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  • 17 Feb 2019 3:00 AM | Christine R Henry

    Shaxi street scene. Image courtesy of author

    by Wei (Windy) Zhao

    Everyone knows the Forbidden City and the Great Wall in China, but few have experienced the simple beauty and rich culture of rural China where time seems to freeze in the past. As Chen Zhihua argues, the most respected scholar studying Chinese vernacular settlements, “Chinese cultural history is incomplete without including vernacular cultural history. People cannot understand our nation without examining our vernacular culture.” Yunnan province is an exemplar of Chinese diverse vernacular traditions, because it is home to 25 of the 55 ethnic minority groups, each of which has its own architecture, art, language, clothing, and customs.

    If you are interested in learning about the vernacular traditions of rural China and Chinese history and culture in general, please join a study-tour led by one of the VAF members, Wei (Windy) Zhao. Zhao is an Assistant Professor in Architecture at the Louisiana Tech University. The tour is organized through the Go-Learn program at the University of Utah, where she worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and led two of such tours.

    This is a 15-day adventure, covering modern, imperial and rural China. Instead of only focusing on historic monuments and museums in large cities like Beijing, Xi’an, or Shanghai, this tour will also take you to deep rural Yunnan Province in China, where distinct ethnic minority groups have preserved their cultural practices and cherish their own unique cultural traditions. During the journey, you will not only visit some great examples of imperial monument and modern architecture, but also experience the living rural China by staying at traditional courtyard houses that have been converted into boutique hotels, shopping at the historic market square, strolling along old vernacular houses, interacting with local ethnic minorities, participating in cultural events, and tasting delicious local cuisine. The highlights of the trip include, but not limited to, visiting eight World Heritage Sites during this trip from the Great Wall to well-preserved vernacular settlements, touring the oldest section of Beijing and see how regular people live their lives, visiting a remote Tibetan village inside a breathtakingly beautiful gorge, strolling through the best preserved market square along the Ancient Tea Horse Road, watching a theatrical performance by local ethic people in a natural setting, and tasting both the imperial cuisine and freshly prepared local dishes. 

    Comparing to commercial tours, this is an educational tour focusing on Chinese history, architecture and other aspects of culture; it has been meticulously prepared, the sites have been carefully selected, and in-depth onsite guidance has been arranged. After this trip, you will have a more profound understanding of Chinese history and culture based on your own personal experiences traveling across not only one of the largest and most developed cities in China − Beijing – but also the vast, beautiful and tranquil landscape of rural Yunnan Province.

    For more information, including the daily itinerary, trip details, and cost, please visit  https://continue.utah.edu/golearn/china19. Please note, the trip is only limited to a maximum of 14 participants in order to ensure quality.

    submitted by Wei (Windy) Zhao, PhD. AIA., Assistant Professor

    School of Design, Louisiana Tech University

  • 17 Feb 2019 2:30 AM | Christine R Henry

    Call for Syllabi

    The Education Committee of the VAF is making a call for new and revised syllabi for the VAF Syllabus Exchange.  Please send submissions to Sam Palfreyman sampalfreyman@gmail.com  for posting on the VAF web. 

    Editor’s note: I am not only the editor of VAN but also a junior faculty member at the University of Mary Washington’s Department of Historic Preservation.  In my first four years teaching I have designed or revamped multiple classes to integrate the ideas and skills of vernacular architecture studies in the classroom and in the field, and I don’t think I could have done this without the amazing generosity of VAF members. I have used the syllabus exchange to be inspired by methods, approaches, and readings that are being used at schools around the country.  This resource has felt like I have all of VAF as mentors to me and my students.  So please share your syllabi so that we can continue this wonderful exchange of ideas.  Thanks!  Christine Henry

  • 17 Feb 2019 2:20 AM | Christine R Henry

    VAF Board Member and Bibliographer Emeritus Zachary Violette is named one of two Society of Architectural Historians H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellows for 2018.  Bon Voyage!

