"In the late nineteenth & early twentieth centuries, the booming textile industry turned many New England towns & villages into industrialized urban centers. This rapid urbanization transformed not only the economic base but also the regional identity of communities such as New Bedford as new housing forms emerged to accommodate the largely immigrant workforce of the mills. In particular, the wood-frame "three-decker" became the region's multifamily housing design of choice, resulting in a unique architectural form that is characteristic of New England. In The Patina of Place, Heath offers the first book-length analysis of the three-decker & its cultural significance, revealing New Bedford's evolving regional identity within New England. Using his concept of "cultural weathering" to explore the cultural imprints left by inhabitants on their built environment, Heath considers whether the three-decker is a generic type that could be transferred, unaltered, elsewhere. He concludes that the ethnic, economic, & geographic conditions of a locale serve as subregional filters that reshape the meaning, utility, & character of a building form, thereby making that form an integral & distinctive part of its community. Specifically, Heath shows how the three-decker was designed, built, & lived in, & then illustrates its transformation by later generations of residents following the collapse of the textile industry in the mid-1920s up to the present day."~FROM: The Patina of Place, The Cultural Weathering of a New England Industrial Landscape, 2001, Kingston Wm Heath~
|90 Davis Street, New bedford, Massachusetts. The family's first home in America, they lived on the middle floor. Porches have been removed and vinyl siding added, since the 1920's, a very traditional three tenement house.|
|Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, directly across the street from the family home on Earle Street.|
|Sarah D Ottiwell School in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the grammar school the children attended. All of the above photos were taken in February of 2012.|
|The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, New Bedford, Massachusetts, held yearly, the first weekend in August on the Immaculate Conception church grounds. Attended by the family to this day, about 90 years in attendance. Traditional Madeira Dance pictured above.|
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