University of Minnesota professor John Archer has received the 2007 Society of Architectural Historians’ Alice Davis Hitchcock Award for his book Architecture and Suburbia: From English Villa to American Dream House.
The Hitchcock committee described his honored work as “a history that explores the roots of contemporary attitudes toward the most familiar of American architectural objects, the single-family suburban house ... Rejecting the argument of the opponents of suburbia that cookie cutter houses create mass-produced personalities, he sees the suburban house as a baseline of opportunity, a starting point. The homeowner's personal experience determines how he or she reads what the developer provides and the marketplace offers more than enough material goods to personalize each home.”
The Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award was established in 1949 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar. The winning publication becomes part of the society’s permanent collection, displayed in the library of the Charnley-Persky House in Chicago, Ill.
Archer is professor in the department of cultural studies and comparative literature in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. He is also a professor in the art history department and an adjunct professor for the department of American studies. (Press release courtesy of University of Minnesota News Service)