Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay.

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

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SI 5 to $25 per week. It will be observed that the architect demands his
percentage not only on the cost of the building construction, but also on the
cost of the entire mechanical equipment, electrical installation, ventilation
installation, and. in fact, on all items pertaining to the cost of the building.
He will demand this "even though he was not employed or concerned in the
mechanical installation," and even though the owner employed and paid
the engineers therefor. The writer is informed of five specific instances
where the architects took this attitude solely on the theory that the me-
chanical equipment w'as part of the building cost and. therefore, under the
form of contract as drawn by the American Institute of Architects they
were entitled to six per cent compensation.

The fourth reason for abandoning the rule is the fact that the average
architect is not practical in specialty building or design. The owner as-
sumes that his architect is informed of the requirements of modern business
building and will incorporate these requirements into his plans and specifi-
cations. Relying on this assumption, the owner does not carefully inform
himself, or employ an experienced and expert manager to revise the archi-
tect's plans. The result is that w'hen the plans and specifications are sub-
mitted and adopted they are in many details wholly impractical, and the

The Architect and Eiii^inccr 109

building constructed ])ursuant tlicreto is a financial failure. Modern busi-
ness in most all lines is very complex, and each business usually involves
man}- specialties. The ability to prepare practical plans and specifications
in any of the departments of any given business requires a specialist who
has become so by reason of years of training and study. The average archi-
tect is not a student, he is usually only a draftsman.

The writer eni])l(jyed, on a hotel project, a firm of architects reputed to
be the best in the Northwest, who had upwards of forty years of building
experience, and, l>y reason thereof, had the absolute confidence of the
owner. These gentlemen, no doubt, did the best they could, and yet the
following were some of the items of their work :

Embedded steam pipes in concrete floor slal)s with the rcsuU tliat the expansion and
contraction of the pipes in the slali caused the pipes to break and to leak through the

Embedded service pipes in tlie wall in such manner that when a leaks occurs, or
repairs are necessary, it is necessary to tear away the w;ill in order to gain access ta
the pipes.

In a twelve-story hotel project, omitted plumbing shafts.

Installed duplicate soil and supply pipes where one set would serve the purpose.

Selected bath tubs of such size and built the entrance doors to bath rooms so small
that when the tubs arrived, it was found that they were too large for the entrance doors,
and holes had to be cut into the bath room walls before installation of tubs could be

Gave the building windows of four different sizes, thereby making it necessary to
purchase curtains and window shades of that number of separate and distinct sizes.

Dead arms approximately twenty feet in length on hot water service lines.

Refused to submit any plans of electric fixture installation, plumbing plans, ventila-
tion system, kitchen installation, ofiice design, furniture layout, on the pretext that that
is no part of the architect's contract who has undertaken to prepare complete plans and
specifications of a hotel project.

These gentlemen represented that the completed hotel of 250 rooms would cost not
to exceed 25 cents per cubic foot, when in reality after correcting the architect's blun-
ders, it cost much more.

It is apparent that a legal proceeding against an architect is a fruit-
less task. It reminds one of the story of Frederick the Great, who one day
undertook to punish the Polish King. The King returned after the comple-
tion of a militar\- campaign empty handed, with nothing except the fruitless
glory of victory. \\'hen asked what success he had achieved, he said he
was in the position of the devil who went wool gathering, but found noth-
ing except wild hogs, and he undertook to gather wool from them. \\'hen
asked as to the result of his attempt, he said, "Great cry, but little wool."
So is the attempt to collect damages from the average architect.
Suggestions as to Remedy

The writer has frequently discussed the situation above outlined and
has come to the conclusion there are two remedies. To those who are of
the opinion that it will serve their interests best to entrust same wholly to
an architect, the contract relation between them should be reduced to
writing, and somewhat along the following lines :

After informing the architect of the sum the owner desires to spend, the parties
should agree : First, the architect to prepare preliminary sketches and for which there is
to be no charge. .-Vfter submission of tlie sketch, the owner to have the right to proceed
or not to proceed and in either event, is not to l>e liable to the architect for any purpose.

In the event the owner, after receipt of preliminary plans and specifications, decide to
specifications. On submission of the same, the owner to be liable for one per cent of the
contraction of the pipes in the slab caused the pipes to break and to leak through tlie
construction and in the event he does not proceed, then his liability to be limited to the
one per cent of the estimated cost.

