs, and to experiment with new forms and materials without the need of building prototypes or performing expensive structural analyses until much later in the process.
Architectural museums and archives are faced with a rapidly growing need to preserve digital information and are grappling with the need for technological tools, technical expertise in digital preservation, AutoCAD expertise, archival expertise, and the need for repositories that can preserve and disseminate the archived data.
The use of 2D and 3D CAD and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software is now routine in architecture and design firms. The contractual deliverable has shifted from printed, wet-signed and wet-stamped drawing sets to an electronically signed model that can be manipulated to achieve equal, if not more, granular information than the traditional printed plans.
Many types of digital files produced during design and construction that are important for long-term preservation for future renovations/restorations and scholarly research.
3D CAD models
hundreds or thousands of detailed 2D layer drawings
3D printed objects
project “out-puts” – for example, drawings or sketches of the building.
photographs and videos
websites about the building
communications among architects, clients, contractors and other parties
Over the last five years, we are seeing that students in architecture and design schools are further routinely using CAD for modelling, skipping the 2D drawing process entirely, meaning that the coming generation of architects will be only producing documentation in 3D models, providing more urgency to the problem of preserving this type of documentation.
The impact of this on the record of architectural innovation and practice –in architecture libraries, archives, museums, among others–is only beginning to be appreciated. No longer can libraries acquire blueprints or drawings, a few images, and a scale model or two, to represent a major work of architecture in their collections. Now they must acquire the 3D CAD models and 2D drawing files, Building Information Models (BIM), digital images, videos and documents, all delivered on a computer hard drive often with no annotation whatsoever. No library or archive is currently prepared for this new reality, but they are increasingly under pressure to figure out how to acquire these 21st century collections, to support the next generation of architectural students and historians.
The Frances Loeb Library at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design received an IMLS National Forum Grant under the National Digital Platform funding priority to support two meetings of engaged stakeholders – architects, architectural historians, archivists, librarians, technologists, digital preservationists, and others who will frame a national/international collaborative infrastructure to support long-term preservation of digital design data. The first meeting will place on April 17th and 18th, 2018 and will provide a venue for the diverse group of stakeholders to think collaboratively about the issues in preserving architectural design data, to find alignments across communities, and to identify the needs required to develop an infrastructure to support archiving of digital design information that will be usable by a variety of types and sizes of architectural museums and archives.
There has been considerable work in this arena over the last five years, and in 2018 there have been three Summits, Symposia, and workshops already that have set the stage for the Forum in April.
Nilda Sanchez-Rodriguez (CCNY) – Moderator
Aimee Lind (Getty Research Library) – Vice-Moderator, Minutes
Jessica Aberle (University of Florida)
Robert Adams (BAC)
Lucy Campbell (New School of Architecture + Design)
Rachel Castro (University of Arizona)
Raymonde Champagne (Universite de Montreal)
Kitty Chibnik (Columbia University)
Karen DeWitt (North Carolina State University)
Cindy Frank (University of Maryland)
Eleanor Gawne (Architectural Association)
Ted Goodman (Avery Library)
Janine Henri (UCLA)
Katie Pierce Meyer (UT Austin)
Alan Michelson (University of Washington)
Mar González Palacios ((Canadian Centre for Architecture)
Effie Patelos (University of Waterloo)
Rebecca Price (University of Michigan)
Irene Puchalski (University of Toronto)
Shannon Robinson (Drexel University)
James Sobczak (University of Washington)
Ann Whiteside (Harvard GSD)
Self-introductions of members in attendance
Old business: Approval of minutes from 2017 meeting
Motion to approve.
Motion seconded and passed without opposition.
Discussion: Architecture section online spaces – what’s next?
Despite a lengthy conversation on the same topic at last year’s meeting, very few people contributed to the Architecture Section’s Facebook page and Blog in 2017. Potential content could include liaison reports, conference summaries, new courses, exhibitions, renovations, books of the year, publications, or any projects or news relevant to the group. In the past, there was a sign-up sheet at the Architecture Section meeting where people committed to providing specific content. There was general agreement that this was a good way to move forward, with Rebecca Price volunteering to act as de facto blog editor. Rebecca has the sign-up list and will contact content providers a month prior to their blog publication date.
New business: Discussion: architecture sessions/posters at ARLIS New York conference?
