Architectural Importance: A summary of Schindler’s Article

In this reading Schindler expresses how the government shapes society and human interaction through architecture. Many of the architecture ideals go unnoticed but they were created for a purpose.”The built environment is characterized by man-made physical features that make it difficult for certain individuals—often poor people and people of color—to access certain places” (1934). Robert Moses who is referred to as the “Master Builder”, intentionally built bridges low so that buses could not get through. His purpose for doing so was so that people, mainly colored and poor people, would not be able to arrive at Jones Beach.

Then Schindler goes on to describe how many buildings, benches, or roads are designed for a sole purpose. The purpose of benches that have dividers in them is to keep homeless people from falling asleep on them. Some roads and highways seem to facilitate traffic, but the their true purpose is to filter traffic away from certain neighborhoods. Walls and gates are also put up to keep certain people out of a community. Walls are able to keep a community isolated from what is beyond the wall. Gates are able to shut people out who do not have the resources to open the gate. Many communities have also adopted parking passes. This limits the people that can access those communities because without a parking pass vehicles cannot park. The main purpose of these regulations is to divide people up by both race and social class. Even bus stops are specifically placed.

The placement of bus stops limits the places that people who use public transportation can go. This can be very noticeable in the Atlanta area because of MARTA. MARTA stops are placed mainly in poorer areas and rarely go to richer communities.

Taken on my daily walk in the morning while going to class.

In front of Urban Life Building.


These transit stops also limit the places where people can work. Since there are certain places where the buses or trains do not go to, people seeking jobs must find a more accessible place to work or an alternate route to get to their desired jobs. Some cities even limit the road signs that are put up. By doing so people are more likely to get lost, or avoid going to a certain area. An example that Schindler mentions is about the citizens of Bolinas, California. The citizens that live in Bolinas remove many of the directional signs that are suppose to lead outsiders to the city. They do this so that their city can’t be found and to keep outsiders away.


A lot of architectural designs and choices are created to affect the way people interact. The government uses architecture to control the way people interact because they are able to do it so discretely that no one will notice. By doing this the government is able to shape the world into what they want. They are able to design it to make it look how they want to, control who comes and goes, and control how they interact. There is so much the government is able to do by just simply alternating a space. And the government has done a very good job at keeping its true purpose away from the public view.

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