Dell Upton

Dell Upton studies the history of architecture, cities, and material culture.  Professor Upton teaches courses on American and world architecture and urbanism, art- and architectural-history theories and methods, material culture,andcross-cultural spatial formation in the post-colonial world. His books and articles treat subjects ranging from pre-Revolutionary American architecture to critiques of New Urbanism and heritage tourism. They include Another City: Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic (2008; winner, Society of Architectural Historians Spiro Kostof Book Prize) and Architecture in the United States (1998; winner, Vernacular Architecture Forum Abbott Lowell Cummings Award), a volume in the Oxford History of Art series, as well as Holy Things and Profane: Anglican Parish Churches in Colonial Virginia (1986; winner, American Studies Association John Hope Franklin Publication Prize; Society of Architectural Historians Alice Davis Hitchock Book Prize; Vernacular Architecture Forum Abbott Lowell Cummings Award); and Madaline: Love and Survival in Antebellum New Orleans (1996; winner, Louisiana Literary Award). Upton served as a consultant and chief catalogue essayist for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2000 exhibition Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861. He is has just completed a study of civil-rights and black-history monuments and urban politics in the U.S. South and is working on  a world history of architecture.



Another City: Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic  (New Haven:  Yale University Press)

Winner:  Society of Architectural Historians’ 2011 Spiro Kostof Publication Prize

Architecture in the United States
(Oxford History of Art; Oxford:  Oxford University Press)

Winner:  Vernacular Architecture Forum’s 1999 Abbott Lowell Cummings Award

Madaline: Love and Survival in Antebellum New Orleans
, edited (Athens:  University of Georgia Press)

Winner of the 1996 Louisiana Literary Award

Holy Things and Profane: Anglican Parish Churches in Colonial Virginia
(New York: Architectural History Foundation; Cambridge: MIT Press)

Winner:  Society of Architectural Historians’ 1987 Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award; American Studies Association’s 1987 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize; Vernacular Architecture Forum’s 1987 Abbott Lowell Cummings Award

paperback ed.:  New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1997

Common Places:  Readings in American Vernacular Architecture, edited with John Michael Vlach (Athens:  University of Georgia Press)

America’s Architectural Roots:  Ethnic Groups That Built America, edited (Washington:  Preservation Press)

In preparation
Memorials to the Second Civil War:  Civil Rights Monuments and Southern Urban Politics

A World History of Architecture (Thames & Hudson)


In press
“Commercial Architecture in Philadelphia Lithographs,” in Philadelphia on Stone (Philadelphia:  Library Company of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012)

“The Political Iconography of Sacred Ground:  History and Redevelopment in Birmingham’s Civil Rights District,” in Portrait of the City, ed. Gillian O’Brien and Finola O’Kane (Dublin:  Four Courts Press, 2012), pp. 191-208

“Architecture in the South,” New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, vol. 21


“Before 1860:  Defining the Profession,” in Architecture School:  Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America, ed. Joan Ockman with Rebecca Williamson.  Washington, D.C.:  Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and Cambridge, Mass.:  MIT Press.  Pp. 36-65

“African-American Monuments and Memorials,” Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina

Foreword” to Second Suburb:  Levittown, Pennsylvania, ed. Dianne Harris (Pittsburgh:  University of Pittsburgh Press), pp. vii-xi

“White and Black Landscapes in Eighteenth-Century Virginia,” in Cabin, Quarter, Plantation:  Architecture and Landscapes of North American Slavery, ed. Clifton Ellis and Rebecca Ginsburg.  New Haven:  Yale University Press.  Pp. 121-29 (reprint of 1985 Places article)

Noah, Solomon, Saladin and the Fluidity of Architecture,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 68 no. 4 (December):  457-65

“Grid as Design Method:  The Spatial Imagination in Early New Orleans,” in Architecture – Design Methods – Inca Structures:  Festschrift for Jean-Pierre Protzen, ed. Hans Dehlinger and Johanna Dehlinger (Kassel:  Kassel University Press), pp. 174-81

Zai xueyuan pai zhi wai:  Meiguo tuxiang jianzhu yanjiu bai nian, 1890-1990”/“Outside/Beyond the Academic Canon/Discourse:  One Hundred Years of Research on American Vernacular Architecture, 1890-1990”, The Architect (Beijing), no. 138 (April):  85-94.  Chinese translation and adaptation of “Outside the Academy:  A Century of Vernacular Architecture Studies, 1890-1990”

Architecture 170,” in Design on the Edge:  A Century of Teaching Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, 1903-2003, ed. Waverly Lowell, Elizabeth Byrne, and Betsy Frederick-Rothwell.  Berkeley:  College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley.  Pp. 136-37.

