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The Necessity for Ruins and Other Topics

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  66 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Essays examine the way we perceive landscape, the effect of gardens and cities of the past on the landscapes of the present, and the way American architecture has broken with tradition. Discussion relates the importance of space to relativism throughout time.
Paperback, 136 pages
Published March 4th 1980 by University of Massachusetts Press
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Jul 15, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it
Jackson's book is a collection of essays about geography, especially the man-made geography of gardens and streets. His discussion of the sacred grove, camp meeting sites in the woods, relates the rise in importance of sacred time over sacred space in Protestant revivalism. Now is the time of the salvation, it might happen anywhere. The end result is an individualizing and privatizing of faith (still a problem with evangelical Protestants today).

His discussion in the essay, "The Necessity for R
Dec 17, 2015 Leonard rated it it was amazing
My relationship with the work of John Brinckerhoff Jackson goes back many years, probably to when I first saw a copy of "Landscape Magazine." His essays are eye-opening and his observation skills taught me to see and notice things I had never really seen before, and make insightful connections from those observations These essays in this small paperback cover a wide range of topics from gardens to groves, from streets to tent meetings. The title article is one of the best. I have one copy of an ...more
Nov 18, 2015 Justin rated it really liked it
Thought provoking existentialist essays that are broader in sweep than landscape; really this is a primer on "how to see" the hidden history and values of everyday environments. I would especially recommend the essays 'Nearer than Eden' for the history of gardens, 'The Necessity for Ruins' for a better perspective on what ruins indicate, and 'The Domestication of the Garage' for the role of sexuality and work in the home.
A series of short essays by, in my opinion, the most profound landscape architect of all time. Jackson had an ability to remove arrogance from his understanding of human interaction with land. He truly saw people as an integral part of nature.
Jan 04, 2013 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Fantastic read, great for ruminating on the role of ruins. What is their purpose and how do they enrich our landscape? I enjoy the argument that their presence illustrates the geography of mankind (man-made geography). Viva l'histoire!
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John Brinckerhoff "Brinck" Jackson, J. B. Jackson, (September 25, 1909, Dinard, France - August 28, 1996, La Cienega, NM) was a writer, publisher, instructor, and sketch artist in landscape design. Herbert Muschamp, New York Times architecture critic, stated that J. B. Jackson was “America’s greatest living writer on the forces that have shaped the land this nation occupies.” He was influential in ...more
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