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The Students of The National Farm School.

The Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.32 (Feb.-Apr. 1913)) online

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Hf.iiidlien & Spriniier li«», WcbMcr SI , llaHand

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40



The Architect and Enrineer



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42



The Architect and Engineer



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The Architect and Engineer

of California singje copicb.

23 Cents

Pacific Coast States



Contents for April

The John D. Spreckels Building Fronltspiece

Rt'id Bros.. .Inhileds
\ Crilkism of Some of the Work Shown at the Annual Bxhibltion of San Francisco

\rchileclural Club 47

Il'.ii«rati-.l with Specimens of Work shown at the Exhibition.

The H. M. Howard Two-Story House 83

Fire Tests of Partitions for Buildings .. - -'. - S4
//. B. McMaster

Minutes of San Francisco Chapter S(i

Second Year of the San Francisco General Contractors Association N^
Charles A. Day

Steel in Building Work 'H

/. R. Granl. C. E.

The Professional Ad\isor When Not to Employ Him - . 47

Competitions '>x

Thos. Crane Yottn^

M ivlng A Steel Frame Building Three City Blocks W

Architecture of Delhi lim

Application of Tile to Concrete ■ - 102

John IVynkoo/)

•Patent Medicine" House Planning 1(13

V. O. Walling ford. Archilecl

The Profit Sharing Plan •- • • -. Ili5

Exterior Damp-Proofing • • I(t7

Structural Tones and Counter Tones ...... los

The Passing of Wax Finish lid

Among the Architects lit

Fdilorial - 114

Essentials In Concrete Road Building 116

II'. .1. Mclntyre

Indirect Illumination II. "Indirect Fixtures" 11<»

Foxder Mallcll

By the Way !:•.

([iii](-x to Advertisements, pane 8)








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yiKEEIS, SAN FKANCISCO
Frontispiece ifcW Bros., /In Aid i (J

Architect ami Engineer



THE



Architect and Engineer



Of California

Pacific Coast States



Vol. XXXII.



7\PRIL, 191.x



No.



A Criticism of Some of the Work Sliown at the An-
nual Exhibition of San Francisco Architectural Club

r.y l; .1 S. CAIIILI., A. I. A.

Tl I E dravvitigs and plaster models of the I'anama-l'acific
International Exposition buildings alone constitute an
e.xhiljit of more interest and importance to the whole
Pacific Coast than any other preceding it. When, to this is
added a selected list of current architectural enlerjirises of
conspicuous merit, in addition to the final scheme for the
livic Center, we have a combination of events of greater
moment than is likely to recur for many a long year. Mean-
time it will take a year or two to realize the first and last
mentioned of these projects. As they take shape, one after
another, they will, of course, furnish a sort of continuous
performance of the architects' craft exercised on the largest
scale towards the noblest ends under conditions of the most
liberal endowment. \\'hether in the transient and fleeting
forms embodying the Exposition, or in the more permanent
enterprises of the Civic Center, both of these really magnifi-
cent events will live always as expressions of "our opulent
life, as examples of our technical skill, and as standards of civic
magnificence to which our imperial democracy may fittingly
aspire.

Most C)f us can remember, some year ago. when mineral
oil was first discovered here in paying quantities. Everybody talked of oil
and oil wells all day long. We had an epidemic of the subject. To those
not actually in the game, the thing got to be a nuisance. There was so much
talk and excitement, so many crazy schemes floated, so much speculation,
exaggeration and lying that sober-minded people got disgusted. Suddenly,
as it seemed to me, the whole matter died — disappeared from the public
eye, and we heard no more of oil. The subject was apparently as obsolete
as the Helgian hare. And then a year or two afterwards we woke up to the
amazing fact that California was the leading oil State in the whole American
Union !

In some such way, although the parable is by no means perfect, I
seem to see the growth of the Exposition or the architectural shell which
contains, embodies an<l expres.ses the Exposition.

