|1. How did members of
different cultures decide how to build their buildings?
I believe that through many years of trial and error
the people of a particular culture decided what was the best way to live together.
The building that they built helped them to live this life and express what they
thought was important. Buildings can also show us what materials were available and how
the climate influenced the building.
2. Did the architecture of the immigrant's
homeland effect how they built their homes in the new world?
Most people when they move to a new place
like to have something near them that reminds them of their old home. I think that this is
the main reason that immigrants build their new homes very much like their old homes.
3. Did immigrants bring traditional building
styles to their new homes?
Yes. In addition to what I wrote above,
immigrants also bring their skills and experience in construction with them. These
construction skills also influence what they build in a new place.
4. Did certain buildings built by members of
immigrant groups have easily recognizable characteristics (i.e. - adobe for Hispanics)? If
so what are some characteristics?
Yes, I believe that most groups have
recognizable characteristics. The German immigrants in New Braunfels, for example, built
buildings with walls made of large wood frames filled in with brick masonry. In doing this
they were repeating a way of building that had been developed in Germany a long time ago.
The buildings are very recognizable.
5. Did immigrants bring traditional building
styles to their new homes?
See the answer to question #3.
6. Is there any special information you can
share with us about cultural groups and their architecture?
I think that it is true that cultural groups
tend to repeat their way of building in a new place . Interesting things happen, however,
when the new place does not have the same materials or climate. A group coming from a
place with a cool and wet climate, for example, would have to change their way of building
if they came to a new place with a hot and dry climate.
7. Why are most buildings built by the
Spanish and Mexican immigrants adobe?
I think that the main reason that Spanish
and Mexican immigrants used adobe is that the material was easy to find locally and
inexpensive. Adobe is made from certain kinds of soil that is shaped into regular pieces
and then dried in the sun. The material also works best in places that do not have a great
deal of rain.
8. What was the purpose of the beams sticking out of the side walls near the roofline?
These beams, also called vigas, help to support the flat roof. I believe they
are not the same width of the building so that they can
be reused for other buildings in the future.
9. What was the purpose of the arch? (How did they use arches?)
The curve of the arch is a very good method to carry the wall above from one
support to the next. The arch can be constructed with many smaller pieces rather than one
long flat piece as you can see in picture three. This
distance is called the 'span' of the arch. The arch is more commonly used with materials
such as adobe, stone, brick, etc..
10. Why were there so few
interior doors in some of the early Hispanic houses?
I am not sure about the reason but it could be because large trees were not
commonly available. Most doors are made of wood, particularly wide boards. If there were
not many large trees near by it might be difficult to
find materials to build the doors.
11. Why did the Spanish people use tile
The roof tiles are, like adobe, made from
certain types of soils. The material would be easy to find and inexpensive. The roof tiles
are not dried in the sun but heated to high temperatures by fire. This makes the tile very
hard and fireproof. When the tile is used on the roof it can last for a long time and
helps protect the building from fire.
12. Why did they build their ovens outside?
There are a number of reasons why the ovens
might be built outside. I believe that the main reason would be the concern for fire. If
the cooking was done outside of the house there would fewer chances for a fire to burn
down the entire house. In warm climates or during hot weather it would more comfortable to
have something hot like a cooking fire outside rather than inside the house. Smells and
smoke might also be other reasons for cooking food outside .