In the event the owner, after receipt of preliminary plans and specifications, decide to
proceed with construction, then the architect is to prepare detailed plans and specifica-
tions covering the entire construction phase of the building and in a manner satisfactory

110 Tlic Arcliitcct and Engineer

tQ the owner. On receipt of same, bids are to l)e secured thereon. In the event the
lowest responsible bid exceed the construction cost as limited, then the owner is not to
be liable to the architect for any further compensation. If the lowest responsible bid do
not exceed the construction cost as limited, then for plans and specifications, the owner
is to pay the architect two per cent on the actual cost. The owner, however, has again
the option to proceed or not to proceed with the construction, and in the event he decide
not to proceed, then he is indebted to the architect not to exceed two per cent on cost
as appears from the lowest bid.

On acceptance of the detailed plans, and the receipt of the lowest bid, the question
of superintendence arises. The owner has the option to employ the architect, or to em-
ploy an independent inspector. In the event he select the architect's superintendence,
then he is to pay him therefor on a basis of two per cent of the actual cost of the building
with the proviso, however, that he may discontinue the architect's service on any day the
owner so desires and on so doing the architect's compensation for service for superin-
tendence to be computed on a pro rata basis.

The advantage of a contract along this outline is that the owner at all
times is absolute master of the situation. He \vill avoid the danger of
placing himself at the mercy of the architect, and in the event that he does
not proceed with the building, will avoid controversy over fees. Also,
under an arrangement of this character he will secure far better service for
the reason that the architect, being aware that his service may be discon-
tinued at any moment, will be more anxious to please, and less arbitrary.
It is the e.xperience of the writer that in the employment of men it is policy
not to enter into any arrangement that will in anywise interfere with the
owner removing an employee at will.

The construction contract should be given to one person or firm for all
the construction work. By this method the owner avoids the annoyance of
wrangling among the various sub-contractors and their employees, and he
avoids the claim so frequently made by a contractor that the defective work
of which he is accused, or the delay for which he has been called to account,
is due to the negligence of another contractor, or his employees. It also
avoids the argument so frequently made by the architect when he is
charged with negligence, or incompetency, that the situation is due to the
negligence or incompetency of some certain contractor or his men and was
in no wise chargeable against the architect. By letting to one person a con-
tract for all the work, that person is forced to assume all the difficulties
and tribulations to which the owner is exposed when he lets contracts to
numerous sub-contractors. It is noteworthy that a great number of the
larger building constructions today are undertaken on this plan, and the
writer has not learned of a single instance where its results were in any-
wise unsatisfacto^3^

Objections Considered

The architect will reply hereto by saying that his self-interest will impel
him to give his client the best of service. Theoretically, the answer appears
plausible. In practice, however, the argument is not applicable. The aver-
age architect, as the average lawyer, or doctor, will take any case that is
submitted to him, regardless whether he be competent or otherwise. The
liumati being is so conceited as to consider himself competent to undertake
any case pertaining to his profession. Once having secured his commission
he will render such service as he may be able and then claim that he has
complied with his contract and, therefore, entitled to the compensation.

Another objection is that even though the owner should enter into a
contract along the lines above indicated yet it will be economy for him to
employ a competent architect. The architect claims he is more familiar
with construction and its economies and, therefore, can save for the owner
an amount of money exceeding the architect's commission. This argument

Tlic Architect and Engineer 111

also appears plausible, but is fallacious in so far as it assumes that the archi-
tect knows the economies of construction. The fact is that the average
architect does not know the economies in construction and has but little
knowledge of construction cost. When sued for damages on the ground
that he misrepresented as to cost, his answer is that in his professional
capacity he is not supposed to advise as to cost ; that that is not one of the
professional duties of the architect, and that the owner has no right to rely
on any opinion the architect may express as to cost.
Lost Entire Investment

The importance of this subject is emphasized by the experience of Mr.
Collins of the Dyckman Hotel. He was a hotel operator of many years'
experience, and interested in promoting a hotel project on certain lines. As
was reported from the testimony his architects represented the total construc-
tion cost would not exceed $400,000. Thereupon he entered into a lease
with the owner of the ground, whereby the owner agreed to erect a build-
ing pursuant to those plans on a rental basis of 5 per cent per annum on
the value of the ground, 8 per cent per annum on the cost of the building,
and 9 per cent per annum on the cost of plumbing, steam and special in-
stallation, together with taxes, assessments and insurance. The building
was constructed and. as is reported, the ultimate cost thereof aggregated
$600,000. As a result of three years" operation of the hotel, Mr. Collins was
obliged to discontinue, being in arrears in rent for approximately two years
and in bills and accounts payable in a very large sum. One of the reasons
for his failure was the fact that because of the increased construction cost,
over and above the limit placed by his architects, his rental was increased
to such an extent that he could not successfully operate the house.