Cindy Frank presented “Life Comes First: A Solo Librarian’s Balance of Life and Work” and was a speaker at “Scope Drift – Blending and Rebranding in Visual Resources”
Ann Whiteside was responsible for the poster session “Building for Tomorrow: Collaborative Development of Sustainable Infrastructure for Architectural and Design Documentation” as well as an invitation-only workshop/forum on the topic of creating an infrastructure for archiving digital design data.
Rebecca Price presented “Building a Collection from the Ground Up” and was a speaker at “Library Collections and Object-based Learning in the Art and Design Curriculum”
Rebecca Price and Alan Michelson presented “Pushing the Bounds: Library as Physical and Intellectual Civic Space”
Shannon Robinson moderated and Alan Michelson was a speaker at “Information Competencies for Students in Design Disciplines
Janine Henri was a speaker at “Pushing the Boundaries: Teaching and Learning outside the Classroom”
Aimee Lind presented “No Art Library Left Behind: Cross-Border Resource Sharing Among Art Libraries”
Discussion: new directions for Architecture Section?
Alan Michelson discussed “Information Competencies for Students in Design Disciplines” and the effort to reinvigorate the information competencies created by ARLIS in 2006. See Farrell & Badke’s 2015 report “Situating Information Literacy in the Disciplines: A Practical and Systematic Approach for Academic Librarians”. He suggested creating focus groups amongst faculty to determine priorities. If we can create a network of focus groups, we will then have the data on learning outcomes from our peers to take to faculty. Ideas suggested included polling recent alumni regarding perceived gaps in their education and taking that back to faculty focus groups. Effie Patelos reported that the University of Waterloo has hired an information literacy librarian. Embedded librarians may be able to map competencies to what is being taught using syllabi. The relative merits of focus groups vs. surveys were debated with a caveat to appreciate differing local contexts (undergrad, grad, accredited, unaccredited, basic to intermediate to terminal degree expertise). Janine Henri suggested aligning with ACSA to get faculty buy-in. Consider what is *our* place to meet *their* expectations? Are we only the support/service people or can we have a partnership with faculty, providing an essential education in image research, copyright, etc. that may be left out of curriculum otherwise? Focus groups could present an opportunity to guide the conversation. Should we examine syllabi first or survey first? To be continued…
Janine Henri – update on SAH conference activities:
Janine reported on the 2016 Pasadena conference and the 2017 Glasgow conference, including informing the group about publishing sessions, and library visits to the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Strathclyde. She encouraged us all to reach out to colleagues when traveling to other cities/countries. Janine also mentioned Barbara Opar’s extremely useful new book list, published on the SAH website monthly. SAHARA now has over 100,000 images. The 2018 SAH meeting will be held in St. Paul, MN 4/18/18-4/22/18 and in Providence, RI in 2019.
Aimee Lind- update on CalArchNet:
CalArchNet is an informal group of librarians, archivists, and curators working with architecture archives in California. Aimee briefly reported on the group’s last meeting in Palm Springs and their upcoming meeting at Cal Poly SLO and Hearst Castle. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gabriella Karl-Johnson on AASL:
“A Brief Update on AASL: Strategic Planning Implementation + 2018 Denver conference” (Aimee read this report from Gabriella, who was unable to attend)
As some of you may know, since late 2015 the Association of Architecture School Librarians has been actively working on strategic planning for the first time in the association’s history. In October of 2016 the Executive Board approved a new Strategic Directions document, including a new Mission statement, Vision statement, and a set of Strategic Directions objectives. (The full document is available on AASL’s newly redesigned website at http://www.architecturelibrarians.org/strategicdirections .) The document was drafted by the Strategic Planning Task Force based upon input from our membership and feedback gathered during the well-attended Strategic Planning Session held at the 2016 AASL conference in Seattle. The Strategic Planning Task Force has now given way to a Strategic Directions Implementation Committee, which is working on concrete ways to enact the objectives outlined in the Strategic Directions document. Our upcoming 2018 conference in Denver will provide a forum via a two-hour planning session for the full membership to discuss and help shape the ways that our strategic directions will translate to action. Speaking of the conference, the 2018 AASL conference will be held in Denver on March 14-17. We will be meeting alongside the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture conference at the I.M.Pei-designed Sheraton Hotel, and the AASL conference planners have worked into the schedule more time for cross-pollination between ACSA and AASL. The conference will offer an excellent complement of presentations and talks based around the theme of identity, as well as walking tours of Denver that promise to provide views of the city’s history and recent transformations. Registration is open until March 3, and we hope to see you in Denver!”
