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The American Landscape

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

The purpose of this excursion has been to understand the choice that made the American landscape. Living in villages in Jamestown and Plymouth, English people understood village life, and they knew of an alternative: enclosure. In both places, they abandoned the village for separate farms. They did not risk their lives on a black ocean to repeat the old but to create the new. They came to get rich. Religious rhetoric and the resistance of the native people could retard but not stop the spread of enclosure.

Jamestown and Plymouth might have been twin points of origin for a landscape unified by enclosure. Instead, history led to regional difference. In New England, the Puritans fought dispersal and isolation, returning by choice to the openfield village. They located a meetinghouse at the center of town and scattered tillage in strips through the open fields, rededicating themselves to the way of the Lord. New England developed in tension between the opposed energies of compression and dispersal. Villages predominated in some areas, notably the lowlands of the Connecticut Valley. In other places, high, rough, and marginal, the farmhouses stood alone. The scene in the South was simpler. Houses, churches, and even courthouses stood apart. Old Virginia was the first impeccably capitalistic landscape.

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Pattern in Time

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

My argument is done. Architecture provides a prime resource to the one who would write a better history. I will contrive a conclusion with a summary. Our history breaks into three great periods. Its dynamic depends upon impurity.

First is the period of the village, a time of compressed housing and dispersed fields. The great creation of the period was the largest, most permanent, most lavishly adorned building of the community. Collective resources were banked and the collective will was materialized in a sacred edifice that was built to last, when houses were not. It should humble us some that the religious buildings of this period are the world’s greatest architectural creations: the parish churches of England, the stave churches of Norway, the earthen mosques of West Africa, the towering temples of India — Chartres Cathedral, the Selimiye at Edirne, the Todaiji at Nara.

Urnes stave church. Sogn, Norway. 1995

San José. Trampas, New Mexico. 1987

In the beginning, there was the village, a neolithic invention, and in the beginning, there was enclosure. Valiant people carved farms out of the waste and built longhouses to shelter themselves and their stock against wolves and cattle raids. Enclosure expanded steadily, chewing away the wilderness on the margins, but it was blocked on the fat lowlands where enterprise was entangled in intricate webs of rights and obligations. Village people wanted to prosper, but no more than they wanted to live in confidence among their neighbors. Their cooperative arrangements worked economically, and their religion gave them a vision of unity. They wanted to prosper, but they understood that an appetite for worldly goods than ran beyond necessity was avarice — a sin as deadly as gluttony or fornication. The aim of life was sufficiently clarified by Christ’s message that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

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3: Luminosity ~ Inner Light

Henry Plummer Indiana University Press ePub



Corner of Attic Center Family Dwelling House South Union, Kentucky


In their efforts to squeeze as much daylight as possible into buildings, Shakers pierced the outer walls with closely spaced windows, allowing illumination to stream in from every side. As the most sacred place in the Shaker settlement, and the nearest thing to heaven on earth, the meetinghouse was made especially airy and bright by a continuous band of repeating windows. But rendered almost as porous, and at times cathedral-like, were utilitarian buildings such as laundries and machine shops, tanneries and poultry houses, mills and barns.

Circles of Windows on Tree Different Levels Round Barn (1826, rebuilt 1865) Hancock, Massachusetts

Meetingroom Windows Meetinghouse (1792–93, moved from Shirley to Hancock 1962) Hancock, Massachusetts


The internal shutters with which windows are equipped at Canterbury and Enfield permit a range of lighting adjustments. At Enfield's dwelling house, a four-shutter system allows each panel to be operated independently, or in combination with others, so that light can be regulated at will, like a camera aperture, according to weather, temperature, and human activity. When the shutters are opened, they fold back and disappear into window reveals.

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8 Passing Through: Historic Preservation in Pike County’s Patoka Bottoms

Nancy R Hiller Quarry Books ePub

Edith Sarra

The place was, and still is, south of where county roads 300 West and 200 South intersect, approximately eleven miles below Petersburg in Pike County, Indiana. If you were to turn west from State Road 57 onto County Road 200 South, just north of the Gibson County line, and follow that road until you reach the first crossroads, you could turn again, south this time, and find yourself, as I did ten years ago, on what the late nineteenth-century histories of Pike and Gibson Counties call “the old state road.”

The origin of this road is difficult to pinpoint. A survey of Pike County Commissioners Reports (1817–1826) suggests it may have been constructed as early as 1825. For more than a century, until it was bypassed in 1936 by State Road 57, it served as the main route between Petersburg, the Pike County seat, and what is now Oakland City in eastern Gibson County. Follow this road south and it will plunge you soon enough into a wide floodplain flanked on either side by crop fields. An old set of oil well storage tanks stands off to the left here, just beyond where the road makes a short switchback along the bluff as it drops into the broad valley of the Patoka River’s South Fork.

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Conclusion: The Remains of the Past, A Look toward the Future

Noga Kadman Indiana University Press ePub

THE LOWER GALILEE VILLAGE of Saffuriyya had over four thousand residents in 1948. In July of that year the village came under aerial bombardment and artillery attack by the IDF, which led most of its residents to flee, including the village’s armed defenders. The following year the villagers who remained were expelled. Some of the village refugees today live in nearby villages, and others live beyond Israel’s borders, mostly in Lebanon.1 The houses of the village were razed to the ground, and only a few public buildings remain. In 1949 a moshav was established next to the village site, on its land, by Jewish immigrants from Turkey and Bulgaria. A forest was planted over part of the village site by the Jewish National Fund. The rest was declared a national park by the Nature and Parks Authority, with the aim of preserving the site’s ancient history and the traces of the Jewish center that had existed there in the Roman period.

The official name given to the site where Saffuriyya stood was Tzipori—the ancient name of the place, preserved in the Arabic variant. The same name was also given to the Jewish moshav built nearby. The official Israeli map shows the village site with marks signifying a ruin and ruined houses, and a caption—Tzipori National Park. The signage at the JNF forest on the site mentions a convent that remains from the village, but not the village itself. The national park signs refer to the remains of the village and describe it as “small and miserable” for most of its days. The text is oblique as to the circumstances of the village’s depopulation, stating curtly that the village was conquered and “ceased to exist,” and that its residents “moved out.” The information leaflet handed to the park’s visitors speaks of the village only in the context of battles and conquest. It says that “gangs” inhabited the village, and that it was later conquered and “abandoned by its dwellers.” A publication by moshav Tzipori describes its own establishment as a revival of the local Jewish community on the site, after temporarily providing a home to Muslims who brought about its decline. The Arabic name of the village is absent from the text, which states that the village was conquered after its residents “ran for their lives.”

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