Read, Gray

Gray Read is Assistant Professor of Architectural History at the Florida International Univeristy.

Miniature and the Gigantic in Philadelphia Architecture
2007 0-7734-5429-2
The essays in this book examine scale and measure in the local architectural traditions of Philadelphia, focusing on instances when architects strategically manipulated urban scale to engage a larger mythic narrative. The essays open several such manipulations to view, offering both a means to examine vernacular patterns of old cities and a challenge to contemporary architects to engage the scale and structure of the city in the intersection of experience and narrative. On a broader level, these essays suggest that all architecture defines the city, both spatially and rhetorically. The streets and vernacular buildings of old cities in particular, establish spatial rhythms, which are modulated, punctuated, and interrupted by design. These urban patterns define positions for people by giving scale and structure to the built environment. This study is particularly relevant to contemporary architects who are currently being asked to engage old cities and to construct or reconstruct urban life in America.