Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay.

The Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.40 (Jan.-Mar. 1915)) online

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First. Lack of knowledge of the cost of drawing.

Second. Lack of explicit determination of what the client is paying for.

Third. Lack of imagination — 4;hat is, lack of understanding — of what the
architect's function really is.

Fourth. Lack of evidence of commercial return on good design as well
as planning.

Now as to the first: It is a problem how to get this into the lay mind, but
I assure you it can be done if the architect himiself keeps a cost account of his
draughting as he should ; yet there are many architects who do not keep such
a cost account and therefore cannot explain to the client in details of dollars
and cents and hours and minutes. If they keep such a system, there is nothing
that will interest the commercial client more than an exposition of it.

Now as to the second : A definite method of charging is professionally
correct and should be adhered to, but the public usually misunderstands what
is meant by supenision, and wherever you find a client you will very likely
find him confident that he is not getting the supervision to which he is entitled.
I believe that a complete understanding on this point before proceeding saves
many difficulties and much expense to architects.

Now the last two difficulties, which are really due to a lack of education,
can be remedied (and I believe they have been somewhat remedied), first,
by keeping to the standard of your profession and demanding recognition of
your standards, and also by a constant exposition of the work of the architect,
what he has done for the community and what he can do, and what he supplies
that the other man lacks.

It has seemed to me that a practical book, on the plan of Mr. Richard Kurd's
book on real estate values, would be of great value not only to architects but
to the public. I presume many architects are famiiliar with that book. It
gives the history of city growth, and the land, building and rental values of
many cities which, of course, are closely related to the question of proper
planning. It gives many examples in photographs of rental values sacrificed
by architectural blunders in planning, and on the whole, I think there has
been no book written on that subject as good as this one.

My own business is mortgage banking; that is, savings-deposits invested
in city mortgages. To us, during periods such as we have had in the last
few years, the only real basis of appraisal of real estate for mortgage is the
rental basis, because of the lack of sales of real estate. The rental basis of a
loan depends in jiart upon the good planning of the building, and in part upon
its location, but the major portion depends upon good planning. This depends
upon the architect. So, you may see that after all we are closely allied— if you
do good work we can do good work — and just so much as a savings bank is
able to invest its funds wisely and safely in a community, just so much better
and richer is that community ; it is being constructed by its own people, and
is just so much more able to employ good architects.

I believe that architects, as a ride, are the best professional men of any
community. I have always found them alert, filled with civic pride, and very
human, and the most delightful men as friends. I have usually found them
controlled bv two very strong motives ; a constant wish to do honor and justice
to their profession, and a desire to please their clients, of course not counting

The Architect and Engineer 87

the anxiety we all have to get the job. The control by associations is a good
thing, but I beg you to remember that your client cares nothing for rules and
regulations, and you must educate him to a belief in your capabilities, and not
present him with a printed slip of what the Institute decrees professionally.
You can do this now. where you could not do it twenty years ago.

There are occasional lapses by the public but the emphatic expression of
outrage by the people of the world at the recent destruction of the architectural
monuments in France and Belgium must convince you that the people are
generally assured of the value of good architectural work.

My conclusion is that the successful architect is the one who can handle
the public without offense to its sensibilities, and still cling to the high ideals
of his profession.

A Plea for the Preservation of the Present
Architectural Beauty of the Ferry Building

Editor The Architect and Engineer of California: — The subject of the
traffic congestion at the foot of ^larket street, San Francisco, at the Ferry
Building, which is before the people of San Francisco at this time, is of
great importance to both the present and the future generation.

In surface planning, as suggested in the plans printed in the November
Architect and Engineer, we have no advantages over what is already in
general use today. And besides, if these plans are to be followed, I fail to
see where we would be adding anything to the appearance of the present
structure; on the other hand, we would sitnply destroy what architectural
beauty there is now.

