oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Popular architecture in the United States and South Africa: a case study of the late nineteenth century

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



This article briefly examines the present scope of architectural history observing it to range from 'high' or academic to vernacular architecture. Popular architecture is then sketched and a working definition of the latter is given. To add substance to the above thesis some of the most important characteristics common to late nineteenth century domestic architecture in the United States and South Africa are described. The overriding importance of the Romantic ideology in architectural design is noted. The chief objective qualities of Romanticism are described. The article then concludes with a case study of a house type derived from these characteristics and common to both countries. This is described as the asymmetrical or gable front and wing house. The similarities are identified in some detail.

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