American Architecture by David P. Handlin

By David P. Handlin

The USA has continually provided a distinct problem to architects: may still they emulate the outdated global or reply to the calls for of the recent? David Handlin tells the advanced tale with lucidity and perception. nearly from its seventeenth-century beginnings, American structure used to be topic to 2 it seems that contradictory processesthe sensible and the grandiose. the 1st comes via within the vernacular constructions of rural the US, the suggestions of Jefferson, Bulfinch's superb civic constructions, the workplaces and factories of the commercial Age, and the comfy household culture that lies in the back of the homes of the Greene Brothers and Frank Lloyd Wright. the second one is visible within the remarkable bold of the Chicago Schoolgreat engineers like Adler united with nice designers like Sullivan; within the majestic country capitols, exhibition halls, and public constructions through businesses corresponding to McKim, Mead & White; within the luxurious of 5th road mansions; and within the exuberance of industrial Manhattan.The revised variation ends with a full of life account of contemporary developmentsvirtual structure, the revival of ancient kinds (including modernism), the thirst for remarkable originality, and a brand new curiosity within the neighborhood, with figures together with Stern, Meier, Gehry, and Mockbee. 264 illustrations.

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They felt that it was important to affirm a sense of continuity with the past, but they were also committed to progress. They based their buildings on precedents, but adapted new functions and techniques to them, transforming the images they drew from the history of architecture. Even the designers of the period's great engineering works heeded the call of independent beauty. The structures associated with the new transportation routes that did so much to create a national economy were the period's most explicit and dramatic examples of advances in civil engineering.

70 John Kellum & Son: A. T. Stewart Store (Wanamaker 's), New York City, 1859-60. the largest and most styl ish stores were made of cast-iron sections that were fabricated in factories, sold through catalogs, and shipped to building sites for quick assembly. M anufacturers of cast-iron elements were not precursors of modern architecture. They attached no sign ifi cance to cast iron' s structural capabilities and made no attempt to ca pitalize on the fact that cast iron could render an external wall non-load-bearing.

R o bert Mills, for exa mple, emphasized co mmodit y and firmn ess beca use he understo od that these we re the qualities w hi ch most directly appealed to hi s cli ents. Much to Latro be's di sg ust, Mill s kn ew all too well hi s countr y's "tas tes and requirem en ts. " Probabl y no o ne understood th ese problem s better than Th o m as Jefferso n. H e shunned G reek architecture and remain ed committed to w hat he tho ught we re the m o re co mple x and su btle Ro m an o rd ers . Bu t he d id not m ake hi s li vin g from architecture.

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