Revisiting Jacques Greber's L'Architecture Aux Etats-Unis: From City Beautiful to Cite-Jardin
Gournay, Isabelle, Urban History Review
In 1920, Jacques Greber published what was and still is the largest book on U.S. architecture and urban design ever issued in France. His dual agenda was to stress the impact of Beaux-Arts design methods (presenting his gardens and Philadelphia parkway as highlights of this trend), and to advocate the practical accomplishments of a pragmatic and affluent civilization.
Showcasing an "edited" North American city, devoid of commercialism and filled with civic structures of great dignity and comfort, L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis looked back to ideals and accomplishments of the American Renaissance and ahead to the metropolitan culture of the 1920s. For the first time in France, ventures by U.S. architects in the field of civic art were acknowledged as major achievements. Greber formulated ideas about modern North American civic centres, business districts, parks, and model suburbs that would affect his proposals for Ottawa and on his French career. His book triggered the evolution of French views of the U.S.-built environment toward greater interest and generally more positive views.
En 1920, Jacques Greber publie l'ouvrage le plus important sur l'architecture et l'art urbain aux Etats-Unis jamais paru en France. Il y insiste sur l'influence des methodes de conception "Beaux-Arts" (en presentant ses jardins et son parkway a Philadelphie comme des points forts de ce courant) ainsi que sur les resultats accomplis par une societe prospere et pragmatique. Presentant une vile nordamericaine "corrigee," denuee de mercantilisme et paree d'edifices civiques d'une dignite et d'un confort superieurs, L'Architecture aux Etas-Unis se penche sur les ideaux et realisations de l'American Renaissance et anticipe la culture metropolitaine des annees Vingt. C'est la premiere fois que le travail des architectes americains en matiere d'art urbain est reconnu en France. Greber formule des idees sur la ville moderne d'Amerique du Nord--ses centres civiques, quartiers de bureaux, parcs, et banlieues modeles--qui auront un impact sur ses projets pour Ottawa et son oeuvre en France. Grace a son livre, les opinion s des Francais sur le cadre bati aux Etas-Unis devinrent plus nombreuses et favorables.
Jacques Greber gained special status among twentieth-century French planners and architects through close ties with the Northeastern United States, which he established as early as 1910. This privileged connection was brought to public attention in 1920 with the publication of L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis, which this article places in a broad historical and cultural context.  Greber's book was not devoid of bias and shortcomings proper to an era marked by heightened French chauvinism, German bashing, and a mix of gratitude and disappointment toward Americans. However, anyone familiar with the history of U.S. planning and architecture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries will appreciate the overall relevance of Greber's information and the perceptiveness of his analysis.
L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis looked back to ideals and accomplishments of the so-called American Renaissance (1876-1914) and ahead to the metropolitan culture of the 1920s, and placed Greber's early garden and planning work in its proper North American context. It remains to this day a remarkable achievement, and would deserve being reprinted and translated in its entirety. Greber's book definitely filled a major gap. Its comprehensiveness and accuracy set new standards in France, a country that had not kept track of the intense planning and construction activity in North America between 1895 and 1915.  In fact, during this period, American urbanism and architecture had mostly been sociological curiosities and objects of self-congratulation or condescension for their indebtedness to Beaux-Arts principles; with the war, information had virtually stopped circulating. 
It is indeed a challenge to analyze the content of L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis in a few pages. Issued by Payot, a publisher without a design track record but with a strong scholarly reputation, it consisted of two in-quarto volumes and included 400 illustrations of nearly 130 buildings and plans for six cities, which were for the most part unknown in France. After a brief historical survey, the book divided according to building types. Focusing on the eastern seaboard and Midwest, Greber guided readers from exclusive resorts and suburbs to business districts and civic centres. Determined to emphasize programs "typical" of the New World, he devoted the majority of the first volume to single-family houses and metropolitan hotels. The second volume afforded an overview of a variety of commercial and civic programs--either large structures in metropolitan centres or more modest ones in smaller cities--including office buildings, factories, schools and universities, museums and libraries, churches, military buil dings, hospitals, and state capitols. In a subsequent chapter entitled "Grandes Compositions d'Ensemble," Greber showed urban plans and views of the Chicago and Sari Diego World's Fairs. Finally he illustrated a few commemorative monuments.
