Hints on Public Architecture: Containing, among Other Illustrations, Views and Plans of the Smithsonian Institution : Together with an Appendix Relative to Building Materials

Hints on Public Architecture: Containing, among Other Illustrations, Views and Plans of the Smithsonian Institution : Together with an Appendix Relative to Building Materials

Hints on Public Architecture: Containing, among Other Illustrations, Views and Plans of the Smithsonian Institution : Together with an Appendix Relative to Building Materials

Hints on Public Architecture: Containing, among Other Illustrations, Views and Plans of the Smithsonian Institution : Together with an Appendix Relative to Building Materials

Excerpt

In the difficulties which presented themselves to the Building Committee of the Smithsonian Institution, when they first entered on the task assigned them, this Treatise had its origin. They now give to the Public that which they would themselves have rejoiced to find in condensed form and language divested of technicalities, and which, not thus finding, they had to seek through numerous volumes and under a load of professional detail.

To the improvement of Architecture are essential, not only genius and skill in the artist who designs, but discrimination in the tribunal to which his designs are submitted. But while much talent and industry have been expended on treatises suited to the wants of the professional student, few works have been prepared having for special object to enlighten the judgment and form the taste of those who are appointed to sit in judgment on the result of his labors, and who have power to transfer, from paper to reality, the creations of his brain.

Such considerations induced the Executive Board of the Institution, under whose auspices the present volume appears, to modify their first intention in the premises ; which was, merely to gratify the proper curiosity of the Public in regard to the plan and style of Architecture selected for their building, and to the reasons which governed them in that selection. They have judged it useful and conducive to the increase and diffusion of knowledge in an important department of Art, to go beyond their original purpose, and to authorize the Committee having the erection of that building specially in charge, to cast together, in connected form, such hints in regard to Public Architecture, the merit and cost of its various manners, and the facility of adapting each to modern purposes, as were gathered during investigations and researches first undertaken for an object more restricted and specific.

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