Ted Goodman – update on Avery Index:
Ted is retiring in June. The Avery Index will continue though he doesn’t believe his position will be refilled, rather there will likely be some restructuring within Avery and possible reexamination of the Index’s coverage. Congratulations Ted! We are so grateful for your tireless work that benefits us all every day!
Visit to Avery Library: Details
Directions were provided for our visit to the Avery Library. It was agreed that we would meet at the Hilton’s tour gathering spot near conference registration.
Call for Vice-Moderator
A call went out for incoming Vice-Moderator (Salt Lake City) / Moderator (Saint Louis) but there were no takers. Aimee will send out another call on the listserv.
Founded in 2016 by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Director of Special Collections Jessica Holada and Getty Research Institute librarian Aimee Lind, CalArchNet (pronounced Cal-Ark-Net) was conceived as a means to foster dialogue and collaboration among librarians, archivists, and curators at California institutions that house architecture archives. CalArchNet provides a twice-yearly forum for this specialized group of professionals to learn more about California architecture, understand the ways California architecture records are used, share information and expertise, seek advice, build a community committed to standard practices that improve operations and services, and bring greater visibility to collections and programs.
October 27th, 2017 marked the third meeting of CalArchNet, held at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Center, with representatives from thirteen California institutions in attendance. Topics discussed included historic site preservation research methodology, leveraging statewide resources to enhance discovery of collections, security considerations, GIS mapping technologies, and the use of linked open data to make connections between collections. The day concluded with a curator-led tour of the exhibition Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi: A Search for Living Architecture.
If you’re an archivist, librarian, or curator working with architecture archives in California and would like to become involved with CalArchNet, email email@example.com or check our website for more information. The next CalArchNet meeting is scheduled for March 30th, 2018 at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Minutes of the Meeting Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Newberry Room, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Two Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Moderator: Karen DeWitt
Vice-Moderator: Nilda Sanchez-Rodriguez
Recorder: Rebecca Price
Attendees: Beth Dodd (Univ. of Texas at Austin), Aimee Lind (Getty Research Institute), Katie Pierce Meyer (Univ. of Texas at Austin), Geraldine Billingham (Bloomsbury Publishing), Janine J. Henri (Univ. of California), Robert W Adams (Boston Architectural College), Kristen Liberman (Boston Architectural College), Katharina Koop (RWTH Aachen Univ.), Barbara A. Opar (Syracuse Univ.), Rebecca Price (Univ. of Michigan), Ted Goodman (Columbia Univ.), Steven Baskin (Univ. of Nevada), Henry A. Pisciotta (Pennsylvania State Univ.), Eric Chaim Kline (Book Seller), Sarah W Dickinson (Harvard Graduate School of Design), Nilda Sanchez-Rodriguez (City College of New York), Meg Donabedian (New York School of Interior Design), Faith Pleasanton (MMA -Retired), Alan Richard Michelson (Univ. of Washington), Kathy J. Woodrell (Library of Congress), Katharine R. Chibnik (Columbia Univ.), Vania Mara Alves Lima (Univ. of Sao Paulo), John T. Schlinke (Roger Williams Univ.), Karen Elizabeth DeWitt (North Carolina State Univ.)
— Approval of minutes from last year’s meeting. Motion to approve as amended. Motion seconded and passed without opposition.
– New Business
Social Media and Online Presence
Facebook Page: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/116134283986167/ Our facebook group page is not very active. The settings are such that anyone can post. We discussed if we want to restrict that – but decided to keep the posting open, since we’re not getting any posts. Nilda will moderate the page. There was consensus to keep the page going and for there to be periodic prompts to the section members to participate and post events or updates about their libraries or architecture librarianship. The name of the group is Architecture Section of ARLIS/NA.
Blog page: http:.archsec.arlisna.org This is a wordpress blog, with postings of articles. No one has posted anything since 2015. Do we want to keep it? Do we want to change what we put here? While what is posted there is wonderful, there was discussion about whether we can maintain that (given that there have been no posts in almost 2 years). Karen asks the group if there is interest in keeping it up. It was suggested that we need a designated person to maintain it: soliciting and gathering posts, moderating content, etc. Perhaps we could concentrate on shorter notices; but then it was pointed out those would be better suited to our Facebook page.
It was suggested that it could serve as an aggregator of other content that we often post on our ‘home’ institution blogs.
It was suggested that we investigate establishing a Pinterest page. Steven Baskin offered to share more information about that on our email list.
