Arch 488/AH488

American Architecture

Instructor: Clausen

Winter 2002

M-W 10:00 - 11:20; 322 Gould


Office hrs: Weds, 1:30-3:30, rm 222, Art Bldg, or by appt.

     tele: 543-0935

     home page:






Course requirements:

-weekly readings, lectures/discussions (participation expected);

-two 4-5 pg analytic (NOT RESEARCH) papers

-midterm, final.


     papers 1/3

exams 2/3


Disabled Student Services: If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 543-8924 (V/TDD). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor to discuss the accommodations you might need for class.


Required texts:

     Berkeley, Ellen Perry. Architecture: A Place for Women, 1989

Roth, Leland. Concise History of American Architecture, 1979

     Sorkin, Michael. Variations on a Theme Park, 1992

     Stern, Robert. New Directions in American Architecture, 1977

     Venturi, Robert. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, 1966, 1977

Upton, Dell. Architecture in the United States, 1998


These are the basic texts. There are also several articles or chapters from books to be read as part of the required reading. Suggested readings are optional for those who want more on a particular topic. All readings are on reserve in the architecture library. Assignments are uneven in length and number, and competition for books/articles on reserve is keen, especially around exam and paper times, so plan ahead.


LECTURE/DISCUSSION SCHEDULE AND READINGS (schedule may change, so keep abreast)

Jan.7 - Introduction to course; methodological matters: the Canon and its Critics


     Roth, Concise History of American Architecture, , preface, xxv-xxvi

Upton, Architecture in the United States, 11-16

     9 - Native American traditions       


Roth, 1-27

              Nabokov and Easton, Native American Architecture, (plates only; text, especially pp. 11-50,

 recommended for those who are interested)


              Rappaport, Amos.

              Sturtevant, William, Handbook of North American Indians, v. 7: Northwest Coast, (Wayne

     Suttles, volume editor), 1990  (major source on Native American architecture; compare

his, or their, perspective with Nabokov's. It's very different.)

              Krinsky, Carol Herselle. Contemporary Native American Architecture, 1996.

              Berlo and Phillips, Native North American Art, 1998.


     14 - Colonial Beginnings


Roth, 28-52

Upton, 17-55 (on the American House as icon)


              Pierson, William. American Buildings and Their Architects: The Colonial & NeoClassical Styles, 22-

                   60; 61-201 (especially recommended for those in preservation)


     16 - Revolutionary Years [Thomas Jefferson; Bulfinch, etc]


Roth, 53-84

Upton, 56-105 (communities)


              Pierson, American Buildings, 205-460

              Palladio in America, Electa Editrice, Milano, 1976; Rizzoli, NY, 1978


Jan. 21 - HOLIDAY


     23 - 19th c. industrialism  (factories, railroad stations, bridges; iron as building material)


Roth, 85-125

Upton, 107-147 (the natural environment)


              Roth, America Builds, 50-68, 99-108, 151-171

              Condit, American Building: Materials & Techniques, 76-113

              Meeks, C. Railroad Stations: An Architectural History, 1956, reprinted in the 1970s

              Trachenberg, Alan. Brooklyn Bridge: Fact and Symbol


     28 - Revivalism; mid-century architecture and technology


Roth, 126-171

              Upton, 149-185 (technology)


          Roth, America Builds, 263-271

          Condit, American Building, 114-168

          Fein, Albert. Frederick Law Olmsted and the American Environmental Tradition, 1972

          Jackson, John Brinckerhoff. American Space. The Centennial years: 1865-1876, 1972


     30 - Henry Hobson Richardson


Ochsner, H. H. Richardson: Complete Architectural Works, 1982 (plates)


              Meister, Maureen, ed. H.H. Richardson: The Architect, His Peers, and Their Era. 1999

Breisch, Kenneth. Henry Hobson Richardson and the Small Public Library in America, 1997.

