2016 Directors Night

New England Society of Architectural Historians

Directors Night

6:30pm November 17, 2016

Ferris Library, in Trinity Parish House,

206 Clarendon Street, Boston

Featured Presentations:
Czech Cubism
Jacob Albert
Renaissance Architecture in the French Champagne
Virginia Raguin
Between Antiquity and the Global Stage: Designing a Port for Early Modern Palermo.
Elizabeth A. Kassler-Taub
This talk will draw on new evidence for the design of Palermo’s port in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries culled from the Archivo Generale de Simancas in Valladolid, Spain. On the basis of these previously-unpublished sources, I will propose that the design was modeled in part on the dual port system at Ostia, in ancient Rome. I argue that this engagement with antiquity – which operated in tandem with an active desire to launch the city onto a contemporary global stage – speaks to Palermo’s active participation in the theory and practice of early modern ”maritime urbanism.”
The Architect’s Knowledge: Imagining the Profession’s Historical Body, 1797-1933
Bryan Norwood
 Bryan will start by talking generally about his dissertation project, in which he is arguing that the co-development of professionalization and formalized education in nineteenth-century American architecture was grounded in a particular type of knowledge: architects professing to know the history of architecture. He will then turn in the second half to talk more specifically about how the work he did with the NESAH John Coolidge Research Fellowship fits into this study, focusing specifically on the formalization of education at University of Illinois and University of Michigan.

NESAH 2015 Directors Night




Co-sponsored by Northeastern University’s School of Architecture and Art + Design Departments

6:00pm Tuesday 17 November 2015

 Northeastern University
Behrakis Health Sciences Center Room 325 (3rd floor)
30 Leon Street, Boston, MA
Parking Available in West Parking Garage, Leon Street

The Behrakis building is #26 on the Northeastern campus map.  The entrance to the Behrakis building is near the corner of Ruggles and Leon Streets; a short walk from either the Ruggles Orange Line T stop or the E Arborway Green Line trolley stop at Museum of Fine Arts on Huntington Avenue in Boston.  Wheelchair accessible.



“Baltic Roots and the Modernism of Jonas Mulokas and Gunnar Birkerts” 
Milda Richardson, Northeastern University

“Structure Plus Process: Archiving Works of Waclaw Zalewski”
David M. Foxe, Safdie Architects

“Cape Dutch Houses in South Africa”
Jacob D. Albert, Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects, Inc.

2015 Directors Night



6:00pm Wednesday 25 March 2015

 Historic New England’s Otis House Museum Auditorium,

141 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA



Masridge “Jonas Mulokas: Lithuanian Vernacular + American Modernism”

Milda Richardson, Northeastern University

Two examples of ecclesiastical architecture by Jonas Mulokas unite inherited folk culture and American modernism as illustrated in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and others.


GropiusAbele entries“Gropius Copying Gropius?: The Abele House and the spread of Suburban Modernism”

Amy D. Finstein, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

 Walter Gropius’ home in Lincoln, MA is well known as the embodiment of Bauhaus ideals in the late1930s.  Less familiar, however, is the kinship between Gropius’ house and a slightly later commission completed during Gropius’ brief partnership with Marcel Breuer, the Abele house.  This talk will compare and contrast these two houses and explore their relationship to the spread of Modernism in the Boston suburbs in the mid-twentieth century.


“A Tale of Two (Would-be) Historic Districts”

George Walter Born, Boston University

 This talk explores the first efforts to create historic districts in Boston after the founding of the Boston Landmarks Commission in 1975.  Residents from Ashmont Hill and the West Back Bay/Bay State Road petitioned the newly created Commission in the late 1970s for historic-district designation, but the outcomes were very different.  One provoked a counter-movement that successfully stopped the designation effort; the other moved smoothly through the process to be designated.  These case-studies in local historic-preservation activism showcase varying levels of acceptance for municipal action in this sphere, especially among different neighborhood groups.  Employing methodologies borrowed from urban sociologists and scholars of social movements, this investigation forms a part of a larger project examining the creation of historic districts in Boston from 1953 to 1983.


Croatia Image“Croatia at the Crossroads: A Report on the SAH 2014 Study Tour”

Jacob D. Albert, Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects, Inc.

 After glancing at a pre-tour stop in Zagreb, we’ll be following the course of the SAH tour, starting in Sarajevo in Bosnia; looking at several places along the Adriatic coast of Croatia which have, over the centuries, been part of the Roman, Venetian, and Austro-Hungarian empires; and ending in Venice, where we visited the architecture Biennale.  Medieval urbanism will be a focus of the exploration of the Croatian coast.