Identifying our audience is an important consideration
Looking at other section blogs might help us: g., Coll Dev Section’s blog
Discussion about need for an ‘editor’ – we looked at our Bylaws and there is no editor position; we could consider adding this in the coming year.
Several members offer to contribute something this year (Alan, Ted, Steven, Aimee)
Consensus was to proceed with plans to post occasionally (at least every 2 months) to the Blog and Facebook pages. Nilda will send out bi-monthly prompts to the section list to solicit posts.
Session ideas for next year’s conference in NYC
Back Room / Behind the Scenes Tour of the Avery
Tour of Ground Zero – or session that would connect with such a tour
Session presenting NYC Resources
Potentially include: Avery Library, NYPL (Digital Archive), Artstor, BWR, etc. Ted and Kitty volunteer to put together these ideas into a proposal for “Digital NY”
Architecture Mapping Projects
Examples: NY, Philadelphia, LA, Getty
– New Directions
Hannah Bennett notes that the IviesPlus group is preparing an online resource that will include books about their schools and regions. Suggests that we could do something like that more broadly. Could add ephemera and local publications. It was suggested that she add that to our blog as a post.
Janine Henri reported out about SAH. They met in Pasadena last year and while there she extended invitations to architectural historians to join us here. This summer they’re meeting in Glasgow Scotland in mid-June. The upcoming annual meetings will be in St. Paul, MN, Providence RI, Seattle WA. Janine will begin posting their monthly newsletter to our list.
Aimee Lind reported out on CalArchNet. They met at UC Santa Barbara and had about 20 attendees. One of their action items is to look into statewide digitization projects and see if there are initiatives they could participate in in some way. Still in very early stages of discovery and exploration. Will meet again at the Getty in April.
Rebecca Price reported out on the upcoming AASL meeting – March 23-25 in Detroit MI. She invited all to attend.
Ted Goodman reported out about the Avery. They’re working with ProQuest on the issue of A+U Special Issues not appearing with complete information in their results. He notes that there are lots of new journals being indexed – he showed us how to access the online list, which is updated about every 6 months. Ted requested that we send on any suggestions for additional journals.
By Carl Lounsbury, Senior Architectural Historian, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
For nearly ninety years, historians and curators at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation have examined countless documents and images housed in public and private archives and collections to inform the restoration and interpretation of Virginia’s eighteenth-century capital. Although their work has been grounded in written records supported by archaeological evidence, field-based architectural research has been their lifeblood, giving credibility to their restoration efforts and shape to their understanding of early American architecture. This reliance on fieldwork has linked those first architects hired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the late 1920s to the current generation of architectural historians. The Chesapeake House: Architectural Investigation by Colonial Williamsburg illustrates how contemporary fieldwork has transformed our understanding of building practices in the colonial and early national periods and enriched the interpretation of Williamsburg and other history museums.
The collective endeavor of nine scholars associated with the museum since the 1980s, The Chesapeake House is a summary of current scholarship in the region that reveals a far different approach to fieldwork than that which was practiced previously. Lavishly illustrated with measured drawings, 3D renderings, photographs, and technical illustrations, the seventeen chapters and two portfolios include several interpretative essays describing the methodologies of fieldwork, the development of plan types from Jamestown’s settlement to the antebellum period, and the design process. There are chapters on slave quarters and agricultural buildings, building types that had been largely ignored by earlier historians. The last part of the book focuses on materials, details, and finishes with essays on framing methods, hardware, brickwork, interior and exterior ornamentation, paint, and wallpaper, which provide a reliable guide to the form, style, and chronology of early buildings in Virginia and Maryland. The book can be read in two ways. It is an architectural history of the region as well as a guide on how to interpret the complex histories of old buildings through their many constituent parts.
The Chesapeake House tells a different story than the works of our predecessors in part because we have asked different questions of our evidence. Our views of early American architecture have been shaped by conceptual models of colonial society quite dissimilar to those held by the architects who transformed Williamsburg in the 1920s and 1930s. Great houses such as Westover and Stratford continue to beckon scholars as they did earlier when Fiske Kimball and Thomas Waterman first described their stylistic qualities. These two early chroniclers of the region’s architecture applied the theoretical concepts developed by art historians. This perspective considered architecture as fine art. They measured the significance of buildings according to how well they embodied a formal set of design rules. Their task was to explain a building’s relationship to an evolving stylistic system that shared certain formal aesthetic criteria. They evaluated buildings according to Renaissance rules of architecture that emphasized symmetry, proportion, and the appropriate use of the classical orders and judged them according to how well they fit those precepts. They praised those buildings that exemplified stylistic coherence or fidelity to European models of classicism and reproached others for straying from these ideals either through perceived ignorance or poor craftsmanship.
