Denton Jaques Snider.

Architecture as a branch of aesthetic, psychologically treated online

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GIFT OF




THE NEW SYSTEM OF THOUGHT.

Which Dr. Snider has been engaged upon for some
years, embraces the following works:

I. THE PSYCHOLOGY.

1. INTELLECT PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHOSIS . . $1.50

2. THE WILL AND ITS WORLD $1.50

3. FEELING, WITH PROLEGOMENA (to appear Au-

tumn, 1905) , $1.50

II. HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY.

1. ANCIENT EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHY $1.50

2. MODERN EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHY $1.50

III. INSTITUTIONS.

1. SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS $1.50

2. THE STATE $1.50

IV. /ESTHETIC.

1. ARCHITECTURE $1.50

2. Music (in preparation) $1.50

3. WORLD'S FAIR STUDIES (Chicago and St. Louis) $1.50

The plan has also in view a "psychological treatment of
History and of Nature.



ARCHITECTURE



As a Branch of Aesthetic
Psychologically Treated



BY



DENTON J. SNIDER



ST. LOUIS, MO.

SIGMA PUBLISHING CO

210 PINE ST.



COPYRIGHT BY
D. J. SNIDER, 1905.



C \
ff



NIXON-JONES PTG. CO.. 215 PINE ST., ST. LOUIS.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



PAGE.

INTRODUCTION. THE HIGH BUILDING . . 5

ARCHITECTURE. TYPES 34

CHAPTER FIRST. THE ORIENTAL TYPE.

EGYPT 44

I. THE PYRAMID 60

II. THE COLUMN 98

III. THE TEMPLE 120

CHAPTER SECOND. THE EUROPEAN TYPE 142

SEC. FIRST. THE CLASSIC STYLE . . 153

I. THE HELLENIC PERIOD . . . . 160

A. THE HELLENIC NORM . . . . 185

(I.) PERISTYLE 191

(II.) CELLA 207

(III.) ENTABLATURE .... 214

B. THE HELLENIC ORDERS . . . 222

(I.) THE DORIC 231

(II.) THE IONIC 235

(III.) THE CORINTHIAN ... 240

C. THE HELLENIC CITY ATHENS . 248

(3)



4 CONTENTS.

II. THE HELLENISTIC PERIOD .... 274

1. THE ORIENTAL MOVEMENT . . 288

2. THE ITALIC MOVEMENT . . . 290

3. END OF PERIOD 303

III. THE ROMAN IMPERIAL PERIOD . . 304

1. THE CENTRIPETAL MOVEMENT . 379

2. THE CENTRIFUGAL MOVEMENT . 382

3. END OF THE CLASSIC WORLD . 386

SEC. SECOND. THE ROMANIC STYLE . . 392

1. THE EARLY ROMANIC PERIOD . 416

2 . THE EAST ROMANIC ( BYZANTINE )

PERIOD . . 430

3. THE WEST ROMANIC (ROMAN-

ESQUE) PERIOD 464

SEC. THIRD. THE RENASCENCE . . . 515

1. FIRST PERIOD 535

2. Rococo 536

3. THE NINETEENTH CENTURY . . 539

CHAPTER THIRD. THE OCCIDENTAL TYPE 51



Hrcbitecture,

INTRODUCTION,,
THE HIGH BUILDING.

At the beginning of Architecture stands a
high building the Pyramid; at the end of
Architecture in our own day has risen another
high building, which we may designate for the
present simply as the High Building. The archi-
tectural movement of the ages lies between these
two high buildings, the Oriental and the Occi-
dental, or more specially the Egyptian and the
American. The latter arose through a new con-
structive principle brought to light toward the
end of the Nineteenth Century. The edifice
built of ordinary material reached its limit pre-
viously somewhere about one hundred feet above
the ground ; at once we see it shooting up to four
hundred feet and more in height. Formerly eight

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6 ARCHITECTUEE INTROD UCTION.

or nine storys were enough; now we hear of
thirty, doubtless with more to come. Very
remarkable is this almost instantaneous upspring
in Architecture ; we are led to query, Is there
anything to correspond with it in the man of
to-day, in history, in the present age? Whatever
meaning, good or bad, may be ascribed to the
American High Building, it rouses on the spot
the impression that the Architecture of the world
has at last gotten to its feet after lying prostrate
thousands of years, and proposes to stand erect
hereafter in its supremacy over all former
edifices.

