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At the beginning of the semester, I was introduced to the phrase ‘You are your own GPU’ and now that this semester is coming to a close, I am beginning to understand what it actually means. I have been introduced to things that I wasn’t aware of before, I am also intrigued by my surroundings now as well as more aware of the values that lie in the buildings and areas that I pass on a daily basis.

For my final project I have decided to tackle what clay considers to be ‘turfs’. Turfs are “ landscape spelled out , it says who goes where, who belongs and who does not; it is admonitory and administered “ (clay 153). My project will specifically look the difference between private and civic turfs at UNCG, downtown and the areas in between.

Hedges- a fence formed by a row of closely planted shrubs or bushes
Walls-an architectural partition, used to divide or enclose an area or to support another structure
Curbs- an edge between a sidewalk and a roadway
Maps-A map is a visual representation of an area
Signs- a public display of a message
Symbols-something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention
Markers-a distinguishing symbol
Directions-Instructions, particularly as to how to reach a destination
Warnings- cautionary advice


Turfs are essentially important to the city because they are enforced and this is shown by the amount and frequency of turfs throughout the city. The city may have many turfs because it is a well populated area which essentially means more traffic. Turfs in this area are mainly for traffic as well as a method of traffic control. Another thing that I found interesting was that turfs are in place wherever you go, meaning no matter whom you are and what class you are in society, you will have these boundaries. Turfs don’t discriminate. However this wasn’t always the case, as we know, your social class determined where you could and could not go and what facilities you could use. From this we can see that the people who use and obey turfs have changed.


Civic turfs are essentially boundaries put in place for the public. These types of turfs are very popular in these areas that I visited and they seem to repeat themselves throughout the city and they come in many forms. Civic turfs are also more general addressing the public as a whole. Civic turfs also tend to come in abundance such as stop signs which are placed all around in public or well populated areas. The types of turfs in public areas vary and all types are used however signs are most popular mainly because they can be understood in any language etc.


These types of turfs exist normally in private places such as neighborhoods, back roads, parking lots and private properties. The term private turf means turfs that are put in places that aren’t in view from the road or in access to the public. Private turfs tend to be more specific to a particular area or group of people. Private turfs tend to be less frequent and are one type of turf such as a ‘no trespassing’ sign. I noticed that hedges and walls are frequent types of turfs in private areas because of the fact that they are private areas which mean they should be attractive; this also shows us that private turfs can be made by anyone, a hedge or wall can be made by any individual to act as a boundary for a particular area.








Coming full circle

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This semester has been interesting, I’ve learned a lot about the Greensboro area that I didn’t previously know before and I have been exposed to the area and all its history and meaning. By observing places as well as comparing them with each other and assessing the different values, I was able to understand the city as a whole. This class was also effective because we started off on a small scale and worked our way to a bigger scale. I could also apply the techniques used to all places that we visited. Reading clays book also helped me to understand the city a little more because it enabled me to understand things a little more. This class has also enabled me to look at things in more detail; I consider the architectural details which helps me to think about the values that may lie within that building or space.

For my final project, I would like to discuss boundaries within Greensboro. Clay refers to these as turfs. I think that these boundaries are important in a city because they tell people what they can and cannot do. I will look at the advantages of turfs as well as the implications.


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Being that I am from a small island, the words ‘interstate’ and ‘highway’ meant nothing to me before this class, in fact I wasn’t quite sure exactly what they were but now I am clear and understand how they play a big role in the running of a town and how everything connects together. Along the edges of the highways are trees, this makes the area look more attractive and neat. There are also signs telling drivers what highways there are, when stop lights are coming up as well as exits. This assists people in their journeys and helps them to know where they are going. I also noticed different billboards and advertisements along the sides. This also adds a retail aspect to the highway and shows where a lot of the city values lie. Summit Avenue and wendover have a lot of similarities; there are strips of stores, such as Wal-Mart and target as well as restaurants such as McDonalds. They seem to be two very busy areas.

Open space

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One of the opened spaces that we visited was the Battleground Park, I thought that it was beautiful because it reflected the season that we are in. It is also evidently historical to the city because of the fact that a large war took place here.
This park is not only a previous battle ground but it is also used as a normal conventional park for leisure. It is a very relaxing atmosphere therefore the fact that it has historical value makes it even more special. This shows us that the city has a value of history and they wanted to keep their history alive, so much so that they didn’t want to build on this park however I think that this may have been due to the fact that there are grave yards within this park and therefore it would be unethical and difficult to build over these or remove these.