I remember the tiresome "talk" period of the project. The wranglings,
debates, foolish propositions, dissentions. scandals: they were all in evi-
dence. There were cli(|ues, factions and jealousies. Individual intrigue,
personal rancour and petty politics all had a hand in creating what seemed
a hopeless mix up. ()nloiikers desjiaired of any noble outcome, and pre-
dicted niithing worthitr than a monstrous assemblage of stuccoed and




48 The Arcliitcct and Ensinccy

beclizciifd pavilions lianl<iiig. a riotous and vulgar midway. It looked like it.
But in all the ferment, heat and moilings some process of clarifying was at
work. Scum and residue being removed somehow.

"Out of the measureless grossness and the slag" came forth the gem
perfection, to paraphrase Walt Whitman.

It is indeed a remarkable thing to contemplate, but after a long period
of incredible effort, mutual surrender, co-operation, conciliation and the
selecting and grouping of adequate men for the task, a working force
eventually got in control and the architectural scheme became possible.
Ijut not until many, very many, trials, essays and sketches were propci>i'd.
argued upon and rejected did anj'thing like a masterful diagram begin to
reveal itself. I have tried to trace the first germs of this parti or diagram.
It seems to have evolved and to have been the joint work of the whole
Architectural Commission. It is indeed a masterful idea, and it would be
a great pleasure to trace its origin and reveal its parent. The right diagram
or layout is so much more important than the average architect even
realizes that I will quote a notable sentence from the late Daniel II. Burn-
ham on the subject. Speaking at tlie London Town Planning Conference
of 1910, he said: "Remember that a noble logical diagram, once recorded,
will never die ; long after we are gone it will be a living thing, asserting
itself with ever growing insistency, and, above all, remember that the
greatest and noblest that man can do is yet to come, and that this will
ever be so, else is evolution a mytli."

This diagram or layout then bears the same relation to tlie finislied
Exposition that the bones of an organism do to the living creature. The
bone comes first in creation although often it is the last thing that apiieals
to the vision. You can at once pick your big man whether artist, scul])tor
or architect, by the instinctive way that he builds upon the right bony structure.

Broadly speaking, the Exposition ])roper is not wholly a group of build-
ings with architectural exteriors brought into juxtaposition in the oi)en air.
It is rather a huge rectilinear mass of building into the interior of which
blocks of open air are introduced, lined with architecture. .-Xnd these courts
are isolated from each other and conceived in contrast rather than in
harmony. The whole scheme is the reverse and opposite of the usual one,
bearing in a curious way something the relation that a negative photograph
docs to a positive print. In fact, if one looks at the plan with half closed
eyes it is not difficult to read solid pavilions for open courts and to interpret
the <lark rectangles of the exhibit space as the parterres and gardens in between.

.Ml this is not new of course. It is as old as Egypt and the Orient
where the idea receives its most amazing develoi)ment. For Exposition
purposes it has several advantages. For one thing, interior architecture
around a court whose colonnades and cornices return to us on inner angles
instead of disappearing around outer corners, gives one a more complete
and overwhelming ex])ressit)n. The scale and motives of the orders used
not being in competition with all outdoors, ac(piire emphasis and power
from being near and big.

.'\nother advantage lies in tlie fact that in the main, each court within
certain limits, is sufficiently isolateil to allow of a separate. c\en a wholly
different design. By a succession of contrasts in color, form and detail one
is lured on from vision to vision so you can "climb to Paradise by the
stairway of surprise." Of course the courts are not wholly enclosed,
especially on the south where the sun will penetrate the scheme and on
the north when an occasional vista of the marine shores across the water
will refresh the eye. Finally, and let us say it with the soft pedal, the inner



The Arcliitcct and liiii^inccr



49




50 The .Irchitcct and Engineer



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The Architect and Engineer



51




52



Tlir Architect and Eiigiiicc}




Molur Transl-.ntatwn Building
Geo. A. Lattshiirgh, Architect



Copyright, P P I |-




rnpyrinlil. v. V. 1.