  • 17 Feb 2019 2:10 AM | Christine R Henry

    Member and 2018 Access Award Recipient Harley Cowan recently completed an artist residency with the National Park Service at Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve and spent most of his time documenting (per the HABS guidelines) the Chateau at the Oregon Caves (1934) just prior to it being closed for renovations.  He has already posted some images on his website.  For more detail see his photographic essay in this issue.

    Harley and his camera have been busy in other ways as well.  After attending the 2016 Pacific NW Preservation Field School through the University of Oregon as a student, he returned in 2017 and 2018 to demonstrate large format photography to the students.

  • 17 Feb 2019 2:00 AM | Christine R Henry
    Member Katie McCarthy Watts graduated in May with a Masters of Architectural History from UVA and has started as Architectural History Field Director at Dovetail Cultural Resources Group in Fredericksburg, VA in September.
  • 17 Feb 2019 1:20 AM | Christine R Henry

    Co-authored by Robin Williams, David Gobel, Patrick Haughey, Daves Rossell, and Karl Schuler.

    While Savannah's famous urban plan is rightly renowned in many studies of urban history, what brings streams of tourists and architects to the city, and daily engages residents with its fascinating history, are not abstract principles of urban planning but a compelling fabric of buildings interacting with and shaping their built or natural settings. Buildings of Savannah, the first city guide from the Society of Architectural Historians' Buildings of the United States series, is a comprehensive, authoritative, and up-to-date guide to that dynamic built environment. Featuring over 350 buildings, landscapes, monuments, squares, and parks, enhanced and enlivened by 175 photographs and 30 maps, this book draws on new scholarship to document the city's familiar landmarks while it surveys the impressive range of Savannah's architecture in the city and beyond, including such fundamental but often-overlooked aspects as industrial and suburban architecture, midcentury modernism, and African American buildings and neighborhoods. Investigating broadly from the Riverfront to Tybee Island and from James Oglethorpe's six original wards to the Central of Georgia Railroad complex and beyond--including such well-known sites as the Mercer Williams House (celebrated for its role in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (who founded the Girl Scouts of America), Fort Pulaski, and Wormsloe Plantation-- Buildings of Savannah is an essential resource for all those who wish to know, understand, and preserve the architectural fabric of this unique and intriguing place.

    A volume in the SAH/BUS City Guide series

  • 17 Feb 2019 1:10 AM | Christine R Henry

    Movable Markets: Food Wholesaling in the Twentieth-Century City

    by Helen Tangires

    In nineteenth-century America, municipal deregulation of the butcher trade and state-incorporated market companies gave rise to a flourishing wholesale trade. In Movable Markets, Helen Tangires describes the evolution of the American wholesale marketplace for fresh food, from its development as a bustling produce district in the heart of the city to its current indiscernible place in food industrial parks on the urban periphery. 

    Tangires follows the middlemen, those intermediaries who became functional necessities as the railroads accelerated the process of delivering perishable food to the city. Tracing their rise and decline in the wake of a deregulated food economy, she asks: How did these people, who occupied such key roles as food distributors and suppliers to the retail trade, end up exiled to urban outskirts? Moving into the early twentieth century, she explains how progressive city planners and agricultural economists responded to anxieties about the high cost of living, traffic congestion, and disruptions in the food supply by questioning the centrality, aging infrastructure, and organizational structure of wholesale markets. more at JHU press

  • 17 Feb 2019 1:00 AM | Christine R Henry

    Robert M. Craig, Professor Emeritus (Architectural History), Georgia Tech, has edited and contributed essays and a poem to Red Rivers in a Yellow Field: Memoirs of the Vietnam Era published by Hellgate Press. The book is an illustrated anthology of memoirs written by 34 military veterans of the Vietnam Era, and includes (among Craig’s several contributions) an essay by Craig on the Vietnam Wall. Professor Craig (Lt, USN), served from 1968-70 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CVS-11), now a national historic landmark and docked in New York as the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. As part of the historic ship museum’s permanent exhibit on the life of sailors aboard the (now 75-year old) carrier, curators have recently reinstated features of the mess decks, which Craig redesigned in 1969-70 as theme rooms, including a western room and “French café.” The carrier had just returned from three deployments in Vietnam, and Craig’s rehabilitation effort was recognized at the time in the Ney Award competition, which judged Intrepid’s food service operations the best among the Navy’s large ships afloat world-wide. Craig’s efforts (worthy of Corporal Klinger or Mr. Roberts) are today referenced on a kiosk at the ship museum and are recounted in one of Craig’s essays in Red Rivers entitled “Interior Decorator for a Warship.”

