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Museums and Cultural Meaning : Agriculture on America’s Front Lawn Somer, Alexandra 2019-04-26

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April 2019ABSTRACTThe United States’ National Mall is a landscape unlike any other. The expansive – seemingly endless – lawn, flanked by enormous museums, memorials,and galleries, is the end of a pilgrimage for Americancivil religion. The Mall is a cultural landscape thatcommunicates to a diverse audience (domestic andinternational) the virtues and values of Americansociety. Through classical and Christian imagery,the Mall reinforces American exceptionalism.American agrarianism, as informed by the frontier myth, has insulated farmers from positive adaptation, reinforcing instead the self-image of a hero victimized by circumstances. These myths of the yeoman farmer are inconsistent with today’s tech-savvy, agricultural industry. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the only office building on the Mall. Furthermore, the USDA has no public programming. This thesis proposes a science of agriculture museum – adjacent to the USDA’s building – that reframes agriculture as a S.T.E.M. profession. Moreover, this intervention responds critically to the scale, architectural styles, and materiality of the Mall by introducing human-scaled public spaces and greenhouses.iTABLE OF CONTENTii i i vv i1 01 11 31 51 61 71 92 02 22 73 23 5404 1AbstractFiguresAcknowledgment Dedication Part One: Symbolism & Meaning in Architecture 1.1 The Problem of Modern Monumentality  1.2 Postmodernism & Public Engagement  1.3 A Postmodern Case Study 1.4 Failures of Postmodernism  1.5 A New Generation of Postmodernists 1.6 A Neo-Postmodern Case Study Part Two: American Civil Religion  2.1 The Yeoman Farmer & The Jeffersonian    Idea of Democracy  2.2 Washington D.C. & Symbolism in the    Federal City 2.3 The USDA Complex & The MallPart Three: The Design 3.1 The Program 3.2 The Greenhouses 3.3 The Demonstration Laboratories 3.4 The Plaza 3.5 The Building FacadeBibliography4 85 05 25 41.1.1. Rowe, Colin, “Villa Stein compared to Villa Malcontenta,” Diagram, 1977, Rowe, Colin. The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays: Include: Mannerism and M.A. ; Character and Composition ; 19th Century ; Chicago Frame ; Neo-”Classicism and M.A. ; Transparency ; La Tourette ; The Architecture of Utopia. Cambridge (Mass.)/London: MIT Press, 1977.1.1.2  Jencks, Charles.  “The Century  is Over, Evolutionary Tree of Twentieth-Century Architecture,” Diagram, 1973, The New Paradigm in Architecture: The Language of Post-modern Architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.1.2.1 Unknown. Typical Main Street, U.S.A. In Robert Venturi, The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole. November 6, 2016. Accessed April 23, 2019. Unknown. Building and Exhibition Layout Sainsbury Wing. London. In Building Sainsbury Wing National Pictures Gallery. Accessed April 23,2019.https://i Moore, Charles, Piazza D’Italia, New Orleans. 1978. Accessed April 23, 2019. Furman, Adam Nathaniel. The Democratic iiiMonument. 2017. In The Democratic Monument: Adam Nathaniel Furman’s Manifesto for a New Type of Civic Center. July 3, 2017. Accessed April 23, 2019. Lindqvist, Magnus, Kyle D. Eberle, and Kamil Krol. White Elephant. 2012. MOMA, Louisville, KY. In White Elephant. Accessed April 26, 2019. Lindqvist, Magnus, Kyle D. Eberle, and Kamil Krol. White Elephant Diagram. 2012. MOMA, Louisville, KY. In White Elephant. Accessed April 26, 2019. Civil Rights Signs. 1964. Jackson, Mississippi. An Urban Archive, Queens College, CUNY. Brumidi, Constantino. The Apotheosis of Washington. 1865. The Capitol Dome Washington D.C. In The Apotheosis of Washington. Accessed April 23, 2019. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Washington D.C. In Unique MLK Memorials Across the U.S. By Getty Images. January 9, 2018. Accessed April 23, 2019. Farming in America Timeline, by the author 2.2.2. Farming in America Timeline, by the author2.2.3. Wood, Grant. American Gothic. 1930. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. In American Gothic. Accessed April 23, 2019. The Future of Farming. 2015. In To Feed Humankind, We Need the Farms of the Future Today. New York, NY: Newsweek Magazine, 2015. October 22, 2015. Olson, Hans Eric. Morning Inspiration, Mineral Point, WI. In Hans Eric Olson Fine Art. Accessed April 25, 2019. Agrobot Strawberry Harvester. In Robot Strawberry Picker Does the Work Humans Do Not Want To. January 31, 2019. Accessed April 25, 2019. Washington D.C. and the Thirteen Original Colonies, by the author2.3.2. The Family Tree of Washington D.C. Vale, Lawrence J. In Architecture, Power, and National Identity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. L’Enfant, Charles. “Plan of the City of Washington.” Map. L’Enfant Plan. Accessed April 23, 2019.’Enfant_plan.jpg.2.3.4. L’Enfant, Charles. “Plan of the City of Washington.” Map. L’Enfant Plan. Accessed April 23, 2019.’Enfant_plan.jpg.2.3.5. Timeline of the National Mall, by the author2.3.6. Maps of the National Mall2.3.7  Map of the National Mall, by the author2.4.1 United States Department of Agriculture Office of Information. 