The American Corporation Today

By Carl Kaysen | Go to book overview

14
Architecture and the Business Corporation

NEIL HARRIS

In the modern era, four great categories of clients have divided support for architecture among themselves: churches; rulers and governments; private builders erecting domestic structures; and corporate enterprises, seeking places within which to train, produce, store, display, sell, or manage. For one reason or another, each of these customer groups has dominated specific moments of architectural invention. A stroll through the highlights of post-Renaissance architecture in Europe quickly reveals their shifting status, as sources of both wealth and professional honor.

In the United States the patterns of patronage have been closely related to social and political experience. Until recently governmental support, on a national level, was much limited by both tradition and constitutional interpretation. Churches, in all their numbers, have been competitive and nonofficial, only rarely supplied with the capital required by impressive ecclesiastical commissions. Thus two great sources of potential architectural employment operated under conditions that might be called constrained, and the challenge of capitalizing a high proportion of significant American architecture was placed on the shoulders of private clients, building for either domestic or institutional purposes.

The domestic story has been surveyed often, among others, in broader architectural histories, treatments of pattern books, and studies of evolving gender cultures and philosophies of family living. 1 These narratives have been further enlivened by the presence of extravagant private clients, whose

-436-

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The American Corporation Today
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Contributors ix
  • 1 - Introduction and Overview 3
  • Appendix 20
  • 2 - The Rise and Transformation of the American Corporation 28
  • Notes 67
  • 3 - How American is the American Corporation? 74
  • Notes 97
  • 4 from Antitrust to Corporation Governance? the Corporation and the Law: 1959-1994 102
  • Notes 122
  • 5 - Financing the American Corporation: the Changing Menu of Financial Relationships 128
  • References 178
  • 6 - The U.S. Corporation and Technical Progress 187
  • References 231
  • 7 - The American Corporation as an Employer: Past, Present, and Future Possibilities 242
  • References 267
  • 8 - The Corporation Faces Issues of Race and Gender 269
  • Notes 290
  • 9 - Corporate Education and Training 292
  • References 319
  • 10 - The Modern Corporation as an Efficiency Instrument: the Comparative Contracting Perspective 327
  • Notes 354
  • Notes 356
  • 11 - The Corporation as a Dispenser of Welfare and Security 360
  • Notes 379
  • References 380
  • 12 - Almost Everywhere: Surging Inequality and Falling Real Wages 383
  • Notes 409
  • 13 - The Corporation as a Political Actor 413
  • Notes 433
  • 14 - Architecture and the Business Corporation 436
  • Notes 470
  • Index 487
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