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Community members invited to participate in course that examines history through architecture

Dec 5, 2017

Community members can join Ohio Northern University students for the course “American Architecture: Understanding the World Around You” during spring semester 2018 at ONU. The course will examine the importance of architecture in understanding history and the built environment.

The first class will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 23 and will continue each Tuesday in James F. Dicke Hall’s room 230 throughout the term, except during spring break March 5-9. Assistant Professor of History Ray Schuck will teach the course. He is retired as director of the Allen County Museum in Lima, Ohio, and is currently director of the public history/museum studies program at ONU.

Individuals who are not ONU students can attend course sessions without enrolling, and a schedule of topics will be available so non-ONU students can select which discussions to attend. Community members who wish to enroll will have options to take the course as a senior citizen or auditor, and information on those options will be available through the registrar’s office.

“This class will offer an opportunity to recognizes different forms of architecture and their time periods,” Schuck said. “From the course, students will better understand what was going on in America and how it influenced the design of buildings. Individuals in the course will also become familiar with terms that are used in architecture and construction as well as the mechanics of the professions.”

Schuck has a long interest in the historical relevance of architecture. He has been involved with crafting National Register of Historic Places nominations as well as the Ohio Historic Inventory.

“I have always been intrigued by architecture and how history and culture have shaped the design of buildings. I look to share that passion with participants in this class,” he said.

Following is a list of weekly course topics:

  • Week 1: America prior to European contact
  • Week 2: Building construction and terminology
  • Week 3: The rural landscape: Barns and farm buildings
  • Week 4: Colonial architecture
  • Week 5: Post-Colonial architecture
  • Week 6: Industrialization and architecture
  • Week 7: Structures and objects: Canals, railroads, tunnels and bridges
  • Week 8: The Victorian Period
  • Week 9: Shaping an American identify: Late 19th and early 20th century
  • Week 10: The modern movement – Art deco, art moderne and international styles
  • Week 11: Parks and pre-fabricated housing
  • Week 12: Redesigning the suburban landscape
  • Week 13: Post-modern expressions
  • Week 14: The underground and future architectural trends
  • Week 15: Reports, summary and review