The widening' of Market street at the ferry would be a good idea, as it
would give a freedom to the whole plan, which is now in a cramped posi-
tion. And if we are to thus consider the beauty of the situation from an
architectural viewpoint, I would suggest that this be carried out. The
Ferry building is a gem within our great city, and it should not be dis-
figured by anything so unsightly as suggested in your November number.

Let us build simple, if we must, but in harmony, and not carry out some-
thing that we know will be in the present and the future an eye sore to our
conceptions. The only true solution of this problem is the subway plan.
Here we have the advantages of carrying out all that can be desired, both
architecturally and in the matter of solving the traffic congestion problem.

\\"e have come to love our Ferry building with an immortal love, and
lor the sake of relieving the traffic congestion, let us not lessen this im-
mortal love, not while we have other means to preserve its beauty — other
than surface planning.

The planning of underground conveyance could be carried out more
extensively than we perhaps realize. We do not want to build and tear
dow-n. Let us build so we may add without tearing down.

I suggest if we must use the Embarcadero for ornamental purposes, let
us erect something that will be in keeping with the general appearance
and design of the present surroundings.

Here in the center of the Embarcadero we may erect a beautiful foun-
tain symbolizing our beloved San Francisco, surrounded by her courtiers
who have brought fame to her throughout the world. Let this fame de-
velop into the realization of our true love for her ; and then we shall ha\ e
justified the means to an end.


1827 j^ Addison street, Berkeley, California.

88 The Architect and Engineer

The Human Side of the Architect

JAMES STEPHEN', in the Pacinc Builder and Engineer*

MANY a good fellow is wrapped up in a shell of formal dignity which, if
pierced, would disclose a kindred spirit.
The architect, with his artistic temperament and high ideals, on
a close diagnosis, we fear, would prove to be quite human.

In our day we are much given to organizing societies and associations
with high-sounding names which, after learning to enunciate clearly, we
take a certain pleasure in repeating with a glibness acquired by long

A few daj's ago a gentleman called at my office and introduced himself
somewhat in this wise: "I am the president of the Rainier \'alley Sunday
School Association, an auxiliary of the King County Sunday School Asso-
ciation," etc. Of course I was impressed by this tremendous title and was
about ready to kow-tow when I succeeded in getting tmder his epidermis
only to find him just a man and a very good fellow.

It so happens by the grace of council appointment that I hold the office
of president of the \\'ashington State Chapter of the American Institute of
Architects, a truly impressive title and one that compels our respect, so
awe-inspiring is at that we involuntarily begin an inventory of our person
to see if our necktie has sagged or a vagrant button slipped its moorings.

Xaturally. we assume a certain formal attitude and demeanor at the
meetings and functions of our high-sounding, long-named association. At
these gatherings we have listened in times past with more or less pleasure,
not to mention patience, to long, carefully prepared papers full of glowing
enthusiasm, lofty ideals and sparkling with well chosen gems of thought,
a seeming effort to reduce to an essence the combined wisdom of the dic-
tionary and the encyclopedia.

It is no far cry to imagine one of these writers on the morning following
his masterlv peroration engaged in a futile effort to convince his client that
the commercial building that he is planning should stand on an obviously
substantial base, only to have his suggestions brushed aside b}' this busi-
ness juggernaut who demands that all supports for upper stories, be they
one or ten, be kept well back of the window plane and covered with mirrors
to complete the illusion, leaving the architect's dream floating on a sea of
plate glass.

Can you wonder that the loft}' idealism, shocked, suppressed and buf-
feted by a cruel and unappreciative world, finds in his association a haven
of refuge wherein and in the presence of kindred spirits he may unburden
his soul of its longings?

Are we not inclined to take ourselves too seriously : at least to have the
other fellow believe we are what we are not, and even try to convince our-
selves that the clay of which we are made is a superior kind of mud and
not the ordinary blue stuff with, it may be, a streak of yellow?

It is quite possible that in our efforts to preserve the dignity of the pro-
fession that we assume too much dignity in our own persons.

How often it happens that we do not really discover the man within his
shell of reserve until some crisis or emergenc\- shocks him into an exposure
of his real self, which generally discloses finer traits of character than we
had given him credit for.

