Civic Pride and the Urban Monumnet

Jeffrey C. Shumaker, SU School of Architecture

Advised by Kristen Schaffer, John Western


Imagine a city where people gather in the streets by choice and not by chance[...] What better place is there to witness society at its fullest than in our cities[...] The privatization of the public realm has proven to be destructive for both the city's physical form and its social structure[...] This leads us to the discussion that becomes the reason for my writing this thesis and, ironically, becomes for me the most obvious illustrations of the present urban predicament. The city is in desperate need of a civic architecture[...] a civic architecture is one that is created for the people and will, in effect, bring people willingly into the city[...] The civic monument, in contrast to other less significant structures found within the city, should have a sense of "permanence" different from the more impermanent nature of the fabric[...] The concept of spectacle and theater can being to manifest itself from within the monument out into the streets, allowing the monument to act as a stageset for the city[...] All of these issues will be explored as we look at the place for public assembly and its relationship to the rest of the city.