The aesthetic character of buildings no longer answered the most important questions that my generation of architectural historians was eager to explore. Many of us considered architecture to be an expression of social behavior and cultural practices grounded in specific historical circumstances. Consequently, our field research studies emphasized spatial analysis over stylistic pedigree. We shifted our focus from the aesthetics of form to the social manifestations of building. We investigated buildings with the belief that architectural forms carry social meanings. Architecture gives physical shape to the way people perceive their place in the world and how they interact with others. The arrangement of spaces and the hierarchical ornamentation of rooms reveal much about patterns of behavior. Buildings can be read as closely as any textual analysis for what they say about the behavior, aspirations, and interactions of members of a society, revealing patterns as clearly as any contemporary letter or newspaper. People designed some spaces to facilitate interaction whereas in other circumstances they carefully regulated access to prevent indiscriminate intermingling. The early American landscape communicated a variety of meanings that sometimes changed over time or were transformed by new ideas and attitudes. Often, the significance of a building was implied by its position in a landscape, its materials, levels of finish, or plan. However, these meanings were not static but often dynamic, changed over time, and could be interpreted in a variety of ways or contested by different members of society.
Entire historic landscapes have been opened for such scrutiny, not simply the style-conscious homes of the wealthy. In TheChesapeake House, gentry houses visited by our predecessors still play an important role in telling many stories, simply by the fact that their owners dominated colonial society and these structures have enjoyed a better rate of survival. But they were only a part of a more diverse early landscape, which is less familiar now by the fact that so much of it has disappeared. Beyond the formal grounds of great estates like Shirley or Gunston, there was a countryside that swarmed with ordinary people who seldom or never set foot on a gentleman’s property and only occasionally crossed paths with a Carter or Mason at the parish church, county courthouse, muster field, or along the road. The commonplace world of small freeholders, tenant farmers, indentured servants, and most slaves assumed a much-reduced scale—smaller farms, modest wooden farmhouses, fewer specialized farm buildings, and here and there a solitary quarter. Not surprisingly, few of these smaller farmhouses remain standing today and eighteenth-century slave houses and agricultural buildings are extremely rare. What we know about this nearly lost world derives from a few standing remnants supplemented by archaeological evidence and documentary sources. By looking at the entire range of this architectural legacy, our research also explores the physical dimensions of the lives of men, women, and children whom have often been forgotten in traditional historical narratives—from craftsmen and laborers who shaped the buildings to the myriad of individuals, who inhabited, worked, played, and entertained in them.
Last spring I completed a review of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway architectural drawings archived at the Texas Tech Southwest Collection. This research project was precipitated by a comment made by a professor on the difficulty of locating architectural drawings for some historical structures. My original impression was that most of the drawings in this collection were of depots; however, I found drawings of a great variety of railroad and community structures, including the historical structure that initiated my research quest.
The charter for the Atchison Topeka Railroad was drafted in 1859. The company changed the name to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in 1863. As with the other railroads, train tracks were laid in wilderness areas or land settled by ranchers and farmers, whose homesteads were miles from each other. The depots allowed the ranchers and farmers to send their products to market and for pioneers to obtain supplies. The railroad served as a reliable, convenient, and safe method for travel across the continent.
From the railroad depots, small towns sprang up. The depot of any given town served as a center of activity, where news arrived by telegraph, and where locals and visitors traveled to and from the small town. As the community grew around the train station, structures related to the maintenance of a railway were required. Businesses opened to answer the needs of the settlers in the towns and the travelers passing through. These towns soon required community structures, so hotels and general stores were built.
As expected, the AT&SF maintained depots strategically along the primary and secondary routes. For the rural towns, these depots were combination stations for both passengers and freight. Larger cities required separate passenger and freight structures.
The AT&SF architectural drawings offer an interesting glimpse into the types of structures required for running a railway throughout a largely unpopulated swath of land primarily in the Midwest and Southwest. The railway required structures for the foreman’s office, file rooms, supply and lavatory buildings, locker rooms, blacksmith shops, welding shops, storage sheds, and buildings for the car inspectors and coach cleaning. The AT&SF collection includes drawings for numerous types of power and boiler houses. Larger railroad compounds included round houses, large round structures with turntables used for repairing locomotives, in addition to car repair and machine shops, and engine houses. Drawings for other maintenance structures were designed for waste refuse, water treatment, and paint and carpenter shops. Drawings included those for railroad platforms to receive passengers and the mail. The AT&SF collection also includes an architectural drawing for an apprentice school.