The general character of the Architecture of
the Nineteenth Century makes us feel that it is
seeking something which it has never found. It
goes back to the past and reproduces every im-
portant style of building, and still is not happy.
Classic revivals, Gothic imitations, Romanesque
rehabilitations we have had in abundance, show-
ing both study and skill ; but what ought to be
is not, somehow. We are not quite satisfied with
a railroad station patterned after an ecclesiastical
edifice, and we confess a certain incongruity
when we enter a banking institution doing busi-
ness in a Greek temple, and a still deeper dis-
sonance is felt when we see a beer-house with
its clinking glasses in a Gothic cathedral. The
demand for Architecture has been enormous dur-
ing the Century, but the outcome has been




THE HIGH BUILDING. 7

largely a vast number of learned and often very
successful studies in the History of the Art.
Thus the time has been one of imitation with
many new turns and appliances, as well as skill-
ful combinations of forms. But this we can
hardly call creative Architecture, the construc-
tive Art which makes itself in its way the
adequate expression of an epoch.

Still we have to grant that just this repro-
duction of past architectural forms has its side of
agreement with the total movement of the Cen-
tury, whose spirit has been historical, evolution-
ary, going back to its origin and investigating its
antecedent stages. Darwinism is the typical fact
of the period, digging up and bringing to light
all the shapes through which man has passed in
his Evolution. In a similar manner Architecture
during the Nineteenth Century has returned to /
its beginnings and studied all the styles and
forms through which it has unfolded into the L
present. But it has been limited in the main to
reproducing these styles and forms with certain
variations, being impotent to generate a new
style in spite of certain well-meant efforts, like
that of King Maximilian of Bavaria in his new
street at Munich.

Thus Architecture would seem to have had its
creative day and to belong really in its deepest
power to the past, being classified in this respect
as an historic Art, along with Sculpture and



8 ARCHITECTURE INTRODUCTION.

Painting. It has produced no great original
master during the Nineteenth Century, as we see
in other departments of Art and Science ; there
is no Architect corresponding to Goethe in
poetry, to Beethoven in music, to Hegel in phi-
losophy, to Darwin in science. Thousands upon
thousands of costly, spacious structures has the
Century built, but no epoch-making edifice like
the Parthenon, like St. Peter's, or yet like the
Great Pyramid constructions which concen-
trate in themselves the originative architectonic
soul of entire peoples for ages.

This would be a sorry record, were it not for
the fact which must now be mentioned. Toward
the close of the Century the modern High Build-
ing, usually called the American after the place
of its origin, began to raise itself from the Earth,
in which act we may conceive Architecture her-
self leaping up from her previous outstretched
condition. Out of this new appearance came a
fresh creative breath which at once swept through
and began to rejuvenate the whole Art. Here
indeed is something hitherto unknown; no such
construction was ever before possible. Not sim-
ply another style is this, not merely another
variation of the old tune ; far deeper is the sig-
nificance of the phenomenon, since a new prin-
ciple of building has come to light, along with
new materials and new constructive methods.
Distinctly does the American High Building pro-



THE HI&H BUILDING. 9

olaim itself to be not European, not Oriental,
though it is evolved out of both and shows affin-
ities to both as its ancestors. It is Occidental,
representing a new world not merely of Space
but of Spirit, not only of men but also of insti-
tutions, being not simply a new Style of Archi-
tecture but a new Type of the Art.

This is not saying that all people or even a
majority are enraptured with the High Building.
The connoisseurs of Art are in the main against
it, the architects as a body have not been friendly
to it, the very builders of these structures seem
unable to defend their work in any adequate
manner. Still such buildings continue to in-
crease in number and have been also growing in
height. From their two starting-points, Chicago
and New York, they are rapidly passing to all the
lesser American cities. They are crossing the
Atlantic back -to Europe, through a tempest of
scorn and protest; they have gone forward over
the Pacific to the most enterprising nation of the
Orient, Japan. The High Building begins
already to span the globe, and gives a promise of
becoming the universal Building, the world-
edifice. All other Architectures have been
epochal or national, limited in time and in place;
Egyptian, Greek, Koman, Gothic they are named
even when they overflowed into other peoples
besides their originators. The High Building is
to-day the architectural loadstone of the globe,



10 ARCHITECTURE INTRODUCTION.

attracting architects from abroad to study its
principles and their significance. It is the only
object of Art that draws students and observers
to America from Europe. In all the rest of the
Fine Arts the stream is the other way, running
to the East, not to the West.

