SAH Archipedia uses terms from the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) to categorize and classify metadata for the entries in the database. For more information on the Getty AAT, click here.

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machine shops
Places where metal and other substances are cut and shaped by machine tools.

machinery sheds
Structures used to give partial or total protection from the weather to any sort of machinery, typically characterized by having a roof and as much space as possible between the interior posts or walls, without being too deep so that each machine can be taken out easily.

madrasas (buildings)
Buildings that house Islamic theological or law schools, especially when associated with a mosque, or generally for places of study.

magazines (military buildings)
Designates storage buildings for explosives and ammunition.

mahals (palaces)
Palaces in India, especially those of the Islamic period.

main streets
Use only for principal thoroughfares, usually those along which are found the primary mercantile establishments, of small to mid-size settlements.

manor houses
Mansions belonging to, or used by, the lord of a manor.

manors (agricultural complexes)
Landed estates administered as units and consisting of the main residence (manor house), demesnes, and the land over which the lord has privileges.

mansard roofs
Curb roofs with all four sides sloping, usually enclosing habitable spaces, and therefore having dormers.

Residences provided for clergymen, chiefly in Scotland; formerly also included the land and outbuildings surrounding the residence.

Large imposing, and usually elegant and costly, dwellings.

manufacturing centers
Communities of any size that have manufacturing as a major industry.

marinas (water transportation complexes)
Secure mooring facilities primarily for yachts and other recreational small craft.

marine aquariums (buildings)
Aquariums focusing on life in saltwater, especially ocean environments.

marine parks
Tracts set aside for recreation and located on land in contact with the sea, in submerged areas, along sea beds, or on emerged land areas near the sea coast.

marine railways
No description is available for this term.

marine sites
Sites located under bodies of salt water, particularly in oceans or seas.

marine structures
Structures built in relation to water in general, especially seaward of the high-water line of the major water bodies (oceans, seas, bays); use "offshore structures" for construction built on continental shelves.

marine terminals
Complexes providing facilities to accommodate the movement of cargo or passengers among ships or between ships and shore.

maritime museums (buildings)
Buildings housing museums dealing with the sea in general, navigation, or shipping, as distinct from "naval museums," which deal with navies, warships, or ships in general.

markers (monuments)
Monuments that serve as guides to direction, position, or route, or that mark a boundary or limit.

market gardens
Gardens, often extensive, where vegetables are grown for market.

market halls
Relatively large structures designed or built to house a market, often either under a single large roof or positioned between and around a colonnade in open air.

market houses
Refers to structures designed or used specifically to house markets; the term is usually reserved for relatively small, traditional structures in the historical center of a town or city.

market towns
Communities of relatively small size that hold a market, typically agricultural centers in a rural area. Market towns typically developed as a location to trade farm products, sometimes near fortified places.

Widened streets, neighborhood or town squares, or other mostly open public spaces where booths and stalls may be erected for public sales.

markets (structures)
Buildings or outdoor areas where trade is conducted, often optimized for a gathering together of people for the purchase and sale produce and livestock. Markets typically have booths or stalls for individual merchants, either in open air or under a single large roof.

Low lying, treeless wetlands, typically overgrown with grasses, cattails, and rushes.

martello towers
Low, circular defensive towers used, especially since the Napoleanic wars, for coastal protection; derived in name and form from the traditional Mediterranean watchtowers found on Cape Martella, Corsica.

masonic buildings
Buildings in which (prior to the 17th century) skilled stone masons or (since the early 17th century) members of the societies of Freemasons gathered, whether socially or professionally.

master bedrooms
Refers to the principal bedrooms in dwellings, usually the largest and intended for the person or persons who head the household; used especially in American contexts since the 1920s.

maternity hospitals
Hospitals designed or used for the care of women immediately before, during, and after childbirth and for the care of newborn babies.

math buildings
No description is available for this term.

Edifices erected as commemorative burial places, often but not exclusively limited to large, stately, or imposing edifices for or by a person of distinction. The word is derived from the burial place of Mausolus, ruler of Caria, in whose memory his widow Artemisia raised a splendid tomb at Halicarnassus (ca. 350 BCE).

maximum-security prisons
Buildings that house prisons having the highest level of security for dangerous inmates or those likely to escape.

maze gardens
Gardens focused on a labyrinthine design having many intricate turnings and windings that are defined by flowers, hedges, or other plants.