Urban Plans and Urban Realities:  Understanding Cities,” in What Should I Read Next?, ed. Jessica R. Feldman and Robert Stilling (Charlottesville:  University of Virginia Press), pp. 77-80

“New Orleans, Dünyanın en Önemli Sokağı,” in Şehirler ve Sokaklar, ed. Zeynep Çelik, Diane Favro, & Richard Ingersoll (Istanbul:  Kitap Yayınevi), pp. 135-52.  Turkish translation of “New Orleans:  Master Street of the World”

Sound as Landscape,” Landscape Journal 26 no. 1:  24-35

The VAF at 25:  What Now?” Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture 13 no. 2 (2006-7):  7-13

Understanding New Orleans’ Architectural Ecology,” in Rebuilding Urban Places After Disaster:  Lessons from Hurricane Katrina, ed. Eugenie L. Birch and Susan M. Wachter (Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press), pp. 275-87

Architectural Politics and the Patent Office Building,” American Art 20 no. 2 (summer):  13-16

What the Mormon Cultural Landscape Can Teach Us,” Journal of Mormon History 31 no. 2 (summer):  1-29

“Gehryism:  American Architectural History and the Cultural Authority of Art,” Reconceptualizing the Built Environment of North America, on-line conference proceedings, Charles Warren Center and Graduate School of Design, Harvard University,

“Écoles lancastériennes, citoyenneté républicaine et imagination spatiale en Amérique au début du xixe siècle,” in L’architecture scolaire:  Essai d’historiographie internationale, ed. Anne-Marie Chatelet and Mar LeCœur, special issue of Histoire de l’éducation, 102:  87-108  part 1   part 2

“Spaces:  Parish Churches, Courthouses, and Dwellings in Colonial Virginia,” in American Architectural History:  A Contemporary Reader, ed. Keith L. Eggener.  New York:  Routledge.  Pp. 73-91.  [excerpted from Holy Things and Profane]

Signs Taken for Wonders,” Instruction and Provocation, or Relearning from Las Vegas, special issue, Visible Language 37 no. 3 (October):  332-50

Rpt. in Relearning from Las Vegas, ed. Aron Vinegar and Michael Golec (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2008), pp. 147-62

New Urbanism,” in Encyclopedia of Community:  From the Village to the Virtual World, eds. Karen Christensen and David Levinson (Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage), 3: 992-97

Architectural History’s Debt to Historic Preservation,” Blueprints 21 no. 3 (summer):  4-7

Architecture in Everyday Life,” New Literary History 33 no. 4 (autumn):  707-23

“Church Building in an Urban Age,” in Sacred Spaces:  Building and Remembering Sites of Worship in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Virginia Chieffo Raguin and Mary Ann Powers (Worchester:  College of the Holy Cross and American Antiquarian Society), pp. 47-58

“Comment écrire l’histoire de l’architecture?”, trans. Françoise Balogun, eaV:  La revue de l’école d’architecture de Versailles, 8 (2002-2003), pp. 12-17.  Translation of the Introduction to Architecture in the United States

“‘Authentic’ Anxieties,” in Consuming Tradition, Manufacturing Heritage:  Global Norms and Urban Forms in the Age of Tourism, ed. Nezar AlSayyad (New York:  Routledge), pp. 298-306

“Inventing New York” (in Hebrew), Eretz (Israel), June 2001, pp. 44-48

Preface,” to Sites of Memory:  Perspectives on Architecture and Race, ed. Craig Evan Barton (New York:  Princeton Architectural Press), pp. vii-xi

“Inventing the Metropolis:  Civilization and Urbanity in Antebellum New York,” lead essay for Art and the Empire City:  New York, 1825-1861, ed. John K. Howat and Catherine Hoover Voorsanger (New York:  Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New Haven:  Yale University Press), pp. 2-45 part1 part2 part3 part4

“Just Architectural Business as Usual,” Places 13 no. 2:  64-66

Introduction to Madaline,” rpt. in Visions and Revisions:  Perspectives on Louisiana Society and Culture, ed. Vaughan B. Baker.  Lafayette:  University of Louisiana at Lafayette Center for Louisiana Studies.  Pp. 243-78.