Of all architects residing in France, Greber was certainly the best acquainted with the United States. As evidenced by sources listed in his bibliography, he had done his "homework," providing a personal summary of what New York-based architectural reviews had published since 1900.  Large photographs were beautifully reprinted, resulting in the high retail price of 150 francs. Floor plans were numerous and highly legible. The rather short, loosely knit text that, according to the author himself, was dictated to a secretary, was delivered in clear and lively prose, accessible to a lay audience. 
As indicated in his attention-grabbing and rather pompous subtitle, Preuve de la Force d'Expansion du Genie Francais. Heureuse Association de Qualites admirablement complementaires (Evidence of the Expansion Capability of the French genius. Fortunate Association of Admirably Complementary Qualities), Greber's agenda was, on the one hand, to continue stressing the beneficial impact of French academic principles and to celebrate the contribution of designers belonging to the "Franco-American Beaux-Arts lobby," such as himself, and, on the other hand, to advocate the accomplishments of a pragmatic and affluent civilization. He meant to boost his countrymen's pride and confidence and encourage them to adopt new ideas. Having assimilated Beaux-Arts tenets on the logical implementation of a program and appropriate expression of character, Americans had achieved mastery of large-scale planning and construction. Their best European-inspired work displayed a high degree of craftsmanship, and achieved a tasteful, if so metimes exceedingly austere, simplicity. Properly American, and complementary to French artistry, were the professionalism, practicality, and productivity of designers who had become experts in certain programs and prided themselves in meeting their clients' exacting demands. As stated in the conclusion, Americans could help remedy a "temporary weakness," in the same way that French vineyards had been revived by California grapes after the phylloxera epidemic. 
Had the French genius truly conquered the U.S.? By 1920, more than 400 Americans had been officially enrolled in the architecture section of the Paris Ecole des Beaux-Arts, many--like Charles McKim, Whitney Warren, Thomas Hastings, Ernest Flagg, to name a few--becoming prolific design and planning professionals.  At the same time, a few French architects, in particular Paul Cretin Philadelphia, assumed major positions in American schools and offices. As a garden and urban designer, Greber belonged to this "club." The significant impact of the Beaux-Arts lobby on American public opinion was acknowledged by its very enemies, the likes of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, whose work Greber deliberately ignored. Although Greber never said so, the truth was that some of the architects mentioned in the book had received their French training at home and a few were actually quite critical of the Beaux-Arts system. 
Endowed with a marked superiority complex that Greber's book translated so well, members of the design establishment were involved with "high" architecture and planning. Therefore L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis deliberately showcased the "edited" North American city, devoid of blatant commercialism, that they were envisioning to achieve. Greber shunned the vernacular, mass consumption, and entertainment (no gaudy movie palace here!). Because he lacked the space or did not consider them different or superior enough from French examples to be worthy of inclusion, Greber did not include theatres or department stores, although this last program was one of the specialties of Daniel Burnham, whom he held in high esteem. Life in Manhattan was deemed "intense"; however, as in most contemporary architectural publications, street views had few cars or none. In addition to skyscrapers, New York City was pictured as juxtaposing "excerpts" of European cities, with French-looking hotels particuliers or neo-Gothic churches, an impression we can still experience in the Upper East Side.
Greber subscribed to the value system of the American design establishment and their powerful clients. For him, corporate competition was a stimulant for good office design. Social harmony was achieved through philanthropy and benevolent paternalism, as exemplified by the New York Public Library and the industrial compound established by the French silk maker Duplan (figure 1). Greber depicted a country in which "ethnic conditions had blended wonderfully" and "the worker [found] in his workshop the same comfortable amenities as [did] the chairman of the corporation in his office." His was a "gendered" space of affluence where women reigned over home life in the suburbs while their businessmen husbands met in downtown clubs.