Large open tracts of grassland, sometimes used for pasture.

mechanical clocks
Clocks whose recurring motion depends on mechanical, as opposed to electronic, devices, such as escapements, the swing of a pendulum, or the oscillation of a balance wheel and spring.

medallions (ornament areas)
Round or oval enframements, usually containing figures or ornamental motifs. Primarily found in two-dimensional media, such as textiles, stained glass, and manuscript illuminations; for circular decorated panels in architectural contexts, use "roundels."

media centers (buildings)
Buildings or spaces housing educational facilities that provide nonprint media, such as audio-visual materials and online computer resources, in public schools or elsewhere.

medical centers
General term for a building or group of buildings where medical facilities are centered.

medical research building
No description is available for this term.

medical schools (buildings)
Buildings that house graduate schools of a college or university in which medicine is taught.

medium-security prisons
Buildings that house prisons where the security level is less than maximum security; the inmates may sleep in dormitories and have other communal facilities, with generally less supervision over the internal movements than in a maximum-security prison.

meeting houses (religious buildings)
Buildings of assembly for Christian religious worship, typically not of ecclesiastical architecture, and especially in reference of meetings of Nonconformists.

meeting space
No description is available for this term.

megalithic monuments
Refers to prehistoric or very ancient monuments built of unusually large stones have been only very roughly worked or left as found.

Very large, multipurpose, adaptable structures housing all or most of the functions of a city. For less comprehensive and dominating structures, use "multipurpose buildings."

memorial arches
Large structures having a prominent central arch and built to commemorate events or persons; if erected to honor military victories, use "triumphal arches."

memorial columns
Refers to freestanding structures having approximately the form of columns, with capital, shaft, and base, but without a full superstructure and erected as memorials.

memorial parks
Cemeteries that are designed as a park, in which upright memorials are not used, as originally intended by Hubert Eaton (1881-1966), the coiner of the term. They are generally characterized by open expanses of turf with either flush or other regulated gravemarkers. In the last half of the 19th century, those with flush markers were called "lawn" cemeteries.

memorials (monuments)
Monuments or structures built to preserve the memory of beings or events. For other objects created, issued, or worn to commemorate persons or events, use "commemoratives."

mental health facilities
Buildings, other structures, and complexes of structures whose primary function is mental health care.

mercantile buildings
Buildings designed or used by those who are engaged in trade or commerce, specifically professionals involved in the exchange of goods for profit.

mesas (landforms)
Relatively small, usually isolated, masses of land with level or nearly level tops, standing distinctly above the surrounding countryside, and having steep erosion scarps on all sides; smaller than plateaus, and larger than buttes.

mess halls
Areas on military bases that serve chiefly as dining halls, rooms or separate buildings.

meteorological stations
Facilities having instruments and equipment used to make observations of atmospheric conditions in order to study and predict weather.

metropolitan areas
Settlement areas encompassing a central city and surrounding municipal or political jurisdictions.

Urban stables with living accommodations above grouped around a courtyard or small street for use by carriage horses; may also be used by extension in modern contexts for the alleyways such stables front upon when the stables have been converted into apartments.

Low-ceilinged spaces between two stories with higher ceilings, or for balconylike stories over a part of the story below, the lower story usually, but not necessarily, being the first story.

Breweries that produce a limited amount of high quality beer annually, and typically selling their products on the premises.

mid-rise buildings
Buildings having between four or five and nine or ten stories and equipped with elevators; generally applied to commercial buildings and apartment houses.

middens (dumps)
Archaeological or anthropological contexts for accumulations of refuse associated with human occupation. These accumulations may include discarded artifacts and food remains such as bones and shells. They are often used as valuable sources of archaelogical data.

middle schools (buildings)
Buildings that house schools representing the second stage of a three-tier educational system, falling intermediate between an elementary school and an upper, senior, or high school, differing by school district in grades included.

In the context of amusement parks, exhibitions, fairs, etc., the central avenues along which the chief exhibits or amusements are placed. In the context of amusement parks, exhibitions, fairs, etc., the central avenues along which the chief exhibits or amusements are placed.