1867. “The first Administration Building of the United States Department of Agriculture stood on the Mall side of the present Administration Building and was in use until the early 1900s.” Special Collections, USDA National Agricultural Library. Accessed April 24, 2019, Unknown. ca. 1934. “Administration Building.” Special Collections, USDA National Agricultural Library. Accessed April 24, 2019, Map of the USDA Complex on the Mall, by the authorivv2.4.4 Unknown. “A Pediment on the Department of Agriculture Building on the South Side of the The Mall in Washin”. In Trip Advisor. January 2010. Accessed April 24, 2019. Analysis of Agricultural Symbolism on the National Mall, by the author3.1.1 Site Plan of National Mall, by the author3.1.2 Rendering of the National Mall, by the author3.1.3 Photograph of Site Model, by the author3.1.5 Site Plan, by the author3.1.6 Site Section, by the author3.2.1 Exploded Program Axonometric, by the author3.3.1 Rendering of the Site from the Mall, by the author3.3.2 Photographs of Greenhouse Section Model, by the author 3.3.3 Photographs of Greenhouse Section Model, by the author3.3.4 Photographs of Greenhouse Section Model, by the author3.3.5 Server. In Server Room Contingency Plan With Pro Portable Air Conditioning Series. Accessed April 25, 2019. Rendering from the Lower Lobby of the Science of Agriculture Museum, by the author3.4.1 Rendering from the Demonstration Lab looking out at the Washington Monument, by the author3.5.1 Rendering of the Entrance looking at the Plaza, by the author3.6.1 North Elevation of the Science of Agriculture Museum3.6.2 Rendering of the Science of Agriculture Museum and Washington Monument at Night, by the authorI would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my Chair and Mentor, Sara Stevens, for her guidance, patience, and unwavering support. To my thesis committee members John Hemsworth and Chris Macdonald, your insights and feedback were integral to this thesis. I would like to thank Fernando Ureña-Martinez for the countless hours of work he put into this project, as well as Angelina Sangulin and Alex Stewart for their advice and support. Lastly, I would like to thank my family and friends for their support throughout this degree. viACKNOWLEDGMENTThis thesis is dedicated to my strong, talented, and artistic grandmother, Rae Tobias. viiDEDICATIONWe are living through what is perceived to be one of our democracy’s most intense crises in generations, which means it is in fact the perfect moment to build Monuments to its rebirth. In crisis lies the greatest opportunity for reinvention. In each island of progress may there rise Democratic Monuments of symbolic sustenance, and practical pageantry, for our sprawling cities, for our expanding towns, for the many, and for the few; beauty, but for everyone. - Adam Nathaniel Furman, The Democratic Monument1    1. Adam Nathaniel Furman. “The Democratic Monu-ment:Adam Nathaniel Furman’s Manifesto for a New Type of Civic Center.” ArchDaily. July 03, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2018. ONE: SYMBOLISM & MEANING IN ARCHITECTUREIn 1937, American architectural theorist Lewis Mumford proclaimed in his seminal essay, The Death of the Monument, that, “The very notion of a modern monument is a contradiction in terms; if it is a monument, it cannot be modern, if it is modern, it cannot be a monument.2” He believed that monuments “no longer represent the deeper impulses of our civilization3” and “are completely irrelevant to the living.4”  Responding to Mumford’s paradox architectural theorist, Sigfried Gideon, along with artists, Jose Sert and Fernand Leger, argued in their manifesto Nine Points on Monumentality, that monuments “must satisfy the eternal demand of the people for translation of their collective force into symbol.5”  2. Lewis Mumford, The Death of the Monument, in Circle: International. Survey of Constructive Art (London: Faber and Faber, 1937), 263-270.  3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Sert, J L., F. Leger and S. Giedion. Nine Points on Monu-mentality. Harvard Architecture Review 4:62-63. Modern architecture needed to shift its focus towards the spiritual enrichment of people and away from scientific reason. Their emphasis on symbolism within architecture established a new relationship between creator and reader, a relationship built on the phenomenological and experiential qualities of the building.Asserting meaning into modern architecture lead to a renewed interest in historical architecture. Continuity with the past served as a way to engage with local culture. Modern architects began to acknowledge historical precedents and studied their experiential qualities and communicative powers. Renewed interest in historical architecture provoked innovative forms of engagement. 111.1: THE PROBLEM OF MODERN MONUMENTALITYFigure 1.1.2: Evolutionary tree to the year 2000By alluding to the past, architects could express a complex and varied view of the present. Theorist Charles Jencks contended that architectural symbolism has political connotations. He hoped that an “architecture of resistance” could be formed using “the language of the local culture.6” 6. Mary, McLeod, “Architecture and Politics in the Reagan Era: From Postmodernism to Deconstructivism.” Assemblage, no. 8 (1989): 22. doi:10.2307/3171013.Figure 1.1.1: The mathematics of an ideal villa Architectural theorist Colin Rowe pioneered the non-chronological relationship between modernity and classicism, reinforcing the theory of natural law by laying claim to classicism as the foundation of modern architecture.12Figure 1.2.1: Typical Main Street U.S.A. From Venturi’s Complexity and ContradictionModernism’s “messianic faith of the new7” and eradication of the past was eroded by a new generation of architects who sought to re-engage with history “[in] an attempt, and an important one, to respond to the problem of meaning which was posed but never solved by the modern movement.8” As Mary McLeod contends, “history provided a communicative language, it was a means for architecture to regain the public role that the hermeticism of modernist abstraction had denied it.9” The meaning of architectural form, stifled by modernism’s slavish devotion to efficiency and simplicity, was rebuffed by postmodernists advocating for architecture’s re-engagement with the public.   