working title museum

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This remarkable group of works was among the earliest noticed by Western explorers. It was described by Harte as early as 1791; and a further account was presented in "Harris's Tour," published in 1805, in which an imperfect birds-eye view was also given. Since that period various descriptions have appeared in print; and a number of plans, differing materially in their details, have been published. It is of so much importance, however, and has been the basis of so much speculation, that it is time an accurate map and a careful description should be placed before the public. Such a map and such a description it is here aimed to present.

The works occupy the high, sandy plain, at the junction of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers. This plain is from eighty to one hundred feet above the bed of the river, and from forty to sixty above the bottom lands of the Muskingum. Its outlines are shown on the map. It is about three fourths of a mile long, by half a mile in width; is bounded on the side next the hills by ravines, formed by streams, and terminates on the side next the river in an abrupt bank, resting upon the recent alluvions. The topography of the plain and adjacent country is minutely represented on this map.

The works consist of two irregular squares, (one containing forty acres area, the other about twenty acres,) in connection with a graded or covered way and sundry mounds and truncated pyramids, the relative positions of which are shown in the plan. The town of Marietta is laid out over them; and, in the progress of improvement, the walls have been considerably reduced and otherwise much obliterated; yet the outlines of the entire works may still be traced. The walls of the principal square, where they remain undisturbed, are now between five and six feet high by twenty or thirty feet base; those of the smaller enclosure are somewhat less. The entrances or gateways at the sides of the latter are each covered by a small mound placed interior to the embankment; at the corners the gateways are in line with it. The larger work is destitute of this feature, unless we class as such an interior crescent wall covering the entrance at its southern angle.

Within the larger enclosure are four elevated squares or truncated pyramids of earth, which, from their resemblance to similar erections in Mexico and Central America, merit a particular notice.

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

2013.01.30 13:47
Rem Koolhaas announces "Fundamentals" to be 2014's Venice Biennale theme
Some anecdotes from Wikipedia to conjure with:

His father strongly supported the Indonesian cause for autonomy from the colonial Dutch in his writing. When the war of independence was won, he was invited over to run a cultural programme for three years and the family moved to Jakarta in 1952. "It was a very important age [8-11] for me," Koolhaas recalls, "and I really lived as an Asian."

In 1969 Koolhaas co-wrote The White Slave, a Dutch film noir, and later wrote an unproduced script for American soft-porn king Russ Meyer.

2013.09.21 20:46
21 September
"For even in the most favorable hypothesis, the biographers of the Historia Augusta are separated from the Antonines, their great models, by an instance of some hundred and twenty-five years. Of course this is not the first time an ancient historian found himself so far, or even much further, from the figures he was seeking to portray. But the ancient world in the time of Plutarch, say, was still homogeneous enough for the Greek biographer to produce, at nearly a hundred and fifty years' distance, an image of Caesar carved in virtually the same substance as Caesar. At the period when the Historia Augusta was compiled, on the contrary, the world was so altered as to render the great Antonines' way of life and of thought virtually impenetrable to biographers already on the road leading to the Byzantine Empire. A little closer in time, but more exotic, more rapidly distorted by popular superstition, the rulers of the Syrian dynasty vanish even more utterly beneath a forest of legends. Thereafter, chances of error due to remoteness in time gradually diminish with the emperors who devour one another during the rest of the third century, but models and painters alike sink into that magma of confusion, violence, and mendacity characteristic of all periods of crisis. From one end of the Historia Augusta to the other, everything sounds as if a small group of today's men of letters, more or less well informed but mediocre, and often no more than ordinarily conscientious, were to tell us first the history of Napoleon or of Louis XVIII by means of authentic documents seasoned with prefabricated anecdotes, anachronistically tinged by the passions of our own day and age, and then, shifting to figures and events of more recent vintage, were to offer about Jaurès, Hitler, Pétain, or De Gaulle a mass of worthless gossip mingled with some useful informations, an avalanche of literature from Propaganda Bureaus and sensational revelations from the gossip columns."
Marguerite Yourcenar, "Faces of History in the Historia Augusta."

This passage seems useful in terms of thinking about a novel whose scenes and complications occur within the realm of labyrinthine architectural history, or is it within the realm of architecturally labyrinthine history?

2014.04.09 09:02
Frank Gehry unveils plans for his first buildings in England
In general, however, you're right that I hardly, if ever, focus on politico-socio-economical matters as they pertain to current built architectural manifestations and/or the practice(s) that generate these manifestations. In (very) base terms though, for me it's more a matter of my being ignorant of the subject rather than out right ignoring the subject.

Regarding "intellectual anesthetization", allow me a kind of anecdotal response. The architecture of Zaha Hadid Architects is not particularly my taste, yet I nonetheless find myself appreciating the quality of the design ability and it's overall unprecedented contribution to the 'history' of architecture. This appreciation, however, is only for some of ZHA's work and only for designs that are actually built--it's like I'm still kind of amazed that their architecture is indeed buildable (and that's where the 'thrill' for me comes from). Virtually none of this appreciation, as you already realize, comes from a consideration of all the positive and negative machinations that gets buildings built these days, so, in all fairness and kindness, sometimes just help me out.



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