Architectural histories of colonial North America tend to highlight the architecture of European settlers and trans-Atlantic connections: saltbox houses in New England, grand estates such as Monticello in Virginia, plantations in Louisiana. This unit, by way of contrast, turns to the western United States in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Mission of San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores) in San Francisco, California forms the focus of this unit, which considers three themes: (1) the distinctive material and spatial features of mission architecture in the western United States; (2) how spiritual and ethnic experiences shaped the built environment in this region in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; and (3) the implications these experiences and environments may hold for histories of architecture interested in the “global turn.”
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