7. Ibid.   8. Beyond the Modern Movement, Harvard Architecture Review 1 (1980):4. 9. Mary, McLeod, Architecture and Politics in the Reagan Era: From Postmodernism to Deconstructivism. Assemblage, no. 8 (1989): 22. doi:10.2307/3171013.Postmodernism’s skillful combination of “the elitist appreciation of high art and populist embrace of main street,10” rekindled the public’s interest in architecture. Postmodernism’s approachability and unrestrained aesthetic, combined with 10. Ibid. 131.2: POSTMODERNISM & PUBLIC ENGAGEMENTFigure 1.2.2: Interior of the Salisbury Museum addition by Venturi Scott Brown. references to the past, subverted conventions and “[made] explicit the inherent paradoxes and provisionality [sic] of a historical moment.11” Furthermore, the dichotomies inherent in postmodern architecture such as “tradition and innovation, order and fragmentation, figuration and abstraction,12” demonstrated a depth of complexity that could not be expressed by modernist architecture. By holding two ideas in tension, postmodernism created a third meaning – a version of history – that served to that further undermine modernist architecture’s public role. 11. Ibid.  12. Ibid. 14Figure 1.3.2. Aerial view of Franklin Court with wireframe structures. Figure 1.3.1. The remains of Benjamin Franklin’s home with postmodern additions such as windows, doors and floor plans demarcating rooms. 15The American bicentennial sparked a number of government funded projects such as Franklin Court by post-modern architects Venturi, Scott Brown, and Rauch. Franklin court does not faithfully recreate Benjamin Franklin’s home and print shop, but rather uses architectural language to help the public recreate the spaces. The combination of elite and popular culture creates an extremely successful space that enhances the public realm.1.3: A POSTMODERN CASE STUDYFigure 1.4.1 Piazza d’ItaliaPostmodernism’s practice of historical allusion quickly became “nostalgia, escape, or enjoyable simulacrum - a denial of history itself. 13” Moreover, postmodernists’ farcical interpretation of historic references coupled with arbitrary historic references used “to create an aura of historical depth,14” was no more respectful of local traditions than modernist architecture. Postmodernism drew on references that “evoke a one-sided past,15” reducing the complexities of history in order to emphasize symbolism intended by the victors. Drawing on primarily classical (Greco-Roman) imagery, postmodernism continued to promote the notion of western superiority. As Mary McLeod explains, “[there are inherent] difficulties equating architectural form with words, the problem of consensus concerning architectural meaning, the distracted mode of architecture’s reception, and the shifting nature of  13. Ibid.  14. Ibid.  15. Ibid. any meaning that might be conveyed.16” In other words, architectural meaning is unstable and ambiguous.   16. Ibid. 161.4: FAILURES OF POSTMODERNISM It is true that, “architecture is not a literary form,17” and therefore cannot communicate a singular narrative. As Sean Griffith explains, “signifiers – the vessels that convey meanings – have a tendency to become untethered from their moorings.18” Nevertheless, societal norms and values embed architecture with meaning and symbolism, and therefore, architecture cannot help but inherit a communicative power. In Martin Lampprecht’s essay entitled, “Now is not the time to be indulging in postmodern revivalism,” Lampprecht concisely explains the role of symbolism in architecture, “architecture cannot not communicate.19” 	 17.	Sean	Griffiths,	“Sean	Griffiths:	“It’s	Not	the	Time	to	Be Indulging in Postmodern Revivalism”.” Dezeen. November 01, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2018. 18. Ibid.  19. “Postmodern Revivalism Doesn’t Exist; Now Is Not the Time to Be Criticizing It.” ArchDaily. November 02, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2018. resurgence over the last 10 years in postmodernism amongst a new generation of architects has sparked a critical look at the ambiguity of architectural symbolism in society. The recent re-engagement with architectural symbolism explores architecture’s communicative powers in order to explore architecture’s role in “rewriting sociological narratives and reveal societal values.20” As Adam Furman describes, “a fragmenting society and a diffuse urban realm is given new symbolic anchors that neither ignore the deep veins of difference, nor impose an arbitrary uniformity, but celebrate the constant tensions, debates and engagement that keep any one aspect of society from eclipsing the others.21” 20. “About.” Bureau Spectacular. Accessed December 14, 2018. 