Ethnography of Place: Thaddeus Fisher House

One of the strongest attachments to place most humans’ experience is that to the structures we live in throughout our lives. Homes often carry with them intense feelings of belonging. Over time, the layering and weaving of meaning that can be associated with a given house can become quite complex and varied. Some buildings, can gather such a profound series of events and life histories associated with them over time that they are infused with dramatic meanings and feelings. The house is given a personality of its own via the life that has passed through it. When a structure is noticeably from a bygone era, it can also become mysterious, inciting people’s imaginations. Drawing from structural and post-structural geographic theory, this analysis explores how a particular place can acquire different meanings to different people over time. The place of interest is my current home, a one-hundred and twenty-two year old house in Portland, Oregon.

Sense of Place, Dr. Hunter Shobe, Portland State University, 2011

Full Paper

Ben and Jerry, the founders of the Architectural Heritage Center and previous owners of the Thaddeus Fisher House. Photo from the 1960s.

House-Inspired Art by Hazel Malone (former tenant)

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