              O'Gorman, H. H. Richardson. Architectural Forms for an American Society, 1987

              Stebbins, "Richardson & Trinity Church - Evolution of a Building," Journal of the Society of        

          Architectural Historians, December 1968, 281-298

              Wilson, Richard Guy et al, The American Renaissance 1876-1917, Brooklyn Museum, NY, 1979


Feb. 4 - MIDTERM


6  - The Tall Office Building, and Louis Sullivan


Roth, 172-227

Upton, 187-245 (on money in American architecture. Ie. what drives it)


              Willis, Carol. Form Follows Finance, 7-101

              Bruegmann, Robert. The Architects and the City. Holabird and Roche of Chicago, 1997

          Sullivan, "The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered," (1898), in Roth, America Buildings:         

               Source Documents in American Architecture & Planning, 340-346

          Menocal, Architecture as Nature: The Transcendentalist Idea of Louis Sullivan, 1981 (excellent            

     study of Sullivan's theory)

          Andrew, Louis Sullivan and the Polemics of Modern Architecture, 1985 (a less sympathetic, revisionist

view of Sullivan's contribution to modernism, from a postmodernist perspective)

          Albanese, Catherine L. Nature Religion in America, frm the Algonkian Indians to the New Age, 1990

              Landau and Condit, Rise of the New York Skyscraper, 1865-1913, 1996

              Zukowsky, Chicago Architecture 1872-1922, 1987 (plates are excellent, as are some of the essays)

          Condit, Chicago School of Architecture, 1964 (outdated, but a classic)

              Morrison,  Louis Sullivan: Prophet of Modern Architecture, 1935 (another old classic)


     11 -  FIRST PAPER DUE (see assignment at end of syllabus)

          McKim Mead & White, and Beaux-Arts Classicism; Grand Central Terminal


Roth, McKim Mead & White 1879-1915, 1977 (plates)

              Nevins, Deborah. Grand Central Terminal, 1982 (plates; text strongly  recommended for those in



              Drexler, The Ecole des Beaux-Arts, MoMA, 1975

              Summerson, The Classical Language of Architecture, 1963 (essential reading for anyone in

                   in architecture)

              Van Slyck, Abigail A. Free to All: Carnegie Libraries and American Culture, 1890-1920, 1995

              Woods, Mary N. From Craft to Profession. The Practice of Architecture in 19th c. America, 1999


13 -  Arts & Crafts Movement, and the West Coast (Maybeck, Julia Morgan, Greene & Greene)


              McCoy, Five California Architects, 1975 (plates)


              Longstreth, On the Edge of the World. Four Architects in San Francisco at the Turn of the        

     Century, 1983

          Boutelle, Sarah. Julia Morgan, Architect, revised and updated, 1995

              Clark, Robert Judson, ed.  The Arts & Crafts Movement in America, 1876-1916, 1972

              Bowman, Leslie Greene. American Arts & Crafts. Virtue in Design, LA Cnty Museum of Art, 1990


Feb. 18 - HOLIDAY


20 - bungalows; Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School


Wright, "In the Cause of Architecture," Writings & Buildings, 181-196; "The Destruction of the Box,"

ibid, 284-289

          Riley et al, Frank Lloyd Wright Architect, MoMA, 1994, 8-57 and plates (rest of text, highly

          recommended, esp. essay by Frampton)    


              King, Anthony D. The Bungalow. The Production of a Global Culture, 2nd ed., 1995

          Siry, Joseph. Unity Temple. Frank Lloyed Wright and Architecture for Liberal Religion, 1996

          Levine, Neil. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1996

          Clausen, "Frank Lloyd Wright, Vertical Space and the Chicago School's Quest for Light," JSAH,         

          March 1985, 66-74.

     Lancaster, Clay. The American Bungalow, 1880-1930, 1985


     25 - Emerging Modernism in the U.S.


Roth, 228-273

              Hitchcock & Johnson, The International Style, 1932 (plates; text highly recommended)

              Clausen, "Belluschi and the Equitable Building," JSAH, June 1991, 109-129.