The headquarters for the AT&SF was in Chicago. The collection includes numerous drawings for the remodel and decorating of the vice president and executive offices within the Railroad Exchange Building. Additional drawings include yard office and storage facilities.
PANHANDLE, TEXAS COMBINATION DEPOT
The depot at Panhandle, Texas is a good example a combination depot. The depot was designed by E. A. Harrison in Chicago, in June 1927. The floor plan shows the basic arrangement, with one side of the long structure restricted to freight, while the other side includes an office, baggage room, express room, platform, and boiler room (Sheet 1/7). This architectural drawing reflects the United States’ history of racial prejudice and segregation. While there is a large general waiting room, there are separate waiting rooms with bathroom facilities for men, women, and African Americans (labeled Negro).
The elevations of the depot on Sheet 2/7 also include both the front, back, and side elevations. This drawing includes architectural details.
AT&SF & Community
The AT&SF was involved with a surprising number of structures not directly related to the daily operation and maintenance of the railroad. The structures supported the daily life of the workmen, as well as the passengers and the community. Some of the drawings are additions and/or alterations to existing buildings created by the company that required expansion. To support the growing number of settlers and travelers going West, these structures included bunk houses for the workmen, lunchrooms, reading rooms, commissaries, laundries, recreation halls, and hotels.
It is commonly known that Fred Harvey and his descendants worked with the AT&SF to offer lunches served at the Harvey Houses by the Harvey Girls. Some of the drawings produced by the AT&SF were created for the Fred Harvey Company, including lunchrooms, creameries, hotels, and cafeteria-camper lodge buildings. Architectural drawings of the Harvey Houses are included in the collection.
SLATON SANTA FE READING ROOM
Within this collection are architectural drawings of buildings in a small town named Slaton, Texas, located just southeast of Lubbock. In May an architecture professor and I took the short trip to have lunch at the Slaton Harvey House. We received a tour with stories by the daughter of a former Harvey Girl. While the AT&SF architectural drawing collection does not include the drawings for the Slaton Harvey House, the collection has drawings of the surrounding structures, including the reading room, heating house, and round house. The Slaton Harvey House still stands, but the AT&SF structures for which we have the drawings have long since been demolished.
The railway maintained reading rooms that served as the all-around resource for their workers at the end of the work shift, as a place to bathe, sleep, read, and wait for the next returning train home. In addition to magazines and books, the reading rooms offered exercise opportunities and wholesome entertainment. The reading rooms also served as places for educational lectures and performance entertainment for the workers, their families, and sometimes the community. Accordingly, each reading room was maintained by a librarian.
The Slaton Reading Room was designed by C.Y. Morse and built in 1912. The collection includes seven drawings of the structure. Architectural drawing includes both front, rear, and side elevations, along with interior details of the staircase and counter (Sheet 2/7).
The building floor plan (Sheet 1/7) offers the arrangement of the first floor with rooms assigned to specific activities: billiards, cards and reading. The librarian’s living quarters has a kitchen, bedroom, and private stairs to the librarian’s basement with a laundry tub. The basement also has the public bath and boiler room. The second floor has 18 possible bedrooms and two baths, one with laundry tub and a linen closet. Each floor includes a veranda that extends the length of the facade. The set includes five drawings of interior and exterior details, including windows, doors, and counters. The drawings were completed in Topeka.
REST HOUSE AT HERMIT’S RIM, GRAND CANYON
Plans for the Rest House on Hermit’s Rim at the Grand Canyon is a set of six architectural drawings produced in Chicago and dated May 9, 1914. The elevation for the structure includes both the facade and the fireplace (Sheet 3/6). In addition to the massive fireplace, caretaker’s cottage and kitchenette, the floor plan includes the layout for the porch, pillars, and stone wall at the facade (Sheet 1/6). The unique quality of the structure can be seen in the roof made of rock stone, concrete, and wood (Sheet 2, not seen here).
The drawings for the Rest House were created by AT&SF for the Fred Harvey Company. While the architect’s name is not given on the drawings, it is known that Mary Colter worked for the Fred Harvey Company and that she is the architect of record. The drawing includes additional elevations, sections, and details.
