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HE United States is one of the most favored other distinct advantage is that in a great many nations in the matter of space in the Fine cases the prints, in addition to the building itself,
Arts Section. Yet the space is very lim- show parts of other structures, thus giving vivid ited, and there has been much dissatisfaction ex suggestions of the architecture in its relation to pressed over what in reality will be a boon to the the environment, which is far more illuminating vast majority of visitors. They are spared the than the disconnected record. This is particularly distress of a superabundance of exhibits, the valuable in the glimpses afforded of city architecweariness of repletion, and instead receive a suc- ture, where may be noted the gradual transition cinct impression of the characteristics of each from European standards to the colossal concountry's diplay. It is safe to say that in no struction peculiarly American. For the object part of the Fine Arts Section of any nation is aimed at has been to confine the exhibits; as far there a more compact and illuminative résumé of as possible, to those which illustrate American tendencies than in the Architectural Exhibit of characteristics, either directly, as in the case of the United States.
office buildings, hotels, and country homes, or One small alcove in the corridor bas been as- indirectly, as indicating the moral and intellectsigned to the architects, and of it they have made ual growth of the nation-for example, in libraries the most admirable disposition. The arrange- and colleges. ment is in the nature of a triptych, except that It is the former group which will chiefly inthe centre portion is subdivided into three parts. terest foreigners. Our libraries and colleges, These five panels are enclosed in handsome ebony for the most part designed on Classic and Gothic frames and glazed with plate-glass, behind which lines, are at best only reminiscent of other goodare arranged a series of photographs of completed work elsewhere. Many of them are frankly buildings. The architects' natural predilection copies. They help to equalize the dignity of for plans and elevations, drawings intelligible American civilization, but contribute nothing to only to the expert eye, has been set aside. An the technical advance of architectural art, and to
THE ARCHITECTURAL ANNUAL
the foreigner will be of only moderate interest. in the borrowing, but in the fusing into a comIt is very different with the first-mentioned posite harmony, suitable to our climate and the structures, particularly with the office buildings. conditions of American family life. Here again They are distinctively American, and the exhibits the law of growth is in operation, and something of them will be eagerly studied by those who are is being evolved which in time will be as disinterested in natural architecture.
tinctively American as the stone built homes One constantly hears the question asked abroad which were developed out of feudalism, or Will America originate a new and distinctive style those timber ones which in turn represented the of architecture? The conservatives shake their revolt from it. heads discouragingly, and remind us that the best The examples selected cover a considerable has been done already, and that the craving for part of the country and are fairly inclusive of the originality is a disease to which youth is subject, work of the best-known architects. Yet it is like the measles. No one will dispute the point, noticeable that the West and Middle West are stated that way; but still it is a fact that in their very inadequately represented, which is regretendeavor to meet the new conditions (for these table, because in these sections of the country latter at any rate are new) they have been unable very individual work is being done. Particularly to copy; they have, at least, been obliged to I notice the absence of any work by Louis H. Sulapply old principles in a new way, by impercept livan, of Chicago, without question one of the ible gradations getting farther and farther away most individual architects in the country, espefrom the originals.
cially in the designing of office buildings. The It was an excellent idea to include one or two omission recalls the fact that the Transportation views of New York from the harbor. To appre- Building at the World's Fair, erected by him ciate the grandeur of these buildings one needs when in partnership with Mr. Adler, was the the help of a long perspective; the main æsthetic feature of the Exposition which attracted the objection to them at present is that they are out most attention from the French expert visitors. of all proportion to the narrow streets upon which Among the exhibits is a view of the Omaha Exthey front. But seen from the harbor, massing position, which followed, at a respectful distance, up against the sky, they produce an effect as the character of the one at Chicago. It is an picturesque as any castle on the Rhine, and in interesting reminder of the difference which their suggestion of teeming strength produce an exists between our idea of an exposition and the exhilaration which makes enthusiasm not only French one. natural but obligatory.
We have made the occasion one for demonAnother branch of architecture in which char- strating the beauty of the uniform scheme of acteristics distinctly American are apparent is in classical architecture, while the French have the desigris for homes, especially those in the always emphasized the temporary nature of the country. These are frankly eclectic; a hint from occasion, and adopted a bizarrerie which one can this style, others from others, the merit not being only describe as Exposition Style.
From the T-Square Club Catalogue
HALL IN RESIDENCE OF CHARLES F. SPRAGUE
LITTLE & BROWNE, ARCHITECTS This is no architectural persiflage. While the flimsy new old Colonial, everywhere to be seen, is unquestionably mischievous and false, this interior is, on the other hand, treated with a strong, firm touch that denotes life and promise. A quasi-Italian garden has made Mr. Sprague's place famous (?).