University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program

HP 201 - History on the Land

Robert McCullough

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Buildings, Structures, Places and People

 

HISTORY ON THE LAND
COURSE SYLLABUS
SPRING, 2017



REQUIRED READINGS.  Required readings will be assigned from the following books, which should be purchased if possible.  Town Planning in Frontier America is now out of print, and a copy is on reserve at Bailey Howe Library and in Wheeler House.  In addition, you may be able to find used copies via the internet.

1.    William Cronin, Changes in the Land. Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England.
2.    Chester Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile. American Roadside Architecture.
3.    John Reps, Town Planning in Frontier America. (Out of Print-BH Reserve)
4.    Witold Rybczynski, Last Harvest. How a Cornfield Became New Daleville.
5.    John Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 1580 to 1845.
6.    John Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic. Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places.
7.    Sam Bass Warner, Streetcar Suburbs. The Process of Growth in Boston (1870-1900).

Reading assignments have also been selected from the following, which have been placed on reserve at Bailey Howe Library.   The Miller and Melvin book is also on electronic reserve.

1.    Zane Miller and Patricia M. Melvin, The Urbanization of Modern America. A Brief History.  Note: this book is out of print but various editions may be available from the internet.  Page numbers may not conform to the assigned numbers, but the general content should be apparent.
2.    John Stilgoe, Metropolitan Corridor. Railroads and the American Scene.

SUPPLEMENTAL READINGS.  Supplemental readings have been identified for each class and a separate bibliography will be distributed.  These readings are not required but are offered as optional sources that provide greater depth regarding their respective topics or that were used extensively in the preparation of class lectures.  They are also beginning points for research regarding your paper topics.



CLASS SCHEDULE

Tuesday                Introduction: History on the Land
January 17th
                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic, 1-58.
                             2. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 3-43.


Thursday              Patterns of Settlement: English Colonial Town Plans.
January 19th
                             Required:
                             1. Reps, Town Planning in Frontier America, 73-180.
                             2. Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic, 59-69.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Paul Zucker, Town and Square from the Agora to the Village Green.
                             2. Anthony N. Garvan, Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial Connecticut.


Tuesday    `           Transport: Colonial Roads to Good Roads, and the Trails and Turnpikes Between
January 24th   
                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 107-115,129-134.
                             2. Reps, Town Planning in Frontier America, 181-210.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Frederick Wood, The Turnpikes of New England and Evolution of the Same Through New England, Virginia, and Maryland.
                             2. Karl Raitz, ed., The National Road.


Thursday             Transport: Canals
January 26th
                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 115-134.
                             2. Reps, Town Planning in Frontier America, 211-237.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Patricia Anderson,  The Course of Empire. The Erie Canal and the New York Landscape, 1825-1875.
                             2.  Robert J. Kapsch.  Canals


Tuesday                Transport: Railroads
January 31st
OUTLINE DUE    Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Metropolitan Corridor, 21-132.
                             2. Reps, Town Planning in Frontier America, 238-263.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Carl Condit, The Port of New York. A History of the Rail and Terminal System from the Beginning to Pennsylvania Station.


Thursday              Agriculture: Landscapes and Barns
February 2nd
                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 135-170.
                             2. Cronin, Changes in the Land, 1-15.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Thomas Hubka, Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn.  The Connected Farm Buildings of New England.
                             2. Howard S. Russell, A Long Deep Furrow: Three Centuries of Farming in New England.


Tuesday                Urban and Community Agriculture: Commercial Greenhouses
February 7th       
                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 170-208.
                             2. Cronin, Changes in the Land, 127-156.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. John Auwaerter, "Factories of Glass: Development of the Modern Commercial Greenhouse, 1880-1930."
                             2. John Hix, The Glass House.


Thursday              Commercial and Industrial Buildings: Turning Points in Evolution of Size, Structure and Materials:
February 9th         Part 1: Brick Bearing Walls, Trusses and Arches, and I-Beams.

                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 265-309

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Cecil Elliott, Technics and Architecture. The Development of Materials and Systems for Buildings.
                             2. H. Ward Jandl, ed., The Technology of Historic American Buildings
                             3. Carl Condit, American Building Art. The Nineteenth Century (Vol. 1) and The Twentieth Century (Vol. 2).


Tuesday                Commercial and Industrial Buildings: Turning Points in Evolution of Size, Structures and Materials:
February 14th       Part 2: Plate Glass, Terra Cotta, and Reinforced Concrete

                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 309-324

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Carl Condit, American Building Art. The Nineteenth Century (Vol. 1) and The Twentieth Century (Vol. 2).