21. Adam Nathaniel Furman. “The Democratic Monument: Adam Nathaniel Furman’s Manifesto for a New Type of Civic Cen-ter.” ArchDaily. July 03, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2018. A NEW GENERATION OF POSTMODERNISTSFigure 1.5.1 The Democratic MonumentNeo-postmodernism is disorienting, dizzying, and resistant to a unified aesthetic, reflecting a diversity of stakeholders and the instability of architectural symbolism. Neo-postmodernists’ loud attention-getting aesthetic “draws the observer into a highly engaging interaction with the work.22” Architecture will continue to accumulate new meanings and resist a singular theme. I am interested in how the unstable and ambiguous meaning of architecture changes the ways in which we engage and relate to historical architecture. I am arguing in favour of radical historical preservation because a monument that “no longer represent[s] the deeper impulses of our civilization” becomes “completely irrelevant to the living.23”   22. Martin Lampprecht, Postmodern Revivalism Doesn’t Exist; Now Is Not the Time to Be Criticizing It,  ArchDaily, No-vember 02, 2017, , accessed April 23, 2019, 23. Lewis Mumford, The Death of the Monument, in Circle: International. Survey of Constructive Art (London: Faber and Faber, 1937), 263-270. 18Figure 1.6.2 White Elephant has no fixed position. Figure 1.6.1 Jumenez Lai’s White Elephant is simultaneously a large piece of furniture and a very small room.  19Jumenez Lai’s White Elephant plays with scale in order to act as both a large piece of furniture and a small building at the same time. It’s odd shape and 10’ x 10’ x10’ dimensions invites individuals to explore the object by spinning, pulling, pushing and kicking it. The White Elephant has a small, plush cowhide interior that snuggly envelops one person. The interior is a starkly contrasts the White Elephant’s durable polycarbonate exterior. Because the White Elephant does not have a fixed position it cannot be descibed by a single plan or section. The White Elephant defies all expectations of traditional architecture. 1.6: NEO-POSTMODERN CASE STUDYFigure 2.1.1: Civil Right ProtestThe collapse of modernist ideals in architecture occurred at a pivotal moment in American society. Protests erupted across the nation. Civil unrest not seen since the Civil War ensued. In the midst of this social upheaval, sociologist Robert Bellah came up with the theory of American Civil Religion. His theory describes the ways in which classical Greek and Roman imagery along with Christian imagery reinforce American Exceptionalism. 20PART TWO: AMERICAN CIVIL RELIGION Figure 2.1.3 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington Figure 2.1.2: The painting on the Capitol Dome entitled, The Apotheosis of Washington. Together, classical and Christian imagery frames America as a morally superior nation, rationalizing American exceptionalism. American civil religion evolves with social values and norms by emphasizing specific principles of the religion that match the current socio-political climate. Over time, American civil religion has shifted from deifying leaders of warfare to leaders of civil rights.Bellah builds on Rousseau’s theory of civil religion mentioned in Book 8 of the Social Contract which proposes that a civil religion is necessary to bind a republic. Similarly, Bellah’s theory of American civil religion explores the roles Christian and classical allegories play in attempting to unify America’s deeply fractured society.By using classical imagery, American society lays claim to Roman lineage (the foundation of all “civilized” Western European nations) and asserts its role as the successor of Western civilization. While Christian imagery expresses that American society is governed (and guided) by a higher power. 21Figure 2.2.1 Farming in America TimelineThe  Jeffersonian ideal of the yeoman farmer and the individual participant in democracy promoted the settlement of the west. Problematically, Jefferson’s ideal of the gentleman farmer conflicted with the harsh realities of farming in the mid-west.  Westward expansion relied on the exploration, sales, and settlement of agricultural land. The National Land Ordinance of 1785 provided a method for settling and purchasing land.222..2: THE YEOMAN FARMER & JEFFERSONIAN  IDEA OF DEMOCRACY Figure 2.2.2 Farming in America Timeline23Lousiana Purchase 1803Declaration of Independence 1776US Constitution Adopted 1787US Civil War 1861-1865Dust Bowl (1930-1936)World War I (1914-1919)World War II (1939-1945)Vietnam War (1955 -1975)Wall Street Crashes Triggering the Great Depression (1929)9/11 Attack (2001)Oil Crisis (1973)Policy FarmingTechnologyThe Hatch Act of 1887established agriculturalexperiment stations in connection with colleges. The Smith Hughes Actof 1917 provides fundingfor vocational education in agriculture.USDA is founded by Lincoln in 1862.He referred to it as the“People’s Department.”Norman Borlaug develops the backcrossing techniqueto create disease resistancegenes in crops. (1953)John Deere inventsthe steel plow. (1887)John Froelich creates the 1st gasoline-powered tractor in Iowa. (1892)National Land Ordinaceof 1785 provides a method for settling and purchasing land.  