Remembering the Civil Rights Movement,” Design Book Review, no. 40 (fall):  22-33

“The Urban Cemetery and the Urban Community:  The Origin of the New Orleans Cemetery,” in Exploring Everyday Landscapes:  Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture VII, ed. Annmarie Adams and Sally McMurry (Knoxville:  University of Tennessee Press), pp. 131-45

Seen, Unseen, and Scene,” in Understanding Ordinary Landscapes, ed. Paul Groth and Todd W. Bressi (New Haven:  Yale University Press), pp. 174-79

“Lancasterian Schools, Republican Citizenship, and the Spatial Imagination in Early Nineteenth-Century America,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 55 no. 3 (September):  238-53

Ethnicity, Authenticity, and Invented Traditions,Historical Archaeology 30 no. 2:  1-7

The Story of the Book,” historiographic introduction to new edition of Charles Morse Stotz, Early Architecture of Western Pennsylvania [1936] (Pittsburgh:  University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995), pp. ix-xxvii part2

“New Orleans:  Domestic Social Space,” and “Philadelphia:  Health, Reform, Control,” contributions to Mark P. Leone and Neil Asher Silberman, Invisible America:  Unearthing Our Hidden History (New York:  Henry Holt), pp. 136-49

“Another City:  The Urban Cultural Landscape in the Early Republic,” in Everyday Life in the Early Republic, ed. Catherine E. Hutchins (Winterthur, Del.:  Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum and New York:  Norton), pp. 61-117

“The Master Street of the World:  The Levee,” in Streets: Critical Perspectives on Public Space, ed. Zeynep Çelik, Diane Favro, and Richard Ingersoll (Berkeley:  University of California Press), p. 277-88

Fred B. Kniffen” (obituary), Society of Architectural Historians Newsletter, April, pp. 6-7

The Tradition of Change,” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 5 no. 1:  9-15

“Architecture:  The British Colonies,” in The Encyclopedia of the North American Colonies, ed. Jacob Ernest Cooke (New York:  Charles Scribner’s Sons), 3:  259-75

“The City as Material Culture,” in The Art and Mystery of Historical Archaeology:  Essays in Honor of James Deetz, ed. Anne Elizabeth Yentsch and Mary C. Beaudry (Boca Raton:  CRC Press), pp. 51-74  part 1  part 2

Architectural History or Landscape History?Journal of Architectural Education 44 no. 4 (August):  195-99

“Form and User:  Style, Mode, Fashion, and the Artifact,” in Living in the Material World:  Canadian and American Approaches to Material Culture, ed. Gerald L. Pocius (St. John’s, Nfld.:  ISER Books), pp. 156-69

“Architecture in the Public Realm,” in On the Public Face of Architecture:  the Winter Conversazione for 1990, ed. Robert W. Gaston (Melbourne:  the Boston, Melbourne, Oxford Conversazioni on Culture and Society), pp. 73-88

“Imagining the Early Virginia Landscape,” in Earth Patterns: Essays in Landscape Archaeology ed. William Kelso and Rachel Most (Charlottesville:  University Press of Virginia), pp. 71-86

“Outside the Academy:  A Century of Vernacular Architecture Studies, 1890-1990,” in The Architectural Historian in America, ed. Elisabeth Blair MacDougall (Studies in the History of Art 35; Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Symposium Papers XIX) (Washington:  National Gallery of Art), pp. 199-213

The Traditional House and its Enemies,” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 1 no. 2 (spring):  71-84

“Builders’ Guides and Plan Books,” in Housing:  Symbol, Structure, Site, ed. Lisa Taylor (New York:  Cooper-Hewitt Museum and Rizzoli), pp. 86-87

“Farm Buildings,” “German Architecture,” “Vernacular Architecture (Lowland South),” and “Vernacular Buildings (Upland South),” in Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, ed. Charles Reagan Wilson and William Ferris (Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press for the Center for Southern Culture), pp. 65-67, 71-73, 110-13, 113-15

paperback edition (New York:  Anchor Books, 1991), vol. 1:  106-8, 116-20, 186-94

“New Views of the Virginia Landscape,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 96 no. 4 (October):  403-70
            Winner of the Virginia Historical Society’s 1989 Rachal Award

“Anglican Parish Churches in Eighteenth-Century Virginia,” in Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, II, ed. Camille Wells (Columbia:  University of Missouri Press), pp. 90-101

The Preconditions for a Performance Theory of Architecture,” in American Material Culture and Folklife:  A Prologue and a Dialogue, ed. Simon J. Bronner (Ann Arbor:  UMI Research Press), pp. 182-85  [symposium comment on an article by another scholar]

