Architectural Follies in America Or, Hammer, Sawtooth & Nail

Architectural Follies in America Or, Hammer, Sawtooth & Nail

Architectural Follies in America Or, Hammer, Sawtooth & Nail

Architectural Follies in America Or, Hammer, Sawtooth & Nail

Excerpt

Early in December, several years ago, I presented for the first time the material on unusual aspects of American architecture which I had been in process of collecting for a long while. The occasion was a talk given in a hall on Fifty-seventh Street in New York City, illustrated with Kodachrome slides, and billed as " The House That Jack Built ." The title was quite deliberate. It was suggested by the name of a book by Eugene Clarence Gardner, The House That Jill Built after Jack's Had Proved a Failure , published in 1882. The main idea of the Gardner volume was that women's work qualifies them the better of the two sexes to plan where everything in the house should go. Perhaps this is true regarding some phases of planning. Yet in the original ditty about Jack and Jill it is expressly stated that Jill followed Jack in his precipitous tumble; and, with all due apologies to Mr. Gardner's pro-feminist sentiments, I am inclined to believe that the same thing applies to architecture that applies to incline descents. If men have had some pretty wild ideas about building, women have also, as will be demonstrated through examples discussed in the following pages.

I have always had a special fondness for the expression "architectural follies," and for everything indicated by the term. Having spent many happy days digging up data, poring over illustrations, reading about this fascinating subject, and searching for examples in the field, I must confess that I have also spent a comparable amount of time dreaming up my own versions to add to the accumulated store. Of course the latter have not gotten any further than on paper, but, then, neither have a lot of other of the world's most pleasant objects of contemplation. Perhaps some day I shall show them; but, for the time being, the items contained in the following collection are confined to actualized specimens.

The word "folly" has undergone a number of changes in interpretation throughout the ages, especially as applied to constructions. It seems to have come from the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.