Stones, slabs, or pillars of any material, set by the side of a road to mark distances between one point and another; most often distances between cities. The term "milestones" does not necessarily refer only to the unit of measurement called a "mile"; it may be used to describe objects that denote measures of the kilometer or other units.

military academies (buildings)
Buildings that house schools that train people for careers in the armed forces and for private schools organized following the discipline and dress codes of military life; both offer courses in military training and both are generally at university level with degree-granting programs.

military academies (institutions)
Educational institutions that train people for careers in the armed forces and for private schools organized following the discipline and dress codes of military life; both offer courses in military training and both are generally at university level with degree-granting programs.

military bases
Use generally in contemporary contexts for permanent centers of operations; use "military camps" for contemporary nonpermanent posts. Use generally in contemporary contexts for permanent centers of operations; use "military camps" for contemporary nonpermanent posts.

military buildings
Structures built and used by military forces.

military camps
In contemporary military contexts this refers to groups of huts, tents, or other shelters set up temporarily for troops. In historical contexts the term connotes permanent or semipermanent places of encampment. Use "military bases" for contemporary permanent installations. In contemporary military contexts this refers to groups of huts, tents, or other shelters set up temporarily for troops. In historical contexts the term connotes permanent or semipermanent places of encampment. Use "military bases" for contemporary permanent installations.

military cemeteries (veteran cemeteries)
Refers to burial grounds established for war casualties, veterans, and eligible dependents.

military hospitals
Hospitals reserved for the treatment of active military personnel, including soldiers and their dependents.

military housing
Housing designed or used by military personnel.

military installations
Areas reserved for the training and rapid deployment of military forces.

military museums (buildings)
Buildings housing museums that primarily house weapons, armor, uniforms, ammunition, documents, maps, photographs, and other records and artifacts of military forces, leaders, wars, and battles.

military parks
General term for parks that preserve areas associated with military history.

military prisons (buildings)
Buildings housing institutions tasked to hold and detain members of the armed forces, in the U.S. particularly who have been convicted of violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

military roads
Roads constructed by or reserved primarily for the transport of military personnel, equipment, and vehicles.

military towns
Settlements whose primary concern is military; may also be used for settlements upon which military considerations have had a considerable formal or economic influence.

military training buildings
Military structures used for the purposes of training.

military training camps
Facilities specializing in the training of military personnel, typically including training in the use of weapons, discipline, endurance, and survival training.

milk houses
Subsidiary agricultural buildings for cooling, handling, and processing milk. For agricultural buildings for the making and storing of dairy products in general, use "dairies (non-mechanized)" or "dairy plants."

mill towns
Designates industrial settlements in which the primary employment is in factories for the manufacture of, for example, paper, steel, or textiles.

Artificial channels in which water flows to and from mill wheels and other similar hydraulically operated machinery.

mills (buildings)
Refers to buildings designed and fitted with machinery for the purpose of performing some task or making a product, including grinding of grain into flour or running a loom to make fabric. For the machinery itself, independent of the building, use "mills (equipment)."

mimetic buildings
Buildings that physically illustrate their name or function in their plan or elevation, for example a dairy stand shaped like a milk bottle.

Tall, slender towers of a mosque, from which the faithful are called to prayer.

mine buildings
Buildings associated with a mine, which is series of pits or tunnels made underground for the extraction of metals or other materials.

mine shafts
Vertical or near-vertical tunnels accessing underground mines.

mine structures
Industrial structures built to support mining activity.

mines (extracting complexes)
Excavation or systems of excavations, including pits or tunnels, made underground for the extraction of metals, metallic ores, coal, salt, precious stones, building stone, clay, or another substance, or an open-air excavation for the extraction of such substances.

miniature gardens
Tiny landscapes laid out in planters, window boxes, terrariums, or similar containers, consisting of dwarf plants and often tiny replicas of land forms, bodies of water, and models of buildings, bridges, temples, and other structures.

mining centers (inhabited places)
Communities of any size that have economies based largely on the activities of mining.

mining towns
Communities, relatively modest in size, that grew up around or have economies centered on the activities of mining.

ministries (government)
Buildings housing the body of government officers known as "ministers," typically ministers of state or secretaries of state, who are high level officials responsible for the administration of a country or state.

mints (buildings)
Buildings where currency and special medals are produced under government authority.

missile silos
Underground structures hardened against attack and designed for the storage and firing of missiles.

mission churches (buildings)
Buildings housing churches located within a mission, which is a self-sustaining frontier or outpost settlements created by a religious organization to evangelize abroad.

missions (complexes)
Complexes of buildings comprising the permanent establishment of a Christian missionary post or station. Buildings may include the central church, structures for the housing of the friars or other personnell, kitchen, storage, barns, surrounding grounds, and possibly other buildings.