Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay.

The Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.46-47 (July-Dec. 1916)) online

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Online LibraryThomas Babington Macaulay MacaulayThe Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.46-47 (July-Dec. 1916)) → online text (page 39 of 52)
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for architectural and engineering fees, he is really paying a considerable
additional sum for engineering services without getting the results to
which he is entitled for the money so spent. The architect is not only sav-
ing for his own pocket the fee which would have been demanded l)y a
reputable considting engineer, but clearly has transferred such charges in a
manner not discernible to the owner who pays the bills.

A concrete example of this method of operating was experienced by the
writer a short time ago, which will ser\'e to demonstrate the methods in use.
This architect, having experienced some of the depression in the archi-
tectural business of recent times, concluded that on a certain job of moder-
ate size he would dispense with the services of a consulting engineer and
therefore made the usual arrangement with a firm of contracting engineers
to prepare the plans and specifications for a certain part of the work, in-
structing them generally as to the character of the work wanted. The archi-
tect had had many years of business relations with this firm of contractors
and had given them previous to this time a very considerable amount of
work, and he had therefore the fullest confidence in them. The contractors
were one of the largest and most prominent in their particular line, and had
executed some of the largest contracts in this country. The plans and
specifications were duly issued for competitive figures. One of the con-
tractors who received the specifications had shortly before this time ex-
ecuted a similar piece of work, which had greatly pleased the architect, and
had brought forth special commendation, and had been informed Ijy him
that a similar job was wanted. ?^Iuch to the amazement of this contractor,
he found the specifications issued entirely contrary to this statement. He
therefore took it on himself, based on the architect's remark, to send in an
alternate estimate based on the character of the work as previously exe-
cuted on the particular job referred to by the architect. When the bids
were received they all ran between $7,500 and $8,000, except the alternate,
which amounted to $5,500. Fortunately for the architect, the owner did not
get to see these figures. The contractor who had prepared the specifications
was called in and at once instructed to modify his specifications, which he
agreed to-do, and they were again sent out for revised estimates. The
figures returned were only slightly below those first submitted. The archi-
tect, theretipon realizing the position in which he was placing himself be-
fore the owner, called in the writer to go over the plans and specifications as
prepared and to revise them according to good practice. It was found that
the specifications had been what is commonly called "loaded" — that ma-
terials were specified that were ridiculous for the class of service, but verv
high in price, and would never have been installed by the contractor who
prepared the specifications, for substitutions would have been absolutely
necessary. It was found that certain specialties were called for, but that
the data supplied was so meager that the one manufacturer specified was
the only one in possession of the necessary conditions on which to quote,
and his price, of course, was very high, to say the least. Other material was
so specified as to absolutely eliminate the possibility of competitive prices,
and the manufacturers specified were not slow to see their opportunity. The
writer hiodified the specifications and plans according to good practice, and
actually added to the equipment so far as results obtained bv the owner,
and the job was let for a little over $5,000— a difference of $2,'50O to $3,000
for engineering services, to be paid for by the owner, without his knowledge
of course, Init still [said for by him, when it should not have cost him one-

92 The .Irchitcct and Hiii^iiiccr

tentli I if tliat anidunt in the rcmilar way, and, as the architect had agreed
to furnish these services, it shmild nut have cost him anything, which was
finally the case.

The writer does not claim that all work handled in this manner as be-
tween architect and contractor is proportionately as expensive to the owner,
but does claim that it is fundamentally a bad business arrangement wdiich
invites such practice, and cannot be expected to .give satisfactiiry results to
any of those concerned.

The architect cannot always be held responsible for resorting to this
method, as the many changes in construction of buildings in our modern
times have placed more and more responsibilities on his shoulders, and
made greater demands of him daily without any material compensating
effect in increased fees. In many instances he is, therefore, forced by the
owner to resort to these means.

.Many of the most prominent and reputable architects ha^■e recognized
the fallacy of this method, and regularly employ consulting engineers for
the various lines. Only a few of the largest firms are able to maintain a
competent staff of engineers re.gidarly on their force. Unfortunately some
architects claim to have such a staff only to deceive the owner, and actually
are dependent on the contractor for their information, or their staff' in these
lines is so lamentably weak that little can be expected of them.