Irchltcc'. and Engineer



53



J>v



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1'. r. I. E. Cr



foiirt arranjjcMKMit will 1)c best appreciated l)y tlmsc of us wli i have lived
here longest.

The note struck by the Exposition at large in spite of the variety of
the inner courts, is after all. harmony. Harmony wrought by the spell of
color, the subdued splendor of whicli promises to be a revelation. The
walls throughout, as well as the walks and driveways, will be toned to the
broken gray ochre of travertine stone which is the tone of old gold w'ithout
luster and in shadow. Dull gold and dark ivory will sustain the high
lights of the buildings in the sun ; and red tile blued by distance will unite
all the roofs in one w-ash of Venetian pink when viewe<l front the nearby
hills. Domes and ])Minacles w-ill reflect the sun glow: glass roofs will
sparkle at intervals and the whole "Golden City" will lie serene on a floor
of dark verdure by the straight margin of the bay.

The courts in detail surprise one by their serious character, their beauty
and dignity. in France an F.xposition offers a fine outlet for the prodigal
talent witli which Paris is abs(dutclv congested. While we mav as well



54



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M.Ktm. Mr.i.l iV II liil.; Arch



The Arcliitcct and Riis-incci




Resilience of Ceo. .i. \,-:ch,ill. Hurlineum,-



L.-i.t'.. r. Ilclart. Aril,:.



Tlic Aycliitcct and lin^iiu-,





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58



'I'lic .Architect and Engineer




The ^Irchilccl and Engineer



59




60



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Chftrlcs I'ctcr li'ecks. Architect



The .Urhltrcl and En - u,ccr 63



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admit that we do not begin to have such store of creative plastic abiUty
to draw from, it must be conceded tliat the I'-rench jjerformance while
always brilliant and astonishing, is often restless, dizzying and unbeautiful.

In Europe it must be remembered, one is within a day's journey of ail
the white man's architecture that ever was. But here in San Francisco, in Chi-
cago, St. Louis, across thousands of miles of plains and prairie wc have nothing
as yet of great serious original architecture in its sublime moods. Therefore, the
need to put into form, if only for a brief season — those divine creations of the
elder races. In contrast, therefore, to the spirit animating a European Exposi-
tion, we should aim rather to show the admitted glories of the great historic
styles, which our people but dimly know about, rather than to exploit architec-
tural novelties and frivolities or to conceive an Exposition as merely an expres-
sion of transient gaiety — a thing of banners and bands and streamers and stucco.

In accordance with this peculiar educational function of an Exposition
in this part of the World the Commission of .Xrchitects have acquitted them-
selves so far, with astonishing credit. Where one might have expected an
attempt at something merely big and sensational one is overjoyed to find
that far from striving to shine by excess the whole enterprise has been
conducted with most excellent restraint, \othing obtrudes or overwhelms.
.\11 is most excellent democracy of art. If any rivalry is apparent it is rather
of the intensive kind. Within bounds of restraint and without undue
assertiveness each architect has striven to excel in beauty, proportion and
harmony. As this is the real test of good architecture it can be seen that
the designs of the various courts, including the circumvallation that sur-
rounds them all, is of a very high order indeed. It is presumptuous to
dogmatize. I would rather .say nothing than gush, but I cannot but feel that
no Exposition held in this country gives so much promise of architectural
perfection as this one of 191.^.



64



The Architect and Hiii^ineer





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Taylor Residence. Piedi



68 The Architect and Hiiginccr

1 place first as a veritable gem the courts facing south designed by
Mr. Kelham. As revealed in the plaster model or colored by the genius
of Mr. Guerin these courts are beyond criticism in composition, .scale, propor-
tion, and a pervasive beauty of a most refined and subtle quality that it is
A pleasure to look at, and look at again.