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One of the houses that we visited, we actually got the chance to enjoy a tasty lunch as well as learn about the history. I learned that the house was built in 1954 and it was built very precisely and with a lot in mind. The slanted windows in the living room where made to maximize the sun in the winter and minimize it in the summer. However, because a lot of the aspects of the house where so technical, the materials used were natural to give it a more ‘homey’ feel. There were a lot of untraditional aspects to the house. One of the things I noticed was the fireplace because of the fact that it didn’t have a chimney; the heat released from it travels underground. The house was quite large with very long hallways, this showed visitors the difference between public and private spaces; the bedrooms were completely separate from the living room. It also seems like creativity is important to this family because of the fact that there is a lot of art inside the house as well as outside the house. The art is also very creative and unique which adds quality to the house as well.
The residential areas that we had previously visited differ from the one that I mentioned above because there weren’t as are artistic or very creative and most of the houses in those areas all looked the same. The other area that we visited differed from all of the previous areas because it was like a mini town within a town. There are church and stores so that people living within this area don’t have to go far. This shows that this village wanted to be convenient. Another thing that I noticed that was unusual was that there were no sidewalks in this village. This is because it is a private area and they don’t wish to be a part of the city. This made me think about how each part of Greensboro tries to be different and unique in their own ways. It’s almost like a battle between neighborhoods and properties.


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The places of retail that we visited were the friendly center and the four season’s town center. One thing that I noticed about the friendly center was that it was divided into two sections, old and new. This is evident through the store types as well as the actual buildings themselves. The other buildings had a rustier looking brick. The old stores were stores such as the animal clinic and radio shack whereas the new stores were stores such as Victoria secrets and the limited. This shows the difference in values. The newer buildings seem like they are more for luxury purposes whereas the older buildings are more of needs. The restaurants are sporadically placed around the friendly center in between the stores; this adds a value of convenience because it means that people can shop as well as eat and not worry about where the restaurants are. It can be argued that it may be more convenient to have all the restaurants in one place but that depends on the individual. The parking surrounds the friendly center making it convenient for people to shop. The parking bays are placed in front of each store and therefore people have the option of parking in front of the store they wish to shop in or they can park and walk around.
At the four season’s mall, the shops are placed differently. Although it is still circular, there are three circular floors. The shops seem to cater mostly to the younger demographic. The four season’s town center is surrounded by many things. There is a movie theatre around as well as hotels which shows that this may be a tourist area or a show off area because it has a lot of leisure activities. It is convenient for students because it isn’t far from campus. As you leave the mall you can also get onto an interstate which shows that it is connected to other places.

Tracing the track:opening the gates

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Today we visited the local train station and discussed its history and importance to the city. We noticed a lot of things about the train station, the main thing being how the past, present and future are displayed throughout the station. Although the train station itself is modern there are aspects of the past embedded throughout. There are two different passengers’ spaces and although one is locked, it shows that there was previously segregation. This is important to show because it keeps the historical value of the train station alive. There are also subtle differences such as the old water fountain vs. the new ones, the ticket booths vs. electronic ticketing. The train station also has a value of unity because of the fact that there used to be several train stations and now there is only one used for transporting people as well as freight. The layout of the building is designed with descriptive signs and many hallways which represent all the different people from different places coming together at the same place. The big clock on the wall if the train center shows the value of time to people in the past, people must agree on time. Trains 100 years ago were utilized a lot more than they are today. Back then, there were about 90-120 trains a day however today there are only about 30. The numbers have decreased because of the other methods of transportation available.
This is a list of DIRECT FLIGHTS into the piedmont international airport, in addition to this there are international flights to places such as Canada and England.
Charlotte Douglas (CLT)
Cincinnati N Kentucky (CVG)
Dallas Fort Worth (DFW)
Eastern Iowa (CID)
Hartford Brainard (HFD)
Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta (ATL)
Houston Hobby (HOU)
Lambert St Louis (STL)
Memphis (MEM)
Miami (MIA)
Minneapolis-St Paul (MSP)
Monroe Regional (MLU)
Nashville (BNA)
Norfolk (ORF)
Outgamie County Regional (ATW)
Philadelphia (PHL)
Tampa (TPA)
Tulsa (TUL)

Interstates are highways linking major cities. Interstate systems are an important gateway because they allow cars and other means of transportation such as walking or biking to enter cities. In relation to the triad, you can enter at many points due to the interstate system. Air travel is a popular method of entering a gateway because it’s fast and generally safe. The amount of places that can be accessed through plane, train and car are numerous due to these efficient methods of transport.

