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One Builder: Marshall Erdman and Postwar Building and Real Estate Development in Madison, Wisconsin
February 13, 2012 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Resident Fellow (2011-2012)
Art History, UW-Madison
One Builder takes the career of Madison-based builder/developer Marshall Erdman as an instructive case study to tell the closely intertwined history of architecture, building and real estate development in the later twentieth century. Andrzejewski seeks to show how a single builder rooted in a particular place responded to economic trends, land use and property development, architectural styles, governmental regulations, and trends in building and studio practice. Her research draws on evidence from the Erdman archives, zoning ordinances and land development theory, newspaper articles, and extant structures in order to broaden understanding of building practices in the postwar United States. In exploring how one builder responded to local as well as national trends, Andrzejewski’s book transcends conventional biographical studies and monographs on architectural style to offer an alternative model that could be applied to the interpretation of other modern builders. At the Institute, she will complete the research and write the third and fourth chapters of this book that examines Erdman’s pioneering efforts in crafting one of the earliest “design/build” firms during the 1960s and his move from contractor to real estate developer in the 1970s and 1980s.
Anna Andrzejewski is a Resident Fellow at the IRH during the spring semester. Andrzejewski is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Co-Director of the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Ph.D. Program. Her first book, Building Power: Architecture and the Ideology of Surveillance in Victorian America, was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2008. Andrzejewski’s current research examines post World War II building, particularly in the middle-class suburbs. In addition to her book project on Marshall Erdman, she is working on a co-authored volume on interpreting suburbia (for the Vernacular Architecture Forum’s Special Series) as well as co-authoring a book with Prof. Arnold Alanen on the buildings and landscapes of southwestern Wisconsin’s driftless region.