              Hines, Thomas S. Richard Neutra 1892-1970, 1999

Sheine, Judith, ed. R.M. Schindler: 10 Houses, 1998

Steele, James. Rudolph M. Schindler, 1999

Solomonson, Katherine. The Chicago Tribune Tower Competition. Skyscraper Design and Cultural

Change in the 1920s, 2001

Tauranac, John. The Empire State Buildings. The Making of a Landmark, 1995

          Robinson & Bletter, Skyscraper Style (esp. plates)

          Greif, Depression Modern (esp. plates)

          Krinsky, Rockefeller Center, 1978

          Cheney, Sheldon. The New World Architecture, 1935 (an old classic)

              Stern, Robert A.M. George Howe. Toward an American Architecture, 1975 (basically this thesis under

Scully at YaleŠ)

              Roth, America Builds, 454-472


     27 - Post-war Modernism (Miesien aesthetics; case study houses; American embassies and the State Dept;

suburbanization & the central city; shopping center development; Critical Regionalism)


Roth, 274-332

              Clausen, "Northgate Shopping Center: Paradigm from the Provinces, JSAH, May 1984, 144-161.


              Crawford, "The World in a Shopping Mall," in Sorkin, Variations on a Theme Park, 3-30

Longstreth, Richard. Citiy Center to Regional Mall. Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los

Angeles, 1920-1950, 1997

Kowinski, Willam S. The Malling of America. An Inside Look at the Great Consumer Paradise, 1985

McCoy, Ester. Case Study Houses 1945-1962, 1977

              Smith, Elizabeth A. T. History & Legacy of the Case Study Houses, 1989

Albrecht et al, The Work of Charles & Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention, collected essays, 1997

              Loeffler, Jane C. The Architecture of Diplomacy. Building America's Embassies, 1998

              Robin, Ron. Enclaves of America. The Rhetoric of American Political Architecture Abroad. 1992

Garreau, J. Edge City. Life on the New Frontier, 1991, ix-15, 265-301 (on southern California)

Katz, Peter. The New Urbanism, 1994, ix-xvi

Frampton, Kenneth. "Towards a Critical Regionalism," in Hal Forster, The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on

Postmodern Culture, 1983, 16-30.


     22 - Brutalism


Stern, New Directions in American Architecture, 7-80


              Banham, R. The New Brutalism (British perspective)


Mar. 4  - Louis Kahn: an alternate modernism


Brownlee & DeLong, Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture, 1991, 20-49 and plates

Upton, 247-283 (on the "art" of architecture)


              Goldhagen, Sarah Williams. Louis Kahn's Situated Modernism, 2001

              Ronner, H. et al, Louis I. Kahn. Complete Works 1935-1974, (plates)


6 - The Sixties: the city, urban renewal, historica preservation. Grand Central Terminal, and the Pan Am

Building. Christopher Alexander and the role of theory. The New York Five


Stern, New Directions, 80-136

              Blake, Peter. Form Follows Fiasco: Why Modern Architecture Hasnıt Worked, 1964 (plates; text


              Christopher Alexander, Notes on the Synthesis of Form, 1964, 1-11

              Five Architects, New York, 1985 (plates; text recommended)


          Jacobs, Jane. Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961

          Alexander,  A Pattern Language, 1977


Mar. 11 - SECOND PAPER DUE (see assigment, end of syllabus)

          I.M. Pei, "A Place to Be" (film, National Gallery, Washington, DC)


              Wiseman,  I.M. Pei, 1990


     13 - Robert Venturi and the Postmodern backlash: Michael Graves & the Portland Public Service Building;

Frank Gehry, Deconstruction, and beyond


Roth, 333-359

              Venturi, Complexity & Contradiction in Architecture, 1-40 (or as much as you can)

              Von Moos, Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown. Buildings and Projects (plates)

              Jencks, The Language of Post-Modernism, 1972 (plates; text recommended)

              Wheeler, Arnell & Bickford, Michael Graves 1966-1981 (plates)

              Dal Co & Forster, Frank O. Gehry. The Complete Works, 1998 (plates)

              Johnson, Philip and Wigley, Mark. Deconstructivist Architecture, MoMA, 1988 (plates)


     Philip Johnson, "Seven Crutches of Modern Architecture," in Johnson, Philip Johnson: Writings,


Papadakis et al, Deconstruction. Omnibus Volume, Rizzoli, 1989

Cook, Peter & Rand, George. Morphosis: Buildings & Projects, Rizzoli, 1989 (plates)

              Ibelings, Supermodernism and the Globalization of Architecture, 1998, 1-32.