  • 17 Feb 2019 12:00 AM | Christine R Henry

    compiled by Travis Olson

    Al, Stefan. The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2017.

    Angus, Siobhan. “El Dorado in the White Pines.” Radical History Review 2018, no. 132 (October 1, 2018): 47–67. https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-6942391.

    Biles, Roger. “Public Policy Made by Private Enterprise: Bond Rating Agencies and Urban America.” Journal of Urban History 44, no. 6 (November 2018): 1098–1112. https://doi.org/10.1177/0096144215620585.

    Borsi, Katharina, Tarsha Finney, and Pavlos Philippou. “Architectural Type and the Discourse of Urbanism.” The Journal of Architecture 23, no. 7–8 (November 17, 2018): 1093–1103. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2018.1513478.

    Britton. “Object Lesson: A Mission among the Navajo: The Vicar, an Architect, and Unforeseen Ghosts.” Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 25, no. 2 (2018): 36. https://doi.org/10.5749/buildland.25.2.0036.

    Crinson, Mark, and Richard J. Williams. The Architecture of Art History: A Historiography. New York: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2018.

    Davis, Timothy. National Park Roads: A Legacy in the American Landscape. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2016.

    DeSilvey, Caitlin. Curated Decay: Heritage Beyond Saving. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

    Ellis, Clifton, and Rebecca Ginsburg, eds. Slavery in the City: Architecture and Landscapes of Urban Slavery in North America. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017.

    Finneran, Niall. “‘The Island of the Clouds’: The Archaeology of Life on the Margins in a Small-Scale Caribbean Island Landscape, Bequia (St. Vincent Grenadines) ca. 1700–1900 CE.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology 22, no. 4 (December 2018): 702–27. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-017-0445-y.

    Finney, Tarsha. “The Housing Project, Spatial Experimentation and Legal Transformation in Mid-Twentieth Century New York City.” The Journal of Architecture 23, no. 7–8 (November 17, 2018): 1181–1202. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2018.1513419.

    Galehouse, Richard F. The Power of the Plan: Building a University in One of America’s First Planned Cities, Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2019.

    Giguere, Joy M. “Localism and Nationalism in the City of the Dead: The Rural Cemetery Movement in the Antebellum South.” Journal of Southern History 84, no. 4 (2018): 845–82. https://doi.org/10.1353/soh.2018.0244.

    Giudici, Maria S. “Counter-Planning from the Kitchen: For a Feminist Critique of Type.” The Journal of Architecture 23, no. 7–8 (November 17, 2018): 1203–29. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2018.1513417.

    Grady, Timothy Paul, and Andrew H. Myers, eds. Recovering the Piedmont Past: Bridging the Centuries in the South Carolina Upcountry, 1877-1941. Volume 2. Columbia, South Carolina: The University of South Carolina Press, 2019.

    Grant, H. Roger. Electric Interurbans and the American People. Railroads Past and Present. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.

    Green, Sharony. “Tracing Black Racial and Spatial Politics in South Florida via Memory.” Journal of Urban History 44, no. 6 (November 2018): 1176–96. https://doi.org/10.1177/0096144216688467.

    Griswold, William A., and Donald W. Linebaugh, eds. The Saratoga Campaign: Uncovering an Embattled Landscape. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2016.

    Jackson, Mike. “APT Building Technology Heritage Library.” APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology 49, no. 2–3 (2018): 31–34.

    Kiechle, Melanie A. Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America. Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017.

    Kinney, Rebecca J. “‘America’s Great Comeback Story’: The White Possessive in Detroit Tourism.” American Quarterly 70, no. 4 (2018): 777–806. https://doi.org/10.1353/aq.2018.0063.

