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Week 4 Discussion Response: American Architecture Planning (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

answer these numbered discussion question separately using the attached readings as sources
1.Consider the various developments (social, economic, technological, historical, ideological, etc.) that influenced American architecture in the decades preceding the Civil War. Select one of these developments and briefly discuss how the architecture of the period reflects its influence, citing specific buildings to support your discussion as necessary?
2. Compare the high-style Lyndhurst and the more modest Gothic Revival style cottages and villas included in Andrew Jackson Downing’s The Architecture of Country Houses and/or those designed by Alexander Jackson Davis. What architectural features are shared? How are these buildings different?

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Week 4 Discussion Response
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Week 4 Discussion Response
Response to Question 1
Volatile development of the midcontinent in the late eighteenth century led to the innovation of an inexpensive and quick wooden framing system for relatively small warehouses and houses replacing the heavy joined and hewn frame. Saint Mary’s Church in Chicago was the first structure to be built using mainly scantling and siding. George W. Snow made essential steps in the use of small-dimension timber that was assembled using nails during the construction of a warehouse in the vicinity of the mouth of the Chicago River. Factors such as shortage of skilled joiners as well as the high demand for inexpensive structures led to the development of balloon frame; the term was derived as a result of the ease and speed with which the frame could be established.[Leland M, Roth., ed. America Builds: Source Documents in American Architecture and Planning. Harper & Row, 1983.]
The technology was exploited in Chicago in the course of their phenomenal growth that was experienced in the 1830s. It was then exported to San Francisco in the 1850s during the California Gold Rush. At the end of the Civil War, the technology was advanced with the introduction of manufactured iron wire nails and standardized lumber (2 by 4). The balloon fram...
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