March 18 - FINAL, 8:30-10:20am



PAPERS: two are required; these should be double-spaced, typed, and follow the regular procedures for an academic paper. They will be graded according to the following criteria: how original the thinking, how carefully reasoned and thoughtful your points, how well organized your argument, how clearly and carefully written (spelling, grammar, choice of words, organization of ideas, correct use of footnotes and bibliography, proofreading). For these papers, neither research nor a background in the field of architecture is required. What you do need is time and the ability to think for yourself.


PAPER #1 - building analysis

          a) In a 4-5 page paper, describe and analyze one of following four buildings on campus: Gould Hall, Kane Hall, the Faculty Club, or the Physics Building. Describe the building simply and clearly, and analyze it in terms of function (utilitas), structure (firmitas)  and aesthetics (venustas). How does the building look (description), and why does it look that way (analysis)?   This is not a research paper, but you might want to start with basic facts about the building, such as when it was built, what its purpose was, who the architect was, etc. Be sure to consider: the site, materials, the plan (disposition of internal spaces, circulation system), the occupants and their needs, lighting, relationship of the building to other buildings on campus, as well as other factors you deem critical for understanding the building.




PAPER #2 - Other Voices - Women, African-Americans, and other minorities in American architecture, plus other methodological concerns

     In a 4-5 page paper, summarize succinctly the following four articles. Aim at covering four aspects: the subject, author's thesis or aim, pitfalls or shortcomings of the article (what it ignored or failed to do), and its significance. How do the perspectives of the authors compare? What issues do they raise, both about the architectural profession AND about the way architectural history has been conceived and taught?


          Upton, Dell. "Architectural History or Landscape History," Journal of Architectural Education, 44/4, August

1991, 195-199;

          Upton & Vlach, eds. Common Places. Readings in American Vernacular Architecture, 1986, Intro, 3-26;

          Berkeley, Ellen Perry. Architecture: A Place for Women, intro, and essays by Grossman & Reitzes, Edelman,

Franck, and Scott Brown;

          Travis, Jack. African-American Architects, 1992, introduction.


     Suggested related readings:

          Pluntz, A History of Housing in New York City, 1990

          Wilson, W.J. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, Underclass and Public Policy, 1987

          Bishir, C. W. "Yuppies, Bubbas, and the Politics of Culture," in Carter & Herman (eds),      Perspectives in

Vernacular Architecture, III, 1989, 8-15

          Williamson, R. American Architects and the Mechanics of Fame, 1991

          Nochlin, L. "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists [Architects]?", in Nochlin, Women, Art and

Power, 1988.

          Hughes, Francesca. The Architect. Reconstructing Her Practice, 1998



EXAMS - These are aimed at comprehension, not memorization. Both midterm & final follow the same format: three comparisons between buildings which will be fully identified. You'll be given the basic factual information about the name of bldg, architect, date, place, then asked to compare them on specific points. For example, both House A and House B were built within a decade of each other, both in the same region. How do they compare? Focusing on what you believe (based on what you've learned) to be the significant factors, what specifically do they have in common? How do they differ? (That both buildings have doornobs is probably  not signficant; that both of them are designed to serve the same purpose probably is.)

     Rather than testing your ability to memorize information (since that you can easily look up, once you know the resources), this type of exam evaluates your ability to think: to discriminate between important issues in architectural history, and those less so; it also tests your ability to synthesize what you've learned; and finally, it tests your ability to express your thoughts clearly and succinctly, in a manner that reveals your comprehension of the material.










