Greening the Grid and Ammenities

Chappell’s article on the aesthetics of Williamsburg’s neighborhoods begins by showing the problems of private land developers. C.J. Callahan was a developer who was sent to create subdivisions in the Williamsburg community in the 1920’s. He developed these buildings in a city style (the buildings were in a rectangular grid pattern). The plan lacked distinction to the Williamsburg area and John Pollard bought this tract of land in hopes of creating his own design. Pollard designed a “Court.” Chandler and Braxton court were built in a combo between the American “bungalow style” and English and New England’s “village green.” These areas were tightly packed but came to be some of the most beloved neighborhoods. This type of building style, meant to accentuate the natural aesthetics of the area, has become the norm in Williamsburg. Larger houses have begun to be built but for the most part they maintain the natural aesthetic. This is a major part of Williamsburg and, in my opinion, is one of the distinctive features that sets Williamsburg apart from other communities in Virginia.

Oxreider’s article is about the evolution of Williamsburg into the 20th Century. The article begins by showing that the rest of the state’s community saw Williamsburg as lazy and slightly backwards. Overall it mentioned a lot of the same things from the Tate article about Town and Gown. Most of the article focuses on specific people and how they contributed to the Williamsburg community. I had no idea the first automobile accident in WIlliamsburg occurred in 1911 or the Georgia O’Keefe was involved. The article functions more as a timeline than anything else. It punctuates specific events in Williamsburg’s history and gives the date and important people involved. The town was originally based around the college and farming; it slowly developed a few factories over the years that have since died out. The article goes into specific social movements as well, specifically the women’s suffrage movement. The Williamsburg League “vowed to save women of WIlliamsburg from the new movement (suffrage)” (Chappell). The article added some interesting facts to the background of Williamsburg and seemed to include every group of people it could.

1 Response to “Greening the Grid and Ammenities”

  1. 1 dcpratt February 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Oxreider writes that “nothing could be further from the truth” than the notion that Williamsburg after the Civil War was “lazy and sleepy.” She offers ample evidence, as you note, to suggest otherwise, but who is Oxreider trying to convince? What, in other words, is the intended audience for this and the other two pieces you discuss?

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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