New ed.:  Logan:  Utah State University Press, 1992

“Vernacular Buildings,” in Built in the U.S.A.:  American Buildings from Airports to Zoos, ed. Diane Maddex (Washington, D.C.:  Preservation Press), pp. 166-71

Contribution to “Material Culture Studies:  A Symposium,” special issue, Material Culture 17 nos. 2-3 (summer-fall):  85-88

White and Black Landscapes in Eighteenth-Century Virginia,” Places:  A Quarterly Journal of Environmental Design 2 no. 2 (winter):  59-72

reprinted in Material Life in America, 1600-1860, ed. Robert B. St. George (Boston:  Northeastern University Press, 1988), pp. 357-69

“Pattern Books and Professionalism:  Aspects of the Transformation of American Domestic Architecture, 1800-1860,” Winterthur Portfolio 19 nos. 2-3 (summer-autumn):  107-50

The Power of Things:  Recent Studies in American Vernacular Architecture,” American Quarterly 35 no. 3 (bibliography issue):  262-79

reprinted with revisions in Material Culture:  A Guide to Research, ed. Thomas J. Schlereth (Lawrence:  University Press of Kansas, 1985), pp. 57-78

“The Origins of Chesapeake Architecture,” in Three Centuries of Maryland Architecture (Annapolis:  Maryland Historical Trust), pp. 44-57

“Vernacular Domestic Architecture in Eighteenth-Century Virginia,” Winterthur Portfolio 17 nos. 2-3 (summer-autumn):  95-119

reprinted in Common Places:  Readings in American Vernacular Architecture, ed. Dell Upton and John Michael Vlach (Athens:  University of Georgia Press, 1986), pp. 315-35

Impermanent Architecture in the Southern American Colonies,” Winterthur Portfolio 16 nos. 2-3 (summer-autumn):  135-96 [with Cary Carson, Norman F. Barka, William M. Kelso, and Garry Wheeler Stone]

reprinted in Material Life in America, 1600-1860, ed. Robert B. St. George (Boston:  Northeastern University Press), pp. 113-58

“Ordinary Buildings:  A Bibliographical Essay on American Vernacular Architecture,” American Studies International 19 no. 2 (winter):  57-75

“Traditional Timber Framing,” in Material Culture of the Wooden Age, ed. Brooke Hindle (Tarrytown, N.Y.:  Sleepy Hollow Press), pp. 35-93, 338-44

The Architectural Historian and Public History,” Society of Architectural Historians, The Forum, Bulletin of the Committee on Preservation 2 no. 2 (December):  1-2

reprinted in Controversies in Historic Preservation:  Understanding the Preservation Movement Today, ed. Pamela Thurber (Preservation Policy Research Series No. PPR-R03) (Washington:  National Trust for Historic Preservation), pp. 60-62

Arts of the Virginia Germans,” Notes on Virginia no. 19 (summer):  1-7

“Vernacular Architecture in Virginia:  A Bibliography,” Folklore and Folklife in Virginia:  Journal of the Virginia Folklore Society 1:  73-94

“Architectural Change in Colonial Rhode Island:  the Mott House as a Case Study,” Old-Time New England 69 nos. 3-4(winter-spring):  18-33

Toward a Performance Theory of Vernacular Architecture in Tidewater Virginia,” Folklore Forum 12 nos. 2-3:  173-96

Board Roofing in Tidewater Virginia,” APT Bulletin 8 no. 4:  22-43

“Prophesying at Plymouth,” Occasional Papers in Old Colony Studies no. 3 (December):  12-22

“Dutchess County Quakers and Slavery, 1750-1830,” Dutchess County Historical Society, Yearbook, 55:  55-59  [excerpt from undergraduate honors thesis]

Review Essays

“Where the Heart Is,” Design Book Review no. 14 (spring):  69-76

“The Other Eighteenth Century,” Design Book Review no. 10 (fall):  30-34

Book Reviews

Bellion, Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America, Journal of American History 98: 1148-1149

Atkin and Rykwert, eds., Structure and Meaning in Human Settlements, Journal of Anthropological Research 62:  576-78

Bachin, Building the South Side, The Public Historian 27 no. 2 (spring):  153-55

Schimmelman, Architectural Books in Early America, Libraries and Culture, 37 no. 2 (spring):  207-8

Davis, The Culture of Building, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 60 no. 2 (June):  236-38

