Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2019


cultural heritage, tangible, intangible, Syracuse, Erie Canal, architecture, infrastructure, industrial innovation






Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. Cultural heritage includes two spectrums of identity: tangible and intangible. Tangible culture includes buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artifacts. Intangible culture includes folklore, traditions, language and knowledge, atmospheric conditions, etc.

Syracuse, as part of Upstate New York, used to be an essential economic center of the United States. This resulted not only from its once-influential salt industry and its easily accessed canal infrastructure, but also from industrial innovation. Without trained engineers, the people of Syracuse designed machines for excavating the earth and building the Erie Canal. With easy transportation, goods and industrial products created and produced in Syracuse were shipped out, bringing prosperity and wealth to Syracuse.

With the development of new transportation technology, Erie Canal lost its competitive advantage. As a result, industrial goods from Syracuse could no longer find a market to consume these products. A great number of factories were either relocated to other parts of the country or permanently shut down. The Erie Canal was transformed to a city road. The image of industrial prosperity had been lost and left behind, becoming only traces of history.

These tangible ruins and intangible images of prosperity are waiting to be reconnected, revitalized, reestablished. The role of architecture, as a device that can both protect and revitalize such cultural heritage, is to mediate and to link the tangible and intangible parts of history. An industrial memorial that is composed of a spatial translation of such an industrial image can be a great way to memorialize, revitalize, and relink the tangible and intangible elements of industrial culture heritage.

Additional Information

Thesis Advisors:

Tim Stenson

Advisory Group:

Odd Plots


Local Input

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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