History and Architecture History and Architecture

History and Architecture


  • To guess the general developmental timeline of the participants' neighborhood
  • To determine the primary housing styles in the neighborhood
  • To explain the effects that transportation and development have on community design and walkability


  • Computer with Internet
  • Pen and paper
  • Maps of different neighborhoods around the city

Neighborhood development is influenced by factors such as transportation, location, and resource availability.  Have students discuss the different transportation modes that have existed throughout time.  Some examples that can be given include foot, horse and carriage, street car, and automobile.

Have the group think about the various ways in which transportation mode can influence the development of a community.  To aid in the process, show a map of central Memphis as compared to East Memphis.  What are the differences in the width of the streets, the length of the blocks, and the size of the lots that the homes are built on?  How do these differences relate to the types of transportation that currently occur or possibly occurred in the past?  What can these characteristics possibly reveal about the age of the community?   

Explain that the age of a community can often be gauged by the main architectural styles that exist in the area.  Have students go to the following web sites:


Have them pair up and spend some time exploring the various historic housing styles.  Which homes are similar to homes in their neighborhood?  What is similar about the homes in the pictures and the homes in their neighborhood?  In which era and time frame were these homes constructed? 

Once the group has identified similar housing styles to their neighborhood assign one style to each group and have them do some basic research on the history and time frame of that particular form and report their findings back to the group. 

Note: The predominant housing styles listed in the National Historic Register for Peabody Vance are Queen Anne, Italianate, and Late Victorian. For East Buntyn, the main styles are Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Bungalow/Craftsman   

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Last Updated: 12/4/11