Monument Wars

Monument Wars

Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape

Book - 2009
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The National Mall in Washington, D.C., is "a great public space, as essential a part of the American landscape as the Grand Canyon," according to architecture critic Paul Goldberger, but few realize how recent, fragile, and contested this achievement is. In Monument Wars , Kirk Savage tells the Mall's engrossing story--its historic plan, the structures that populate its corridors, and the sea change it reveals regarding national representation. Central to this narrative is a dramatic shift from the nineteenth-century concept of a decentralized landscape, or "ground"-heroic statues spread out in traffic circles and picturesque parks-to the twentieth-century ideal of "space," in which authority is concentrated in an intensified center, and the monument is transformed from an object of reverence to a space of experience. Savage's lively and intelligent analysis traces the refocusing of the monuments themselves, from that of a single man, often on horseback, to commemorations of common soldiers or citizens; and from monuments that celebrate victory and heroism to memorials honoring victims. An indispensable guide to the National Mall, Monument Wars provides a fresh and fascinating perspective on over two hundred years of American history.
Publisher: Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c2009.
ISBN: 9780520256545
Branch Call Number: 725. 9409753 SAV
Characteristics: x, 390 p. : ill., maps, ports., plans ; 27 cm.

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