Atlanta Architecture: lberian and Colonial Latino American Heritage (March 20-29)

These two weeks we have focused on the presence of Iberian and Colonial Latino American architectural heritage in five buildings: the Yaraab Temple/Fox Theatre, the Or Ve Shalom Synagogue, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (featured in this week’s Canvas page), the Cathedral of Christ the King, and the marketplaces of Sweet Auburn Curb Market on Edgewood Avenue.

For this week’s blog I ask that you connect TWO of these buildings with a corresponding building (a basilica, a cathedral, a mosque, a synagogue, a theatre, or a market place) in Spain or Latino America. In your comment, say how one or more of the readings by Said, Ruggles, Esteban-Chapapría, Dodds, Simpson, Claderwood, and Bailey can help us identify some of the reasons why it is difficult to point to this heritage.  You can post your comment by MONDAY April 2 at 10AM.

Atlanta Architecture. Shriners, Classic, and New Deal (March 6-8)

Last week we discussed style as a critical unit to study architecture, and how Robert Craig identified four different styles with substantial presence in Atlanta architecture.  We began the discussion of Art Deco, and this Tuesday we threaded the similarities and differences between Deco and Yaraab, which Craig termed “a Fox in Sheik’s Clothing” (63).

On Thursday, we are going to move from the seemingly exotic masks and decor of the Islamicate style in Atlanta to a more ubiquitous style: that which Craig reads as the “Modern Classic” and its relationship to the American history episode known as The New Deal.  Write a comment in which you choose one of the following buildings analyzed in the fourth chapter of Craig’s volume, and explain the correspondence of that building with the New Deal: Alumni Hall, GA State University; Volunteer State Life Building; Industrial Life and Health Insurance Building; Thompson Boland Lee Shoe Store; Rhodes Center; Olympia Building; Naval Armory, GA Tech; and Techwood Homes (pictured above as well).  Deadline for this post is Saturday March 10 at 5pm.

Atlanta architecture. Four Styles. Art Deco (27 February-1 March)

Your comments from the previous week when we discussed cultural diversity, cultural differences, imagined communities, and proxemics were terrific.   Thank you.  Almost all of you combined very smoothly one or more of these concepts with the way one of the buildings at Emory is structured and used: Emerson, Cox Hall, the Woodruff-Pec Gym, and the Carlos Museum, among others.

This week we are going to initiate our closer analysis of Atlanta.  Beginning with the traditional way to study architecture laid out byRobert Craig, professor emeritus of Architecture at Georgia Tech, we will approach the ‘four conventional styles’ of Atlanta architecture.  The objective will NOT be so much to memorize and repeat these four styles, but to interrogate this scheme so we can lay the foundation of a better understanding of the city of Atlanta and its architecture, and to ask if the element of style in architecture is a clear-cut as architectural handbooks lead us to believe.

Entrance doors, Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Building, Atlanta, Georgia

On Tuesday we shall discuss the general frame of these four styles in Atlanta architecture, and will wonder about styles as elements of analysis of architectural evidence (primary / secondary).  And on Thursday, we will proceed to dig further on the specific style of Art Deco, one of the most characteristic lines of analysis of Atlanta architecture.

By Friday, please post a comment in which you weigh pros and cons of using style in architecture by choosing a building from the pages of Craig’s chapter on “Deco” and agreeing, or not, with the author’s reading of that building.  The post will be due on Friday at 5pm.

Cultural Diversity, Cultural Difference, Imagined Communities. Proxemics

Last week we discussed various aspects and issues of the definition of Latin America and Latino America, and how they relate to architecture.  Excellent posts, everyone!

In your comments, you agreed to disagree on some of these aspects and issues, but you all agreed on one crucial point: Latin America refers more clearly to a geographic area, while Latino America refers more clearly to the peoples and cultures that populate this area both North and South of the US/Mexico border (NOT boarder, folks!).

Hence, this week we are going to focus on culture: what is culture, what is cultural difference, what is cultural diversity, and two concepts that will help us us understand nuances of architecture seldom discussed: imagined communities and Proxemics.