With L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis, Greber hoped to gain new planning and garden commissions, and to boost his visibility in France where he had yet to make his mark. As he became involved with the Musee Social and started teaching at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Urbaines (subsequently renamed Institut d'Urbanisme), he meant to sharpen his cosmopolitan edge. Thanks to a remarkable sense of public relations, if not a certain opportunism, Greber made sure his book would be known and appreciated not only by his colleagues, but also by scholars and the cultivated public.  For instance, he helped bring to the Salon des Artistes Francais a large exhibition of photographs organized by the American Institute of Architects.  As France emerged from the Great War with new concerns for economic modernization and Taylorized productivity, Greber, who had just returned from an official mission to study construction materials and machinery on the East Coast and Chicago, also hoped to influence industrialists and pol iticians.  Implementing, as the U.S. had done, better hygiene, greater comfort and rational planning was the order of the day for the Reconstruction of the Devastated Regions and the extension of cities. In effect, L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis became a reference work quoted in writings by non-specialists for its "technical competence."  Its illustrations were reprinted in a number of specialized or popular publications. 
What were the major themes that Greber strengthened or introduced in France? In his chapter "Country Houses," he provided an original contribution to Europe's enduring fascination with the playgrounds of American millionaires, mostly built before the passing of income taxation in 1913, as well as slightly more modest homes in the far suburbs, making them at once more real and exotic. Estates planned on a grand scale encompassed not only full-scale sports facilities, but "pleasure farms." Although acknowledged as "de grand luxe, "the latter were deemed useful inspirations, in picturesque design and hygiene, for France's reconstruction efforts.
Greber took advantage of the opportunity to publicize his own garden designs, like his first parterre de broderie that he designed for a Long Island chateau in 1910, the year following his diplome, and the gardens at Miramar, which are still extant in Newport, Rhode Island.  Designs for Edward T. Stotesbury in Chestnut Hill, and Joseph E. Widener in Elkins Park near Philadelphia (figure 2) epitomized his use of sweeping perspectives and consummate skill at recreating the atmosphere of seventeenth-century gardens.  While hailed in France,  these sophisticated creations inspired by the work of Andre Le Notre, where elaborate parterres took precedence over less formal lawn expenses, were regarded by most Americans as lavish indulgences of the newly rich, an interlude alien to their landscaping traditions. 
In the following chapter, "Garden Cities and Workers Towns," Greber insisted that the "great charm of American life" related to the availability of single-family homes, which he regarded, like most French and American bourgeois reformers, as instruments of social equality and harmony. Commuting was not a hardship, and a "genuine harmony" had been established between American homes of every size and gardens that were the "necessary outcome of the strenuous life in big cities." Do not expect Grebr to illustrate Sears bungalows! His examples showcased outstanding and highly publicized experiments by elite designers.  The chapter centres on five model communities, for which master plans were reproduced. Forest Hills Gardens (figure 3), begun by the Russell Sage Foundation in 1911, exemplified the modern middle-class community, although its houses looked beyond the reach of most Frenchmen. While Greber praised at length its French-trained chief architect, Grosvenor Atterbury, for his use of prefabricated concr ete and his ability to create a united but varied streetscape, he paid only lip service to Olmsted Brothers, the landscape designers. Instead of the Station Square--which had been abundantly illustrated in the U.S. but looked quite Germanic--he showed the church, a more traditional and European element of town planning. 
Greber, who had already exhibited projects for low-cost housing at the Salon des Artistes Francais,  insisted on the "considerable efforts" made to improve working-class residential districts. He showcased subdivisions begun in late 1917 by the federal government to house workers for the war industries, stressing that they had been effective tools in achieving victory over Germany. But he did not mention that Congress had refused to complete the schemes after the Armistice and had sold them. Greber selected examples along the Atlantic Coast, from Atlantic Heights in New Hampshire to Hilton Village in Virginia, showing rendering for streetscapes, school groups, and shops (figure 4).  He stressed how savings realized through standardization of plans and parts and skilful unit groupings had not compromised picturesqueness and variety. The sole photographs were those of twin houses under completion in Wilmington's Union Parks Gardens, their spacious and well-equipped kitchen showing a much higher standard than French public housing authorities aimed at. With a few photographs and comments on country clubs and commuter stations, Greber also gave a very alluring image of affluent suburban living, while remaining quite vague on who could afford such standards. In particular, the very chic European-style Market Square in Lake Forest near Chicago (figure 5) was deemed representative of mainstream suburban "small civic centres."
