Puslapio vaizdai

the People's Savings and Loan Association Building and the Sioux City Court-House express, respectively, the ideas of bank and court-house more architecturally, or even more humanly, than a classic Greek rendering of either? Each of these buildings is admittedly different from any other building designed for the same purpose, but in the case of either does mere difference constitute more effective architectural expression of the building's purpose?

ous and well-articulated design. Perhaps the massive entrance portal makes overmuch ado about the two small doors it embraces, and perhaps the sculpture, effective and decorative as

Woodbury County CourtHouse, Sioux City, Iowa W. L. Steele and Purcell & Elmslee, architects

Next to Louis Sullivan, the greatest exponent of the American Secessionists has been Frank Lloyd Wright, distinguished for his designs for houses, which exist in considerable profusion in the locality in which he worked, and also as the designer of the large and strangely interesting Larkin Building in Chicago.

Essentially true to the creed of the Secessionists is the Sioux City Court-House, a building which undeniably possesses great interest, and undeniably expresses a vigorous and probably sincere effort to evolve a new architecture. Its expressiveness, whether or not it suggests a courthouse, was questioned earlier in this article. The query stands.

Regardless of this point, its design, considered only from an architectural point of view, should conform to certain axiomatic laws of architecture. Few will deny that the tower lacks design in itself and in its relation to the main building.

Few, on the other hand, would deny that the main façade possesses vigor

it is, gives a slightly uneasy reminder of the manner in which architectural sculpture was being handled by the modern German architects immediately before the war.

Regardless of these and other more or less unreconcilable qualities, this monument to the spirit of architectural adventure is by no means a building to be either ridiculed or ignored. The impulses that created it may one day come to exert far-reaching influence on the architectural thought of the future.

Also in the West, though the work of an Eastern architect, the design for the State Capitol of Nebraska looms up as something of an enigma. The architect undoubtedly wanted to rear a new kind of building in a new country. As a practical consideration, he wanted a tower that could be seen for many miles across the flat prairies. These were both admirable ideas, yet the building itself seems in some subtle, yet insistent, way, to contradict itself. Is it a tall, vertical building or a low, horizontal building with a tower? Somehow it seems to be neither. The tower dwarfs the building, because a tower is a jealous thing and brooks no infringement of its majesty. If a tower be reduced until it ceases to dominate the building, it becomes little more than a cupola. Probably two


fundamentally different types of building cannot consistently be combined in one design. Architectural thought, too, in this example, has sought to avoid as far as possible historic stylistic precedent in detail, although this avoidance has not been carried to the radical extreme of the Sioux City CourtHouse. The result is a sort of "middle grayness," a position of something like an architectural neutrality.

should diminish in bulk as it ascends.

As a specific advantage, this decreasing of mass does away with the necessity of a cornice and substitutes something better, a profile. It is very difficult to give a cornice a proper or effective scale at any very great height. It has long been the fashion to embellish the crowning stories of a tall building with a considerable amount of detailed ornament, but with the necessity of effecting the required diminution of bulk, the fortunate result is that the uppermost part of the tall building will now be designed instead of being merely detailed.


The Heckscher Building, New York

Warren & Wetmore, architects

There is interesting evidence, however, of that spirit of adventure that keeps architectural thought from becoming reactionary.

A great undeveloped field of design possibilities for the tall building was recently discovered, as is the way with most discoveries, quite accidentally, and architectural thought has risen vigorously to the opportunity. A New York City building law of recent enactment decrees that as a building is carried upward, its upper stories must recede gradually, and in stages prescribed by a specific ratio to the height.

Even a flat silhouette of the great Fisk Building, in New York City, will declare at once that here is large design, design in its essence, and not linear design or even design of areas. The new law has created the fortunate necessity of designing in masses. As a treatment of the tall building this new requirement brings about a scheme that is very effective because it is architecturally logical. It is natural that anything mounting skyward

The Heckscher Building and the Cunard Building, in New York, seem more vigorous in their design because of this more logical termination. Conforming to the law, architectural thought has turned the situation to splendid account, and in a technical restriction has opened up a limitless opportunity.

The Heckscher Building affords a rather interesting illustration of the tremendously great importance of the larger aspects of architectural design over the lesser question of detail and style. This building happens to be designed in the early French Renaissance style of Francis I, but, given the same general mass, any one of several other styles could have been used.

The new pyramidal profiles conjure up a prophetic vision of great Babylonian buildings, with terraces and


gardens flaunting themselves hundreds of feet in the air. These new buildings have not one, but many roof areas, and the city-dwellers of the future will undoubtedly find varied and interesting uses for their terraces in the sky.

than ever before in styles that are adaptable to modern uses and modern tastes. This accounts for the increasing prevalence of the Italian Renaissance style, and of certain types of Georgian English. The Georgian Colonial style, our own architectural heritage, has never been so extensively used in designing large buildings as it could be and as it should be. There has been a distinct swing away from the modern French manner, and it is safe to say that the architectural character of Renaissance Italy is at least the point of departure of the greater part of current architectural expression in this country.