Mr. Collins, so it is reported, lost his entire investment. His claim
against the architects is without value, for the reason that the opinion as to
cost, legally speaking, is an expression of opinion outside of their profes-
sional duties, is not binding on them and is not a ground for claim for

Investigation of this subject leads one forcibly to the conclusion that
there should be either a change in the antiquated methods heretofore em-
l>loyed or stringent legislation, making the architectural profession a
licensed profession, making the requirement for admission stringent, and
making him legally responsible for misleading estimates and opinions and
fixing his compensation on the reasonable basis, say, 3 per cent of the esti-
mated cost.

Architectural League Exhibition

The thirteenth annual exhibition of the Architectural League of Xew York
will be held in the building of the American Fine Arts Society, 215 West Fifty-
seventh street, Xew York commencing Sundaj'. February 7, and continuing
until Saturday, February 17. inclusive. The annual dinner is scheduled for Friday
evening, Febmary 5, and the league reception for the following afternoon.
The exhibition is illustrative of the architecture and allied fine arts. It will
consist of drawing and models of proposed or executed work in structural,
decorative and landscape architecture : sketches and finished models and monu-
mental sculpture. Cass Gilbert is chairman of the committee of the annual
exhibition and jury of selection. The jury of architecture is composed of
Richard M. Hunt, Edwin H. Blashfield, Cass Gilbert. Isdore Konti, Donn
Barber, William M. Kendall. Charles A. Piatt, Philip Sawyer and S. B. T.
Trowbridge. There will be competitions for the Henry O. .\very prize and
a special prize of $300.


The Architect and Engineer

Arrijitprt anb lEnginppr


Published Monthly in the interests of the
Architects, Structural Engineers, Contract-
ors and the Allied Trades of the Pacific
Coast by the Architect and Engineer Co.

Business Office and Editorial Rooms

617-619 Monadnock Building, San Francisco

Telephone Douglas 1828

J Canada 50c addil


le United States |1.50

: to all Foreign points

January, 1915

SintctjtraL Steel

' Brick.


Wm. B. Gester, -I luspectton

LOREN E. Hunt. C. E. -1 and Tests

O. P. Shelley. C. E. ( r. j. r ^ ,

F W FlTZPATRlCK \i''"t"'"OI ^<»'^t'''"i'0''-

W. W. Breite, C. E.
Athol McBean
W. E. Dennison
How.ARD Frost, i
G. B. AsHCROFT. c. E


J. K. D. Mackenzie -

Fred M. Woods. Jr..

Wilbur David Cook, LandscapeArchiiectt,

T, C. KiERULFF - ■ ■ Legal Points

Paul C. Butte - Electrical Construction

Louis F. Mauer - - Waterproofing


Artificial Stone

c Roofs and Roofing

Rock and Gravel

Fred H. Meyer
August G, Headman
Edward T. Foulkes
Alfred F, Rosenheim
G. Albert Lansbursh
Houghton Sawyer
Herman Barth
Arthur Brown. Jr.
Chas. P. Weeks
Octavius Morj-an
J. C. Austin
Jas. W. Plachek
W. H.Ratclitf. Jr.

William O. Raiguel
F. U. Hudson
Sumner P. Hunt
Norman F. Marsh
Smith O'Brien
Alnnric Coxhead
Harrison Albright
John Parkinson
A. W, Smith
T. Patterson Ross
William H. Weeks
Chas. W Dickey
Henry C. Smith


Ernest Coxhead
Wm. C. Haves
Chas. Henry Cheney
Herbert E. Law
Hon. Jas. D. Phelan
John Galen Howard
Louis C. Mullgardt

John Bakcwell.Jr.
W. Garden Mitchell
Nathaniel Blaisdell
W. R. B. Wilcox
William Mooser
Robert Morgeneier
B. J. S. Cahill
F. A. I. A.