What is it that gives to this edifice such a power
of overriding all opposition, even the strongest?
Some secret energy it possesses which laughs at
criticism, even that of the prof ession ; something
it has within it mightier than any antecedent
form of Architecture or possibly mightier than all
of these forms put together. The Spirit of the
Age has taken up its abode in the High Building
and renders it impregnable against any attack.
The critic is indeed weak compared with such an
antagonist ; the whole army of opponents cannot
possibly prevail over a power of that kind.
So the High Building goes its own triumphant
way through the very hisses of the multitude of
its foes. The majority may and do vote against
it, still it has that mighty hand with it which
puts down the majority till they learn its sig-
nificance and are whipped into voting aright.
Hence the first and fundamental task of a thinker
on Architecture to-day is to interrogate the High
Building and to make it tell if possible the secret
of its being tell why it has risen up before us
so mightily and so surprisingly just now and not
hitherto, just here and not elsewhere, with such



THE HIGH BUILDING. 11

a triumphant, gigantic defiance of the well-
established and long-transmitted canons of Art.

I. The basic fact of the High Building is that
it has a skeleton within itself which supports the
outer enclosing members of the architectural
body. This skeleton is usually made of steel,
sometimes of iron, being carefully jointed to-
gether into a lofty framework which is separate
from what it supports. It holds itself up first,
and then it upholds the outer material of stone
or brick, in which are wrought the old archi-
tectural forms handed down by time. These are
still a part of the wall, but they and the whole
wall with them are now borne aloft into the air
by this new inner power which has suddenly
developed in the structure.

If we note carefully the fact just presented, we
see what may be called the architectural separa-
tion of the ages, the separation in the Enclosure
between the supporting and the supported, be-
tween the upholding and the upheld, between the
burden-bearer and the burden borne. In all pre-
vious Architecture, in so far as it was of a per-
manent material, the encompassing wall had to
do double duty: to enclose the space of the
building, and to support the weight of the roof
and its own pressure upon itself. But now the
wall divides within, it cracks in its own growth
wide open lengthwise, we may say ; it frees itself
almost wholly of its oppressive, burden-bearing



12 AECHITEG TUBE - INTBOD UC TION.

task, and devotes itself exclusively to its space-
enclosing duty, which is its primal architectural
function. This epoch-making liberation of the
Enclosure is the work of the steel skeleton, and
means a vast new freedom of development for
Architecture, which has been moving from its
commencement far back in Egypt just toward
the enfranchisement seen in the High Building.
Thus Architecture reflects the unfolding of man
himself toward a completer freedom, and be-
comes truly an Art mirroring in its advance the
'advance of humanity. Nor should we here for-
get to add that the nation with the freest spirit
and the freest institutions will produce the freest
Architecture. Not without good reason did the
High Building originate in America, and it would
seem in the freest, most enterprising portion
thereof, the West.

The liberation of the Enclosure, hitherto en-
slaved to its burden-bearing task, is, then, the
supreme work of the High Building. Within it
lies ensconced the steel skeleton hidden to the
vision of men, yet always performing its function,
upholding the encompassing wall which is visible,
and hence presents or may present to sight all
the architectural ornamentation descended from
the past. These two elements, the space-enclos-
ing and the burden-bearing, thus become the
outer and the inner, the seen and the unseen;
previously in the wall of stone or brick they were



THE man B viibim . 1 3

united immediately, the flesh and the skeleton of
the architectural organism were one, grown to-
gether as it were, till the distinction between
them evolved itself, somewhat as the same differ-
entiation took* place in the evolution of the animal
body. Stone and brick (with glass and other
materials) are now reduced to a casing or cover-
ing, which is simply supported by the secreted
giant standing upright; their former additional
labor of support has been taken away and handed
over to a far mightier power. This division,
then, is also a division of labor ; the enclosing
wall has only to enclose and not to bear the
weight of the building ; in which fact Architec-
ture is seen developing like the society of which
it is the home.