At a recent fiuiction we were regaled with a story of George B. Post,
wherein he was discovered in a fluently profane discussion with a fractious

'President Washington Stale Chapter American Institute of Architects, Seattle.

The Architect and Ent^incer 8')

Irishman digging post holes, a momentary uncovering of the human side of
this great man (not the Irishman).

Among children the favorite diversion is playing make-believe, and as
they grow up into man and womanhood they still play the game but give
it another name — bluffing, or grown up make-believe ; and who among us
does not put up the bluff?

Holding the office of president of this august body puts one under con-
stant fear of doing or not doing something which might lower the dignity
of the office. Being a humble member of this chapter is a wonderful de-
terrent in keeping us out of questionable situations, hence the awful check
exerted on the natural exuberance of the president.

The writer is fond of a picture show, but owing to his exalted position
and fearing a lapse of dignity, looks carefully up and down the street to see
if he is observed before entering one. On a recent occasion, after making
the usual reconnaissance and finding the coast apparently clear, we got out
the exact admission fee and made a dive for the entrance of a Second-avenue
picture house and sat down in an obscure seat, feeling that we had not been
discovered, and then the lights were turned up. Much to my amazement,
and to his, I discovered in the man sitting next to me one of the most digni-
fied members of our chapter, who rather apologetically began a feeble
attempt to justify his presence by an assumption of looking up the angle of
projection, while I must confess to a similar elifort, giving as my reason a
study of acoustics. Of course he knew, and I knew, and he knew that I
knew that he knew that we had both dropped in with more or less de-
liberation just to see the pictures. \\'hy didn't we say so? Why not be

[We had the same experience the other day when we dropped into a
Market street "movie" and found seated close by a usually very busy San
Francisco architect, who, from outward appearances and general air of
aristocracy, would not deign be seen at anything less expensive than a
grand opera. And do you know what excuse he offered? Had been work-
ing on a problem all morning. Was nervous and no appetite, so dropped into
the picture show during the noon hour for relaxation !

Speaking of architects and the "movies," the writer knows of a San
Francisco architect who used to be an almost daily patron of the "cock-tail
route" up and down Market street. Now he is a "tee-totaler," and he finds
quite as much satisfaction and diversion in visiting the nickelodeons,
sprinkled along both sides of Market street, as he used to find patronizing
the bar-rooms. This architect starts out about 11 o'clock in the morning and
saunters up one side of the street and down the other, stopping at about the
same number of movie houses as he used to visit saloons. Inside the
theaters you will invariably find him way down front, where he feels safe
from observation. After all, there is nothing' to be ashamed of in his daily
indulgence of the pictures; surely 'tis infinitely better than fighting John
Barlevcorn ! — Ed.l


"Business is a matter to give and get.

And what you get depends on what you give.

Give a knock and you get a knock ;

Give a boost and you get a boost ;

Give service and 3^ou get profit." — Selected.

90 The .-Irchitcct and Engineer

A New Type of Artificial Swimming Pool*

THE need of artificial swimming pools in our thickly populated districts
is coming to be more and more cleai"ly recognized by every one who
thinks seriously of the important problem of physical education, and
our urban Park Commissioners and Boards of Education must soon enter
upon extensive campaigns of swimming pool construction. A great diffi-
cult}', however, is that the problem of keeping an artificial swimming pool
clean is coming more and more to be thought of as impossible of solution.
A very careful study** of thirty-five swimming pools in Connecticut, New
York and Xew Jersej' recently made under the direction of the College of
Physicians and Surgeons of Xew York City shows that the great majority
even of the carefully conducted pools are more or less filthy. Only one
pool out of the thirty-five was shown to be actually clean. In this pool
the water was changed only once or twice a week, and continuous filtration
was employed at a rate sufficient to turn over, in about forty-eight hours
an amount of water equal to the contents of the pool. This same pro-
cedure was followed in most of the pools which were studied, the dif-
ference being that in this particular pool rigid rules were very scrupulously
enforced as to the evacuation of bladder and bowels and as to the washing
of the body before entering the pool, and as to spitting in the pool. Such
necessary rules can, however, be strictly enforced only when a pool is used
b}' a fairly homogeneous group like the students in a college, and even then
there is always a chance of serious pollution. Now, it is no great satis-
faction to the prospective user of a public swimming pool to know that
the washings from the body of another person are innocuous in nine hundred
and ninety-nine cases out of a thousand ! Indeed fastidiousness is, in its
essence, the instinctive appreciation of the seriousness of the one case in a
thousand ! An improved system of operation of the public swimming pool
is necessary, as any one must realize who considers how the average person
hesitates to wash his hands in a basin of used water and how almost un-
thinkable a second-turn bath is even in the privacy of the family!

