The Spectator and the Topographical City

Martin Aurand's new book is one of the most eye-opening studies of Pittsburgh in a long time, and one of the most original.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Winner of the 2007 Art Libraries Society of North America Worldwide Books Award

The Spectator and the Topographical City examines Pittsburgh’s built environment as it relates to the city’s unique topography. Martin Aurand explores the conditions present in the natural landscape that led to the creation of architectural forms; man’s response to an unruly terrain of hills, hollows, and rivers. From its origins as a frontier fortification to its heyday of industrial expansion; through eras of City Beautiful planning and urban Renaissance to today’s vision of a green sustainable city; Pittsburgh has offered environmental and architectural experiences unlike any other place.
Aurand adopts the viewpoint of the spectator to study three of Pittsburgh’s “terrestrial rooms”: the downtown Golden Triangle; the Turtle Creek Valley with its industrial landscape; and Oakland, the cultural and university district. He examines the development of these areas and their significance to our perceptions of a singular American city, shaped to its topography.

248 Pages, 7 x 9.5 in.

January, 2014

isbn : 9780822962762

about the author

Martin Aurand

Martin Aurand is architecture librarian and archivist at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Martin Aurand