Thursday, February 3, 2011

Western Reserve History through Place: Journal 3

January 27, 2011

After the Natural History Museum, it was going to be hard to be back in a classroom again. But, Dr. Stith had some great power-points that explored the Fur Trade and the Revolutionary War period in NEO. Mr. Fagan provided a great introduction to early building style in Ohio, and I am anticipating getting a chance to explore architectural history further. Ned at Landmarks said it well, "learning architecture is only accomplished when you start the journey exploring what you are drawn to first". Otherwise it's a bunch of geometry. Appling social history to architectural developments is why I am into preservation. I love being able to say, see that style, this is where it came from, and this is why we like it!

I am a believer that we don't randomly do things. We may not understand our reasoning at the time, but somewhere deep in our psyche is reason. Education is the process by which we explore the unknown, and we gain insight through this process. I am interested to see my knowledge of the built and natural environment grow, and I am more than happy to write about what I figure out!

Making connections is what it is all about.

I am interested to explore architectural remains, and gain a better clarity about how we can better preserve them. Again, I feel that we should be embracing as much knowledge as possible, and avoid limiting ourselves to certain disciplines.

My main critique about specializations is the limiting quality that it can have on a scholar. Sure, you may know every style known to man, but can you explain the purpose behind these creations? Can you apply historic context? Personally, I am working on this specialty. I love the digging, and I love a good puzzle. I would still like to analyze American architecture in ethnic enclaves. Do we really reflect puritanical England in most of our architecture, or is the more to the story? How much does our education impact our ability to read the cultural landscape? For example, do we see puritanical England everywhere, when perhaps there is something else happening? Something a little bit different, and uniquely American?

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