America's Architectural Roots: Ethnic Groups that Built America
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"American Ethnic Building Traditions Blend Memory and Experience in Varying Proportions." Dell Upton Which ethnic groups introduced the log cabin as a lasting symbol of the American frontier? Who helped turn the front porch into an American institution? Which immigrants built saunas to recall Old World traditions? Where did we get neat, whitewashed row houses, barn paintings and stuccoed arches that now tell us where to find tacos and tortillas? All of these pieces in America's architectural mosaic came from the varied and industrious ethnic groups that built America. Native peoples, settlers before the Revolution and 19th-century immigrants each contributed their own building patterns to help create what we call American architecture. But each ethnic tradition was changed by the experience of building in America -- adapted to new terrains and materials, different climates, existing forms and styles. In the process, a distinctive new architecture developed, one whose multifaceted origins can be traced just as clearly as can ethnic customs in language and food. America's Architectural Roots is the first book to explore the ethnic derivations of American buildings with such a broad scope. The contributions of 22 groups are highlighted in this fascinating overview that provides an important new way of looking at the buildings that surround us. Groups covered include: Afro-Americans Belgians Chinese Czechs Danes Dutch English Finns French German-Russians Germans Hawaiians Irish Japanese Mexicans Native Americans Norwegians Russians Spanish Swedes Swiss Ukrainians