The Homestead Act of 1862 encouraged western migration by providing farmers with 160 acres of land if the farmers agreed to cultivate the land for5 years. Boyer & Cohen make the first geneticallymodified organism(GMO). (1973) The Agriculture AdjustmentAct of 1938 addresses theagricultural suplus by payingfarmers not to produce crops.The Southern Homestead Act of 1866 reducted the price of farm land to encourageland ownership, rather than sharecropping.The Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 increasescredit to rural farmers.The Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1936 allows the governmentto pay farmers to reduceproduction preventerosion. Three years later, soil erosion dropped 21.7%The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996eliminates milkprice supports and supply control. Federal Insecticide Act (1910) The 1947 law assignsthe USDA responsibility for regulating pesticides.Paul Muller discovers that DDT is an effective pesticide. (1939) Lorenzo A, Richards invents a tensiometer for measuring soil water matric potential (1920)Drones are first used for agriculture purposes (2013) Food Stamp Act and War on Poverty (1964)Environmental QualityImprovement Act (1970)Food Security Act lowered government farmsupports, promotedexports, and set up theConservation ReserveProgram (1985)Cotton Gin is invented. (1793)Drop in prices, combined with disastrous weatherin many parts of the country,caused increaseddemand for USDA farm programs (1999)ATC unveilsthe first self-driving tractor (2012) Crop sensors are used forweed detectionand targeted fertilization. (2014)New North AmericanFree Trade Agreement(NAFTA) lowers tradebarriers (1993)Rural developmentprogram begins (1954)Megh R. Goyal makes advancements in microirrigation technologies.(1986)Agricultural engineers combine on-the-go crop yield readings with GPS tracking to create crop yield maps. (1990)Agricultural TradeDevelopment andAssistance Act facilitates agriculturalexports andforeign aid (1954)TheReclamation Act of 1902facilitates irrigationBarbedwire allows fencing of rangeland,ending era of unrestricted, open range grazing (1874)Figure 2.2.4 Cover of Newsweek Magazine October 2015.Figure 2.2.3 American GothicAmerican agrarianism, as informed by the frontier myth, has kept farmers from positive adaptation, reinforcing instead the self-image of a hero victimized by circumstances. These myths of the yeoman farmer are inconsistent with today’s tech-savvy, agricultural industry.Today, the agriculture industry in America bears little – if any – resemblance to the bucolic, quaint image of the small American farm. The industry is characterized by precision technologies, large scale production of genetically modified cash crops, and massive industrialized farms.      24Figure 2.2.5 A landscape painting of a peaceful American farm with cattle grazing freely . 25Figure 2.2.6 An agrobot harvesting strawberries at an industrial scale farm in the USA.26Figure 2.3.1 Washington D.C. and the thirteen American coloniesFigure 2.3.2 The family tree of Washington D.C.Washington DC, the American capital, was a swamp marsh in 1776. DC was strategically chosen because of its location between the urban, industrialized north and the rural, agrarian south.In addition to representing the interests of the northern and southern states, Washington DC had to communicate to a global audience the worthiness and importance of this newly founded nation and its revolutionary government. 272.3: WASHINGTON D.C. & SYMBOLISM  IN THE FEDERAL CITYFigure 2.3.3 L’ Enfant’s master plan for Washington D.C.Figure 2.3.4 L’ Enfant’s plan for the National Mall28Borrowing directly from the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, Charles L’Enfant focused particularly on sightlines for the new capital. He created vistas which highlighted the Capitol and the White House to denote the government’s power.L’Enfant designed a “grand avenue” stretching west from the Capitol to the Potomac River. Over the last 200 years, this grand avenue (known as the National Mall) has transformed into a symbol of American culture.Figure 2.3.6 A timeline of the National Mall29Lousiana Purchase (1803)Declaration of Independence (1776)US Constitution Adopted (1787)War of 1812 (1812 - 1815)Dust Bowl (1930-1936)World War I (1914-1919)World War II (1939-1945)Vietnam War (1955 -1975)Wall Street Crashes Triggering the Great Depression (1929)9/11 Attack (2001)Oil Crisis (1973)US Civil War (1861-1865)Korean War (1950 - 1953)American Bicenntenial (1976)ArchitectureLandscape/PlanningYates Building is completed. (1887)National CapitalPlanning Commision is formed. (1924)British burn WhiteHouse & Capitolbuildings. (1812)Jefferson memorial is completed. (1943)Height restrictions on the Mall established. (1894)McMillian Plan formally creates the National Mall. Fredrick Law Olmsted Jr. designs the landcapingfor the Mall. (1901)White House &Capitol builidngs completed. (1793)Hirshorn Museum is completed. (1974)Washington monumentis completed. (1884)Tokyo mayor gifts cherry trees to be planted on the Mall. (1912)Congress declares the National Mall to be a “substantially completed work of civic art.” (2003) Skidmore, Owings & Merril plan for DC emphasisesthe inaugural processsion route along Pennsylvania Ave. (1965)Jamie Whitten (USDA) building is completed. (1908)National Museum of Natural History is completed.