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WEEKLY EMAIL: DECEMBER 17, 2009


Niagara: It Has It All

FEATURED THIS WEEK : BARBARA PENNER

Niagara: It Has It All

Over the years the trans-border cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario, have had multiple identities — honeymoon destination, casino resort, factory town, Superfund site — all rooted in the presence of the famous waterfalls, the most powerful in North America. Architectural historian Barbara Penner, in her review of Inventing Niagara, by Ginger Strand, recounts a contradictory history of landscape stewardship and exploitation. "Niagara Falls," she writes, "has been not only one of the most famous natural wonders in the world, but also one of the most exploited, the preeminent staging ground for the ur-battle of American culture: the battle of human against nature, of the power of nature versus man's ability to harness it."
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SERGIO LOPEZ-PIñEIRO

White Space

Years ago the late urban planner Kevin Lynch suggested, as a topic to consider: "How to pile up snow in interesting ways, or to decorate it or color it, with an appendix on ice palaces." Now architect and educator Sergio Lopez-Pineiro, who teaches at SUNY Buffalo, proposes that we delve into the urban design potential of snow, so that "standard plowing techniques can become creative tools for generating winter landscapes and in this way spark a new public appreciation for snow-blanketed urban spaces." 
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WILLIAM W. BRAHAM

How Much Does Your Household Weigh?

How much does your house weigh? Decades ago Buckminster Fuller formulated this question as a challenge to homebuilders to assess the environmental impacts of constructing — and heating, cooling, plumbing, furnishing, inhabiting, etc. — a house. Architect and educator William Braham now updates this question, teasing out the complex calculations that will be required even to begin to comprehend the ecological footprint of an architectural design. 
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MARK KLETT

Placing Memory

On the morning of December 7, 1941 — 68 years ago this month — the Japanese navy attacked the United States' base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, triggering the U.S. declaration of war against Japan and entry into World War II. Soon after the federal government implemented a program that was even then controversial and has since been condemned as racist and unconstitutional: the forced relocation of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry to internment camps located throughout the West. Placing Memory mixes contemporary color photographs of the abandoned camps, by photographer Todd Stewart, with period black-and-white, government-commissioned images documenting the life of the internees. In his review, photographer and Places contributing editor Mark Klett describes the juxtaposition as poignant and provocative — a timely reminder of a troubling history, given current fears of domestic terrorism. 
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PLACES ARCHIVE: SPRING 2005

Superneighborhood 27: A Brief History of Change

From hot tubs to bodegas: a Houston subdivision built for the '60s singles lifestyle has found new energy as a multi-ethnic neighborhood.
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University of Miami, School of Architecture

PARTNER SCHOOL

University of Miami, School of Architecture
The School of Architecture's mission is founded in the faculty commitment to community and its focus on the city as a work of art and architecture. The school is a forum for the work of New Urbanism, an international movement with a charter of 27 principles addressing issues ranging from the scale of a region to individual buildings. Those principles form a vision which guides the programs of the UMSA.

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