Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Not many museums collect houses. The National Museum of American History has four, as well as two outbuildings, 11 rooms, an elevator, many building components, and some architectural elements from the White House. Drafting manuals are supplemented by many prints of buildings and other architectural subjects. The breadth of the museum's collections adds some surprising objects to these holdings, such as fans, purses, handkerchiefs, T-shirts, and other objects bearing images of buildings.
The engineering artifacts document the history of civil and mechanical engineering in the United States. So far, the Museum has declined to collect dams, skyscrapers, and bridges, but these and other important engineering achievements are preserved through blueprints, drawings, models, photographs, sketches, paintings, technical reports, and field notes.
"Engineering, Building, and Architecture - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Thousands of homes were obliterated by the effects of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. One of those homes stood at 2005 Lizardi Street in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. This mailbox is all that remained, except for the front steps and a field of debris.
- The hand-painted green flowers and butterflies on this mailbox, and the carefully lettered name and address of the Alexander family, evoke the domestic serenity that was shattered by Katrina's waters. Inside the mailbox a thick layer of dried mud recalled the wall of water that washed over this neighborhood August 29, 2005, when everything in its path was either submerged or destroyed.
- The Lower Ninth Ward was a victim of the over-burdened Industrial Canal, whose concrete flood walls collapsed beneath the weight and force of the water. Further afield, a manmade navigation canal, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet ("Mr. Go"), offered a short cut not only to ships leaving the Gulf headed for New Orleans but for storm water moving inland from the Gulf. It was this water that in large part flooded the Industrial Canal and devastated the Lower Ninth Ward.
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center