Professor W. S. Franklin of Lehigh University has worked out a plan
which makes it feasible to install a swimming pool of the largest size and
keep it as clean as hourly scrubbing and hourly changes of water can make
it ; at a cost which is no greater than the cost of operating a pool under the
old system, and in a place where the w-ater supply is neither abundant nor
cheap. The plan involves three distinct elements as follows :

(a) The installation of a large sand filter alongside of the pool with a
capacity sufficient to turn over the water in the pool from twelve to twentj'-
four times per day depending on the number of persons using the pool. It
is well known that very badly polluted river water and even actual sewage
can be made drinkable bj' the use of a sand filter, and water which has been
in a swimming pool for an hour or two can be easily and repeatedly puri-
fied b}- a sand filter. It is the common practice at present to install a con-
tinuous filter in connection with a swimming pool, and the capacity of this
filter is usually sufficient to turn over, in forty-eight hours, a quantity of
water equal to the contents of the pool. The suggested installation of a
sand filter carries with it the idea of filtering the water at an enormously
increased rate.

(b) The use of a lightly framed bulk-head which is pushed slowly from
one end of the pool to the other by the inflowing pure water, thus entirely

*The novel features of design and construction which are here described are covered by applica-
tions for United States patents.

**See American Physical Education Review. December. 1912.

The Architect and Engineer




Fig. 1

Fig. 2

92 The Architect and Engi)iecr

preventing the mixing of the inflowing pure water with the used water in
the pool. The advantage of this moving bulk-head is an enormous increase
of efficiency of the sand filter by preventing the mixing of the inflowing
pure water with the used water in the pool. In all existing pools the filtered
water is allowed to mix with the used water, so that about one-eighth of the
old water remains in a pool after a quantity of water equal to three times
the contents of the pool has passed through the filter. The moving bulk-
head would certainly produce a four-fold increase of efficiency of the filter.

(c) The use of the moving bulk-head for automatically scrubbing the
bottom and side walls of the pool as it travels back and forth along the
pool. Frequent scrubbing of the sides and bottom of a pool is necessary,
and the only method now available is to empty a pool and wash it out by
hand. Professor Franklin's plan provides for a slight lowering of the
water level in front of the traveling bulk-head so that the bulk-head is pushed
along by the inflowing fresh water, and the scraping and rubbing action
of the closely fitting bulk-head provides for a thorough scrubbing. When
the bulk-bead reaches the end of the pool it passes over a number of by-
pass channels in one of the side walls of the pool so that the pure water
flows around the bulk-head and sweeps across between the bulk-head and
the end of the pool, thus eliminating every drop of used water from the
pool. At this time the inner face of the bulk-head and the end of the pool
can be swabbed by hand. The by-pass channels are provided with light
valves which close whgn the flow of water is reversed thus causing the bulk-
head to start on its return travel.

