3 credits – 3 Classroom Hours
Prerequisite: ARCH2321

Course Description: New York City from village to preeminent commercial and cultural hub of the nation. Historical analysis of the city’s infrastructure, real estate development, municipal planning and building. Development and theories of a megalopolis. Dynamic socio-economic determinants emerging as a result of improvements and growth in technology, transportation, infrastructure, real estate, commerce, housing and recreation.

Class Website:
Class materials and selected assignments will be posted and updated on the class website. Go to, create an account, and request to join the wiki. All students are required to participate.

Course Requirements: There will be several quizzes and assignments throughout the semester, a final project, and a final exam.

Grading: Participation 10%
Quizzes 15%
Assignments 35%
Final Exam 20%
Final Project 20%

Extra points will be given for active and thoughtful in-class and on-line participation. Late assignments will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor, and will not be accepted later than two weeks after the due date. The grade on an assignment will be lowered each day it is late. Quizzes will be given at the beginning of the class, and extra time is not given if you are late. There will be no make-up quizzes.

Attendance Policy: No more than 2 absences are permitted during the semester. For the purposes of record, two lateness marks (more than 10 minutes) are considered as one absence. Exceeding this limit will expose the student to failing at the discretion of the instructor.

Academic Integrity: Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting and citation of sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the college recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension and expulsion.

Learning Objectives: On completion of the course, students shall be able to achieve the following:
  1. Explain the progression of key developments of New York City architecture from the early European settlement to today.
  2. Define significant architectural periods and styles, including Eclectic Architecture.
  3. Trace the major building technologies of the city’s architecture since its founding.
  4. Utilize multiple methods to examine and explain the impact of the city’s past on the architecture and neighborhoods of the city today.
  5. Critically analyze contemporary urban developments and architecture in the city.

Assessment: Quizzes, assignments, final exam, final project, and participation will test the student’s abilities to demonstrate the above learning objectives.

Field Trips: Students will be required to periodically engage with the city for their coursework. As schedules permit, the class might visit an area of the city as a group.

Required Text:
Roth, Leland M. American Architecture: A History. Cambridge MA: Westview Press, 2001.

Highly Recommended Texts:
Homberger, Eric. Historical Atlas of New York City. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1998.

White, Norval and Elliot Willensky. AIA Guide to New York City. New York: Three Rivers Press, 4th
Edition, 2000.

Dolkart, Andrew S. Guide to New York City Landmarks. New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2nd Edition, 1998.

Reynolds, Donald Martin. The Architecture of New York City. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Revised Edition, 1994.

Conduit, Carl W. American Building: Materials and Techniques from the Beginning of the Colonial Settlements to the Present. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.

Lankevich, George J. New York City: A Short History. New York: New York University Press, 2002.

Sanderson, Eric W. Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York. New York: Abrams, 2009.

Lopate, Phillip. Writing New York. New York: The Library of America, 2nd edition, 2008.

Course Outline

CLASS 1: Introduction
Course requirements and overview

LECTURE 1: 1600-1785: Transplanted Vernaculars
Native Americans, European Arrival and Settlement

LECTURE 2: 1785-1820: A New Architecture for a New Nation
American Revolution, Federal Style

LECTURE 3&4: 1820-1865: Appropriation and Innovation
The Revival Styles (Greek, Gothic, Italianate)

LECTURE 5: 1865-1885: The Age of Energy and Enterprise
The Victorians (Cast Iron and Romanesque Revival)

LECTURE 6: 1885-1915: Urbanism and the Search for Order
The Gilded Age (Beaux-Arts and neo-Classicism)

CLASS 8: Midterm Class
Final Project Assigned

LECTURE 7: 1915-1940: Nostalgia and the Avant-Garde
Modern Skyscraper, Art Deco

LECTURE 8: 1940-1970: The Emergence of Modernism
The International Style, Urban Renewal

LECTURE 9: 1970-2000: Responses to Modernism
Postmodernism, Deconstructivism

LECTURE 10: 2001-2012: Contemporary New York
Defining the City’s Future

CLASS 14: Course Review

CLASS 15: Final Exam