Monday, March 28, 2016

The Structures In Locke -- Western All The Way

False Front Architecture,  American-Western Design
If you visit the Delta town known as Locke, you will notice one thing, it looks exactly like any other ghost town found in the west. The only difference now is that there has been signs put up over the years with Chinese writing or designs decorating the exteriors of the buildings.

The town of Locke was built on the Locke family's land, by Caucasian contracters and carpenters, although many Chinese did live and operate businesses there.

The National Registry for Historic Places file for Locke stated "the buildings were mostly erected by Caucasian contractors along conventional lines typical of the region." One of the carpenters who helped construct the buildings in Locke was Cleveland Hill, a native of North Carolina.

Did you know that the architecture used for the majority of the buildings in Locke consist of the false front design? Yes. In fact, this design was one of the most popular styles found in your typical ghost town.   "From the Canadian to the Mexican borders, hardly any commercial building-store, saloon or livery stable- was built differently after lumber came to hand. The false front appears to have been, more than anything else, a product of unabashed braggadocio, a desire to appear substantial and imposing. Since this medacious facade- which perhaps included a massive cornice overhanging frankly phony windows- hoodwinked nobody, it was a nearly useless conceit. Nevertheless, the facade did frequently serve as a sort of billboard where the proprietor could blazon forth his business title and advertise his wares."--- The Old West: Townsmen, 1975.

(Copyright 2016- J'aime Rubio,

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