The essential details of the moving bulk-head are shown in Figs. 1 and
2 ; Fig. 1 is a front view and Fig. 2 is a top view. A light steel truss bridges
across the pool and rests upon two two-wheel trucks which run on two
rails, one on each side of the pool. Two pinion-racks are placed alongside
of the rails, two pinions gear into these racks, and the two pinions are keyed to a
shaft which reaches across the pool and is supported by the light steel
truss. The steel truss presents a flat surface on top which serves as a
narrow runway, and the truss and trucks are strong enough to support
any number of persons who may sit or stand upon it or who may climb upon
it by means of the ladders which are attached to it. The bulk-head itself
is made of a large sheet of galvanized steel with a wooden plank screwed to
its lower edge, and this sheet of steel with its attached plank is held in the
frame-work of the truss with its entire weight resting on the bottom of the
pool. When the board becomes badly worn the sheet of steel can be hoisted
out of the frame-work of the truss, and a new board attached to it. The
sheet of steel has vertical boards attached to its ends, these boards reach to
within about half an inch of the side walls, deep grooves are cut in the
edges of these vertical boards, in these grooves are placed two tongues
made of three-quarter inch boards, and these tongues are pushed against
the side walls by springs. The edges of the bottom and end boards
'tongues) give the desired scraping and scrubbing action, and water rushes
through between the scraping edge and the polished cement surface wher-
ever there may be failure of actual scraping contact. A tongue of com-
pressed cloth may be set into the scraping edges if necessary.

Satisfactory operation of the moving bulk-head requires the bottom and
side walls of the pool to be made accurately plane, and the interior finish
of the pool should meet three other important conditions, as follows : ( 1 )
The walls and bottom must be smooth so that dirt and algae growth can
be cleaned off bv scrubbing; (2) The interior finish should be such as to

The Arcliitcct and Ejr^iiiccr

I entrance




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— d'

showers hooks

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pool 20 X 40 X 7. ft.

pool 20 X 40 X 4 ft.

Fig. 3.

show up the cleanness of the water, and (3) The finish of the bottom and
sides should be such as to give to a diver a distinct sense of the depth of
the water.

Any one who has noticed the smoothness of a well made concrete side-
walk after it has been rubbed down a little by traffic must admit that such
a surface would be smooth enough for the interior of a swimming pool.
Indeed a concrete walk becomes extremely smooth if the surface cement
contains finely crushed limestone which is soft enough to wear dov^m under
the action of shoe leather. To bring out strikingly the cleanness or tur-
bidity of the water, the bottom of the pool must present a clearly defined
pattern with sharp edges and strong contrasts. To give to a diver a dis-
tinct sense of depth the side walls should also present a sharp pattern.

Professor Franklin proposes the following construction of the pool bot-
tom to meet the above requirements. After the bottom of the pool has
been laid in rough concrete with or without a water tight layer of asphalt
and paper, a checker work of narrow strips of milled slate or molded cement
(blackened by mineral pigment) is laid over the bottom, and these narrow
strips are wedged up by thin metal wedges to an accurately plane surface
on top. As this checker work is laid, the open squares are nearlv filled with
ordinary cement grouting which is worked to some extent under the narrow
strips, when this grouting is hard the squares are filled with a special
cement which is known in the trade as 'iily white" cement, and the whole
is then rubbed down to a smooth surface by a very moderate amount of
grinding. The surface cement would be perhaps best made by using finely
crushed marble or calcite instead of silica sand.

The side walls of the pool are of concrete molded between vertical slabs
of cement on one side and a board frame on the other side, the vertical
cement slabs being tied to the concrete by projecting screws. The cement


The Architect and Engineer


Fig. 4.
Section along A B oi Fig. 3.

slabs are made as follows : On a smooth cement floor (the finished floor of
the pool for example) a sheet of wet paper is stretched, a rectangular frame
of one-inch strips is laid flat upon this paper and thin squares of slate or
molded black cement are arranged inside of the frame in any desired pat-
tern. A thin coating of white cement is then thrown up>on the paper and
slate blocks by a broom or air blast, and when this thin layer of cement has
hardened slightly so as to hold the slate blocks in position, a layer of
cement coming up to the top of the one-inch strips is spread over the whole.

Online LibraryThomas Babington Macaulay MacaulayThe Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.40 (Jan.-Mar. 1915)) → online text (page 6 of 42)