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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mixed-use developments
Relatively large-scale real estate projects incorporating several revenue-producing functions, having a highly intensive use of land, and developed from a coherent plan.

moated castles
Castles surrounded or partially surrounded by a moat, which is a wide defensive ditch.

Refers to deep, wide defensive ditches surrounding towns, castles, or houses and usually filled with water.

mobile home parks
Distinguished from "trailer camps" by being only for infrequently moved prefabricated structures designed for year-round living.

mobile homes
Portable residential units that possess their own chassis with wheels, are designed for year-round living, are infrequently moved, and are larger than travel trailers; use "travel trailers" for portable vehicles designed for travel and recreational purposes and for frequent towing. For motorized trucklike vehicles equipped as traveling living quarters, use "motor homes."

model cities
Urban areas or communities within them whose design incorporates innovative attempts at solving specific social and physical problems; often applied to the redesign of existing settlements in the 19th and 20th centuries. For 19th-century cities built with prescribed forms to fulfill specific military or economic ideals, use "ideal cities."

model farms
Farms of wealthy landlords employing the latest and best agricultural techniques and technologies and designed by architects, often built as exemplars for local farmers; found, especially in England, from the late 18th century to the mid-19th century.

model houses
Houses built to demonstrate to the consumer the layout and features that will or could be included in manufactured houses, often in a subdivision.

Modern (style or period)
Period and styles of painting, sculpture, graphic arts, and architecture dating from the late 19th century to the present date and characterized by a rejection of traditional artistic forms and conventions. It typically reflects changing social, economic, and intellectual conditions. Modern art includes numerous movements and theories. It differs from contemporary art, which does not carry the implication of a non-traditional style, but instead refers only to the time period in which the work was created. 'Modern' and 'contemporary' are inherently fluid terms. The term 'modern' sometimes more narrowly refers to art up until the 1960s or 1970s.

monasteries (built complexes)
Built complexes for religious retirement or seclusion from the world for monks, who are people living a celibate life according to the rule of a particular religious order and adhering to vows, especially of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

monitors (roof appendages)
Raised central portions of roofs, along the ridge, having louvers or windows on the sides for ventilation or light.

Ornamental arrangements of the initials or letters of a name, often used to indicate ownership or patronage.

Railway systems employing a single rail either above or beneath the railway cars. Monorail systems first appeared in the early 20th century and have usually been propelled by conventional electric traction motors. Railway systems employing a single rail either above or beneath the railway cars. Monorail systems first appeared in the early 20th century and have usually been propelled by conventional electric traction motors.

Structures or edifices of importance or historical interest, typically erected in memory of the dead or of an important event.

Semi-permanent anchorages consisting of a heavy anchor, chain, mooring buoy, and pennant.

Rock debris deposited by a glacier.

Buildings or parts of buildings designed or used for the hygienic temporary storage of corpses prior to disposal. A morgue typically contains large refrigerated drawers or other areas for storage of individual bodies, and tables and equipment for the identification and examination of the corpses. The term derives from the proper name of a particular building in Paris in which the bodies of the dead were kept until identified.

morning rooms
Sitting rooms, sometimes reserved for women, used during the early part of the day; popular from the early 19th century to the early 20th century, especially in England.

Buildings housing facilities for the care, planning and preparation of human remains for burial or cremation. While the meaning may overlap in common usage with "funeral homes," generally mortuaries have more extensive facilities for preparing the body and funeral homes have a parlor or other area for formal viewing of and services for the deceased. In modern usage, the term "mortuaries" may also refer to facilities that prepare the bodies of pets for burial or cremation.

mosaics (visual works)
Images or patterns composed of small, regularly shaped pieces of durable material, usually stone or colored glass. Distinguished from "opus sectile," which is composed of individually shaped pieces of durable material, usually stone or glass, which conform to the design or pattern.

mosques (buildings)
Muslim places of worship. Public mosques consist of an area reserved for communal prayers, frequently in a domed building with a minaret, and with a niche (mihrab) or other structure indicating the direction of Mecca. There may also be a platform for preaching (minbar), and an adjacent courtyard in which water is provided for the obligatory ablutions before prayer. Since representations of the human form are forbidden, decoration is geometric or based on Arabic calligraphy.

