American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920: a Study Collection from the Harvard Graduate School of Design
3. Industrial and Urban Development
Rapid urbanization, an outgrowth of rapid industrialization, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, created new challenges and opportunities in American life. Using this collection to examine landscape and architectural features, one can study the variety of ways that urban designers responded to the development of visually apparent class distinctions in American society, to overcrowding, and to shrinking amounts of available land in urban areas. In determining architects' solutions, note the opportunities that the industrial age offered in the form of raw materials, tools, labor, money, and innovation.
Search on the terms residential, street, and city, to find various built landscapes and compare residential and industrial or commercial areas.
- How did architects create enough built space for the population? What raw materials, tools, and innovations made these built environments possible? For example, how are the following resources used: steel, electricity, elevators, cars, mass transit, and mass production?
- What transportation options are made available to people? Note the streets, sidewalks, and rail lines.
- What visual clues help determine if these are impoverished or wealthy areas?
- What evidence, if any, is there that an urban planner may have been involved in designing this built landscape?
Searching on the terms house and slum will retrieve images useful in understanding how increasing differences in class and income in American society reflected an increased disparity between the rich and the poor. Would the people who lived in these areas ever have interacted? Has this situation changed today?