76 Chapters
Medium 9780253010469

2 Economics and Restoration: The Story of a Neighborhood’s Rebirth

Nancy R Hiller Quarry Books ePub

Bill Sturbaum

Our family moved to bloomington in 1963. it was a different city then. A railroad ran through the center of town dividing it socially and economically. East of the tracks was Indiana University, with large homes and expensive student rentals. West of the tracks was the city’s industrial heritage – the railroad, limestone mills, and a massive furniture factory, by then defunct – along with the modest homes originally built for workers.

We came in mid-August because I would be teaching at Bloomington High School. We wanted a house big enough for the seven of us – my wife, Helen, and I, along with our children, Karl, Chris, Arthur, Anne, and Ben. Everything we saw on the east side of town was beyond our price range, yet our realtor showed us nothing on the west side. So we spent our first school year in a duplex near the university. That was the year the Beatles became famous, and we learned their songs through the thin walls that separated our apartment from the one with boys and guitars.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253019097

1 Difference Set in Stone: Place and Race in Mombasa

Sandy Prita Meier Indiana University Press ePub

Architecture has a powerful impact on how culture is experienced. The very notion that people “belong to” or can claim a certain territory is constituted by culturally variable politics of inhabiting, in which the built environment plays a central role. Examining how these spatial processes unfold in such fluid borderlands as the Swahili coast is an especially clarifying exercise because its port cities are fundamentally nonterritorial cultural landscapes, shaped by the constant movement of peoples and things across great distances. Here the relationship between identity and place is particularly mercurial and in constant flux.

For centuries permanent stone architecture occupied an important place in the civilizational order of Mombasa. Founded sometime in the early second millennium, this ancient Swahili city was the site of an important port long before it became part of the British Empire. In contrast to Lamu and Zanzibar, whose global connectivity is a fairly recent phenomenon, Mombasa has nurtured direct connections with inland Africa, Europe, and Asia since at least the fourteenth century. Great Zimbabwe, Portugal, and Ottoman Turkey were among the major empires that had regular contact with the city. Mombasa Town stood at the edge of intersecting worlds; its vibrant mercantile culture drew peoples from the African mainland, South Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Merchants, diplomats, and even attacking armies came to Mombasa because it provided access to the markets and resources of inland Africa. As a result Mombasa figured prominently in the consciousness of foreigners. This long history of transcultural contact also influenced the worldview of Mombasans. Locals learned to appropriate faraway objects, styles, and technologies in the making of their city. Yet the nineteenth century marks a major watershed moment in this long history of transregional engagement, when industrial capitalism and colonization changed a range of preexisting systems and traditions. I chart this process of transformation by showing how stone architecture once embodied the Swahili ideal of the “elsewhere” and how it came to stand for racialized difference. What becomes clear is that the revolutionary circumstances of the nineteenth century forced Mombasans to reconstitute how they made their sense of place useful to themselves and legible to others in the world.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253337566

Architectural Technology

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

The relation of the human and nonhuman begins its transformation in the first step of technology, the selection of materials. A distinction between local and imported materials was among the first criteria that writers, in England particularly, used to define vernacular architecture. Vernacular buildings are composed of local materials, they argued. During travel, they enjoyed watching the substrate of the earth rise and form into buildings, crossing the land in bands of sandstone, limestone, and granite, and they deplored the rash of red brick buildings that spread along the railways, oblivious to geological differences. Their taste was built on conventional dichotomies: natural and artificial, native and alien, old and new, local and national, handmade and industrial. The contemporary cynic would find their view easy to deconstruct as elitist and dismiss as sentimental. But they were on to something.

During architectural fieldwork, I have taught myself to concentrate on form, but everywhere I go the people whose houses I study classify buildings by materials, and especially by roofing. I found in Turkey that the local historians separated old houses with flat roofs from new houses with pitched roofs covered by purchased materials. In Bangladesh, village people, thinking less about history than social class, divide buildings by the materials of their walls — stuccoed brick versus puddled mud or bamboo lashed in tension — and by their roofs of thatch or tin. In Africa and Latin America, thatch is comparably yielding to tin, and in the rural United States one age gave way to another when wooden shingles were replaced by shiny sheets of metal.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253010469

11 Bloomington Restorations: Saving Landmarks, Neighborhoods, and Bloomington’s Sense of Place

Nancy R Hiller Quarry Books ePub

Donald Granbois & Steve Wyatt

Since its founding in 1976, bloomington restorations inc. has relentlessly strived to save and restore the old buildings and neighborhoods of Bloomington and Monroe County, Indiana. Formed by people fed up with the destruction of landmark houses near downtown Bloomington, the group quickly moved beyond advocacy into the direct action of acquiring and restoring old buildings.

By 2010, our group had saved and helped restore more than seventy-five historic structures, all of them protected by deed restrictions barring demolition. When Indiana Landmarks, the nation’s largest statewide historic preservation group, marked its fiftieth anniversary by offering a $5,000 prize to an organization for lifetime achievement in historic preservation, the award went to Bloomington Restorations. “From a preservation perspective,” said Indiana Landmarks president Marsh Davis, Bloomington Restorations “has done it all, and can legitimately claim a sizable chunk of credit for making Bloomington an attractive, lively, and distinctive place to live and visit.”

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253016706

3 The Depopulated Villages as Viewed by Jewish Inhabitants

Noga Kadman Indiana University Press ePub

Families came from a house of ‘Olim [new Jewish immigrants] / to the abandoned village—true pioneers / demolished the houses, repaired the wrecks / cut paths through the prickly pear cacti growth.

—Segal, Kerem Maharal 1949–1979: 30 Years to the Moshav

IN THE FIRST few years of its existence, Israel carried out a large-scale settlement project, establishing hundreds of Jewish communities on lands of depopulated Palestinian villages, dozens of them in the built-up area of the villages. Research done for this book suggests that the previously built-up area of 108 depopulated villages—over a quarter of the total number of villages—is partly or completely located within Jewish communities nowadays. In 25 villages, Jewish agricultural communities were established within the built-up area of the villages, some using the actual village homes and buildings and some built on top of the ruins. In 19 other villages, Jewish agricultural communities occupy part of the villages’ built-up area. Some were originally established on parts of the village site, and others have been expanded to include it over the year; an additional 64 depopulated villages lie today within Jewish towns or cities. In addition, 23 depopulated villages border on Jewish agricultural communities, of which 19 were built after the villages were depopulated. The lists of all those villages and the Jewish communities that include them can be found in appendix A, along with a map presenting their locations across the country.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters