working title museum

welcome to the hotel anecdotal

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The locality chosen for the commencement of operations, is a section of the Scioto river and Paint creek valleys, of which the city of Chillicothe is the centre, and which possesses a deserved celebrity for its beauty, unexampled fertility, and the great number, size, and variety of its ancient remains. Situated in the middle of southern Ohio, and possessing a mild and salubrious climate, this seems to have been one of the centres of ancient population ; and, probably, no other equal portion of the Mississippi basin furnishes so rich and interesting a field for the antiquarian. A glance at the " Map of a Section of Twelve Miles of the Scioto Valley, with its Ancient Monuments" Plate II, will fully illustrate this remark.

The plan of operations was agreed upon, and the field-work commenced, early in the spring of 1845. Subsequently, the plan was greatly extended, and the investigations were carried on, over Ohio and the adjacent States, with slight interruption, up to the summer of 1847.

Plate II, exhibiting a section of twelve miles of the Scioto valley, with its ancient monuments, will serve to give some general conception of the number of these remains. The enclosures are here indicated by dark lines, the mounds by simple dots. Within the section represented, it will be observed that there are not less than ten groups of large works, accompanied by a great number of mounds, of various sizes. Within the enclosure designated by the letter E are embraced twenty-four mounds. The enclosures D, H, I, K, have each about two and a half miles of embankment; and H and K enclose but little less than one hundred acres each. It is proper to observe, to prevent misconception, that there are few sections of country of equal extent which embrace so large a number of ancient works. The fertile valley of the Scioto river was a favorite resort of the ancient people, and was one of the seats of their densest population.

Ephraim George Squier and Edwin Hamilton Davis, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley: Comprising the Results of Extensive Original Surveys and Explorations (1848).

2000.01.08 13:48
a virtual museum of [disimformation] architecture?
John Young wrote:
Imaginary architecture, Escher, Piranesi, Heaven, Hell, visionary, virtual, has always mesmerized, inspired, perhaps terrified, for being beyond what is accompishable.

To be sure most architecture begins as imaginary and then it's all down hill from there as other brutally realistic forces have their way. Until ruins once again induce fantastic possibilities.

I especially admire Steve's fictional conference........

Steve Lauf continues:
Before going Inside Density and while Inside Density, the back of my mind was occupied with "what could a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture could [or would] never be?" presently comprises over 80 megabytes of data in the form of texts and images. As 'director' of Quondam, I'm hesitantly contemplating the (online) deletion of all the data in one keystroke. Seems drastic, but dia(meta)bolically desirable(!)--kind of like pushing that big red button somewhere in Washington, or where ever red buttons are.

Tabula Rasa is too easy, however. I prefer palimpsest, instead--erasure and then overwriting/overrighting. Of course, replacement would be necessary and necessary in quick order (...don't want those rising web stats to suddenly evaporate).

So what can a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture can not be?

I'm at the point where the dissemination of disinformation appears the most appealing. I'm imagining a museum of architecture that curates and displays an 'un-real' history of architecture, you know, among other things, all those buildings Le Corbusier designed since 27 August 1965, and likewise the dies sanquinis urbanism of lights-camera-Africa in 2056 AD which is covertly inspired by the OTTO-man architecture of pre-Christ South America, and don't forget the equinoctial architecture along the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Yes, may well soon be a 'new and improved' virtual museum of [unscientific fiction] architecture, written and delineated in palimpsest (so the faded 'truth' is nonetheless incompletely 'not there').

I'm becoming more and more convinced that a virtual museum of architecture misses its full virtuality unless it 'calendrically incarnates' other zeitgeists + architectures.

2003.10.22 13:23
Re: The McMansion Next Door
Back in 1989 when I was busy as a CAD consultant business, my 'bread and butter' client was Toll Brothers, Inc. (a big name in the home development industry). My job was to turn all their house construction documents into CAD files, a redundancy for sure, but lucrative for me. "McMansion" designs are suited perfectly for CAD because the designs are all a kit of part. After a month or so, when another set of drawings was given to me and I asked about specifics of the design, the answer I usually got was something like, "It's just like the 'Oxford' except it has a kitchen like the four-bedroom 'Cambridge'.

I worked for Toll Brothers for almost exactly one year, up until when they got their own CAD system/department. During that time I saw that the greatest deterrent to design development of truly individual houses was not so much stylistics, but much more the fact that construction techniques were rarely, if ever, changed. The 'kit of parts' is thorough, where whole portions house framing are prefabricated, and to change designs meant having to design whole new framing units.

Of course, none of the above addresses the notion that 'Americans' are not really given a real choice when it comes to how to shape the place and way they live, but, truth be told, the average 'American' lacks the imagination to make choices beyond what is offered. The following is just one (and now old) anecdote, but I think it speaks volumes. When my parents moved out of my house, and I moved back into it from college, I was left with an almost empty house. I had bought a nice sofa set and some chairs for the living room, but I was also getting a neat old sofa set which was left in my parents new home. A cousin was helping me move the old sofas, and he asked what I was going to do with them. I told him I was going to use the dining room as a second parlor. To which my cousin dumbfoundedly replied, "You can do that?"



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