# Architecture # Urbanism # Competition
The Western town of roughly 1860–1890 exists in an ephemeral moment in American history, one that is most familiar today in an abstracted or distilled form—a plot-generating setup. What’s less obvious is exactly how the Western town is able to support these sorts of stories so inherently, completely, and inexhaustibly. The town’s formal and social arrangements, typologies, events and interactions, users (strangers and inhabitants)—in other words, its characteristics and characters—suggest that behind this apparently pathetic simplicity is a rich source for architectural and urban investigation.
We like to thank the authors of this great book and the many great movies we watched for this project.
“ Baxter’s over there, Rojo’s there, me right smack in the middle. ”
“ If you are thinking what I suspect, I tell you, don’t try it! ”
“ Crazy bell-ringer was right. There’s money to be made in these parts. ”
# A Fistfull of Dollars, 1964
# silhouette of the village
The Western town is anything but systematic; never fully realized, resistant to any mapping function that would explain it or underwrite its expansion, the town holds together through a shaky confluence of private arrangements. Unlike the grid (which can resolve itself into an infinite number of possibilities), the Western town’s just-barely-cohering streetscape generates a single, eccentric, and tenuous collective, a grouping that is always subject to threats from outside. It is fundamentally optimistic in that it manages to exist at all.
# El Paso, 1865 (A Few Dollars More)
The Stranger (Clint Eastwood) comes into the town of Lago and takes over, going so far as to painting the town red and renaming it Hell.