    Klee. “Viewpoint: Fieldwork, Mind, and Building.” Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 25, no. 2 (2018): 1. https://doi.org/10.5749/buildland.25.2.0001.

    Lauren Duval. “Mastering Charleston: Property and Patriarchy in British-Occupied Charleston, 1780–82.” The William and Mary Quarterly 75, no. 4 (2018): 589. https://doi.org/10.5309/willmaryquar.75.4.0589.

    Lisle, Benjamin D. Modern Coliseum: Stadiums and American Culture. 1st edition. Architecture, Technology, Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017.

    Lord, Kathleen. “The Function of Commercial Streets in Montreal and Paris, 1853-1936.” Journal of Urban History 44, no. 6 (November 2018): 1131–53. https://doi.org/10.1177/0096144216632746.

    Lupkin, Paula. “The Wainwright Building:: Monument of St. Louis’s Lager Landscape.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 77, no. 4 (December 1, 2018): 428–47. https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2018.77.4.428.

    McDonald. “Research Notes: Understanding the Physical Poetry of a Parallel American Dream.” Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 25, no. 2 (2018): 95. https://doi.org/10.5749/buildland.25.2.0095.

    Minosh, Peter. “Architectural Remnants and Mythical Traces of the Haitian Revolution:: Henri Christophe’s Citadelle Laferrière and Sans-Souci Palace.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 77, no. 4 (December 1, 2018): 410–27. https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2018.77.4.410.

    Montgomery. “Beyond the American Foursquare: The Square House in Period Perspective.” Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 25, no. 2 (2018): 48. https://doi.org/10.5749/buildland.25.2.0048.

    Moorhead, Gerald, James Wright Steely, Willis C. Winters, W. Mark Gunderson, Jay C. Henry, and Joel Warren Barna, eds. Buildings of Texas. East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West. Buildings of the United States. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019.

    Nelson. “Object Lesson: Monuments and Memory in Charlottesville.” Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 25, no. 2 (2018): 17. https://doi.org/10.5749/buildland.25.2.0017.

    Nordyke. “Restyling the Postwar Prefab: The National Homes Corporation’s Revolution in Home Merchandising.” Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 25, no. 2 (2018): 66. https://doi.org/10.5749/buildland.25.2.0066.

    Normandin, Kyle. “The Stewardship of Modern Heritage.” APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology 49, no. 2–3 (2018): 45–54.

    Park, Sharon C. “Sustaining Historic Properties in an Era of Climate Change.” APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology 49, no. 2–3 (2018): 35–44.

    Philippou, Pavlos. “Cultural Buildings and Urban Areas.” The Journal of Architecture 23, no. 7–8 (November 17, 2018): 1259–1300. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2018.1513416.

    Poretti, Sergio. “Viewpoint: Reflections on Construction History.” Construction History 31, no. 1 (2016): v–viii.

    Richardson, Milda B. "The Nexus between Vernacular and American Modernism,” chapter in Modernism and Mid-20th Century American Sacred Architecture, Anat Geva, Editor (London: Routledge, 2018), 214-232.

    Senier, Siobhan. “Where a Bird’s-Eye View Shows More Concrete: Mapping Indigenous L.A. for Tribal Visibility and Reclamation.” American Quarterly 70, no. 4 (2018): 941–48. https://doi.org/10.1353/aq.2018.0076.

    Shibley, Gregory J. “Negotiating Urban Environment and Economy in New York’s Little Syria, 1880-1946.” Journal of Urban History 44, no. 6 (November 2018): 1081–97. https://doi.org/10.1177/0096144215607222.

    Siry, Joseph M. “Air-Conditioning Comes to the Nation’s Capital, 1928–60.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 77, no. 4 (December 1, 2018): 448–72. https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2018.77.4.448.

    Upton, Dell. American Architecture: A Thematic History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.

    Vallerani, Francesco, and Francesco Visentin, eds. Waterways and the Cultural Landscape. Routledge Cultural Heritage and Tourism Series. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY: Routledge, 2018.

    Williams, Jack. Easy on, Easy off: The Urban Pathology of America’s Small Towns. Charlottesville ; London: University of Virginia Press, 2016.

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