At a time when a scientific branch of the Sorbonne was envisioned in the Paris suburbs, Greber sustained his countrymen's interest in American campus planning and architecture, a topic he admitted could take an entire book. Some American universities had become de veriables villes. He demonstrated rather blatant Gallocentrism by omitting to mention radical differences between the "masterly" winning design for the University of California at Berkeley by his countryman Emile Benard and the much more practical plan implemented by John Galen Howard. In addition to liberal arts institutions designed in the Collegiate Gothic spirit, Greber illustrated the new building for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Medical School (figure 6), since both epitomized a desirable combination of formal planning and austere classicism at the service of a culture of expertise. 
Greber considerably strengthened the idea of an American leadership in planning and design for mass transportation and tourism. He offered proof that large metropolitan hotels, as cities in miniature, were far better equipped than establishments of the same standing in France and suggested that a hybrid type of the apartment hotel should be introduced to Paris. For him, U.S. passenger terminals, the design of which went hand in hand with radical operations for relocating and centralizing railroad yards, were civic more than commercial in character. Their cleanliness, utter absence of advertising, and serene atmosphere, even at rush hour, was in marked contrast with stations in large French cities. He illustrated plans for the Union Stations in Washington and Chicago, and stressed the interior layout of New York's Grand Central Terminal, where ramps eased fast luggage delivery and passenger flow and the women's waiting room looked palatial.
Greber approached the topic of the tall office building from a functional, as opposed to urbanistic, standpoint, giving a realistic view of high end corporate design. Completed in 1914, the Woolworth Building provided a stunning illustration of the skyscraper as urban microcosm, with multiple entries from the street, a rational interior circulation network, as well as commercial and recreational amenities. In commercial and civic structures, interior spaces had become urban in scale and architectural treatment. As physical and symbolic extensions of the public realm, the great hall of Daniel Burnham's Continental and Commercial Bank Building in Chicago or the reading room of the New York Public Library contributed to the refinement and excitement of metropolitan life. So did more intimate central spaces conducive to repose, like the winter garden of the Cleveland art museum or the patio of the Pan American Union Building in Washington.
Achievements of American architects in the field of civic art were given their first serious examination in France. This was a timely occurrence, since a 1919 law mandated comprehensive planning for French cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants. Ever the advocate of free enterprise, Greber stressed the fact that American businessmen and philanthropists, as opposed to politicians, were sponsoring plans for the "Haussmanization" of the existing downtown as well as schemes for extension of parks and boulevards. He commended the McMillan Plan for downtown Washington for restoring Major L'Enfant's original scheme. The Mall was to become a "civic center at the scale of the entire country;" its "French garden" would have "sinon la beaute, inimitable maintenant, mais au moins les grandes harmonies du parc de Versailles." Greber was also sensitive to the fact that federal buildings would be, as in Paris, "erected according to ordinances regulating the height and character of facades." In addition, he presented Burnham 's imperial project for a plaza surrounding Union Station as if it was going to be implemented. 
Thinking of himself as an heir to L'Enfant, Greber placed his own planning work for Philadelphia (figure 7)--begun in 1917 when he was hired as a consultant by the Fairmount Park Commission--in the same league as Burnham's.  In Building the City Beautiful, David Brownlee has attributed credit to Greber for transforming what is known today as the Benjamin Franklin Parkway "from an urban boulevard to a green wedge of park reaching toward the congested center of the city," in the process smoothing over "some of the awkwardness of the earlier plan" and coming up with the idea of erecting replicas of the twin buildings of the Place de la Concorde on Logan Circle. 
Greber also reproduced illustrations from Burnham and Bennett's 1909 Chicago Plan, telling readers its implementation was under way. A double page (figure 8) showed the layout of Sherman Park, its casino-like combination of recreation room, library and dining hall, as well as the wading pool at Mark White Square filled with joyous children. Public parks would have been of particular interest in France, where the idea of creating playgrounds and sports fields was slowly but surely making its way into the minds of elected officials and design professionals. In addition, a plan and perspective of Bennett's proposals for downtown Ottawa (figure 9), previously published in the journal of the American Institute of Architects, exemplified American planning leadership on the North American continent and Cuba. 
