Lewis, Pierce. 1998. The monuments and the bungalow. The geographical Review 88 (4)-507-27.

Synopsis

The teaching of landscapes is as tough as reading the landscapes. In this paper, Lewis has argued on two main points to teach/read the landscape, “First the students must learn to pay attention to the commonplace and second the students must master the vocabularies so that they can classify the elements in landscape and connect the small things with larger ideas “(p. 507).  He gave emphasis on “students need to develop and cultivate the habit of using their eyes and asking nonjudgmental questions about familiar, commonplace things.” (p.511) and equally focuses on students’ requirement “to acquire vocabulary that allows them to describe things accurately.” (p.514). For example, the landform an alluvial fan, as the name suggests, is a highly recognizable shape that looks like an old-fashioned fan. However, the students are likely to know the origin and the formation of the alluvial fan by its name; they are created by the running water, by a stream depositing sand and gravel for a period of time.

To make his argument even stronger, Lewis talks about the monuments and the bungalow in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.  Bellefonte, though a commonplace requires a lot of attention and a certain level of architectural vocabulary to understand architectural history. The first is the war monument in front of the Court House, a dignified bronze statue of Andrew Curtin, which explains his role in helping America’s numerous wars. “Along with a fair bit of martial statuary, it bears the names of all the county’s citizens who have served in the military in war-time –during the revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine War Insurrection, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. There are four long rows of bronze plaques, all closely engraved with the names of veterans (p. 516).

The second thing is scattering a California bungalow, largely in the middle-class residential neighborhood several blocks from the courthouse. It is a memorial to citizens of Centre Country who served in the military. There are more than 4,000 names of American Martyrs and more than 2,000 names of Civil War British or Irish or Pennsylvania’s veterans on that monument.In a conclusion, Lewis states that his readings of the monument and those bungalows are certainly not the only reading—and they may not even be correct reading—although naturally, he likes to think they are. “My argument goes beyond a particular reading of monument, bungalow, or some other particular artifact in the landscape. They can learn from the landscape, not only because they listen to lectures from me or some other teacher but because they’ve learned, on their own, to see a world they’ve never seen before”

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