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About this collection

 

This digital collection samples several buildings and resources from the Prewar Apartment Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin project. PAHMW maps over 1,200 apartment buildings built before 1939 – the housing response to a century of Milwaukee’s explosive population growth and industrial prowess. Multifamily dwellings like apartment buildings are crucially understudied outside major cities like Paris, New York City, and Chicago; and almost entirely unstudied in Wisconsin given local focuses on Frank Lloyd Wright, Milwaukee’s historic single-family mansions, and Milwaukee’s proximity to Chicago.

 

This map tool allows historians to investigate how, where, and why Milwaukee responded to housing shortages alongside rapid population growth; an extensive, early streetcar system; local industries like brewing and manufacturing; dehumanizing, restrictive racial covenants and immoral redlining practices; and analyze the spatial relationships among a particular type of home and between these homes and both natural and infrastructural resources.

 

By reconsidering vernacular architecture as the product of labor and craftsmanship in prewar America, we see architecture as a lineage of styles and forms, and we can better understand the forms and meaning of home under shared roofs and between shared walls. This is a digitally humanistic study of the spaces and places we call home.

 
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