Still there is a time when all may observe this
hidden skeleton in the very process of formation.
It is that part of the structure which is first set
up by the architect; not now is stone laid upon
stone, brick upon brick, one after the other in
monotonous succession. The steel framework
rears itself with its posts, girders, rods, stretch-
ing skyward in lofty outline; it looks as if
Architecture herself were getting to her feet and
preparing to put on her clothes, really erect for
the first time in all her long existence. The old
wall of temple or cathedral has no such skele-
ton except what lies within it sleeping the sleep
of stone itself. But now we may see that ideal



14 ARCHITECTURE INTRODUCTION.

framework of the ancient edifice separate itself
from its heavy incumbrance and rise up to a
gigantic height, almost in a day, for the whole
thing is carefully calculated and made ready for
adjustment beforehand. A very striking and
suggestive object is the High Building while in
the course of erection, manifesting the separa-
tion and birth of a new Architecture in the
World's History, the very process of its parturi-
tion. The slender lines of network against the
blue Heaven are the thews of our new infant
Hercules, made of the most tenacious and elas-
tic material known on our earth. True it is that
every High Building in its construction must
re-create the architectural movement of the ages,

O '

and take up into itself essentially all the struc-
tural forms of the past.

Thus we begin to penetrate to the meaning
of the High Building in its primal constructive
principle. We find in it an architectural libera-
tion which has a counterpart "in the liberated
man who reared it, mirroring what had trans-
pired in his own soul. This is not a liberation
from work or duty, but from an outside subjec-
tion to a task not its own. Behold the Enclosure
of the High Building; with ease, with an airy
lightness and a new joy does it rise or perchance
fly upward on many a line to the eaves, being
relieved of its alien service of struggling under
external burdens laid upon it, such as roof and



THE HIGH BUILDING. 15

ceiling, yea relieved of even holding up its own
weight as a whole. It can now confine itself to
its native task, that of enclosing and of expressing
the same in various forms, new and transmitted.
All architecture is Enclosure, making the same
an institutional abode of some kind ; but when
Architecture becomes a liberated Enclosure
hitherto subjected or enslaved to tasks other
than its own, surely a new architectural epoch *s
has dawned.

We are not to rest till we see and express for
ourselves that Architecture and all Art and even
Machinery are profoundly connected with the
social Institutions of a country, from which
indeed they take their origin and character.
To some people it may seem forced to join]
together the new liberation of Architecture with '
the new liberation of Man through a new insti- ^
tutional world. The great end of the race is
freedom, and that end with its striving can be
read in Architecture as well as in Literature.
Economic science tells us that slave labor is the
most expensive, the least effective, the least
adapted to the purpose of labor. There is a
similar law of economy in construction. It is
doubtless too harsh an expression to call
European Architecture enslaved ; still we have to
say that it is not yet liberated in comparison
with the High Building. Politically Europe is
not enslaved, but the American holds and has to



16 ARCHITECTURE INTRODUCTION.

hold that it is not yet liberated. This is not
saying that we have not much to learn from our
ancestral home across the water or that America
has reached the grand finality in the matter of
political freedom. Structurally we have the
right to call the High Building of the present
time a free building, though it may and must be
outstripped in the future. We must again and
again repeat in. our thought that a truly liberated
institutional world must have a liberated Home
in its very construction.

In such fashion we seek to emphasize the fact
which runs through and controls this entire book
of ours: the inherent necessary connection be-
tween Architecture and Institutions, both of
which reach back to Man himself, to his Ego or
Selfhood, for their genetic source and develop-
ment. And, as already said, not only Architecture
and all Art, but even Machinery may claim this
tie of kinship with Institutions. Relatively the
locomotive is the free machine, self-moving, de-
termined from within, running along of itself
like a living thing. It required a free people,
the freest in Europe, to create such a free im-
plement, which can be handled best (other things
being equal) by the free man, who knows it best
and regards it with a kind of inner sympathy,
feeling in it some far-off suggestion and stimu-
lation of the deepest and strongest aspiration in
his heart.