Other Harvey Facilities
In addition to newly designed structures, the collection includes drawings for alteration and additions to the Harvey House in Barstow, California, as well as additions to the Harvey House in Gallup, New Mexico, and alterations to the Harvey House in Amarillo, Texas. The collection includes drawings for the remodel of a Harvey House in Hutchison, Kansas. The AT&SF also prepared drawings for the Fred Harvey Company for a creamery in Las Vegas, New Mexico and a sandwich packing room in Newton, Kansas.
The AT&SF Railway also produced drawings for additions and/or alterations for hotels in Gallup, New Mexico and Williams, Arizona. In addition, the collection includes drawings for the alteration, remodeling, and additions to the Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque and plans for the dining room at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe. For the Grand Canyon, there are drawings for a remodeling of the cafeteria-campers lodge building.
It is unknown how many structures were built from these drawings and if these drawings were the final version used to build or renovate existing structures. We do know that photographs of some of the architecture constructed from these drawings may be found in archives around the country. Photographs of buildings that were designed and constructed for AT&SF, including those from architectural drawings in the Texas Tech Southwest Collection, can be found online at the Kansas Memory website: http://www.kansasmemory.org/.
By Kathy Edwards, Research & Collection Development Librarian, Emery A. Gunnin Architecture Library, Clemson University
Last year a young architecture professor came into my office in Clemson University’s Gunnin Architecture Library to request that we subscribe to two new periodicals: CLOG and Pidgin. Both are architectural ‘zines published only in print. CLOG, founded by independent young architects, critics and bloggers, began publication in October 2011; Pidgin has been produced by graduate students at Princeton University’s School of Architecture since 2006.
My usual response to faculty requests is, “Of course–I’ll do that today.” This time I hedged and considered twice before forwarding a request for CLOG (but not Pidgin) to our acquisitions director. Architecture librarians will best understand why my reaction in this instance was…complicated. My hesitation wasn’t over Pidgin’s annoying lack of a subscription model, nor CLOG’s equally annoying disregard, in recent issues, for basic bibliographic conventions.* The real bogeyman is the P word: Like many of you, I face persistent pressure from Higher-Ups to do away with print serials subscriptions.
Of Clemson Libraries’ 45,000+ current periodicals subscriptions, some 200 are titles available only in print. More than half of these come to my branch library, home to collections supporting art, architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, real estate development, historic preservation, and construction science & management. The most recent nudge from On High to divest of more print came four weeks ago, in the form of a spreadsheet from our new Collections Management team listing 27 print magazine and journal titles on our current periodicals shelves that happen also to be available online via commercial aggregators. With the spreadsheet came the request that I indicate which print titles to cancel, based on this apparent ‘duplication’. At Clemson, subject liaisons routinely weed periodical holdings based on full-content duplication in JSTOR or Project Muse, but until now we have never been asked to cut print subscriptions based on online offerings in aggregated commercial packages.
Uncomfortable with this request, I sent the list out to faculty members for input and used their responses as basis for retaining all but one of the print subscriptions. I suspect, however, that faculty insistence will not carry the day for very long.
In the last decade, electronic formats have completely transformed information delivery and access across most academic disciplines, in some disciplines (engineering, chemistry, physics) displacing print entirely. This technological transformation of the information landscape has altered not just the expectations of those seeking access to these resources, but also attitudes and practices within the library profession itself. In a nutshell, print–for all manner of publications but particularly as a format for journals and magazines–is becoming harder and harder to sustain or defend. Most of us can readily recite the reasons for this:
From a user’s perspective, stuff in print is downright inconvenient: you have to go to a library to get it, once in your possession you have to keep track of it and protect it from harm, you can have it only for a limited time, if you want an image out of it you need access to a scanner, and once you’re done with it you have to return it or face stringent fines. Only one person at a time can use a given issue, and if the issue you want is in offsite storage there’s a request form to fill out, along with that whole delayed-gratification thing Millennials don’t handle very well (it goes against expectations). Worse, what if you wait for it only to discover it wasn’t what you’d hoped for or needed? Some titles may even be library-use-only, yet few academic libraries can afford to be open 24/7, and what about students in programs abroad, or faculty on sabbatical? Anyone without ready access to the library is out of luck, unless offsite delivery is an option–where that’s feasible.
Compare all these negatives to the wonderful world of electronic ‘get-it-now from anywhere at any time’. Conclusion: print is passé.