In addition to these major topics of interest, two secondary themes must be highlighted, as they demonstrate that Greber's discourse was not exclusively Eurocentric or franco-francais. Many illustrations translate the characteristically American impression of unrestricted space and grand scale, the strong bond between buildings and the natural landscape. Greber was attracted to not only neo-classical designs, but also to groups and buildings inspired by the Spanish colonial heritage in Southern California, Texas, and the Southwest. For him, a villa by Bertram Goodhue in Montecito or his plan for the city of Tyrone in New Mexico (figure 10) was a commendable version of regionalism, a movement gaining wide acceptance in France.
L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis must be regarded as an important historical document for urban designers, architects, and students of North American civilization in general. It is worth being revisited, as its repercussions were numerous. In the 1920s. it paved the way for other European publications that praised American interpretations of classicism and the picturesque. Among these, two were equally perceptive and influential: in England, Charles Reilly's essay on McKim, Mead, and White, and in Germany, Werner Hegemann's monumental Amerikanische Architektur und Stadtbaukunst, which used many of the same examples.  It triggered the evolution of French views of the U.S.-built environment toward greater interest and generally more positive views: in particular, Greber's alluring vision was pursued in the influential conservative news weekly L'Illustration.  It served as an important counterweight to that of urban chaos and ludicrous eclecticism that Le Corbusier offered in Vers une Architecture (1923) an d Urbanisme (1925). And even Le Corbusier, when he visited New York, confessed his admiration for railroad terminals and parkways!
Never again was a book of such magnitude written on the subject by a French planner or architect. Many recent monographs have been published on eclectic and Beaux-Arts-trained designers, but no survey has encompassed the achievements of the American Renaissance by examining as broad a spectrum of building types as Greber did. It must also be noted that Gallic chauvinism has not subsumed: today French design professionals and intellectuals still tend to select and discuss aspects of North American planning and architecture in terms of their indebtedness to "precedents" from the Old World. Additionally, it is regrettable that the appreciation of planning and architecture, which worked hand in hand in L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis, went separate ways, and that few European writings on North American design give much attention to practical, readily applicable details as Greber did.
In L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis Greber formulated ideas about modern North America civic centres, business districts, parks, and suburbs, which would orient his proposals for Ottawa, described in this issue by David Gordon, as well as affect his French career. Andre Lortie and Jean-Louis Cohen have written about Greber's indebtedness to the park and parkway movement, especially in his 1919 project for transforming Paris's fortifications.  Greber's name has not been associated with another significant phenomenon: the import of American suburbia to France. L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis implicitly suggested that American-style decentralization could act as a precedent for the growth of French cities. The model communities it illustrated were the exact opposite of the ill-equipped, sometimes unhealthy lotissements of lower middle-class Parisian suburbs. Greber's direct response to the quasi-paranoid landscape of high walls hiding narrow pavilions was the now demolished design for the Cite-Jardin du Moulin Ve rt, a small limited dividend scheme in Vitry-sur-Seine, as well as a very American-looking project published in 1926 by Jardins et Cottages (figure 11 ).  Before the Second World War, the idealized views of suburban living that we have seen served as references for weekend and resort subdivisions. And in 1962, the year of Greber's death, Levitt and Sons decided to build its first European upscale subdivision a few miles away from Versailles. 
L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis is also worth revisiting with an eye on postmodern classicism, "new urbanism," and U.S.-style globalization of architectural and planning practice. Since the mid-1970s, Greber's vision has fully regained its relevance. The urban plans and structures he praised have been resurrected as exemplars of good design and civic virtue. For instance, Yorkship Village (figure 4), one of the war communities illustrated by Greber and Hegemann, is a favourite of Andres Duany. In today's America as in 1920, well-groomed, high-maintenance planning, landscape, and architecture reflect the image that high-end design professionals and their clients like to give of their physical surroundings and their personal appearance. As a matter of fact, their presumed professionalism, practicality and productivity have recently helped I. M. Pei and Richard Meier win major commissions in Paris. L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis started a process that may well end up with a future book on French architecture, with the subtitle Proof of the Potential for Expansion of the American Genius: Fortunate Association of Admirably Complementary Qualities.
Isabelle Gournay, associate professor, School of Architecture, University of Maryland, received a M.Arch. in architecture from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts and a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University. Her research focuses on crosscurrents between Western Europe and North America in the field of architecture and urbanism, with a current emphasis on issues related to public and suburban housing.
