Research Proposal

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For my final project I will research and investigate the classical elements that C Emlen Urban used in his architecture. I will also examine how an Urban building’s utilitas is reflected in it’s venustas. After analyzing the sources I gather, I will create an elevation drawing for each building. These drawings will be paired with writing analysis of each buildings utilitas and venustas, however most of the focus will be on the classical decorations of each building. My goal for this project is to create a book that explains why and how Urban used classical decoration to reflect a buildings utilitas. This book will consist of all my elevation drawings and their corresponding writings, along with a final research paper that summarizes my findings.

My primary sources will be pictures I can find of C Emlen Urban’s buildings collected from the Lancaster Historical Society and Preservation Trust. I have not yet collected these primary sources, so I cannot itemize them at this point. My secondary sources are books from the Shadek- Fackenthall library. These secondary sources will provide me with more knowledge about classical architecture, especially the decorative elements. The secondary sources are as follows:

  • Curl, James Stevens. Classical Architecture: An Introduction to Its Vocabulary and Essentials, with a Select Glossary of Terms. New York: Norton, 2003. Print.
  • Gromort, Georges. The Elements of Classical Architecture. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. Print.
  • Hersey, George L. The Lost Meaning of Classical Architecture: Speculations on Ornament from Vitruvius to Venturi. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1988. Print.
  • Porphyrios, Demetri. Classical Architecture: The Living Tradition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1992. Print.
  • Senseney, John R. The Art of Building in the Classical World: Vision, Craftsmanship, and Linear Perspective in Greek and Roman Architecture. New York: Cambridge UP, 2011. Print

I plan to investigate the relationship between the venustas and utilitas of various C Emlen Urban buildings of historic significance. I predict that I will find a strong relationship between a buildings functions and it’s classical decorations. Based on the trip to the Lancaster Preservation Trust I was able to see an obvious connection between that building’s functions and the decorations implement by C Emlen Urban. I plan on finding pictures of more Urban buildings, with different functions, and exposing their functional-decorative correlation as well. These pictures will be my primary sources. With the used of my list of books (secondary sources) I will investigate and examine the classical decorations of each building. After finding these relationships I will explain my research and create a write-up and elevation drawing for each building.

Week 7: I will go to the Lancaster Historical Society and Lancaster Preservation Trust and hunt for photos of C Emlem Ubran buildings. After finding these photos I will pick which buildings I want to do a further analysis of and create a list of buildings. Also, I will go to the library and check out all my books.

Week 8: I will read any books needed to further my understanding of classical architecture, specifically the decorative elements. Also I will create an elevation drawing and write-up for the first building and post this on the blog.

Week 9: I will create an elevation drawing and write-up for the second and third buildings and post this on the blog.

Week 10: I will create an elevation drawing and write-up for the fourth and fifth and post this on the blog.

Week 11: I will make the “book” containing all drawings, and writings. I will also write a final research paper that summarizes my project, findings, and conclusions.

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