5. Cultural Diversity Difference Imagined Communities Proxemics.png

What is cultural diversity?  What is cultural difference?  What are imagined communities?  Homi Bhabha and Benedict Anderson have devoted a great deal of time, energy, and focus to these questions.  I want us to consider this week what bearing do these three questions have on experiencing and discussing architecture?  And how, in turn, can they be better understood with the deployment of proxemics and its importance in understanding human beings, movement, environments, and cultural distances and proximities.

For your blogpost next Friday (due at 5pm), consider one of these variables (cultural diversity, cultural difference, imagined communities, or Proxemics) and rehearse one way in which that concept can help you better understand ONE of these buildings at Emory: Cox Hall, Callaway Center, Carlos Museum, Woodruff Library, Canon Chapel, Atwood Chemistry Building, Math & Science Building, Rollins School of Public Health.

Latino American Architecture (13-15 February)

This is the first prompter to which you are expected to reply.

This week we are reading the introductory pages to the MOMA Exhibit Catalogue on “Latin American Architecture since 1945.”  Last week we discussed how Iberian architecture is defined with chronological periods, and that some of those are considered traditional “Western civilization” periods (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Modernist, and so on), while others happened exclusively in the Peninsula and (what matters to us this week) in the Americas after the Discovery in 1492 and the ‘Conquest.’

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Latin America, Spanish America, Hispanic America, there are many names for the Southern continent and regions of the Americas, which include the continental group of countries/nations deemed “Southern,” those deemed “Central,” and those deemed “Caribbean.”  This excludes the massive civilization being built in the United States by Spanish- and Portuguese-Speaking immigrants, who for centuries and generations have contributed to the melting pot of this country/nation.  Hence, in a parallel universe to that of “Iberian architecture,” which seeks to deconstruct and decolonize the metropolitan, dominant, white, Catholic-only and Spanish-only epicenter of “Spanish architecture,” I insist that we use “Latino American architecture” to understand the vast extension of this architectural and cultural heritage.  The MOMA Exhibit aimed to tap on this extensive treasure trove of buildings, designs, and ideas, from the stones of indigenous peoples to colonial temples to modernist enclaves in the Caribbean.  We’ll make a few stops here this week to get a taste of this rich heritage.

How do you understand this difference between Latin America and Latino America?  Why is it important to distinguish this in architecture?  Take ONE example from the pages of the MOMA exhibit, and explain how you see this difference at work.

You must post your blog entry by Friday at 5PM, and not engage only your free-fall opinion on this matter.  Your post must reflect on what we have read and discuss regarding the building you choose from the Catalogue.


Iberian Architecture (8 February)

This past week we learned to map and tag buildings, places, and urban areas of Atlanta with Megan Slemons at ECDS.

On Thursday, we discussed basic concepts, contradictions, and revisions of Iberian architecture.  We considered issues of style, of civilizations, of history / prehistory, and periodization.

We also considered issues of conflict, functionality of a building and dwelling of its inhabitants, and the bearing of these issues on matters of memory, as in the great Mosque – Cathedral of Córdoba, in the South of Spain.  The mosque segment includes all the domes, porticos, and orange orchard, while the cathedral segment is the large, taller part in the middle, and the old minarte, converted to a tower in the main entrance.  The octogonal dome you see in the middle lower part of the photo is the mihrab, or sacred center of Islamic prayer in the mosque.

Again, this is OPTIONAL, but if you wish to reply to this prompter with a comment, question, or doubt, please feel free to do so.

Cultural heritage vs. architectural heritage (30 January-2 February)

Two weeks ago we discussed definitions and particular issues of cultural heritage vs. architectural/natural heritage, and their relationship to historic registers.  The concepts of valorization, inflation, ethnological value, and memory were important for us to understand these definitions.

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We also considered La Alhambra, in Granada, as a place of monumental value, as a past of ruins, and as one of the greatest assets of the Spanish State now that the set of buildings and gardens have been named World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.  Who lives in these places?  Who owns them?  Who benefits from them?  How did they come to be?

These are some important questions for you to consider in your developing your knowledge of Atlanta architecture.  Although OPTIONAL, if you wish to write a short paragraph addressing any of these questions, the readings we discussed, or if you want to ask any questions you were left with after our discussions, please feel free to reply here.


Welcome to our Scholarblogs space on Iberian and Latino American roots of Atlanta Architecture.  Below, and in the cover of our space, two views of the inside of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.  I look forward to reading your weekly blog entries.