(1.) For previous analysis of L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis, see Jean-Louis Cohen, Scenes de la Vie Future (Montreal: Centre Canadien d'Architecture and Paris: Flammarion, 1995), 49-56; Colette Felenback, "L'avenement d'un architecte urbaniste franco-american," Les Greber : Une dynastie des artistes, exhibition catalogue, Musee Departemental de l'Oise, Beauvais, 1993, 329-35; Isabelle Gournay, "France Discovers America 1917-1939 (French Writings on American Architecture)" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1989); Andre Lortie, "Jacques Greber (1882-1962) et l'Urbanisme : le Temps et l'Espace de la Ville" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Institut d'Urbanisme de Paris, Universite Paris XII Val-de-Marne, 1997), vol. 1, 47-55.
(2.) For practically every building illustrated in L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis I was able to trace at least one American publication with similar reproductions. In particular, I found many connections with articles published in American Architect, Architectural Record, or Brickbuilder.
(3.) The relation between text and visuals was not entirely logical, and that will not come as a surprise for any author having worked with large publishers who often treat iconography as an afterthought.
(4.) One may think that Greber, whose book indicates no dates for the building it presented, was deliberately backward-looking in his emphasis on imitative works about two decades old or more. However, let us keep in mind that "prestige" construction in the U.S. had been at a relative standstill since 1915, picking up only by 1922.
(5.) At the very beginning of the twentieth century, with the exception of La Construction Moderne, information on American architecture was not as significant, either in quality and quantity, as in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, a period analyzed in Dudley Arnold Lewis, "Evaluations of American Architecture by European Critics, 1875-1900" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1962).
(6.) In addition, Greber's conclusion suggested the creation of a travelling fellowship to allow young French architects to visit the United States. Such a fellowship, administered by the American Institute of Architects, would be created in 1927. For more information, see Isabelle Gournay's introductory essay in A Retrospective Exhibition of the Delano and Aldrich/Emerson Fellowship (Washington, DC: American Institute of Architects, 1989), 1-16.
(7.) See Isabelle Gournay, "Americans Studying Architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts," in Paris Bound: Americans in Art Schools 1868-1918, exhibition catalogue, Musee de la Cooperation Franco-Americaine, Blerancourt, Editions de la Reunion des Musees Nationaux, Paris, 1990, 47-54.
(8.) A particularly vocal anti-Beaux-Arts designer whose work was well represented in L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis was Ralph Adams Cram. Greber's Eurocentrism infuriated Talbot Faulkner Hamlin (his was the longest review of the book I could find in an English-speaking publication). In "French Influence in American Architecture: Concerning Propaganda in the Art which Should Be Most Above It," Arts and Decoration, 16 (February 1922): 273 and 323, this influential critic declared that Greber did "not realize that what seems to him archaeological only is a true and inevitable expression of our culture. He does not realize that our very style eclecticism is a truly American thing ... We mix periods, we invent new combinations of forms. The styles for us have become merely materials, never laws."
(9.) Greber "previewed" L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis in a special American issue of the scholarly Revue de Synthese Historique 29 (July-December 1919): 189-204.
(10.) Showing 300 works by 88 American architects, this retrospective provided the first opportunity for a large display of American architecture in Paris since the 1900 World's Fair. Greber's text for a slide lecture at the salon was reproduced in "Societe des Artistes Francais : L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis," Bulletin de la SADG 16 (July 1, 1921): 159-63; (August 1-15, 1921): 196-80. 
(11.) See Jacques Greber, L'Organisation des Travaux d'Architecture aux Etats-Unis, Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1919. On this mission, see "French Architects Visit this Country," American Architect 116 (July 30, 1919): 148, which mentioned as other participants three engineers, one contractor, and the Philadelphia-based architect Paul Cret; and Isabelle Gournay, "Retours d'Amerique 1918-1960: les voyages de trois generations d'architectes francais," in Americanisme et Modernite : L'Ideal Americain dans l'Architecture, ed. Jean-Louis Cohen and Hubert Damisch (Paris: EHESS/Flammarion, 1993), 294-316. L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis was dedicated to the Philadelphia millionaire Joseph E. Widener, one of Greber's major clients, patron of the arts, and philanthropist, as well as to Andre Tardieu, who masterminded France's relations with the U.S. during the war. Its foreword was by the popular writer and noted scientific management advocate Victor Cambon. Lesser known today, but also important in Greber 's rationale, was the significant role played during the war by several American Beaux-Arts architects in relief organizations such as the Red Cross, as told in Isabelle Gournay, "Le concours des architectes americains," in Les Americains et la France 1917-1947. Engagements et Representations, eds. Francois Cohet, Marie-Claude Genet-Delacroix and Helene Trocme (Paris: Maisonneuve, 1999), 124-141. At a time when French gratitude was turning into acrimony over U.S. foreign policy, paying homage to their generosity and efficiency was Greber's contribution to maintaining the climate of political entente between the two allied countries.