THE HIGH BUILDING. 17

II. It has been already observed that the ma-
terial of the skeleton is for the most part steel
which fact is also worthy of our thought . Steel
is not found in nature, several processes are re-
quired to transform it from the natural ore or
earth. Thus it is emphatically man-made, not
nature-made, the product of human intelligence,
which puts into it a unique character. Its three
main qualities are, formability, tenacity, elas-
ticity, along with enormous strength, which are,
moreover, compressed into the smallest space.
Granite, the most durable material of nature, has
indeed great strength, but it is brittle, it will not
bend like steel and regain its position. Wood is
somewhat elastic, but has little tenacity, little
power of resistance to an assailing body, and is
besides combustible. Thus man has selected
the properties which he wanted and which
were scattered separately through various ob-
jects of nature, and he has combined them
into a new material of his own making.
Behold this loose red earth, it is nature's iron
(though this is found in other forms); man
takes it and smelts it and produces a new
character in it, calling it pig-iron, which, how-
ever, is brittle; then by another process he
can make it malleable, ductile, tenacious;
finally by still another process he converts it
into steel, in which he may well behold an
image of himself. For steel has an intense

2



18 ARCHITECTURE INTRODUCTION.

individuality, probably beyond that of any
natural object; if assailed from without it
asserts itself through its hardness and strength ;
if it yields to stronger pressure it recov-
ers itself when that pressure , is removed.
Steel has within it the modern man with his
intelligence, yea, with his self-assertion. It
is a kind of universal material equal to any
emergency, made up of traits culled from the
cosmos and compounded into a new character.

Before the High Building appeared stone was
the main material of permanent Architecture. It
was the material given directly by the bounty of
Nature, upon which man, therefore, depended.
To Athens the neighboring Pentelicus furnished
the marble for her Parthenon; Rome quarried
travertine for her structures from the hills not
far away ; Egypt floated her huge granite blocks
from Syene down the Nile to their destination.
Very limited was the power of transportation in
the old ages to what it is at present. Man was
determined by nature and Architecture depended
upon the material which she furnished at hand.
It is quite the reverse in the case of steel, as we
have just seen. Moreover, stone produces its*
architectural effect chiefly through massiveness ;
the wall is built of blocks both large and heavy ;
they cannot be easily moved from their place, but
persist in staying just there and so withstand
every assault. Thus they give the idea of pro-



THE HIGH BUILDING. 19

tection through sheer gravity ; inside of them is
the divine citadel, where dwells the God whose
encompassing strength is suggested in these im-
movable walls. Hence it comes that the Archi-
tecture of stone is so decidedly down-bearing,
from the Pyramid to the Capitol at Washington,
though the architect seeks by numerous devices
to counteract this impression. The heavy Doric
column of early Greece (and even of Egypt) was
fluted in order to give the eye a line for running
upward against the crushing downwardness of
the short thick shaft. Herein again the High
Building has the opposite tendency, for its native
sweep is upward, having mastered the down-bear-
ing oppressiveness of mere gravity, which,
though it has to be present, is overborne into
the soaring lines of the Enclosure skyward.

Here we may mention the third material for
permanent buildings, that is, relatively perma-
nent brick. This is not directly found in nature
but has to be made 'by man who performs in one
way or other the petrifying process, first prepar-
ing the material which is a kind of earth, then
moulding it into the desired shape, and finally
baking it in the fire or sun. Thus out of the
earth under his feet man makes the needed stone
when he cannot obtain it otherwise, re-enacting
nature's process. Indeed the stone-maker has
recently been supplanting the stone-cutter, or
rather supplanting mother Nature herself as the



20 ARCHITECTURE INTRODUCTION.

original producer of stone. Moreover this baked
earth (terra cotta) is found to be the best fire-
proof casing for iron and steel, and hence is ex-
tensively used in the High Building, which has
in addition a large area of glass, also a man-made
product from ingredients given by nature.

Thus we see that the High Building has far
more of man in it than any other structure ever
reared by him; not simply does he put it to-
gether out of materials furnished to him ready-
made, but he makes these materials anew, trans-
forming various physical constituents into a
wholly different object with its own special char-
acter. This character of the material he has to
build before he builds his house. In a manner
he has to reconstruct Nature herself before he
can construct the High Building. Herein lies
a capital difference from all preceding Archi-
tecture, which is ultimately determined by Na-
ture, even if man shapes and trims and employs
its products for his own ends.- Another image
of the new world's freedom we find now before
us : man must make the material which consti-
tutes his outer dwelling-place, as he must make
the law which constitutes his institutional home,
even it be the Constitution of the United States.

III. In this respect we may again observe that
the High Building mirrors that institutional
world in which it first came to light and which
really produced it. European Architecture in



THE HIGH BUILDING. 21

its materials goes back to a nalfcral origin, as we
have seen. European society likewise has its



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