The Cunard Building, New York City

Benjamin Wistar Morris, architect

Another illustration is found in the Cunard Building, bringing out the reasoned nature of architectural design that was referred to earlier. A great height and a great facial area are both skilfully mitigated by excellently reasoned division and treatment of the space. The entire huge mass of the building is resting on a substantial base, above which the embellishment of the second-story windows expresses the existence of important rooms within. The slight recessing of the center portion of the building makes a good vertical break and produces an effect of two strong corner towers. The recessing of a part of the uppermost stories gives strong mass design. The colonnade and the cornice are survivals of the accustomed treatment of the tall building, and in this one they are excellently managed. All the parts of this great façade are lucidly separated and logically treated. It is a work of reason and the product of a reasoning mind.

Stylistically, the trend of architectural thought is not any more easily discernible than it has ever been. It must be sought in those aspects of architecture that are larger than style. The architects of the larger and more important buildings are designing more

But the vogue of styles is not so much an index of architectural thought as of architectural preference and expediency. Architectural thought is evidenced fundamentally in the broader concept of design. The large building of to-day, notably the large office building of the Cunard type, is more a thing of reasoned design than ever before. Its parts are logically and intelligently articulated, and the relative masses of the principal parts mean something. There is a new and very promising tendency to design in solids rather than in lines and areas. Architects are getting away from the old paper architecture, which looked fair in a drawing, but actually produced many thin, brittle buildings.

Moreover, the larger profiles of the masses, which are now the main elements of design, are far more interest

To appreciate the pictorial quality that a building may possess, look at it on a misty day or at twilight, so that you can see it devoid of distracting details. And do you think in terms of manner, which produces style, or in terms of design, which gives the real expression of the architect's vision? Architecture possesses, in abundant measure, both manner and substance.

People's Savings and Loan Association, Sidney, Ohio Louis H. Sullivan, architect

ing than the detail. Detail, meaning moldings, ornamental panels, balustrades, and the like, is coming to mean less and less in the sum total of the building's whole effect. It is true that these details, taken separately and at close range, are being done with more architectural erudition and finesse than in past years, but the promising thing is that they are treated as details both in their relative scale and in their quantity and disposition. Time was, not so long ago, when architects lost their heads over detail and quite overlooked the larger essentials of design, losing sight of the fact that no building can be made up of a profusion of details alone, no matter how fine they are.

Our current architectural thought, then, is utilizing detail logically and intelligently, and is addressing itself with a new vigor and enthusiasm to the larger aspects of design. This is resulting in a quality which has long been absent from the architecture of this country, and is giving to larger buildings a very promising and intensely interesting pictorial quality.


In substance our architecture is growing constantly more complex, but, fortunately and perhaps necessarily, it is also growing more reasoned. There is very little experimentation or exploitation of egotistic originality in the more important buildings of this country to-day. It is a period of architectural sanity, combined with architectural ingenuity and a remarkable degree of consistency.

I have very little patience with the people who contend that our architecture is going to the dogs. Not a few Athenians probably said the same thing as they looked gloomily up at the Acropolis from the city below while Ictinus was building the Parthenon.


State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska

Bertram G. Goodhue, architect

"Jeshurun Waxed Fat"

Drawings by F. LUIS MORA

T WAS an evening at Chet McAus

an Chet

land's farm, on the hill above Fraternity. Chet and I had been all day in the woodcock covers with the dogs, Reck and Frenchy, and with the ghost of old Tantrybogus going on before us. We had come home to a heaping supper of fried woodcock, boiled potatoes, sweet salt pork, squash, doughnuts, cheese, and Mrs. McAusland's incomparable biscuits, with pie to follow after. When Chet's chores were done, we went down to Will Bissell's store to brag about our day's bag and get the mail; and now we were at home again, and Chet, to confirm his recollection in connection with an ancient catch of trout of which he spoke, brought from the desk in the front room an old leather-backed account-book and conned its yellowing pages.

When he had found that which he sought, he laid the book down between us, and as he talked, I picked it up and looked it through, idly. The covers were worn and ragged with age, and there was a flap upon the one that entered a slit upon the other, holding the book securely closed. The pages were filled with entries in pencil or in pen, and some of these were concerned with matters of business concluded twenty years before; and some recorded the results of days with rod or gun; while here and there, dropped at random, were paragraphs

or pages devoted to casual incidents that had struck Chet's fancy through a space of forty years. On one such series I chanced, and read the entries through, first to myself, and then, with some amusement, aloud. They ran in this wise:

June 6, 1883. Jed was taken sick to-day with a pain in his stomach. He last long. seems very weak. The old man won't

March, 1887. The old man's stomach is bothering him again. He has to stay in bed right along.

September 2, 1892. Abbie Grant says Uncle Jed's pain is worse. He 's not long for this world.

July, 1895. That pain in Uncle Jed's insides still hangs on. It will be the death of him.

August 2, 1898. Deborah Grant was here to-day. The old man still breathes. May, 1900. Uncle Jed is still alive. and kicking.

When I had finished reading these items aloud, Chet drew his chin back against his neck and laughed with that robust vigor which is characteristic of him; and I, without at all understanding the jest, nevertheless laughed in sympathy.

"But it seems to me," I suggested, "that the record ends here a bit abruptly. What happened to the old man, anyway?"

"That was old Uncle Jed Grant," Chet told me, tears of mirth in his

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