SUMMARY OF INFLUENCES AND RESPONSES

THAT SHAPE THE CHARACTER OF THE

BUILT ENVIRONMENT

ECOLOGICAL INFLUENCES

• Exposed geology with rocky ridges.

• Highly dissected mountains.

• Cool and wet winter climate.

• Dramatic temperature swings.

• Winter storms that approach from the west.

• Shallow soils with rock and clay.

 

Figure of a line graph demonstrating increase of rainfall in areas of high altitude and low temperatures.

Low Temperature = High Rainfall

High Temperature = Low Rainfall

 

Figure of the Anatomy of ridges:

• Grassy balds

• High, dry slopes pines

• Lower slopes oaks

• Slash and burn grazing and

• Wet coves

 

Other Ecological Influences include:

• Richer soils in valleys and coves.

• Fast-rushing rivers and waterfalls.

• Elevations up to 6,000 feet.

• Coves forested with hemlock and white pine.

• Mixed oaks and hardwoods at higher elevations.

• Coniferous forests at higher elevations.

• Presence of “balds”—mountain clearings

preserved for habitat and vistas.

• Limited flat land that limits potential

building sites.

 

Figures of natural landscapes in the Upper Piedmont and in the

Ridges and valleys

SOUTHEAST

CULTURAL INFLUENCES

• Early settlers were subsistence farmers,

loggers, and frontier people.

• English, German, and Scotch-Irish settlers

imported their vernacular building types.

• Land ownership pattern is private in valleys

and public on ridges.

 

Figure of ownership of Ridges and valleys- public land occupies the ridges and private land the Valleys

 

Other CULTURAL INFLUENCES:

 • Logs were a favored building material well into

the 20th century.

• CCC legacy of rustic-style lodges and

recreation facilities is seen.

• Small towns are more common than big cities.

• Early rural settlers preferred coves or

hollows as home sites.

 

Figures of the following:

Log cabin

English stone house

Rural piedmont homestead

CCC rustic pavilion

 

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