(12.) Firmin Roz, "Naissance de l'originalite dans l'architecture," Les Etats- Unis d'Amerique (Paris, 1927), 216-9. Explicit references to L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis can be found in Jean Labadie, "Les cathedrales de la Cite Moderne," L'Illustration 80 (August 12, 1922): 135, and Edouard Herriot, Impressions d'Amerique (Lyon: N. Audin, 1923), 81.
(13.) Louis Dimier, "Les Salons," L'Architecture 34 (May 25, 1921): 5-6, 20-29; Louis Giltet, "L'Art aux Etats-Unis et au Canada," in Histoire de l'Art depuis le Premiers Temps Chretiens jusqu'a nos jours, ed. Andre Michel (Paris: Armand Colin, 1929), t. 8,  vol. 3, 1175; Alexandre Persitz, "Cites Universitaires," L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui 6 (June 1936): 10; Wasmuth Lexicon der Baukunst 4 (1932): 622-9.
(14.) The Roslyn, Long Island commission came about through his father, Henri-Leon Greber, a well-known sculptor whose work was also featured in the property.
(15.) On Edward T. Stotesbury's Whitemarsh Hall, see James T. Maher, The Twilight of Splendor: Chronicles of the Age of American Palaces (Boston: Little, Brown, 1975), 1-88. Miramar and the Philadelphia gardens were designed in conjunction with Horace Trumbauer, a prolific practitioner catering to the nouveaux riches, whose residential and commercial work was extensively featured in L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis, although he had no formal design background. Design was chiefly the responsibility of Trumbauer's chief designer Julian Abele, an African-American graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (for whom, contrary to Colette Felenback's assumption in Les Greber. Une dynastie des artistes, 331, there is no evidence of studies at the Paris Ecole des Beaux-Arts). In effect, because his work was judged too archaeological and his behaviour too opportunistic, Trumbauer was shunned by his Beaux-Arts-trained colleagues who refused him access to the local chapter of the AIA until 1931.
(16.) See "Jardin a la francaise," L'Architecte (June 1912): 28, plate 33; Andre Dezarrois, "L'Influence Francaise dans l'Art des Jardins en Amerique : Les Jardins de M. Jacques Greber," Revue de l'Art Ancien et Moderne 40 (1921): 173; Raymond de Passille, "Les Jardins Francais aux Etats-Unis : Creations de MM. Duchesne et Greber," La Gazette Illustree des Amateurs de Jardins 1925, 16-34.
(17.) For a recent reappraisal of Greber's American gardens, see Mac Griswold and Eleanor Weller, "Green Grandeur: American Estate Gardening in the French style 1890-1940," Antiques 140 (September 1991): 386-401 (p. 390: "French gardens never became as popular as either English or Renaissance ones, perhaps because of the residual doubts about the style's suitability to democratic America"); and The Golden Age of American Gardens: Proud Owners. Private Estates 1890-1940 (New York: H. N. Abrams, in association with the Garden Club of America, 1991), 32, 98-9, and 128-31. See also Robert B. Mackay, Anthony K. Baker, and Carol A. Traynor, eds., Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects, 1860-1940 (New York: W. W. Norton. 1997), 114-5, for an illustration of Greber's more modest but exquisite work at the Walter E. Maynard Residence (Ogden Codman, architect), In L'Architecture aux Etats-Unis, Greber did not refer to his countryman and rival in the art of formal French gardening in the New World, Achille Duche ne.