Borders can also be considered as a type of gateway particularly for immigrants, it is a way to make sure that there isn’t any illegal immigration or unhealthy things entering a certain place. Immigrants are prevalent in the North Carolina area which is why this is an important gateway.

Back to the center

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Today we visited the downtown area of Greensboro. We started at the intersection of Elm and Market Street which we learned was the center of the city. I immediately decided that this was the most important front in the city. It is where all of the buildings come together no matter what their purpose is. In relation to the other areas that we have visited like UNCG and the neighborhoods, they all have important fronts as well as fronts that are important but small as well. The other streets in the city are also important to the history of the city because they were named after important people or important matters.

There were many examples of turfs that I found whilst observing the city. The one that stood out to me was a sign placed in front of a building pictured on the left. This sets boundaries for those who come across this. Boundaries are set to prevent something from happening. That ‘something’ depends on the area. For this particular one, it seems to be to promote safety for this particular store. In the other areas we have observed boundaries are set by signs on front roads and gates or fencing in back roads.

I found a very interesting example of a sink. It was a water system which was protected by gates which could also make in a turf. Clay’s definition of a sink tells us that it is something that is pushed to the back of an area away from public view because it doesn’t need to be seen. This particular sink is different from the others that we have seen because of the fact that someone attempted to make it look attractive. This adds artistic value to the city which is evidently important to the city.

I thought that the parking lot was a good example of a stack because it represented raw materials piled into something. It is also a very important stack in the city because it allows people to park so they can walk around the city, It also prevents congestion which another boundary that this city sets. In the other places that we have visited, the examples of stacks were similar however not as big because they cater to a smaller amount of people.

There are many different values embedded within this city which is why it is hard to pick out a single beat. The whole city is made up of little beats, each on each street. All of these beats come together to make up the city of Greensboro. The beats in the previous areas that we have visited were the same because of the fact that they all come together to make something bigger. I believe that this whole city can be classified as the Epitome district because there is history and energy built up in a small place which allows for more variety and values.


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Today we visited the Blanwood building; I found this building particularly interesting because of the fact that there is so much history behind it. The building in similar to some of the things we have observed in the past in terms of the values and purposes.

This house was originally owned by the governor and has changed over the years. One thing that I noticed about the house was that it was really practical; everything had a purpose. Windows were designed to let the sun in; the mirrors were out in the house for this same purpose. This shows us about the values of the house; it was built for the comfort of the family. Porches were used to shade rooms in the summer time. Davis, who designed the house, was known to bring the exterior to the interior which explains a lot of the ceiling designs. Ceilings were also designed according to the rooms in the house. The rooms towards the front of the house had higher and decorative ceilings because weddings and family events were held there whereas the bedrooms were only used for sleeping so the ceilings were subsequently lower. The family continuously updated the home because of changes in their personal lives. The house looked different from the ones surrounding it during those times which meant it stood out and people knew it was important or at least important people lived in it.

Re-purpose: Re:use

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Today we observed more of the area surrounding the university’s campus. We were first exposed to the fact that roads and building have changed over time as well as their purposes. The main example we were given was the WAFCO mill complex. This was a former flour mill that was later turned into condominium units, the area surrounding it was developed as well.

We observed many of the buildings in the area and discussed their meaning to the area as well as what they were in the past or what they might be in the future. One of the first things that we observed was that the rail road tracks weren’t along the back of a road like they had been in previous areas that we had observed. We discovered that railroad tracks are used to transport things and therefore that meant that anytime there is a railroad, there should be industry around it. This amplifies the point that back roads are used for things that don’t need to be seen on a regular basis.

As we walked on various streets surrounding the campus, I noticed that there were many different types of buildings in the area, there was a school that had been turned into a church, student housing, apartment complexes as well as industrial buildings. Things such as the school are historical to the area because it was named after a former president of UNCG when it was an all girl’s school.