It seems very evident that the average architect cannot aft'ord to main-
tain a staff of competent engineers to handle the work of this character
which comes to his office for the reason that this class of work should be
done only by men who have specialized in their particular lines, and have
had such technical training and practical experience that they command
salaries which the average architect cannot afford to pay.

It would seem, therefore, that the consulting engineer indepenelently
established, just as the architect did many years ago, must become a part of
all building operations of any size, and this transition is now under way.
It wt)uld seem, however, that no owner who is arranging a contract for a
building operation of any size with an architect should authorize such an
arrangement or sign such a contract without having definite knowledge of
how and by whom the engineering features of his project are to be handled.

Generally, it is preferable that the consulting engineers work under the
direction of the architect, so as to have no division in the responsibility of
the head and absolute unity of action, but frecjuentl}- the owner reserves the
right to select such consultants or pass on their acceptability.

As to the fees to be ])aid for such services, it is generally considered, and
pro])erly so, that where a building operation involves a considerable amount
of engineering, the owner pay in addition to the now generally established
architectural fee an additional fee to cover this engineering expense.
\\ here architects are forced to a certain amount of competition, this is fre-
quently lost sight of, and then the various means already described are re-
sorted to, or incompetent and inexperienced engineers are employed, with
the usual lamentable results for which the owner has to pay in the form of
extras, changes, or in coal, electric current, and water bills for many years
to come.

It is, therefore, equally important to know that your engineering work
is in competent hands as it is to know that your architect is competent, and
the same cpialities of ability, honesty, and inte.grity must be sought for in
the engineer that ha\e been scnight for in the architect. Without these, no
confidence can l)e estal)lished, and without confidence no man can do his
liest wiirk fur his client.

The .lirhitCit ami T:n;^iiiccr


\ ; "linifiraiiiT -L

m:. /~-~^> '»^\

c \

Temple of Minerva

The above pen and ink sketch is by a Los Angeles student,
who writes in explanation of his efforts as follows:

"I am sending under separate cover a pen and ink sketch entitled • 1 cm-
ple of Minerva, Athens, Greece.' . ^ t. n„.i

-Tt has occurred to me that many architects, engineers, contractors and
others would enjoy seeing again the ruins of this temple

"I served mv apprenticeship of two years under the late Frank h. Kid-
der and am novv in the City Engineer's office, Los Angeles.

Yours truly,



The Archilcct and linginccr

The .Ivchitcct and liiii^iiiccr 95

A Private Outdoor Theatre

T1II{ private oiitdour theatre in connectimi with cnuiitry estates is com-
paratively new in American architecture. One of the first in faUfornia
was designed a number of years ago by Lewis P. Hobart, San Fran-
cisco architect, at Bakersfield. A most interesting example of the private
outdoor playhouse has just been completed on the estate of George G.
Booth, Esq., Cranbrook, Michigan.

Situated in the heart of the lieautiful lUoomfield Hills district of Oak-
land County, Michigan, and set on the highest point of ground on the estate,
the theatre affords a wonderfully impressive view of the surrounding coun-
try, particularly \vhen seen through the openings at the rear of the stage.
The planting around the building has been most carefully planned by Mr.
Booth and his associates so as to afford a proper setting for the building
and to harmonize with the surroundings. An arbor vitae hedge about eight
feet in height is carried about the seating on the side of the hill and extends
down both sides of the swimming pool.

The plan of the buildings includes the seating, stage, swimming pool
and dressing rooms. The circular stone seating is set into the side of the
hill, similar to the method adopted in early classic theatres. Directlv in
front of the seating is the stage with small dressing rooms at either end,
and a pierced wall forming the back. Directly behind this is the swimming
tank, which is surrounded on all sides with a concrete and brick pavement.
At the north end of the pool is placed a bathhouse with dressing rooms for
men and women.

The buildings are extreniel}" simple in design and color. The detail and
ensemble are inspired by early Greek architecture. The design of the pilas-
ter caps and cornices is taken from some of the better-known examples of
archaic Greek work.

