American Framing: The Architecture of a Specific Anonymity

Park Books

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Originating in 1832 in Chicago with a balloon-framed warehouse designed by George Washington Snow, timber framing - also known at the time as 'Chicago construction' - introduced softwood construction to the world. The easy availability of the principal material, its simplicity of construction, an ability to be erected by low or unskilled workers, and the growing economies and populations of the American Midwest proliferated an architecture that has since dominated the American built landscape and erased typological and class distinctions of architectural production. The richest and poorest people live in houses that are built the same way: all framing is the same and all framing is good. American Framing: The Architecture of a Specific Anonymity is a visual and textual exploration of the conditions and consequences of these ubiquitous structures. Archival drawings and images from origin, along with newly commissioned photographs by Linda Robbennolt, Daniel Shea, and Chris Strong, as well as and plans and drawings show this quintessentially American type of construction that has enabled an all-American architecture.