From the library’s perspective, stuff in print requires effort: mail room and acquisitions staff, catalogers, and circulation staff physically track, handle, label, stamp, transfer, and shelve each individual issue. When it comes time to bind accumulated issues of retained titles, all of this handling is repeated in reverse, after which a new item–the bound volume–returns along the same hand-to-hand chain.
Stuff in print takes up more than its fair share of space: first on specialized periodical display shelves, which can’t be used for much else; then in the stacks until enough volumes accumulate to send some off to a remote storage facility which is, all too often, already stuffed to the rafters.
Stuff in print continues to cost money long past the date of receipt: Binding has to be budgeted for, as do transport, storage, re-cataloging, and reshelving. Print means more processing, materials, real estate, and staff time.
Finally, for libraries, stuff in print represents pressure on a service provision workflow increasingly constricted by staff reductions and crimped budgets.
Given that a significant number of important architecture and art periodicals remain available only in print, it is no wonder that collection managers bring this divest-of-print pressure to bear on the stewards of design collections.
Yet print as a format does have its avid defenders, for all kinds of reasons variously legitimate, radically disruptive, or downright fuddy-duddy:
Compared to e-formats print is relatively ‘permanent’; it affords portability independent of electronics and network restrictions or malfunctions; image quality is often superior; readability is definitely superior; for a good deal of the population print is a deeply ingrained information medium; and print inherently adds value by presenting information in context, providing opportunities for serendipitous discoveries–something many educators consider fundamental to active learning and the creation of new knowledge.
Banners defending print’s virtues are hoisted most often (but not exclusively) by readers, scholars, and designers educated before the Great Digital Revolution.
Who would have guessed, then, that the last five years or so would bring a resurgence of print as a medium for documenting, challenging, even provoking design ideas. This rising tide–in the form of ‘little magazines’ with big and often radical ambitions–is taking on the proportions of a Movement, a global yet decentralized agitprop bent on shaking up professional norms, commercial mediocrity, architectural clichés, and the Internet’s “hot new project as twenty-second eye candy” ephemeral culture. The website Archizines.com, which tracks and promotes this ‘new in print’ phenomenon, currently lists and links to at least 89 recently launched titles from 26 countries across six continents, and adds new titles regularly.
CLOG is one of the best of these and certainly one of the most interesting. Its founders and principals–all young and independent professionals–are motivated by the conviction that architectural projects presented in digital forums today (whether online journalism, blogs, Twitter, image platforms, or discussion lists) rush into public view at such great speed and high volume that critical apprehension is completely undone. Observing that “mere exposure has taken the place of thoughtful engagement, not to mention a substantial discussion,” the editors proclaim the magazine’s raison d’être at the front of every issue:
“CLOG slows things down. Each issue explores, from multiple viewpoints and through a variety of means, a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now. Succinctly, on paper, away from the distractions and imperatives on the screen.”
Ink on paper as a medium, in other words, becomes both refuge and provocation–meaningful and intentional, falling back on print’s ability to fix and juxtapose words and images on a two-page spread, focus attention, and ratchet the decibel level down to where engaged dialog becomes possible. Since the ‘zine launched in 2011, themed issues have explored a single firm (B.I.G.), a brand (Apple), a building type (prisons), a style (Brutalism), a city (Miami), an integral design activity (rendering), a landscape (the National Mall), an architect (Rem), a genre (sci-fi), and so on, via dense, multi-authored text more akin to a blog-tweets mashup than to conventionally presented exposition.
CLOG has proven itself significant enough to be included in the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, but its treatment there is problematic: rather than a citation for each individually authored or titled contribution in an issue (of which there are many), each issue is reduced to a single citation, defined by its theme. Without actually picking up and browsing the “Prisons” issue, then, one would have no way to know that its contributors include a former convict, two public prosecutors, architect and critic Michael Sorkin, and the artist Ai Weiwei, among more than a dozen others. Likewise individual photographs, diagrams, plans, and sketches throughout, however named and specific, are inaccessible to search except as illustrations of the overall issue theme.
Despite–and, one might argue, largely because of–the challenges this little magazine’s structure and content present to traditional indexing, CLOG is an intriguing and importantly provocative new architecture serial, and emblematic of a print resurgence that requires our attention and accommodation now. But first the vision of what architecture libraries are and should provide must continue to accommodate print serials for as long as this resurgence plays out.
*Note to CLOG publishers: Your mag is a quarterly; would it kill you to assign something as cataloger-friendly as volume or issue numbers? The year alone, and only on the back cover, doesn’t cut it.