(18.) As evidenced by his article "What Shall Be Done to the Cathedral of Reims," Journal of the American Institute of Architects (1919): 315-6, Greber was most Ikely acquainted with the reformist group involved with this journal, which had been a major advocate of federally funded war-housing communities, patterned after those already built in Great Britain.
(19.) For a reference to this Germanic imagery, see Margaret Crawford, Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns (New York: Verso, 1995). 112. Atterbury's heavy prefabrication process did not prove economical. Intended as a planning experiment for the middle class, Forest Hills Gardens soon became an upscale neighbourhood.
(20.) "Etudes d'habitations economiques suivant deux programmes" and "Etude d'habitations individuelles avec jardins," L'Architecture aux Salons (Paris: Societe des Artistes Francais -- Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, 1913), plates 75-82.
(21.) On the activities of the United States Shipping Board and Emergency Fleet Corporation, see Bruce I. Bustard, "Homes for War Workers: Federal Housing Policy during World War I," Prologue 24 (1992): 33-43.
(22.) In 1921, Greber prepared sketches for the landscaping of the court of honour at M.I.T., which were reproduced in H. J. Carlson, "The Grounds and Their Development," Tech Engineering News 3 (November 1922): 138.
(23.) Lortie, Jacques Greber (1882-1962), 50, points out that, in his plans for Philadelphia, Greber focused on principles of "civic art" and did not apply ideas related to the concept of zoning, which was beginning to gain prominence among U.S. city planners.
(24.) Lortie, Jacques Greber (1882-1962), 51, points Out that Greber's plans for Philadelphia related to ideas that local architect Clarence Zantzinger, a former student of the Paris Ecole des Beaux-Arts, had suggested as early as 1908.
(25.) David B. Brownlee, Building the City Beautiful: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, exhibition catalogue, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1989, 30-7. See also Andre Lortie, "La ville metropole: entre image et organisation" (Paris: Picard, 1995), 53-55. Following the same pattern as his countryman Joseph-Antoine Bouvard in Buenos Aires, Greber envisioned other diagonal boulevards cutting into William Penn's grid.
(26.) Edward H. Bennett, "A Plan for Ottawa, the Capital of the Dominion of Canada," Journal of the American Institute of Architects 4 (1916): 263-8. As opposed to Greber's assertion in the captions. Daniel Burnham could not have acted on the project as advisor, since he had died before Bennett received the Ottawa commission.
(27.) Charles Reilly, McKim, Mead and White (London: E. Benn Ltd., 1924); Werner Hegemann, Amerikanische Architektur und Stadtbaukunst (Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1924; this book was derived from Civic Art: The American Vitruvius (New York: The Architectural Book Publishing Company, 1922), which Hegemann had co-written with Elbert Peets).
(28.) In L'Illustration 85 (September 24, 1927), see Georges Wybo, "Les Architectes Americains," 287-8; Louis Thomas, "Universites, Ecoles, Bibliotheques," 294-5, "La transformation dun quartier au centre d'une grande cite." 296-7; Louis Thomas, "Jardins et Palais d'Amerique," 298-304. See also Georges Benoit-Levy, "La Cite-Jardin a l'etranger," and "L'habitation a l'etranger," L'Illustration 87 (March 30, 1929): n.p.
(29.) Andre Lortie, "Detour par les Etats-Unis," Cahiers de la Recherche Architecturale 32-33 (1993), 13-24, and Cohen, Scenes de la Vie Future, 55.
(30.) The Moulin-Vert project is described in Paul Chemetov, Marie-Jeanne Dumont, and Bernard Marrey, Paris-Banlieue 1919-1939 (Paris: Dunod, 1989), 205-6: G. Remond, "La belle demeure dans la Cite-Jardin" Jardins et Cottages (June 1926): 78-82.
(31.) I discuss Greber's role in "Romance, Prejudice and Levitt's Americanization of the middle class single family home in France," in National Stereotypes in Perspective: Americans in France--Frenchmen in America, ed. William Chew (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001).…
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Publication information: Article title: Revisiting Jacques Greber's L'Architecture Aux Etats-Unis: From City Beautiful to Cite-Jardin. Contributors: Gournay, Isabelle - Author. Journal title: Urban History Review. Volume: 29. Issue: 2 Publication date: March 2001. Page number: 6. © 1998 Becker Associates. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.