(1910)National Gallery ofArt west buildingis completed. (1941)L’Enfant plan for DC (1791)Legacy Plan is created expanding the National monumental core. (1997)Freer Gallery ofArt is completed. (1923)National Museum of American Historyis completed. (1964)Vietnam Vetrans memorialis completed. (1982)Smithsonian Castleis completed. (1855)Lincoln memorial completed. (1922)Andrew JacksonDowning designs a landscape plan forthe Mall. (1851)Arts & Indsutries building is completed. (1881)National Air & Space Museumis completed. (1976)National Art Galleryeast building is completed. (1978)Robert Mills designs a landscape plan forthe Mall. (1841)Sackler & African Art Galleryis completed. (1987)Holocaust Museumis completed. (1993)Korean War memorialis completed. (1995)WW II memorial & National Museum of theAmerican Indianis completed. (2004) Martin Luther King Jr. memorial is completed. (2011)National African American History & Culture Museum is completed. (2016)FDR memorialis completed. (1997)Figure 2.3.5 Master plans for the National MallThe mall has gone through many iterations and comprehensive plans over the last 200 years. These plans have been stitched together to make the patchwork that is the current National Mall. In contrast to the pristine and minimalist lawn of the Mall, the 1851 landscape plan by landscape architect, Andrew Jackson Downing, proposed a series of circuitous gardens with many different plant species with the intention of educating a broader public.301901 199018571791Figure 2.3.7 The National MallToday, the United States’ National Mall is a landscape unlike any other. The expansive – seemingly endless – lawn, flanked by enormous museums, memorials, and galleries is a cultural landscape that communicates the virtues and values of American society.  31Jefferson MemorialWhite HouseCapitol BuildingLincoln MemorialWashington MonumentFigure 2.4.2. The USDA main building was the first building built after the McMillian plan in 1908. Figure 2.4.1 Victorian style USDA building (1876)32The 1901 McMillian plan proposed a comprehensive strategy for the turning the National Mall into a monumental core of the growing city. The McMillian plan - based on the City Beautiful movement - sought to use beauty as a means of social control and civic enhancement. The plan proposed an orderly row of neoclassical style buildings along the east-west axis of the Mall. The cluster of Victorian-style brick buildings that comprised the USDA complex were razed and replaced by a large reinforced concrete neoclassical building in 1908. Today, the USDA main building is the only office building on the Mall. It holds a very prominent site, south of the Washington monument and directly across from the National Museum of American History & Culture. Over time, the USDA’s need for office space has grown. The USDA is now a complex comprised of three buildings (the USDA main building, south building, and Yates building) - none of which have any public facing programming. 2.4: THE USDA COMPLEX & THE MALLFigure 2.4.3. The Smithsonian metro station has two entrances to the right of the USDA complex. Figure 2.4.4. A frieze on the USDA main building. of American Civil Religion and neo-postmodernism can inform a public-facing program for the USDA. I have decided that this public program should take the form of a museum adjacent to the USDA main building on the Mall. It is a museum that discusses the history of agriculture but isn’t the Jeffersonian story of the Yeoman farmer and the individual participant in democracy, but rather,  a museum that admits that agriculture has always been industrial and has always involved a scientific and methodical approach to production.The USDA, refered to by Lincoln as “the People’s Department,24” only communicates with the public through its neoclassical façade. The neoclassical style evokes a bucolic image of farming that does not represent the current state of farming in America nor the work of the USDA.This thesis looks at the ways in which the theory  24. “Lincoln’s Agricultural Legacy,” United States Depart-ment of Agriculture, , accessed April 24, 2019, South BuildingUSDA Main BuildingUS Holocaust Memorial MuseumUS Food Safety Inspection ServicesForest Service Info CenterFreer Gallery of Art34Figure 2.4.5 Agricultural symbolism on the National MallNumbers below the buildings indicate the number of visitors ( in millions) per year that visit each site.16 3.38 2.6 4.4 1.2 5 1.2 3.8 6 7.5 6 3 1.7 1 1.2 .2.81.1 . 1 1.5FDR’s Agricultural Adjustment Act was designed to boost agricultural prices by reducing surpluses.The Luminous Landscapes collection focuses on productive landscapes across America. “Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens.” - Thomas Jefferson 1785In 1862, Lincoln established the United States Department of Agriculture.Lincoln grew up on a farm on America’s western frontier.Lyles Station was a community created by free black pioneers on the American frontier. The steel blades of Deere plows transformed the American Midwest into farmland.Global Food Security SymposiumAt the opening ceremonies,  Bush spoke about the contributions to national expansion by Sacagawea.First slave reparations promised by the government after the Civil War. The series, Pivot Agriculture, traces “out all the lines human have etched.” A new generation of farmers obsessed with  efficiency.George Washington was a farmer who believed that wealthy farmers ought to experiment to perfect new techniques. “The Farmer Pays For All” is inspired by the Granger movement.Monsanto was the largest producer of Agent Orange for the US Military.Figure 3.1.1 Site PlanLocated west of the USDA main building and directly infront of the Yates Building, the proposed Science of Agriculture Museum occupies the unprogrammed north-western quadrant of the USDA complex.  