“A World Less Ordinary,” review of Chase, Crawford, & Kaliski, eds., Everyday Urbanism, and Harris and Berke, eds., Architecture of the Everyday, Architecture 89 no. 2 (February):  54-55

“A Mutt of a Music” (review of Haslam, Workin’ Man Blues:  Country Music in California), Ink, New Times Los Angeles Book Supplement, Apr. 29-May 5, 1999, pp. 12, 14

McDannell, Material Christianity, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 122 nos. 1-2: 172-74

Lamme, America’s Historic Landscapes:  Community Power and the Preservation of Four National Historic Sites, Journal of Southern History 57 no. 4 (November):  779-80

Kennedy, Orders from France, Journal of American History, 77 no. 3 (December):  1001

Nabokov and Easton, Native American Architecture, Journal of American Folklore, 103 no. 408 (April-June):  241-43

Marling, The Colossus of Roads, Technology and Culture, 29 no. 3 (July):  702-3

McAlester and McAlester, A Field Guide to American Houses, Winterthur Portfolio, 20 nos. 2-3 (summer-autumn):  211-13

Meirion-Jones, The Vernacular Architecture of Brittany, Hutton and Harrison, Vernacular Houses of Yorkshire and North Cleveland, and Woodforde, Farm Buildings, Design Book Review, no. 6 (winter):  61-64

Brooks, comp., Writings about Wright, University Publishing, summer, New Books Supplement, p. 4

Moore, Smith and Becker, eds., Home Sweet Home, Design Book Review, no. 4 (spring):  68-69

Noble, Wood, Brick and Stone vol. 1, University Publishing, fall, New Books Supplement, p. 12

Stott, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Boston Proper, University Publishing, fall, New Books Supplement, p. 11

Green Building to Last, AIA Journal, 72 no. 1 (January):  80, 82

McDaniel, Hearth and Home, Technology and Culture, 24 no. 2 (April), 281-83

Whitwell and Winborne, The Architectural Heritage of the Roanoke Valley, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 42 no. 3 (October):  309-10

Wright, Building the Dream, Technology and Culture, 24 no. 2 (April):  283-85

Mark, Experiments in Gothic Structure, AIA Journal, 71 no. 9 (August), 58, 60, 62

Wilson, The Joy of Building, Winterthur Portfolio, 17 nos. 2-3 (summer-autumn):  171-73

Morgan, Prehistoric Architecture in the Eastern United States, AIA Journal, 70 no. 6 (October):  86, 88

Sears, The First One Hundred Years of Town Planning in Georgia, AIA Journal, 70 no. 6 (mid-May):  366, 368

Whiffen and Koeper, American Architecture, 1607-1776, AIA Journal, 70 no. 13 (November):  70-73

Cummings, The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, AIA Journal, 69 no. 1 (January):  94

Jeane and Purcell, eds., The Architectural Heritage of the Lower Chattahoochee Valley in Alabama and Georgia, AIA Journal, 69 no. 1 (January):  96, 100

Little-Stokes, Inventory of Historic Architecture, Caswell County, North Carolina, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 39 no. 4 (December):  341-42

Vieyra, Fill ‘er Up:  An Architectural History of America’s Gas Stations, AIA Journal, 69 no. 6 (mid-May):  85-86

Dunwell, Run of the Mill, AIA Journal, 68 no. 6 (mid-May):  272

Makinson, Greene and Greene:  Furniture and Related Designs, AIA Journal, 68 no. 8 (July):  70-72

Montell and Morse, Kentucky Folk Architecture, and Wilson, Alabama Folk Houses, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 38 no. 1 (March):  64-65

Foner, American Labor Songs of the Nineteenth Century, Southern Exposure, 6 no. 4 (spring):  104-6

Mercer, English Vernacular Houses, and Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 37 no. 2 (May):  116-17

Perdue, Barden and Phillips, eds., Weevils in the Wheat:  Interviews with Virginia Ex-Slaves, Southern Exposure, 4 no. 4 (winter):  110-11

Wolfe, The Grand Ole Opry:  The Early Years, Southern Exposure, 5 nos. 2-3 (summer-fall):  211-12

Major Museum Exhibit-Research Reports

“Slave Housing in 18th-Century Virginia:  A Report to the Department of Social and Cultural History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution,” MS., Smithsonian Institution, 81 pp.

“Report on Proposed Reconstruction of James Anderson Forges, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation,” MS., Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 21 pp.

“The Virginia Parlor, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution:  A Report on the Henry Saunders House and Its Occupants,” MS., Smithsonian Institution, 152 pp.