Ralph Adams Cram, Cram and Ferguson

Ralph Adams Cram, Cram and Ferguson

Ralph Adams Cram, Cram and Ferguson

Ralph Adams Cram, Cram and Ferguson

Excerpt

Consistent adherence to an ideal or concept does not necessarily impose rigid restrictions even when applied to architecture. Consistent adherence to architectural styles that have a limited variety of form and details as in the Classical orders or to "authenticity" implying reproduction, is destructive to creative architecture. Some architectural styles, such as the Gothic manifestations in several countries, were invented for and dedicated to a specific use which has continued to this day in the original or modified forms. It was this continuity of use and its appropriateness that was the basis of the conception of Cram and Wentworth and their successors, including Cram and Ferguson, of the ideal American Christian church. A consistent adherence to this ideal did not in any manner prevent their work assuming a wide range of individual expressions, a testimony to their extensive knowledge and understanding, liberally expressed.

A small portion only of the literature devoted to architecture is written by architects, especially that phase of architecture related to its sociological and philosophical aspects as differentiated from the material technic of the art. Compared with the British architects, those of America appear to be deficient in the art of writing, a condition that can be attributed largely to the educational methods of the two countries, and, perhaps, to the practice of the Royal Institute of British Architects to award honors to the best essays submitted by its members. Among a very small number of American architects, Ralph Adams Cram is a distinguished contributor to this literature, not confined to the purely technical aspects of architecture but rather to its sociological and philosophical attributes. Dr. Cram is equally distinguished for his . . .

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