Architecture and Democracy

Architecture and Democracy

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Architecture and Democracy by Claude Fayette Bragdon

Published:

1918

Pages:

106

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2,196

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Architecture and Democracy

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Book Excerpt

architectural designer is a mere milliner in stone, informed in those prevailing architectural fashions of which he himself knows little and cares less. Preoccupied as he is with the building's strength, safety, economy; solving new and staggeringly difficult problems with address and daring, he has scant sympathy with such inconsequent matters as the stylistic purity of a façade, or the profile of a moulding. To the designer, on the other hand, the engineer appears in the light of a subordinate to be used for the promotion of his own ends, or an evil to be endured as an interference with those ends.

As a result of this lack of sympathy and co-ordination, success crowns only those efforts in which, on the one hand, the stylist has been completely subordinated to engineering necessity, as in the case of the East River bridges, where the architect was called upon only to add a final grace to the strictly structural towers; or on the other hand, in which the structure is of the old-fashioned masonry sort, and

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