American Architecture

American Architecture

American Architecture

American Architecture

Excerpt

Among a people with the vast material task of conquering the wilderness of a continent, mastering the riches of its soil, its forests, its waters and mountains, artistic expression takes chiefly the form of building, of architecture. It is in architecture, of all the arts, that America has said best what it has had to say. It is in architecture that America, grown to imperial might, has said something new and vital in art.

Its history has sometimes been represented as a degeneration. Under Ruskin's system of moral values, falsely imported into the field of art, the Colonial day has been glorified as a golden age of honest traditional craftsmanship, the modern vilified as false and base. We can not take this view. To us the Colonial style, with all its provincial charm, is still in leading strings. Only with the founding of the Republic does a creative spirit appear, a new sense of form. Then, as a new civilization takes shape, amid the hum of harvester and factory, a new material, steel, leaps from the earth. Its towers, rising in sunshine and storm, glowing in the night, embody the aspiration of a new world.

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