RESERVE BOOKS (all books are on two-hour reserve, Architecture Library, Gould Hall)


Alexander, Christopher. Notes on the Synthesis of  Form, 1964.

Berkeley, Ellen Perry. Architecture: A Place for Women, 1989

Blake, Peter. Form Follows Fiasco. Why Modern Architecture Hasnıt Worked, 1964.

Brownlee and DeLong, Louis I. Kahn. In the Realm of Architecture, 1992.

Carter & Herman (eds), Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, III

Deconstruction, MoMA, NY, 1989

Dal Co and Forster, Frank O. Gehry. The Complete Works, 1998

Drexler, Arthur. The Ecole des Beaux-Arts, MOMA, 1975.

Five Architects, New York, Oxford University Press, 1985.

Forster, Hall. The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture. 1983

Hitchcock, H.R. and Johnson, Ph. The International Style, MOMA, 1932.

Ibelings, Supermodernism and the Globalization of Architecture, 1998

Jencks, Charles. The Language of Post-Modernism, 1972.

Johnson, Philip and Wigley, Mark. Deconstructivist Architecture, MoMA, NY, 1988

Moos, Stanislas von. Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown. Buildings & Projects

Nabokov, Peter & Easton, Robert. Native American Architecture, 1989

Nevins, Deborah. Grand Central Terminal, 1982

Ochsner, Jeffrey. H.H. Richardson: Complete Architectural Works, 1982.

Papadakis, Andreas, Cooke, Catherine, and Benjamin, Andrew. Deconstruction. Ominbus Volume, 1989.

Pierson, Wm. American Buildings & Their Architects, v. 1 and 2

Riley, Terence (ed). Frank Lloyd Wright. MoMA, NY, 1994.

Robinson & Bletter. Skyscraper Style.

Roth, Leland. America Builds: Sources & Documents in American Architecture and Planning, 1983.

Roth, Leland. Concise History of American Architecture, 1979

Roth, Leland. McKim Mead & White 1879-1915, 1977

Scully, Vincent. American Architecture & Urbanism

Sorkin, Michael. Variations on a Theme Park, 1992

Stern, Robert. New Directions in American Architecture, revised edition, 1977.

Travis, Jack. African-American Architects, 1992

Upton, Dell. Architecture in the United States, 1998

Upton & Vlach, eds., Common Places. Readings in American Vernacular Architecture, 1986

Venturi, Robert. Complexity & Contradiction in Architecture, 1966

Wheeler, Arnell & Bickford, Michael Graves, 1988-1981

Woods, Mary N. From Craft to Profession. The Practice of Architecture in 19th c. America, 1999

Wright, Frank Lloyd. Writings & Buildings, 1960.

Zukowsky, John. Chicago Architecture 1872-1922, 1987.


Recommended Bibliography  - Gender Issues

     Within the past 10-15 years, there has been an increasing number of books published on American domestic architecture which acknowledge gender issues. Among some of these:

Adams, Annmarie. Architecture in the Family Way. Doctors, Houses and Women. 1870-1900. 1996

Beecher, Catherine and Stowe, Harriet Beecher. American Woman's Home, 1869 (reprinted 1975)

Foy, Jessica H. and Schlereth, Thomas J., American Home Life 1880-1930. A Social History of Spaces and

Services. 1992.

Hayden, Dolores. Redesigning the American Dream. The Future of Housing, Work and Family Life, 1984.

Hayden, Dolores. The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes,

Neighborhoods, and Cities, 1981.

Reed, Christopher (ed), Not At Home. The Suppression of Domesticitiy in Modern Art and Architecture. 1996.

Wright, Gwendolyn. Building The Dream. Social Housing in America, 1981.


On women in the architectural profession:

Berkeley, Ellen Perry. Architecture. A Place for Women, 1989. (required reading

Toy, Maggie. TheArchitect. Women in Contemporary Architecture, 2001.