Urban development, both in terms of the urban system and the internal urban form, changed dramatically once industrialization became the primary mode of economic production in the United States.
Considering this, identify some structure that was built in an American city prior to the end of the pre-industrial, mercantile period (1840)*. The structure can be anything: building, house, park, road, canal, neighborhood as long as it is still in existence in some form.
* This date can be extended if you make a good case to me for why you are selecting this particular structure. Discuss it with me prior to the due date.
Consider that structure from both a historical and current perspective: What was going on when it was built? What is going on now?
Some questions to guide you:
• Why was this structure built? What was its original purpose? Who built it? What is the setting within which it was built? Why was it built were it was?
• What was happening in this city at the time this structure was built (LOCAL FORCES)? What was happening in the urban system at this time that might have influenced the development of the structure (GLOBAL FORCES)?
• What purpose does this structure serve today? Who owns it? Why did it survive? What relation does it have with its spatial setting?
• What is happening in this city today, especially in relation to why this structure still exists (LOCAL FORCES)? What is happening in the urban system at this time that might influence the continued existence of this structure GLOBAL FORCES)?
If you don’t have a particular structure in mind, many cities have historical preservation societies that maintain fairly comprehensive data bases and even histories of structures. Simple internet searches such as “oldest buildings in Denver” can also provide significant data.
Write a 3 page double spaced paper that clearly identifies and describes this structure in relation to its historical location and processes and to its current spatial location and processes. You should cite all sources within the document and include a reference page.
This isn’t a formal research project. I am more interested in the narrative that you develop that situates this structure within its time of origin and within its modern context.