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History of Construction in the United States


The Empire State Building, the White House, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the United States Capitol – all have one thing in common (except for the obvious fact that they are all situated in the USA): they all testify to the rich history of architecture of the USA.

The architectural timeline of the USA can be divided into 5 different periods viz.

* The Colonial period (1607-1830)

* The Federal Age (1789-1865)

* Victorian Era (1837-1914)

* Arts and Crafts (1860-1920)

* Modernism (1920 and beyond)

In the 1600s, USA was mainly occupied by immigrants from Europe who settled in various parts of the country. Thus, the buildings built by them mainly constitute the architectural timeline of this period. Early colonial architecture varied considerably from region to region, based on the nationality of the settlers. What is now commonly called as folk architecture is normally a direct effect of uncomplicated motifs of the homelands of the builders finding their way into the architecture. Important constructions of this era incorporate Virginia state capitol (one of the leading examples of Georgian architecture) and Pennsylvania state house.

Federal constructions were a usual find in the post colonial era, from the creation of the US constitution to the starting of civil war. Federal architecture predominated government buildings and was heavily found in American settlements (mainly New England).

Federal period architecture is generally based on the English form of architecture. However, a renewal of Greek forms is also noticed, signifying the architectural freedom of America from the European heritage. With the commencement of the Civil War however, the acceptance of the Federal form died down. The United States Capitol was built in this duration.

In 1837, Queen Victoria started her command in United Kingdom. The early decades of the Victorian era witnessed the enlargement of the industrial revolution. Mass production began to set in, thus lowering the price of materials and handling time. Houses started to shift out of their squarish shapes and box like structures, paving the way for more complicated floor structures and confused architecture. As the luxury of American cities spread, a widespread demand for a today’s (according to timelicurrent (according to current (according to timeline) shape of architecture was noticed. This led to a widespread tradition of the Victorian form of architecture. However, inception of World War 1 in 1918 marked the ending of this period.

However the increasing industrialization of the Victorian age had a frequent feedback as well. People started returning to craftsmanship, instead of heavily relying on machinery. Spanning the whole of Victorian age and going beyond the World War, the age of Arts and craft was a notable duration throughout the whole world. America was no exclusion.

Modernism in American architecture is simple, and notional. Going beyond the 1920s and more, modernism is heavily influenced by futuristic designs. With examples of giant skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center, modernism has given America the pet name of the melting pot. The roots of the background is expressed, while a substantial move towards more futuristic designs is maintained, signifying the fact that variation is absolute.


Source by Jim D Knight

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