Well, we’ve hit the ground running on the new decade here at MSB. Last month we kicked things off with a sweet 1920’s inspired playlist. *Side note: If you missed it, perhaps wander on over to Spotify and check out February’s playlist. There have been a lot of discussions and/or excitement about the new decade and how so many people want to harken back to the design aesthetic of the 1920s – mostly Art Deco. While people can generally identify items and styles from the 1920s, we struggle with identifying other periods. For instance, we often forget how long the Victorian era lasted (1837-1910ish). Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Falling Water, is difficult to place into our understanding of the 1930s because it seems so modern.

Amelia Earhart house
Figure 1 Home of Amelia Earhart, Neo-Classical Wooden Victorian Architecture, National Archives and Records Administration
metal grate in the art deco style
Figure 2 Art Deco metalwork, The Riviera Theater, Charleston, SC - Photo by Spencer Means
Falling Water house
Figure 3 Fallingwater - Photo by Janelle Horst

After multiple discussions about this phenomenon in the offices, we decided to dig back into our history books and see what we could find out about the major portions of architecture and how it fits into our understanding and mental timelines. But don’t worry, we hope not to bore you with college-style papers comparing one basilica to the next (even we don’t want to do that). Instead, we’ll be looking at each period through our own lens and focusing on things that interest us as individuals.

For instance, I am typically drawn to how we depict architecture in pop culture and how social items of the age affected architecture (the history of the toilet is fascinating!). Mackenzie and Brianna might opt to dig into various other aspects – like how the buildings of the Victorian era were definitely trying to kill us.

To bring a bit of continuity to these blogs, we’ve decided that we should each answer three questions regardless of what topic we decide to talk about:

  1. What is the most iconic building and/or who is the most prominent architect of this time period?
  2. What are the key features of this style?
  3. What lesson did you learn from this style?

Full Disclosure: There are lots of architectural styles and there’s no way we could hit them all. For this reason, we’ll likely stick to the major styles. Additionally, the world is a big place so we’ll typically focus on things in America but may need to branch out into other countries to provide better examples.

Stay tuned – we’re starting off with Roman architecture.

The Colosseum in Rome
Figure 4 Collusseum by Brianna Blackaby


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