Celebrating Architecture

Preserving the Past

Take time in May to enjoy the beauty of the historic buildings and structures where you live! For 70 years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has made it their mission to save America’s historic built environment and connect people to the places that reflect our history, our culture, and our communities. Take a moment to think about what our towns and cities would be like without our iconic structures, large or small, and you will soon realize the importance of preservation!

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is proud to be a part of the Morristown Historic District. In 1973, MHHM was recognized as a contributing factor by the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register for Historic Places. The 1973 recording lists the Morristown Historic District as “All or portions of Green, South, DeHart, Elm, Wetmore, Madison, and Pine streets; Macculloch, Maple and Colles avenues; Farragut and South Park places.”

Resources:

The New Jersey Register of Historic Places is the official list of New Jersey’s historic places. Visit www.nj.gov to find places of interest in a New Jersey county.

Search the archive of the National Register for Historic Places, administered by the National Park Service.  

Take a closer look at color photographs of American historic houses!

Photo by John Kerick on www.thisoldhouse.com.

Discover children’s activities from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Take a walk in your  neighborhood and, using the sheet below, see if you can identify architectural details in local buildings.

New Jersey’s Rock

We may walk past it, drive over it or walk on it and not even realize it is a clue to New Jersey’s past. What is it? A truly unique building material commonly known as puddingstone.

Puddingstone, also known as purple conglomerate, is found throughout Morris County, especially in Boonton and Mountain Lakes. It is believed it was named by English settlers who thought the stone resembled pudding with fruit.

Large examples can be found on nature hikes and was often used in building foundations, chimneys, walls and paths. 

It is no surprise that puddingstone can be found steps from MHHM. It was used as the main building material in a nearby house on Macculloch Avenue, a garden path, and a stonewall.

Can you pick out the puddingstone in the garden path and stone wall?

                           

Why does puddingstone look the way it does? It is a sedimentary rock which means it has gone through a process of compression. The white pebbles are quartz which are embedded in purple-stained sand and sediment. The purple stain is caused by iron that New Jersey is so well known for.

Mount Hope iron mine is the oldest iron mine in the nation and was just one of hundreds of mines in northern New Jersey which led the nation in iron ore production until the early 1900s.  If you look around the world, you can find puddingstone in Hertfordshire, England and even in Massachusetts, but nothing beats the look of New Jersey puddingstone.

Resources: 

Want to know more about sedimentary rocks? Visit Oregon State University’s website for more information.

Architecture: Strong as Metal

MHHM is celebrating Architecture month! We are exploring the built environment and features you may walk past everyday but may never have noticed before.

Have you seen this on a building? It can be the shape of a star, an x, or an S like this one but it does need to be made of metal. What is it? Why is it there?

Any guesses?

It is called an anchor-plate also known as a wall washer or wall anchor. It was used in the past to connect exterior walls to door and roof beams using a metal tie rod to provide extra support. Brick buildings, like Macculloch Hall, remain stable under the force called compression but could bulge or bow due to weathering and a second force called tension. The anchor-plates spread the tension load across several bricks.

Metal is a building material that remains strong under tension. Together brick, metal anchor plates and tie rods create sturdy building construction.

For young learners: 

Read or listen to the story of The Three Little Pigs and visit www.sciencenetlinks.com for an educational activity.

For middle school students:

Learn about tension and compression at www.teachengineering.org.

For adult learners:

Visit www.sciencebuddies.org for “An Introduction to Materials Science.”

Be an Archi-Tective #1: Brick

Did you know that bricks are one of the “original” green building materials? Bricks are energy-efficient, strong and 100% recyclable. George Macculloch (1775-1858) purposefully chose brick for his home in Morristown.

During a walk, use the attached activity sheet to search and find brick structures and brick patterns in your neighborhood.

DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES

Bricks and Blocks: Be a Brick Detective (PDF document)

EXTRA RESOURCES

Watch a video clip from Colonial Williamsburg and their traditional brick making program.

Firing of the Brick Kiln

Join us now through November 18 at the Brickyard to see these hardworking tradespeople bake 19,000 bricks (to be used for maintenance around the Historic Area) at over 2000 °F.Check out this video of the lighting of the kiln and learn more: bit.ly/2ASrvp6

Posted by Colonial Williamsburg on Thursday, November 15, 2018

Learn about bricks strengths and weaknesses as building materials at the PBS website.

Try making your own mud bricks that can dry in the sun. Experiment using soil, sand, water and other natural materials. Visit www.parentingscience.com for instructions.

Find books about architecture for ages 3 to 12.

New Jersey’s Rock

We may walk past it, drive over it or walk on it and not even realize it is a clue to New Jersey’s past. What is it? A truly unique building material commonly known as puddingstone.