Unlike most of the mall, this site is not orthogonal. Its shape is a response to the landscaping of Washington Monument. This site is the only unprogrammed plot of land along the Mall’s east-west axis between the Washington Monument and the Capitol.   The proposed Science of Agriculture Museum is in  dialogue with the Washington Monument and the National African American Museum of History and Culture (NAAMHC). Together, they create a compelling narrative that highlights the connection between agriculture, technology, and slavery rooted in American history.  35PART THREE: DESIGN PROPOSAL36Figure 3.1.2 An aerial view of the Science of Agriculture Museum37Figure 3.1.3 Photograph of Site Model showing the relationship between the proposed Science of Agriculture Museum, Washington Monument, and National African American Museum of History and Culture. IMAGES OF MODELS38Scale 1:400SITE PLANFigure 3.1.4  Site Plan of Science of Agriculture Museum 39Figure 3.1.5  Site Section of the Science of Agriculture MuseumTotal 110,000ft² (10,220m²)RoofLevel 3Level 2Level 1Level 0 (Plaza)Level -1Level -2Classrooms & Meeting Spaces 8,000ft² (743m²)Offices & Research Rooms 7,000ft² (650m²)Demonstration Labs 5,000ft² (465m²)Permanent Exhibitions 10,000ft² (929m²)Temporary Exhibitions 15,000ft² (1,394m²)Entrance/ Upper Lobby 1,200ft² (111m²)Gift Shop2,000ft² (186m²)Greenhouses 9,000ft² (836m²)Storage30,000ft² (2,787m²)Lower Lobby 14,000ft² (1,300m²)Cafe 2,800ft² (260m²)Audtitorium 6,000ft² (557m²)17,00013,5008,5003,500- 1,500 -4,500-9,500 40The program of this site reflects the scientific, methodical, and efficiency-driven approach to farming demonstrated by large-scale industrial farms. Focusing on demonstration labs, greenhouses, as well as, temporary and permanent exhibition spaces, the 110,000ft2 Science of Agriculture museum, establishes science and technology as the backbone of American farming. Figure 3.2.1 Exploded Program Axonometric3.2 THE PROGRAMWhen entering the site from the Mall, there is gentle 1:20 slope towards a plaza that is located 1..5m below grade from the Mall. The slope is populated by a field of greenhouses that are accessible via the lower lobby level of museum. Since the greenhouses are located below ground, only the tops of the greenhouses are visible from the ground plane.  Due to the gentle slope of the lawn, the greenhouses appear taller and more visible from the ground plane. The effect is monumental. The field of glowing purple greenhouses slowly envelops visitors as they descend towards the plaza. The greenhouses play with scale and perspective to juxtapose the distant buildings on the Mall. From inside the field of greenhouses, they appear big and important while everything monumental on the Mall is small and obscured from view. This compact row of productive greenhouses are a stark contrast to the Mall’s expansive, bucolic, well-groomed grass. The human-scale of the greenhouses distinguishes this site from the enormous museums and monuments that flank the Mall. Moreover, the diminutive scale of the greenhouses demonstrates the ways in which science and technology create more efficient methods of land management. Lastly, the field of greenhouses subtly but definitively separates the plaza from expansive lawn of the Mall.The greenhouses challenge the public perception of agricultural production. By locating the compact greenhouses below ground and away from the sun, visitors to the site immediately identify the ways in which farming depends on science and technology to cultivate plants. Moreover, the glowing purple light emitted by the greenhouses - used to stimulate flower and fruit production - signifies to the artificial modifications made to plant species and their environments. 413.3 THE GREENHOUSES42Figure 3.3.1 As visitors walk towards the Science of Agriculture Museum from the Mall, they encounter a field of greenhouses that get taller as they descend into the plaza. When they reach the plaza the greenhouses obscure the visitor’s view of the Mall which in turn makes the plaza a seperate space from the expansive Mall. 43Figure 3.3.2 Photograph of the Greenhouse Section Model44Figure 3.3.3 Photograph of the Greenhouse Section Model45Figure 3.3.4 Photograph of the Greenhouse Section Model46Figure 3.3.5 A data server room filled with rows and rows of glowing servers. Greenhouses, like data server rooms, operate day and night and require highly controlled climates to function.47Figure 3.3.6 From the lower level of the Science of Agriculture Museum, visitors can enter the greenhouses. The well organised rows of glowing purple greenhouses resemble a data server room. 48The demonstration labs underscore the role of science in America’s agricultural history by encouraging visitors to critically engage with the scientific principles that influence plant growth.. Interacting with plant matter and soil in a laboratory setting allows visitors to concretely understand the inherent complexity and ambiguity of natural phenomena. Moreover, the demonstration labs make science “come alive,” and as a result, visitors walk away interested in learning more about science and its role in agricultural production.  