Catharine Hobday Memorial

Overview

This studio focuses on designing and building a kiosk for the town of Cedar Key, Florida. Inspired by the coastal environment and Cedar Key’s rich history, the construct will link the library to the town’s fabric and commemorate the life and work of Catharine Hobday, the town’s first and only female lighthouse tender.

The studio will begin with the idea of Cedar Key as a place defined by edges. Prompts will include lighthouse, library, boats, and books. Placed along literal and phenomenal edges, these prompts will bring to mind joints between: water and land, human and instrument (whether hand and tool, or body and book), and—quite simply—pieces of cedar wood.

The studio will meet with project stakeholders, as well as other members of the community. Working with this input, students will finalize the design, experiment with mock-ups, revisit design decisions, and build toward the final kiosk to be installed. The studio project provides an opportunity to explore simple building types, study construction materials, engage community design, work directly with tools and building systems, and see a project through its final construction. Throughout the semester, students will also gain experience detailing architectural joints, working in small groups, and assessing the properties and relations of various materials.

This semester also offers the opportunity to work with visiting architect James George, who will be the Center for African Studies Scholar in Residence at the School of Architecture for two weeks in late January and early February. He will deliver a public lecture ​and help lead studio exercises during his visit.

Lighthouse and Library

Catherine Hobday served as assistant lighthouse tender from September 16, 1872 until November 30, 1879. Eighty three years old when she died in 1879, Hobday was the only woman to serve in the capacity as keeper of the light. Cedar Key Light on Seahorse Key is the oldest standing lighthouse on Florida’s west coast. Built in the 1850s, its light safely directed ships bearing lumber and palm fiber as Cedar Key’s industry grew throughout the 19th century. The Cedar Key Library occupies what was originally the Schlemmer Rooming House, built in 1898 after the destruction of the Schlemmer Hotel, lost in the hurricane of 1896. Later, the rooming house served as the headquarters of the Cedar Key Volunteer Fire Department until May 2003, when it was renovated for the library.

Students

Carissa Beeks, Hana Cicevic, Kelsey Corcoran, Justine Devine, Carlos Rios, Greyson Roberts, Erika Smith, Carly Walker, James Wright.