The American Architecture of To-Day

The American Architecture of To-Day

The American Architecture of To-Day

The American Architecture of To-Day

Excerpt

This book represents an elaboration and revision of three lectures on modern American architecture which the author was asked to give for the Henry La Barre Jayne Foundation in Philadelphia. It was understood that the lectures were to be published and they were therefore rather carefully written. When finished, however, it was found that the material was so extensive, the illustrations so numerous, that they could not be delivered as composed. The lectures were therefore abridged, delivered without manuscript, and the text, rewritten and reclassified, the three lectures changed to four chapters, was reserved for publication. Albeit the book varies in many important respects from the lectures as delivered, the flavour of the printed lecture may cling to it still. If so, the writer craves indulgence and reminds the reader that this is almost inevitable in any modern book on the fine arts, where every major statement is fortified by an illustration, and the arrangement must perforce resemble that of an illustrated talk.

In one respect the book coincides exactly with the lectures: it is addressed to laymen. Indeed, it is a layman's review for laymen. The writer is not a professional architect, but a student of the history of art. Moreover, he has no claim to special expertness in the field of modern American architecture. As a student of the history of art, a critic, and an observer of beauty, he was asked to review for laymen some of the tendencies of the fascinating architecture of America to-day. The book is the result.

The architect may find the book interesting. We hope he will. We even dare hope that parts, at least, may not only stimulate him but help him to think of his work in a new way. The last thing we should arrogate to ourselves, however, is the desire to instruct him.

To the architect, however, the writer owes many thanks and many apologies. First be it noted that when the material is so vast, it is impossible to do justice to the work of any individual, and the work of the . . .

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