Thursday              Power: Wind
February 16th    
                             Required:
                             1.    Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America,  88-99
                             2.    Miller & Melvin, Urbanization of Modern America, 3-43

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Lindsay Baker, A Field Guide to American Windmills.

           
Tuesday                Power: Direct Drive Water
February 21st
                             Required:
                             1. Miller & Melvin, Urbanization of Modern America, 47-104
   
                             Supplemental:
                             1. Louis Hunter, Water Power - Steam Power. A History of Industrial Power in the United States, 1780-1930.  2 vols.
                             3. Theodore Steinberg, Nature Incorporated.  Industrialization and the Waters of New England


Thursday              Power: Steam.
February 23rd
Part One Due        Required
                             1.  Miller & Melvin, Urbanization of Modern America, 105-124
                             2.  Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 339-346.

                             Supplemental
                             1. Louis Hunter, Water Power - Steam Power. A History of Industrial Power in the United States, 1780-1930.  2 vols.


Tuesday                Power: Coal-Fired, Steam-Generated Electricity and Hydro-Electricity
February 28th   
                             Required:
                             1. Miller & Melvin, Urbanization of Modern America, 125-174


Thursday              Factory
March 2nd
                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 324-337

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Grant Hildebrand, Designing for Industry. The Architecture of Albert Kahn  
    

Tuesday                Industry: Iron
March 7th        
Town Meeting       Required:
Day                       1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 99-107.


Thursday              MID-TERM EXAMINATION 
March 9th       


Tuesday                Spring Recess – No Class
March 14th


Thursday              Spring Recess – No Class
March 16th


Tuesday                Urbanity: Reading the City
March 21st
                             Required:
                             1. Miller & Melvin, Urbanization of Modern America, 175-252
                             2. Warner, Streetcar Suburbs, 1-34

                             Supplemental:
                             1. David Ward, Cities and Immigrants: A Geography of Change in 19th Century America.
                             2. Roger Trancik, Finding Lost Space. Theories of Urban Design.


Thursday              Transit – Streetcars and Inter-urbans
March 23rd
                             Required:
                             1. Warner, Streetcar Suburbs, 35-116.


Tuesday                Transit: Rapid
March 28th
                             Required:
                             1. Warner, Streetcar Suburbs, 117-166.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Robert C. Reed, The New York Elevated
                             2. Michael W. Brooks, Subway City. Riding the Trains, Reading New York


Thursday              Community: By Plan
March 30th
                             Required:
                             1. Reps, Town Planning in Frontier America, 264-295.
                             2. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 209-231.
                             3. Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic, 131-155.
                             4. Rybczynski, Last Harvest, 1-97.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Clarence Stein, Toward New Towns for America.


Tuesday                Community: By Park.  Part 1: Public Squares, Garden Cemeteries, Pleasure Grounds and Park Ways
April 4th 
                             Required:
                             1. Cronin, Changes in the Land, 19-81.
                             2. Rybczynski, Last Harvest, 101-183
           
                             Supplemental:
                             1. Galen Cranz, The Politics of Park Design. A History of Urban Parks in America.
                             2. Witold Rbyczynski, A Clearing in the Distance. Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century


Thursday              Community: By Park.  Part 2: Progressivism and Municipal Reform Parks - City Beautiful Parks, Neighborhood Parks,
April 6th               Playgrounds, and School Parks; Progressivism and Conservation Era Parks - Forest Parks and Prairie Parks; Recreation
                             Facilities; Pocket Parks; Amusement Parks, 

                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic, 103-129.
                             2. Rybczynski, Last Harvest, 187-201.

                             Supplemental
                             1. Leonard K. Eaton, Landscape Artist in America. The Life and Work of Jens Jensen. 


Tuesday                Community: By Forest
April 11th
                             Required:
                             1. Cronin, Changes in the Land, 82-126.

                             Supplemental:
                             2. Robert McCullough, Landscape of Community. A History of Communal Forests in New England


Thursday              Community: By Footpath
April 13th
                             Required:
                             1. Cronin, Changes in the Land, 159-170.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Laura and Guy Waterman, Forest and Crag


Tuesday                Awheel: Parks, Parkways and Paths for Bicycles
April 18th
                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Common Landscape of America, 231-264.
           
                             Supplemental:
                             1. Charles Little, Greenways for America


Thursday              Roads for the Automobile
April 20th
PART TWO         Required:
DUE                     1. Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile, 1-151.
                             2. Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic, 89-101 & 157-178

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Bruce E. Seely, Building the American Highway System Engineers as Policy Makers.
                             2. James J. Fink, The Car Culture.

