"We shape our architecture and it in turn shapes us." -- Winston Churchill
Since the beginning of time, human kind has tried to develop ways to shape, define and appropriate the natural world. Although our original ancestors were only able to draw pictures on cave walls, we have developed into a society in which the man-made world lives parallel to the natural world. Every where you go human kind has added to the natural world in the forms of roads, paths, buildings, and structures made out of brick, metal, concrete and other substances.
The first of the two pictures which are displayed here shows the original sketch of Niagara Falls by Father Hennepen in the eighteenth century. As you can see the area has not yet been touched, altered or appropriated by man. The second of these pictures is that of Niagara Falls at the present day, taken by Wendy Nicodemus. One can see that the Falls has been greatly changed and the effects of construction and alteration by human kind has taken its toll. There is a look-out tower, a path and a side walk. This however is just a small sample of the man-made world that has been created at Niagara Falls. In addition to what one can see in this picture their are also many buildings, bridges, roads, and even a power plant around the Falls. One even has the opportunity, for a small fee, to take a boat ride next to the falls or a helicopter ride to look down at it from above.
The appropriation of the falls in this way not only limits its natural beauty but creates pre-conceived ideas about what it means to tour Niagara Falls. This conflict between architecture and the constrictions that it poses upon space forces humans to adapt to a restrictive environment which tries to limit and control human behavior. At the same time I hope to see how the appropriation of Niagara Falls has also had an affect on the environment, its resources and life that are a part of Niagara Falls.