Southern Architecture

BlogReview Posts

Thomas Jefferson, Architect

A review of Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles, and the Conflict of Ideals (Yale, 2019) by Lloyd Dewitt, ed. Excluding the foreword and introduction, there are seven essays on Jefferson qua architect and a large number of plates at the book’s end. The book begins with Howard Burns’ “Thomas Jefferson, the Making of an Architect.” Burns aims at…
M. Andrew Holowchak
October 13, 2023

Jefferson’s Plan for “Healthy” Cities

In a prior essay, “Thomas Jefferson’s Prophetic Anti-City Sentiments” (Abbeville), I wrote about Jefferson’s dislike of cities—the larger, the worse. In this essay, I discuss his plan making cities healthy—viz., if there must be cities, Jefferson’s plan for what we can do keep corruptions from them. Yellow fever, in 1793, struck Philadelphia, then the capitol of the United States. There…

The Tragedy of Land Use in the South

For all of the pontificating of the virtues of the South, we have increasingly seen our agrarian landscape polluted by strip malls and environmental contamination. I make the case that neither of these things are inherently Southern in character, and as I believe, are contributing negatives to the soul and character of our region. We must work to correct these…
Nicole Williams
December 3, 2018

Saving Architectural Treasures of the Old South

In the film version of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, after Atlanta has been burned and Scarlett O’Hara is fleeing to Tara, there is a scene where she arrives at neighboring Twelve Oaks Plantation to find it burned by Yankee troops and in ruins. The mansion’s once-grand double staircase is open to the night sky, and a cow appears…

Along the Corduroy Road

This piece was originally published at Alabama Pioneers on 3 December 2014. The old home place stood among large oak trees at the top of a hill, more of a rise actually, in the black belt just east of Camp Creek. It was a good place for a ten year old boy to live. It had a good well of…
Arthur "Art" E. Green
December 4, 2014

Southern Preservation

In the South, many people want to demolish a structure if it looks a little ragged around the edges. Eufaula, AL is a prime example. It is not with pleasure that I mention Eufaula as an example of this, but with genuine disappointment and a good degree of despair. The Ballou house on North Randolph Avenue is one of Eufaula's…
William Cawthon
November 4, 2014