Architecture and the marvelous: The incorporation of the marvelous in American architecture from Monticello to Disneyland

Richard Scott Miterko, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Disneyland is an architectural marvel that can be understood and appreciated as part of the rich and broad history of the marvelous in architecture: A history of the marvelous in architecture that can be followed back in history to the first mention of The Seven Wonders of the ancient world. As an American architectural marvel Disneyland is also unique and it stands apart from architectural marvels before it, particularly outside of modern America, while making a unique contribution to the marvels that have followed it, both in America and abroad. To understand Disneyland's unique and ultimately pivotal position as an architectural marvel, first, a broad, varied and significant history of the positive pursuit of the marvelous in architecture must be established, Next, the emergence and development of a unique strain of the marvelous in America, including the marvelous in American architecture, should be developed that is indebted to, but distinct from its European precedents. Finally, the tentative emergence of the American marvelous in architecture at examples such as Monticello and the Columbian Exposition of 1893 will be shown to emerge in its fullest form for the first time at Disneyland in 1955. At Disneyland, the marvelous is fully secularized and incorporated by business in the making of a place where the pleasure of the consumption of the marvelous is paramount to the design and purpose of its architecture.

Subject Area

Architecture|American studies

Recommended Citation

Miterko, Richard Scott, "Architecture and the marvelous: The incorporation of the marvelous in American architecture from Monticello to Disneyland" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3211115.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3211115

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