2016 Buell Center Fellowship

2016 Buell Center Fellowship

The Buell Center Fellowship, an annual award for historical research on the built environment within or between the fields of architecture, urban history, and landscape, was developed by The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture in coordination with Columbia University’s Center for Oral History and the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library.


Up to three awards, between $3,000 and $5,000, are given annually for the purposes of carrying out primary research in conjunction with a scholarly research project at the advanced graduate level. Interdisciplinary or comparative work on the Americas is especially encouraged, and special consideration is given for projects that include an oral history component. Applicants must be full-time Columbia University students at the time of the award's distribution.



Recipients: Robin Hartanto Honggare, Alexander Hilton Wood



Robin Hartanto Honggare, MS.CCCP 2017


Architecture as Diplomacy: The Indonesia Pavilion, the Cold War, and the Project of Neutrality


This research investigates the Indonesia Pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, reading it as a diplomatic apparatus between two countries: Indonesia, the guest, and United States, the host, and also for both countries in relation to the world. Created during the Cold War, the Pavilion was operating within a twofold environment. At the domestic level, the idea of Indonesia as a nation and its links to the world were actively negotiated on a wide cultural front. The positioning of Indonesia in international settings, such as at the world’s fair, would affect not only its international relations but also its domestic affairs. Meanwhile, at the international ground, the escalating conflict between the Eastern Bloc and Western Bloc of the Cold War had politicized cultural stages so heavily that participation in any international event would be suspected as marking an alignment to a certain party. Looking at this situation as a challenge as much as it was an opportunity, Sukarno, the acting President of Indonesia, foresaw the participation as an extension of his political project, the project of neutrality, in response to the opposing duality of the Cold War blocs. Sukarno himself was actively involved in visioning the architecture of the Pavilion, presenting it not only as a representation of a nation, yet also as a form of diplomatic statement.


Through a historical and critical reading of the Pavilion, the research, a chapter of my intended thesis project for the Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture program, will uncover the role of national pavilion, in conjunction with other architectural typologies, as a stage in which the idea of nation was imagined and materialized. With the travel support from the Buell Center Fellowship, I will conduct the research mainly through archival readings in the United States and Indonesia as well as through discussions with architectural historians.


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1. The Indonesia Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair 1964-1965, 1964.

2. His Highness Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX, the Commissioner General for the Pavilion of Indonesia, presents Fair President Robert Moses with a native Indonesian wood carving at the groundbreaking ceremony, 1963.



Alexander Hilton WoodPhD Candidate Architecture


American Beaux-Arts Architecture and the Granite Industry of New England, 1870-1930


The reign of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States from the 1870s to the 1930s transformed the landscape of cities, the culture of the profession, and the development of the construction industry. It shaped the prospect of cities by giving prominent buildings a vivid, grand, and cosmopolitan character appropriate to a proud, prosperous, and imperialist nation. In the profession it elevated the art of design, encouraged academic training, and privileged elite practices for the most prestigious projects. It also stimulated the growth of large general contractors, fabricators, and suppliers that became critical partners in the complex, hierarchical, and administrative process of constructing monumental buildings. The most important partner in this regard was the modern stone industry, which flourished in response to the demand for carefully cut, carved, and finished granite, marble, and limestone.


The architects in New York City, Chicago, San Fransisco, and other major cities who worked in this style utilized different sources of stone but the oldest, largest, and most respected was the extensive granite industry of New England. With this fellowship I intend to study the relationship of architects to this industry, to identify the most important producers of granite building stone, and to chart the growing role of these massive corporate enterprises in the monumental building projects of the era. This research is essential to my dissertation, which explores the transformation of the practice of architecture in the United States from the post-Civil War era to the Great Depression. I hope that it will also contribute more broadly to scholarship on the interrelated history of architecture, business, and labor in this period.


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1. Granite blocks at the Milford Quarry, numbered for transport to the McKim Building construction site, 1888. Photograph No. 10 by Edward Stevens, Clerck of the Works. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library.

2. Cornerstone of the McKim Building assembled at the Pink Granite Company Quarry, Milford, MA, October, 31, 1888. Photograph No. 25 by Edward F. Stevens, Clerk of Works. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library.