3.4: THE DEMONSTRATION LABS49Figure 3.4.1 The demonstration labs are located on the second floor of the museum and look out at the Washington monument. The labs in the foreground recontextualizes the Washington monument and the lore of George Washington as a yeoman farmer. The Mall works from a distance. It works from an airplane, or from the top of the Washington Monument or the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, but it doesn’t work as a place to experience. The problems is that the Mall is not a place for people, it is a backdrop for immpressive monuments and museums. The mall is not a great urban park, but rather “a place to view grandeur in the distance.”  Mall itself feels empty. Few of its spaces have a sense of enclosure, and some of them are just too vast. The well- defined plaza adjacent to the Science of Agriculture Museum is a welcomed change from the immense 3-mile long Mall. The plaza provides space for public-facing programming for the Museum such as farmers markets and community lunches as well as a place for tour groups and school groups to organize. 25.	Kaid	Benfield,	“A	National	Mall	People	Actually	Want	To	Visit,”	CityLab, April 18, 2012, , accessed April 25, 2019, 503.5 THE PLAZA51Figure 3.5.1 Rendering of the Entrance to the Museum looking at the PlazaThe entrance to the museum is marked by a cut out in the shape of a traditional Prarie barn (also known as a Western barn.) The iconic shape of the barn is subtracted from the Science of Agriculture Museum to suggest that this symbol of the idylic, pastorial farm is absent in today’s large-scale argricultural industry.  Together the negative space of the barn and the purple glowing greenhouses signifies to visitors on the Mall that our widely held assumptions of agricultural production and farming are inconsistant with reality.Figure 3.6.1  North Elevation of the Science of Agriculture Museum523.6 THE MUSEUM FACADE53Figure 3.6.2 Rendering of the Science of Agriculture Museum with the Washington Monument at night.  The purple glow emitted by the field of greenhouses contrast the white light of the Washington Monument. 54Bellah, Robert N. Civil Religion in America. Daedalus, Journal of American Academy of Arts and Science 96, no. 1 (1967): 1-21. doi:10.1215/9780822388135-012. Benfield, Kaid “A National Mall People Actually Want To Visit.” CityLab. April 18, 2012. Accessed April 25, 2019., Kenneth R. and Octagon Museum. Creating the Federal City, 1774-1800: Potomac Fever. Washington: American Institute of Architects Press, 1988.Evans, Jocelyn J. and Kyrsten B. York. How the Mall Means: An Analysis of the National Mall as a Cohesively Built Environment. Perspectives on Political Science 42, no. 3 (2013): 117-130. Furman, Adam Nathaniel. The Democratic Monument: Adam Nathaniel Furman’s Manifesto for a New Type of Civic Center. ArchDaily. July 03, 2017. Accessed April 23, 2019., Nathan and Cynthia R. Field. The National Mall: Rethinking Washington’s Monumental Core. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.Jencks, Charles. The New Paradigm in Architecture: The Language of Post-modern Architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. Lai, Jumenez. “About.” Bureau Spectacular. Accessed April 23, 2019., Martin. “Postmodern Revivalism Doesn’t Exist; Now Is Not the Time to Be Criticizing It.” ArchDaily. November 02, 2017. Accessed April 23, 2019. Luria, Sarah. Capital Speculations: Writing and Building Washington, D.C. Durham, N.H;Lebanon, N.H;: University of New Hampshire Press, 2006.“Lincoln’s Agricultural Legacy.” United States Department of Agriculture. Accessed April 24, 2019., Kyle and Julia van den Hout. National Mall. Vol. November 2012;November 2012.;. Brooklyn, N.Y.: CLOG, 2012.Mumford, Lewis.  The Death of the Monument, in Circle: International. Survey of Constructive Art (London: Faber and Faber, 1937), 263-270. Parsons, Gerald. 2002. Perspectives on civil religion. Vol. [v. 3].;v.3;. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, Richard Longstreth, and Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. The Mall in Washington, 1791-1991: Proceedings of the Symposium. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1991.Otero-Pailos, Jorge and Project Muse University Press eBooks. Architecture’s Historical Turn: Phenomenology and the Rise of the Postmodern. N - New ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010. doi:10.5749/j.cttttvjt.Quinan, J. Petit, Emmanuel. Irony, Or, the Self-Critical Opacity of Postmodern Architecture. Vol. 51 American Library Association CHOICE, 2013.Rowe, Colin. The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays: Incluye: Mannerism and M.A. ; Character and Composition ; 19th Century ; Chicago Frame ; Neo-”Classicism and M.A. ; Transparency ; La Tourette ; The Architecture of Utopia. Cambridge (Mass.)/London: MIT Press, 1977.Savage, Kirk. Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.Sert, J L., F. Leger and S. Giedion 1984 Nine Points on Monumentality. Harvard Architecture Review 4:62-63.Vale, Lawrence J. Architecture, Power, and National Identity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.Venturi, Robert. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, Etc. Pp. 135. New York, 1966.Wilson, Richard Guy. “High Noon on the Mall: Modernism Versus Traditionalism, 1910-1970.” Studies in the History of Art 30, (1991): 143.55


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