Sometimes when we “see” something all the time, we don’t really see it. What have you noticed about the built environment around you lately? In the Garden State, ranging across 21 counties and five centuries, from pre-European settlement to post-industrial reinvention, from log cabins and lighthouses, to highways, diners, and tract houses, we are literally surrounded by a unique and historically significant landscapes. In this session, while examining images of NJ buildings, participants will consider different aspects – aesthetics, cultural and economic perspectives, and values and meaning – to develop skills for reading everyday landscapes in order to better understand community and place and why they matter.
Professor & Historian
Gabrielle Esperdy is a historian and critic whose work focuses on architecture, consumerism and modernism in the U.S. metropolitan landscape, especially everyday buildings and how social, economic and political issues shape cities and suburbs. She has lectured and published widely; books include Modernizing Main Street (2008) and American Autopia (forthcoming). She is founding editor of SAH Archipedia, to which she is contributing 100+ entries on the history of significant buildings of New Jersey. She teaches at NJIT.
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