Cement stucco and Bedford limestone are used throughout. The build-
ings consist of concrete blocks plastered with Portland cement mortar con-
taining a small percentage of lime. The cornices, pilasters, columns, etc.,
are of Bedford limestone finished with a rubbed surface. The seating is
built of Bedford stone slabs supported by stuccoed blocks. The roofs of all
buildings are constructed of concrete slabs reinforced with rib bars. Red
roofing tile are laid over these slabs.

The swimming pool, which is seen through the pierced wall in back of
the stage, is built with monolithic concrete walls. This pool is supplied with
filtered water from the main supply tank on the premises, and the overflow
is carried down oxer a succession of small platforms to the lake at the foot
of the hill.

The accompanying photographs and plan are shown by courtesv of
Modern Building and they give an excellent idea of the attractive appear-
ance of the theatre. Performances have already been given in the play-
house with great success.

The architect of this work is ^larcus R. Burrowes, Detroit. Mich.


Tlie Architect and Enzinccr

"^ -^ L»

'/"/;(' .Ircliitcct and Jliii^inccr



The Architect and liii-'inccr

'/'/;(' Architect and F.if'iiiccr



The Architect and Enriueo



The .Irchitcct ami Engineer 101

Third California Conference on City Planning

Architect and City Planner. Secretary of the Conference.

THE Third California Conference on City Planning, recently concluded
at Visalia, was particularly notable for the able discussions held, and
for the prevailing emphasis upon the importance of the social and
economic side of city planning as well as upon the perhaps more attractive
esthetic considerations. Although the attendance was not large the ten
most important out of the eighteen City Planning Commissitms of the State
had present one or more representatives, whom it was hard to restrain, in
their eagerness to have their own particular problems discussed.

The "foremost problem of all the cities seemed to be the question of zon-
ing or districting. The general desire to provide a plan for protecting homes
from the intrusion of apartment houses, flats, business, nuisances and in-
dustries brought out much discussion of the new Berkeley Zone Ordinance.
The city attorney of Berkeley, Frank D. Stringham. in a paper on "The
Police Power and Its Application to Districting and to Excess Condemna-
tion," took a conservative yet most hopeful view of the probable attitude
of the courts toward further extension of the city's use of this power. Many
recent decisions were quoted which seemed plainly to show^ that the higher
courts are becoming more and more liberal in their recognition of commun-
ity rights versus individual rights. There was evident a much wider interest
and understanding on the part of all present, on districting as a means of
housing protection. A general and marked advance in ideas seemed to have
taken place since last year's conference.

Chester H. Rowell of Fresno summed up the methods n{ city planning
attack, and legislation needed, in an address in which he declared that there
w-ere three things necessary to do to make the American cit}- grow in an
orderly and healthy fashion. The first of these is proper public acquisition
power or what is sometimes called the right of excess condemnation, for
which in California a constitutional amendment is required. The second is
the early adoption of a comprehensive and well thought nut zone or dis-
tricting system. The third is a system of extensions of the city outside its
limits by planning for future growth in some such way as the Germans dn
by condemning farm lands for future city use. "When this is done the mil-
lenium will not have arrived, but we shall have become partially civilized,"
he said.

A proposed legal method for the establishment of uniform building set-
back lines from streets was brought out by William J. Locke, Secretary of
the League of California Municipalities. He suggests that a system be
adopted similar to that in street proceedings providing for the resolution of
intention, publication of notice, hearing of protests and assessment of dam-
ages and benefits over the district benefited in order to meet the require-
ments of "due process of law." It was brought out that the establishment
of such set-back lines brings about great protections to public health and
safety. Also, by requiring all buildings to set back a given distance from the
street, the city can anticipate necessary future widening if traffic in the
future should increase to any great extent so as to require it.

President Duncan McDuffie of the Berkeley Civic Art Commission fin
reality a city planning commission), presided at a session devoted to the
problems of the City I'lanning Commission. As most of the eighteen plan-
ning boards in California have been established within the last few months,
they are still trying to find themselves, and many of them seem to he floun-
dering without any constructive program.