Puddingstone, also known as purple conglomerate, is found throughout Morris County, especially in Boonton and Mountain Lakes. It is believed it was named by English settlers who thought the stone resembled pudding with fruit.

Large examples can be found on nature hikes and was often used in building foundations, chimneys, walls and paths. 

It is no surprise that puddingstone can be found steps from MHHM. It was used as the main building material in a nearby house on Macculloch Avenue, a garden path, and a stonewall.

Can you pick out the puddingstone in the garden path and stone wall?

                           

Why does puddingstone look the way it does? It is a sedimentary rock which means it has gone through a process of compression. The white pebbles are quartz which are embedded in purple-stained sand and sediment. The purple stain is caused by iron that New Jersey is so well known for.

Mount Hope iron mine is the oldest iron mine in the nation and was just one of hundreds of mines in northern New Jersey which led the nation in iron ore production until the early 1900s.  If you look around the world, you can find puddingstone in Hertfordshire, England and even in Massachusetts, but nothing beats the look of New Jersey puddingstone.

Resources: 

Want to know more about sedimentary rocks? Visit Oregon State University’s website for more information.

Be An Archi-Tective #2: From the Top (Roof Designs)

Did you know that architects can choose from over 20 different roof designs? Learn why the design of the roof is so important and take a walk in your neighborhood to find four of the most common types: Gable, Gambrel, Hip and Mansard roofs.

For young learners:
Conduct an experiment to learn about pitched roofs!

For grades 3 and 4:
Create model homes and test its roof structure. Use everyday home items like cardboard and poster board to create a variety of model homes and roofs. Visit www.teachengineering.org for details.

For grades 6 to 8: 
Learn about green roofs and its benefits to the environment! Watch how landscape architects manage water or make your own mini green roof. Visit www.asla.org for a full list of activities.

Other Resources:
Be an Archi-Tective Activity Sheet “From the Top: Roof Designs.” (PDF Document)

James Otis Post and AIA National Architecture Week

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) designated this week as National Architecture Week. It provides a moment to step back and look at all the amazing architecture around us and think about the role of the architect, a person who designs buildings after considering the needs of all the people who will use the building every day.

James Otis Post (1873-1951) is pictured above on his wedding day at Macculloch Hall with his bride, Dorothea Miller Post. James was an architect along with his father and brother at George B. Post and Sons. His father George Browne Post (1837-1913) was the sixth president of AIA and received AIA’s Gold Medal for his contributions to architecture. One of George B. Post’s most famous buildings is the New York Stock Exchange building built in 1903. It still stands at 11 Wall St, New York, NY 10005.

James Otis Post received the award of AIA Fellow for his contributions to architecture and was active in promoting the education of young architects. James’s son, Edward Everett Post (1911-2006) also became a successful architect. Today, on the anniversary of James Otis Post’s death in 1951 we honor the last generation of Macculloch-Millers who called Macculloch Hall home.

Resources: Are you interested in design or architecture?

Visit www.archkidecture.org for lessons and curriculum. Learn how to make a room from a mint tin box, or find architecture books for kids.

Visit www.centerforarchitecture.org for family-friendly architecture activities to do at home.

Take one of these “Building Challenges”:

Challenge 1-Draw a picture of one of your favorite buildings. See if you can find out when it was built and who was the architect.

Challenge 2-Design a building for your pet.  Think about the size of your pet and the materials you would use. What does your pet need to be safe, comfortable, fed? 

Tag us in a picture of your work—we would love to see it!

Be An Archi-Tective #3: Building with Style (Historic Preservation)

Take time in May to enjoy the beauty of the historic buildings and structures where you live! For 70 years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has made it their mission to save America’s historic built environment and connect people to the places that reflect our history, our culture, and our communities. Take a moment to think about what our towns and cities would be like without our iconic structures, large or small, and you will soon realize the importance of preservation!

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is proud to be a part of the Morristown Historic District. In 1973, MHHM was recognized as a contributing factor by the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register for Historic Places. The 1973 recording lists the Morristown Historic District as “All or portions of Green, South, DeHart, Elm, Wetmore, Madison, and Pine streets; Macculloch, Maple and Colles avenues; Farragut and South Park places.”

Resources:

The New Jersey Register of Historic Places is the official list of New Jersey’s historic places. Visit www.nj.gov to find places of interest in a New Jersey county.

Search the archive of the National Register for Historic Places, administered by the National Park Service.  

Take a closer look at color photographs of American historic houses!

Photo by John Kerick on www.thisoldhouse.com.

Discover children’s activities from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Take a walk in your  neighborhood and, using the sheet below, see if you can identify architectural details in local buildings.