           
Tuesday                Roadside:  Fast Food
April 25th
                             Required:
                             1. Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile, 153-227.
           
                             Supplemental:
                             1.  Richard Horowitz, The Strip: An American Place
                             2.  John Jakle and Keith Sculle.  Fast Food. Road Restaurants in the Automobile Age.


Thursday              Roadside: Motel
April 27th
                             Required:
                             1. Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic, 71-88, 179-187.

                             Supplemental:
                             1. Warren Belasco, Americans on the Road. From Autocamp to Motel.
                             2. John Jakle and Keith Sculle.  The Motel in America
           

Tuesday                Escape
May 2nd
                             Required:  None


Thursday              Review
May 4th       
       

Thursday              FINAL EXAMINATION:  4:30 to 7:15.   402 Williams
May 11th



COURSE INFORMATION

ASSIGNMENTS.  Students will be asked to prepare a written paper divided into two parts, each part due separately.  The paper will be based on a selected topic that involves any feature of the cultural landscape, such as a building, structure, site, transportation corridor, or designed landscape.  The paper will combine the use of periodical literature and trade journals with field study.  A description of the assignment will be provided.  In final form, the two segments should be typed, and each should be approximately one thousand (1000) words long.  The due dates for a one-page outline of the topic and periodical literature selected, time-spans included, and for the first and second segments are identified in the course schedule.  Students are welcome to submit drafts of their papers in advance of the deadlines.

ATTENDANCE.  Class attendance is required, and the instructor must be notified regarding any absences (See grading below)

BIBLIOGRAPHY.  A bibliography of readings for further study on each of the lecture topics will also be posted on the instructor's web page.  This list should be considered as a beginning point for research concerning the topics identified and should be consulted during selection and preparation of the written assignment.

EXAMINATIONS & GRADING.  Preliminary and final examinations will be based on assigned readings, class presentations, and discussion.  The dates of these examinations are noted on the schedule.  The course grade will be determined as follows: preliminary, 30%, final exam 30%, paper, 30%, attendance and class participation, 10%.

FIELD TRIP / EXTRA SESSIONS.  A field trip may be scheduled depending on interest and available time.  Extra presentations may be offered in the evening depending upon student interest.  Available topics include Spanish and French patterns of town planning; urban and community agriculture; and the fossil fuel industry.  Others can be developed as desired.  Students can select convenient dates, with at least one week prior notice.    

IMPORTANT PLACES, DATES, AND PERSONS.  Each student will receive a list of important places, dates, persons, etc., mentioned in the lectures.  These are arranged by lecture topic and provide a skeleton outline of the course.  Students should review these lists before class.

OFFICE HOURS.  Office hours will be announced, but other arrangements are possible as required

THEMATIC OVERVIEW.  The course seeks to provide students with a basic understanding of the historical document that is our cultural environment, whether built or natural.  The subject is vastly complex, and the course is not intended to provide a comprehensive study of any one aspect of the landscape.  In truth, any of the topics (and many of the sub-topics) appearing on the syllabus could be developed into an entire course.  Nevertheless, the syllabus does provide a skeleton that suggests the essential reasons why our landscape appears as it does.  With fundamental understanding, students will be able to read this historic document, to absorb some of the information that it holds, and to explore other segments more deeply without losing sight of the basic structure.  Several themes will be traced throughout.

1.  The discipline of historic preservation seeks to identify and preserve those parts of our physical heritage that hold valuable information about our culture.  Evaluating historic significance -- the process of selecting those monuments worthy of preservation -- is fundamental, and the course will probe the means by which we make this assessment.  In short, what are the economic, social, technological, political, aesthetic, and intellectual contributions that any given part of our physical heritage makes?

2.  At the same time, we should all be able to recognize and understand the picture puzzle that is our cultural landscape without resorting to structured analysis of historic significance.  Hopefully this will lead to a stronger understanding of American culture and a deeper appreciation of all that surrounds us.
   
3.  Historic preservation's emphasis on the built environment has sometimes resulted in neglect of the natural environment and its culturally assisted evolution.  The unfortunate result is that alliances with other disciplines that pursue goals common to those of historic preservation have failed to materialize.  The course will make strong efforts to connect the two.
   
4.  The study of methods for reading the landscape is as important as learning about the history that exists if only we know where to look. The course will seek to develop both goals.
   
5.  The study of landscape history is one of examining overlapping layers on the face of the land.  Those layers can be confined to a small area and be readily visible, for example a building with clearly defined alterations added over the years.  Alternatively, the layers can be complex and difficult to separate, as in urban areas where human existence has forced sweeping change over the centuries.