102 The .Ircliitcct ami lingiiircr

Discussicm hnm^lu uut tliat the cdinniissidii slicnild first (k-tenniiK- and
list what are the vital ])r()l)lenis of the coiumunity as to street plan and ini-
pruvement, transportation. ])arl< system, zoning, civic center, etc. It should
then select two or three of the most urgent of these and contine its investi-
gations to them. It was agreed that if the problems were vital enough
there would be no difficulty in securing appropriations from the city council
or funds from a group of citizens. Mr. McDufifie pointed out that the City
Planning Commissioners generally have knowledge of conditions but are
not experts and that the commissions which are acconqilishing definite and
constructive things are those which call in a consulting exi)ert on city

In a characteristically forcible address at the Annual Round Table
Luncheon, Professor Thomas H. Reed, city manager of San Jose, made evident
that the only real authority a city planning commission has in this State
is to pass on plans for new subdivisions, with the veto power, which is a
negative function. The great positive functions of these boards are to
initiate and present well thought out ])lans and suggestions for orderly
civic improvement. City councils dare not take any initiative to speak of
because of their political character.

Charles F. Stern of the State Highway Commission pointed out how the
motor traffic of the State has doubled in the past three years and will un-
doubtedly double again in a like period. lie showed that the increasing use
of the motor car is breaking down all city limits, pushing the city far out
into the country, thereby increasing enormously the demands for city
planning and the extension of city con\-eniences to a heretofore undreamed-
of distance.

"The Relation i>f Parks and Playgrounds to the City Plan," discussed by
Professor J. W. Gregg, President of the Berkeley Park Commission, is one
of the most important and necessary of early study in the preparation of
proper breathing and open spaces for the city. Charles Dudley Warner said
that "literature is the foundation of all human existence." Professor Gregg
disagrees and says, "Landscape or gardening is the foundation of all human
existence. It surrounds us from birth until death."

"A Home-made Cit}' Planning Exhibit and Its Results," was explained
by Dean George A. Damon, Throop College of Technology, Pasadena. His
graphic charts of where the tax money goes, where the assessed valuations
are high and the blighting influence upon them of most of the railroad-
owned property in the city, provoked great interest and discussion. The
fact that seven per cent of the taxpayers paid over half the annual taxes
and that half of all the taxpayers in his city paid less than twenty-five dol-
lars each for the city's support annually, gave an interesting sidelight on
who ])ays the bills for improvements and whom to educate.

The conference unanimously decided to recommend the following legis-
lation to the State Legislature at its session next January : —

Extension of the State Housing laws to include a more comprehensixe
and stringent tenement house act; the regulation of all types of dwellings;
the establishment of a bureau under some existing commission similar in
function to the work of the -Massachusetts Homestead Commission to sup-
ply information and encouragement to all the city planning commissions
of the State ; asking the submission at the next general election of a con-
stitutional amendment for the Public Acquisition Pcjwer ('sometimes called
IC.xcess Condemnation) : passage of an act further strengthening the power
of cities to restrict the building of flats and tenements in single family
resident districts; and passa'^e of an act permitting cities to cst.-ililish Iniild-
ing set-back lines.

The . Ircliitrcf and liiii^iiiccr 103

The officers elected tor the ensuing year are as follows: President. !•". C
AMieeler, Councilman, Los Angeles ; Vice-President, Duncan ]\IcDuffie.
President Civic Art Commission, Berkeley; Vice-President. Thos. H. Reed,
t'it}- Manager. San Jose; Secretary and Treasurer. Charles II. Cheney,
Architect and Citv Planner, San I'Vanciscn.

Steel Houses for Soldiers

An interesting scheme is at present being iliscussed in connection with
the building of large numbers of portable houses for the war zone. Certain
of the Allied Governments are negotiating with manufacturers for the de-
signing and building of these shelters, which, though intended to be tem-
porary in character, mtist be durable and complete enough to accommodate
family life for an indefinite period. Originally inquiries were put out for
vast quantities of lumber from which to construct these houses, but it was
found this material would make the cost excessive, and the plan was
dropped. Now it is proposed to employ steel construction, which, if a uni-
form design is adopted, can be produced in great numbers at a minimum

The proposed houses are to be 12 by 24 feet in gruund diniensinns and
9 feet high. The_y are to contain two rooms. A plan now designed calls
for the use of a framev,'ork of light channels and a covering of 26 to 28
gauge galvanized sheets or some other un-inflammable material. Each of
these structures will contain about a ton of steel. If this type is adopted
the aggregate steel requirements will be enormous in A'iew of the great
numbers required. France alone has been considering the ordering of
100.000 houses, and the other entente powers are expected to order in equal

The houses are to be used both to shelter the soldiers at the front and to
provide comfortable accommodations for the general inhabitants in de-
vastated territory until the final reconstruction work in these districts can
be safely inaugurated.