Xc.xt one cannot but feel confident and reassured about the (ireat
Central Court of McKim, .Mead & While. It is a scheme of great dignity
and interest. The scale seems a little uncertain in sptJts, but doubtless the
finished work will have these things corrected. The blendijig of the Oriental
motives set upon good old Roman substructure is interesting and sug-
gestive.

These courts elicit praise because they are so clearly defined, so
architecturally expressed. From this viewpoint .Mr. MuUgardt's quasi-
Gothic Court and corner tower as suggesed in a wonderful black chalk
draw'ing is both beautiful and baffling. .\s a suggestive dream-picture it is.
indeed, the most interesting line drawing in the exhibition. If it is carried
out in reality in such a way as to realize the promise of this truly wonderful
drawing, then surely this court will be the gem of the collection. Its appeal
is irresistible. It calls up so many imaginings. It is both familiar and novel.
Its realization will be watched with nmre interest than that of any other
building.

A wise man has announced that "'riicre can be any number of
supremes." Mr. Maybeck's first exhibited sketch of the .\rt Huilding gave
the imjjression of the most poetic ct>nception to date in my mind of all
the drawings on e-xhibit. The others seemed draftsmanship, this was a
creation. Mr. Maybeck is a staunch believer in the- French school, yet
could anything be conceived less French in design, in conception, in render-
ing. Clarity, logic and gaiety arc Gallic characteristics. This design is
vaguely, sketchily and romantically drawn ; the big octagon rotunda covers
nothing and cannot be reached, except at the back ; and the whole group
is solid and sombre as a Roman .Arch of Triumph. In these things it is
surprisinglv un-French. But the wliole thing was a surprise. The most
coveted building in the Exposition fell finally to one who Ica.st expected it.
Mr. Maybeck is one of the most modest men in the profession. That he
should have come out with so stunning, so characteristic a design and been
entrusted with its realization is one of lite most satisfying and agreeable
incidents in the history of the Exposition plans. This is one of the few
buildings of the Exposition as distinguished from courts and colonnades.
It would repay rendering in a plaster model which doubtless in tiiue we
shall see. In this building the proiuise is so high that we shall all look
to its adecpiatc realization with .sympathy and hope.

The Entrance Tower by Carrere & Hastings is frankly a disapjioint-
ment. It is not a serious study. It is amorphous in design, luonotonous
in silhouette, freakish in scale, and nondescript in detail. .\t present it
looks like a Siamese wedding cake. It may build up better than it looks.
Let us ho])e so.

Xot the least interesting feature of the "(joldcn City" is the circum-
vallation and its towers, arches and gateways designed by Mr. I'aville.
This is indeed a most important feature of the I'"xposition, tying it alto-
gether in a simple band of restful wall surface punctured at various quite
unnionotonous intervals with grilles, windows, niches and doors. Sometimes
it gathers itself up into a fortress-like tower gate, or (|uiels down to a simple
Arch of Triumph, or hollows itself into a great half dome, or breaks out
into gorgeous screens of richly wrought panellings, canopies and open



Tlic Architect iind Engineer



69




First Church of Chrisl. XcicnIhI. San /•
Edgar A. Mathetvs. .■IrchiUct




Interior First Church of Christ, Sccnii
F.ilgar .1. MatlicxiS. .-Irchitccl



70



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75



arcades. It is dutK' in Spanisli renaissance in tlie main and fur historical
interest or detail and ninlif will form one of the most nieniorahle features
of the walled city of 1915,

Tlie "Court of the I'onr Seasons" is beautifnlly named and char?iiiiifjly
rendered. Its utter simplicity is very i)roniisin,a^. It may create more
satisfying- impressions than other courts we have been more sanguine about.

It is a sisniticant tiling that so little of the real I'rench spirit has ex-
pressed itself in the scheme. The Horticultural I'luildiiii^ is an exam])k'.




and glass and iron lend themselves with great felicity t.) (iallic genius.



Online LibraryThe Students of The National Farm SchoolThe Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.32 (Feb.-Apr. 1913)) → online text (page 30 of 40)