Groth, Paul 1949-

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GROTH, Paul 1949-


Born April 25, 1949, in Mayville, ND; son of Erling H. (a tractor and farm implement dealer) and Evelyn L. (a music teacher; maiden name, Deeble) Groth. Ethnicity: "Two generations back: Norwegian and German immigrants." Education: North Dakota State University, B.Arch., 1972; University of California—Berkeley, Ph.D., 1983. Politics: "Registered Democrat." Religion: "Card-carrying Lutheran." Hobbies and other interests: Photography, choral music.


Office—Department of Architecture, University of California—Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-1800. E-mail—[email protected]


North Dakota State University, Fargo, coordinator and instructor in Public Education Program in Cultural Environment Awareness, 1972-73; New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, assistant to dean of architecture, 1973-75, adjunct faculty member, 1975-76; San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, lecturer in geography, 1979; University of California at Berkeley, lecturer, 1979-83, assistant professor, 1983-90, associate professor, 1990-2003, professor of architecture and geography, 2003—, codirector of American Studies Program, 1991-93, senior fellow of Doreen B. Townsend Humanities Institute, 1999-2000.


American Institute of Architects, Vernacular Architecture Forum (president, 1989-91), Society of Architectural Historians, Organization of American Historians, Urban History Association, Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Society for Industrial Archaeology, California Society for Industrial Archaeology.


National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at Winterthur Museum and Gardens, 1985; Smithsonian Institution fellow at National Museum of American History, 1986; Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize, Vernacular Architecture Forum, and John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize, Association of American Geographers, both 1995, for Living Downtown: The History of Residential Hotels in the United States.


(Editor) Vision, Culture, and Landscape: Working Papers from the Berkeley Symposium on Cultural Landscape Interpretation, Center for Environmental Design Research (Berkeley, CA), 1990.

Living Downtown: The History of Residential Hotels in the United States, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1994.

(Editor, with Todd Bressi) Understanding Ordinary Landscapes, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1997.

(Editor, with Chris Wilson) Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies after J. B. Jackson, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2003.

Contributor to books. Contributor to professional journals, including Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Geographical Review, Places, Journal of Architectural Education, Harvard Architecture Review, and Landscape. Member of editorial boards of various academic journals.


A history of blue-collar workers' cottages, workplaces, and recreation, tentatively titled Small Houses near Factories; a history of the built environments of Indian reservations in the American West.


Paul Groth told CA: "My overarching interest, in both teaching and writing, is in cultural landscape studies; that is, the history, form, and meaning of ordinary built environments, particularly in the United States. I study the ways in which social groups have used space (as buildings, rooms, street grids, fields, or yards) to articulate social relations and to derive cultural meaning.

"I have focused my work on vernacular urban architecture such as machine shops and neighborhoods of workers' cottages; landscapes of socially and politically disenfranchised people, places such as Native American reservations and single-room housing for single adults, migrant workers, and the elderly; ways in which social theory can be quietly used to illuminate cultural landscape questions; and the application of built-environment history to design and public policy.

"My work has been influenced particularly by the work of John Brinckerhoff Jackson, founder and editor of Landscape magazine; the geographers James E. Vance, Jr. and Allan Pred; and the architectural historians Spiro Kostof and Dell Upton."



Planning, February, 1998, Harold Henderson, review of Understanding Ordinary Landscapes, p. 28.

Urban History Review, October, 1998, Brian F. Osborne, review of Understanding Ordinary Landscapes, pp. 62-63.