Overnight public accommodations for motorists generally characterized by long low-rise buildings consisting of rows of attached individual sleeping quarters and having direct access between the rooms and parking spaces without an intervening lobby.

motion picture theaters
Theaters designed and equipped for the presentation of motion pictures to the public, or any buildings in which films are shown.

motor courts
Public accomodations having an orderly array of individual cabins set alongside a highway and having an internal system of driveways, parking spaces, and a clearly visible and distinctly articulated office near the complex's entrance; especially popular in the United States from the late 1920s to the early 1950s.

Piles of earth heaped up for landmarks, monuments, or as bases for other structures; for piles of earth and other debris resulting from successive superimposed occupation sites, use "tells." For piles of earth built over grave sites, use "burial mounds." Use "cairns" for purposely erected piles of stones.

mountain ranges
A series of mountains or mountain ridges closely aligned in formation, direction, and age.

Prominent landforms rising considerably above the surrounding area, typically having steep slopes, a sharp summit area, and large mass. Mountains rarely occur individually, and in most cases, are found in ranges, chains, or systems.

Cores of buildings, the parts placed directly underneath the main part of the roof; usually an odd number of bays wide and 2 bays deep. Sometimes used to refer specifically to the central part of a Buddhist temple.

mud rooms
Vestibules or other peripheral spaces of houses in which wet and muddy clothes or footwear can be removed prior to entering the house.

multiple dwellings
Dwellings containing two or more complete residential units, each usually occupied by separate households.

multiplex cinemas
Buildings or groups of closely spaced buildings housing four or more individual, usually small, motion picture theaters, generally with a common lobby, ticket booth, and concessions.

multipurpose buildings
Use only for buildings designed to be flexible enough to serve different purposes at different times.

multispan bridges
Bridges containing more than one span, typically with a superstructure comprising a row of elongated single-span girders arranged end-to-end and supported at their ends on vertical support columns.

multistory buildings
Buildings having multiple floors, usually reserved for buildings having more than two floors and that are not single family dwellings.

municipal buildings
Buildings occupied by the principal offices and departments of city or town governments.

Urban political units having corporate status and a local self-government. Municipalities can be towns, cities, or districts.

mural paintings (visual works)
Painted decorations or scenes that dominate a wall (or ceiling) surface. For works in other media that dominate a wall (or ceiling), use the more general term "murals (any medium)".

murals (general, decorations on wall)
Refers to decorations in any medium that dominate a wall (or ceiling) surface; most often refers to works executed on the wall, but may also refer to works done separately and affixed to the wall. For paintings specifically, see "mural paintings."

museum shops
Commercial spaces in museums or separate buildings staffed by museum personnel and selling primarily museum-specific souvenirs and related merchandise, the proceeds of which help to support the operating museum.

museum storerooms
Spaces within a museum where objects are stored when not being exhibited.

museums (buildings)
Refers to buildings, groups of buildings, or spaces within buildings where objects of value such as works of art, antiquities, scientific specimens, or other artifacts are housed and displayed for public benefit.

museums (institutions)
Institutions that maintain places where objects of value such as works of art, antiquities, scientific specimens, or other artifacts are housed and displayed for public benefit. An institution devoted to the procurement, care, documentation, study and display of objects of lasting interest or value.

music conservatories (buildings)
Generally designates buildings that house independent professional schools of music emphasizing advanced instruction in performance for singers, conductors, and musicians; usually granting certificates.

music halls
Public buildings, with seating for an audience, emphasizing musical and variety entertainment but also serving drinks.

music rooms
Rooms devoted primarily to the playing of musical instruments or the giving of recitals, as in houses and hotels.

music schools (buildings)
Buildings that house schools, generally associated with universities, sponsoring degree-granting programs in a broad range of subjects pertaining to the field of music.