Paper Mills to Use New Woods

As the result of studies which \vd\c been made at the l''orest Products
Laboratory on methods of handling wood chips suitable for paper pulp, it
is announced that Wisconsin paper companies are now negotiating with
the railroads for shipment to their factories of experimental train loads of
chips of Western woods adapted to paper making.

Previous investigations by the Forest Service l^ne demonstrated that
good grades of paper can be made from a ntimber of Western woods. The
experts now estimate that some of these woods, when cut into chips and
dried and baled, can be delivered to the mills in \\'isconsin at a very small
advance over the cost of chips made from local timber. If a favorable freight
rate can be obtained, they say, the great quantity of pulpwood on the
National Forests should prove to be a considerable factor in supplying
favorably located paper mills with the necessary raw material. In ^^'iscon-
sin alone, it is stated, there is an annual market for over 300,000 cords of


I'hc .IrcliltccI and llm/iiiccr

Arrl)ttprt ani lEnginpfr


Founded in I'KlS l.v K. M. C. WHITNEY
A. I, Whitney • - Manaatr

T. C. Klkkulff Legal Fonm

Fkhdr rick \V. Ionks F.ditor

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

Business Office and Editorial Rooms
627-629 Foxcroft BulldinE, San Francisco
Telephone Onuela's 1S28


' postaecl to all parts ol the United State
i ; to Canada 50c additional : to all Foreign

\ni.. XLVH. Nov., 1916


Wm. B. Gester. Inspection and Tests

F- W^'f^tzpa'trick- I F"eProof Construction

W \V. Breite, C. E. - Structural Steel

.'\THOL McBean ) ^ ,^ ■f,ig „„,f xerra

W. E. Denn.son [«'"*• "^li^„'

Howard Frost. ) ^"

H. M. LowENTHAL - Roofs and Roofing

Fred M. Woods. Jr.. - Rock and Gravel

Wilbur David Cooy.. Landscape Architecture

Paul C. Butte ■ Electrical Construction

Louis G. Mauer - - Waterproofing

„ „ _ ( City Planning and

Chas. H. Cheney - / Bo„k Kerie-ws

Horace G. Simpson Suburban Homes

G. .Alexander Wright Quantity System



Frud H. Meyer William 0. Kaiguel

.^ucust G. Headman F. D. Hudson

Alfred F. Rosenheim Sumner F. Hunt

G. .Albert Lansburgh Norman F. Marsh

HouKhton Sawyei Smith O'Brien

Herman Barth .Mmoric Coxhead

.Arthur Brown. Jr. Harrison .Albrieht

Chas. P. Weeks John Parkinson

Octavius Morgan A. W. Smith

J. C. Austin William H. Weeks

John J. Donovan Chas. W Dickey

W. H.Ratcliff. Jr. Henry C. Smith



Kenneth W. Garden M.lrh,-!!

Wm. L. Woollen Nnth.nim-I Bhu^dl•ll

Wm. A. Newman W. R. B. Wilcox

las W. Plachek William Mooser

Wm. C. Hayes Robert Morgeneier

John Bakcwell. Jr. B.J.S. Cahill

Hon. Jas. D. Phelan T. Paterson Ross

lohn Giil.n Howard ( ., , , .
Louis C- MulkMrdl * ^- -^ '■ ^-

I'lic i|ue.stion as to whether or not
architects overcharg'e for their services
is one in which the
THE ARCHITECT'S hnildint;- pubhc is
PAY vitally interested

and cone e r n i n sj
which there is much ignorance and

Reputai^le architects do not charge

Online LibraryThomas Babington Macaulay MacaulayThe Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.46-47 (July-Dec. 1916)) → online text (page 39 of 52)