Thematic Essays

Essays in SAH Archipedia are broadly grouped as either place-based or thematic. Place-based essays include overviews of architecture in specific U.S. states and cities. Thematic essays examine architectural and urban issues within and across state and regional boundaries. Like individual building entries, essays are accompanied by rich subject metadata, so you can browse them by style, type, and period. SAH Archipedia essays are comprised of peer-reviewed scholarship (born-digital and print-based) contributed by architectural historians nationwide.

BEER AND BREWERIES

By: Marsha Weisiger and Contributors

Wisconsin

Milwaukee dominated America’s beer-brewing industry in the nineteenth century. In large part this dominance was...

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

By: Anne Carter Lee

Virginia

The construction of a 469-mile-long linear park, linking Shenandoah National Park and its Skyline Drive to the Great Smoky...

BRANDYWINE PARK

By: W. Barksdale Maynard

Delaware

Brandywine Creek had long afforded Wilmingtonians with recreation: walks, picnics, bathing, skating. A proposal for the city to...

California Missions

By: Heather N. McMahon

California

Beginning in the mid-eighteenth century and extending into the early nineteenth century, the Spanish crown...

CAMP MEETINGS

By: W. Barksdale Maynard

Delaware

Lower Delmarva was a center of early Methodism—21 percent of its adults were Methodist by 1810—and western Sussex County still has...

COBBLESTONE BUILDINGS

By: Marsha Weisiger and Contributors

Wisconsin

Cobblestone buildings are rare in the United States. They mostly occur in areas near bands of glacial moraine...

COURTHOUSES AND SQUARES

By: Gerald Moorhead et al.

Texas

The county courthouse set in its town square is the centerpiece of Texas architecture and urbanism. The square with its...

DANVILLE'S TOBACCO DISTRICT

By: Anne Carter Lee

Virginia

Tobacco and Danville grew together. By the mid-nineteenth century, the thin, marginally fertile sandy soil in the...

DU PONT COUNTRY ESTATES

By: W. Barksdale Maynard

Delaware

According to Winterthur Museum historian Margaret Lidz, Delaware's Chateau Country resembles enclaves of the ultra-rich on...

Du Pont Highway

By: W. Barksdale Maynard

Delaware

T. Coleman du Pont will always be remembered for his highway (U.S. 13 and 113) that carries traffic ninety-seven...

FLORA AND LANDSCAPE DESIGN

By: Don J. Hibbard

Hawaii

A horticulturist's delight, the flora of Hawaii is as cosmopolitan as its human population. During the past two centuries,...

Googie Architecture

By: Bart Bryant-Mole

California

In the postwar period, with industry in California booming, migrating workers flocked to the state, more than...

GROUT BUILDINGS

By: Marsha Weisiger and Contributors

Wisconsin

Grout, a form of poured concrete, was briefly popular as a building material in the mid-nineteenth century. The town...

Gulf Coast Tribes

By: Willa Granger, University of Texas at Austin

Florida

Scholars often subdivide the study of Native American culture into vast, multistate...

MILL NEIGHBORHOODS

By: Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

Vermont

Bennington retains a coherent pattern of nineteenth-century mill neighborhoods, with owners' mansions and workers...

MODERNISM IN DELAWARE

By: W. Barksdale Maynard

Delaware

As with states farther south, architectural modernism took only shallow root in Delaware and was usually diluted with...

MURALS

By: Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore, Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors

Arkansas

Between 1938 and 1943, twenty-one...

OCTAGONAL HOUSES

By: Marsha Weisiger and Contributors

Wisconsin

Octagonal houses enjoyed widespread popularity in the mid-nineteenth century, thanks largely to their foremost...

POHAKU (STONE)

By: Don J. Hibbard

Hawaii

Pohaku is the Hawaiian word for stone. Deriving from lava and the coral reef, the types of stone locally available are somewhat limited....

Roadside Motels

By: Megan Kendrick

California

In light of California’s cultural associations with the automobile, it is no wonder that the roadside motel emerged in the...

ROUND BARNS

By: Marsha Weisiger and Contributors

Wisconsin

As Wisconsin’s farmers made the transition from wheat farming to dairying at the turn of the twentieth century, many of...

SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK

By: Anne Carter Lee

Virginia

Nature, art, and politics came together to create Shenandoah National Park and its signature feature, the Skyline Drive. In the...

TEXAS DANCE HALLS

By: Gerald Moorhead et al.

Texas

Often beginning as small outposts surrounded by farms or ranches, towns were established throughout nineteenth-century Texas that not...

TEXAS PARKS AND THE CCC

By: Gerald Moorhead et al.

Texas

The familiar 1930s “rustic” buildings and landscapes in national, state, and local parks emerged from the bittersweet years of the...

THE GREEN

By: W. Barksdale Maynard

Delaware

William Penn called for a market square in Dover, but one was not laid out until c. 1720, on either side of S. State Street....

THE HAWAIIAN ROOF

By: Don J. Hibbard

Hawaii

The 1920s and 1930s were a time when consideration of Hawaii's strong sense of place—its environment, local materials, and multicultural...

THE HONOLULU BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY

By: Don J. Hibbard

Hawaii

A public water supply system was not established for Honolulu until 1848. Prior to that time, people dwelling in the area drew water from shallow...

THE KING RANCH

By: Gerald Moorhead et al.

Texas

Founded by Captain Richard King in 1853, the ranch originated with his purchase of the Santa Gertrudis land grant that dated to the...

THE LANAI

By: Don J. Hibbard

Hawaii

Hawaii's contribution to architectural vocabulary, “lanai” initially referred to traditional Hawaiian structures with open sides. Usually covered,...

TOBACCO AND TOBACCO BARNS

By: Anne Carter Lee

Virginia

Tobacco barns, once ubiquitous in Southside and the southern Piedmont, are fast disappearing. In the past, farmers in every...

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