Side streets & back Alleys

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As we continue to use the College Hill neighborhood as our stimulus, I am beginning to realize its significance in regards to the Greensboro area and specifically the UNCG campus. I am learning that it works simultaneously with the campus to add historical value and amplify the importance of the university to the area.‘Main’ streets tend to be home to strips, beats and fronts whereas ‘side’ streets have stacks, sinks and turfs. This is primarily because mains streets are easily viewed and therefore appearance is important. It makes the area seem more accessible and welcoming. Side streets serve a different type of purpose, they are used to access houses as well as place things that don’t need to be seen. We can compare this to UNCG’s campus where the steam stacks are placed at the back of the campus as well as the railroads, this is because they are for industrial purposes of campus and therefore they don’t need to be seen.
Another thing that I noticed about side streets and back alleys was that they had boundaries, pictured above is a fence which acts as a border between streets, road and possibly individual yards. Fencing is also used to segment people or things as well designate areas such as parking. Another aspect of boundaries that I noticed is the one way streets...these are used to keep traffic at a minimum on back streets being that they are so small. This means they cant get congested or used for the wrong reasons.

Observing the values of buildings at UNCG

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The Quad
Firstly we observed this area exactly as we did the previous areas and buildings, however specifically asking ourselves why? And what values are instilled within them. We looked at the landscape of the area and decided that their were eight buildigngs however it was called a quad because of the number of sides it has. It is a very enclosed area which means it has a privacy value incorporated into it, the landscape was evidently thouroughly thought out. For example, the trees have been purposefully placed on the adges of the building because of the value of the land and its purposes. This quad is specifically for upperclassman which makes it an exclusive area an gives it a supeririorty value against the other dorms on campus. It is also organized into the ‘quad’ shape.

Peabody park
This park has a lot of historic value because of the fact that many changes have been made over the years to this park in relation to the history of the building which teaches us a lot about the campus particularly showing off the fact that it was an all girls campus. It was originally left to the university as a place of nature to be held in symbyosis with the university. It was then decided that it should be put to use and the university decided to use it as a dairy farm for all the milk provided by the school, this gave the university independence in terms of prividing for students. We know that this park was originally a golf course made for the womeans golf team, this immediately tells us that the team was good.
Bryan business school
This building is one of the buildings that stand out from the rest in terms of the ways in which it organized, it is similar to a maze and very confusing to navigate and therefore finding things such as the center may be difficult. This could porssibly be due to the fact that the business is a popular and broad major and therefore more classrooms are needed. This building may have been placed here because it’s the most popular buildings therefore it was placed across from another popular building; The EUC. There is also administrative buildings around it such as the registrar’s building which suggests that this is the area of ‘business’ like buildings which gives it a value of convenience especially because it’s one of the first buildings that you notice when you turn off of Spring Garden street.

Important centers at UNCG

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Elliot university center
There are a lot of aspects of the EUC that make it a center and there are many clues on the outside that tell us about the inside. The things that make the EUC center would be the fact that its where many events are held and main meeting places held. It holds orientation, the library, food court, information etc. It can be described as a ‘show-off’ building to the university. I think this because of the fact that the university re-vamps it every ten years. It is the first opportunity for people to understand the campus which is why the university try’s its best to keep it of a high standard. There are two crucial points within this specific center. They would be the stair case and the main front entrance. The shape and symmetry of the building shows that this is an important building and that it is visited frequently. The staircase acts as a directory to the building because it branches out to all sections. The symmetry of the building shows that it is important to the university, it also suggests that its a formal place. The hall is a circulation and information space. The university itself suggests that this is important and that the designer had a purpose. The two centers within the building are marked by circles on the floor as well as the ceilings the lighting in these areas are also more prevalent.

Jackson library
For this part of class we were asked where we thought the center of the library was. We all stood in different parts of the library which showed us that there was more than one center within the library. The first was the most obvious; the actual center where the building was at its highest point and where the lighting was . One that wasn’t particularly obvious was the front porch with the temple embedded in the front. The library is also connected to The EUC, this suggests that they are incoherent with each other and therefore the university decided to connect them. It also makes it easier for students to access two of the most important centers quickly and easily. This shows people, particularly perspective students that the main objective of the university is convenience.

The CAF is very important center because its where everyone eats and it’s a gathering for students where they can relax in between or after classes. The CAF stands out from the other buildings because it is not symmetrical and somewhat like a maze just like the Bryan school of business. This lack of symmetry makes it more available to students because they can enter from any side; which ever is convenient at that moment. The CAF also attracts social events because of the fountain in front of it, the fountain is also an important place on campus and because it is situated in front of the CAF, it brings people there and therefore it makes the CAF important. The CAF also holds the mailboxes which connects student to their loved ones as well as sorority information which is in connection with extra curricular activities.