E. M. C. Whitney
.\. I. Whitney
Frederick W. Jones


Managing Editor

Xext month The Architect and En-
gineer of Cahfornia will publish an
interesting article
DEVELOPMENT on "The Develop-

OF THE MOVING ment of the Mov-
PICTURE THEATER i n g Picture The-
ater," showing
some of the latest examples of motion
picture houses in Pacific Coast cities.
It is gratifying to note that archi-
tects are now given an opportunity to
design something better than a "corru-
gated iron shack" which marked the
initiatory stages of the "movey" craze.
Referring to the hap-hazard construc-
tion that has characterized the mov-
ing picture theater in the past, the
Builders' Guide of Philadelphia com-
ments :

There is no doubt in the mind of any
sane observer that the building of "movie"
theaters, — so far as Philadelphia is con-
cerned, — has been overdone. Nor is there
an.v doubt at all that inost of the buildings
dedicated to this form of amusement have
been underdone. When it is considered
what really beautiful and artistic effects
are possible with the use of architectural
terra cotta in this field of design, one is
moved to marvel at many of the garish,
flimsy and hopelessly ugly affairs thrown
up as "palaces of photoplay entertainment.'
The bulk of these are in ornamental sheet
iron, a medium that while useful to a cer-
tain extent has somewhat sharply defined
limitations. One of the chief objections to
corrugated iron is that it deceives no one^
not even the builder. Coat it as you may,
plaster it with gold leaf, embellish it with
lights, it remains under any and all circum-
stances frankly and even obtrusively — orna-
mental iron. This is not true of archi-
tectural terra cotta. Terra cotta has the
"feel." the sense of solidity, the grace of
outline of stone. It has an air of elegance,
a wholesome genuineness about it that ap-
peals. It is wholly free from that sugges-
tion of the "shoddy" and the "gingerbread"
that makes itself felt in the structure of
sheet iron. A diminution in the number of
the "movies" with a corresponding better-
niient in the quality of the building seems to
be at this time more or less inevitable. We
note, too, that the shoddy structures which
marked the initiatory stages of the "movej'"
craze are gradually being abandoned or
handed over for remodeling for other lines.
The moral is that spurious building doesn't
pay, and that an attractive structure de-
signed by a competent architect and made
of approved materials is as necessary to
success as first-run picture features or ex-
tensive advertising.

The Architect and Engineer


W'riting about the lack of color in
modern architecture. Mr. Charles de
Kav, the noted art
COLOR IN MODERN critic of New York.
ARCHITECTURE alludes to the bas-

relief in enameled
tiles at the exhibition of the Architec-
tural League in Xew York, as fol-
lows :

Notwithstanding all that has been done in
the way of tiles to decorate the interior
and exterior, the fact remains that our
architects are not taking the advantage they
might of this material to enrich the town-
scape and -provide sumptuous and lasting
color schemes for churches and capitols,
hotels, libraries and railway stations, pub-
lic and private houses.

The color notes from smooth or dull or
unevenly surfaced products of the kiln
have been so far mild enough, discreet
enough, well enough suited to the timidity
one meets when the question of color comes
up. Even these anemic hues are often set
aside for drab or dead w-hite walls unre-
lieved by anything save windows in monot-
onous rows whose deadly iteration numbs
the mind and steeps the soul in gloom. By
the d'cft introduction of tiles in smooth or
dull glazes much might be done to render
tall buildings less repellant and to some
degree disguise the enforced but ghastly
regularity of their fenestration.

Tiling can be varied in tint to prevent
a too solid color ; it can be modelled in
relief to obtain elifects of shade. Chance
alterations in tone, or "hazards" of
the kiln allow the architect a gamut
color vibrations on which to play the
changes. Perhaps through this ma-
terial we shall have presently an
architecture better suited to our bril-
liant atmosphere, our autumn wood-
lands, than the doleful kind we inherit
from Europe. In the hands of archi-
tects who have some feeling for color
we should have rich and varied deco-
rations for schoolhouse and city hall,
hospital and public library, clubhouse
and theater, market and nniseum. We
should demand to be at least as fa-
vored in this way as were the men of
the middle ages and the ancients of
Greece. Assyria and Egypt when they
built their temples and palaces.

Jr.; directors, A. M. Loevventhal, Thomas
Bendell and T. M. Priueggor.

