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Tom Campanella: The Architecture of Aspiration

  • 114 Avery 1172 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

This lecture will explore the origins, symbolism and meaning of the signature architectural style of southern Brooklyn neighborhoods—the Tudor Revival. By 1900, Brooklyn north of the glacial moraine had mostly hardened into cityscape; nearly everything to its south was still countryside. Not until the 1920s did the metropolitan tide spill down the outwash plain. If the Italianate brownstone was the architectural icon of old Brooklyn, that of the new was the Tudor-revival row house. Steeped in an aura of chivalry and Shakespeare, Tudorism was born of nativist yearnings to secure America's (largely imagined) Anglo-Saxon past in the face of massive immigration. But it was a pliable form, and appealed to the very people—Jews, Italians, Irish—whose arrival helped spawn it. In outer-borough Brooklyn and Queens, Tudorism was stripped of its revanchist edge, popular not for channeling some mythic past but for evoking the wealth and status of elite suburbs like Riverdale and Bronxville where it first appeared. By emulating the emulators, Tudorism turned from a style for the rich into one for the striving masses.

Earlier Event: October 21
Verses: Poetry Night
Later Event: October 23
Will Miles & MANY friends