Current Students

Lydia Mattice Brandt

Lydia is a PhD Candidate with interests focused on the built environment of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century America, and the Colonial Revival in particular. A native Charlottesvillian, Lydia completed her BA in Art History at New York University and earned her MA in Architectural History and Historic Preservation at the University of Virginia's School of Architecture. She is active in the local preservation community, advocating for the preservation and interpretation of architecture and landscapes in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.

Her dissertation examines the public memory of George Washington's Mount Vernon plantation. As both America's most famous private house and as a symbol of one of its most celebrated heroes, Mount Vernon and its image have fluctuated and shifted according to contemporary social, political, and cultural needs. Because of the ubiquity and strong patriotic associations of Mount Vernon's memory, many different groups and individuals have chosen the building to represent their vision of America and their hopes for their role in its future. The dissertation focuses on six three-dimensional, approximately full-scale replicas of the iconic house constructed at world's fairs between 1893 and 1934. Built at international celebrations and visited by millions, these temporary buildings heightened the house's popularity and although each was purportedly an "authentic" replica of the original, these structures presented a range of interpretations of Mount Vernon.

University of VirginiaSchool of Architecture