Architects Elect Officers

At the annual meeting of San Fran-
cisco Architectural Club, January 7th, the
following officers were elected: Presi-
dent Albert L. Lapachet; vice-president,
Charles Peter Weeks: secretary, A. R.
Williams; treasurer, William J. Helm,

A Pleasant Compliment for Mr. Cahill
Improved Sanitary Fi.xture Co.
411 S. Los Angeles St..
Los Angeles.
Mr. F. W. Jones, Editor Architect and Engineer,
San Francisco, Cal.
Dear Sir:— May I say that I deem Mr. Cahill's
article in your December issue a brilliant literary
masterpiece — the best I ever read on an architec
tural topic. It is comprehensive, incisive, instruc-
tive, interesting and inspiring.
Yours sincerely,

George Huntington Barker.

Engineers to Have New Quarters

The San Francisco Society of Engi-
neers has practically decided to move
to the top floor of tlie Shreve building.
Architect C. E. Gottschalk has prepared
preliminary plans calling for an expendi-
ture of about $10,000 in tilting up the
entire floor for the use of the Society.
If it is decided to go ahead with the
proposition the Society will endeavor to
materially strengthen its membership.

Architect Gottschalk Busy-
Architect C. E. Gottsclialk, who suc-
ceeded to the business in San Francisco
of the late William Curlett, is unusually
busy, new work on hand including a
$25,000 Class C commercial garage for
the Terminal Hotel interests, a $15,000
frame apartment house on Filbert street
for Charles Farrell, a $70,000 Class C
hotel and a number of smaller jobs.

Close Figuring

The sharp competition on recent con-
struction contracts has resulted in much
close bidding. At several of the lettings
in the last few weeks, says Engineering
and Contracting, the figures to the right
of the decimal point have decided the
award of the work. On a 100.000 cubic
yard earthwork job the other day the
low bidder put in a bid of 23.999 cents
per cubic j-ard. The figure of his near-
est competitor was an even 24 cents.
The latter contractor was an old timer,
who never bothered with the fractional
part of a cent in his unit price. He vras
not exactly strong on fractions and he
also believed in making it easy for the
engineer to figure out the monthly esti-
mates. On this work he had put in a
particular!)' low proposal, and he felt
quite confident of securing the contract.
He was somewhat astonished, therefore,
to find out that he had been under-bid.
He figured it out: 100.000 cubic yards
at 24 cents made $24,000; then he took
his competitor's bid and, after some
maneuvering, discovered that it totaled
$23,999. He reflected on his problem for
a minute and then broke out: "Well!
Well! Well! The little divil won oiit
by $1. That comes of having an eddi-

With the Architects and

Amprtraii JlnBttlulr of ArrljttrrtB



President R. Clipston Sturgis, Boston

First \'ice-President. . . .Thos. R. Kimball,

Omaha, Neb.

Second Vice-President. D. Knickerbocker Boyd.


Secret.\rv Burton L. Fenner, New York

Treasurer ■ J. L. Maur\n, St. Louis

, ( T. J D. Fuller, Washington, D. C.

Auditors...) Robert Stead, Washington, D. C.

Board of Directors

For One Year— Irving K. Pond. Chicago; .John
M. Donaldson, Detroit; Edward A. Crane, Phila-

For Two Years— C. Grant La Farge, New
York; Burt L. Fenner, New York; H. Van Buren
Magonigle, New York.

For Three Years— W. R. B. Willcox, Seattle,
Wash.; Octavius Morgan, Los Angeles; Walter
Cook. New York.

San Francisco Chapter

President W. B. Faville

Vice-President Edgar A. Mathews


_ J Henry A. Schulze

Trustees ; j^^ w. Reid

Southern California Chapter

President Albert C. Martin

Vice-President S. Tilden Norton

Secretary Fernand Parmentier

Treasurer August Wackerbarth

Board of Directors

J. E. Allison J. J. Blick

J. J. Backus

Portland, Ore., Chapter

President A. E. Doyle

Vice-President Folger Johnson

Secretary Wm. G. Holford

Treasurer J. A. Fouilihou.x

Council Members ! ^"^^'^rAMORE

Washington State Chapter

President Tas, H. Schack, Seattle

Vice-President '. Tos. Cote, Seattle

Vice-President Geo. Gove, Tacoma

\'ice-President. L. L. Rand, Spokane

Secretary Arthur L. Loveless, Seattle

Treasurer Andrew Willatzen, Seattle

I D. R. Huntington
Members of Council < W. R. B. Willcox

Online LibraryThomas Babington Macaulay MacaulayThe Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.40 (Jan.-Mar. 1915)) → online text (page 9 of 42)