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Laymen look upon architects, in many cases, as a necessary evil. Well! he is
something better than that, a- you all know, hut we have got to bring all our
power, all our influence, to bear on the laity, and upon the community, and
have the architect properly recognized. Until he is properly recognized, he
can't do his work properly for he is wretchedly handicapped

The position of the state architect is even worse than that of the city archi-
tect: We are living in this supposedly civilized State of California under a
system which puts the state architect in the position of being a mere hireling
of the state engineer. That condition is an absolutely intolerable one — in this
you will all agree with me — and yet we accept it without a word of protest.
We are going about our private business and never wasting a thought upon the
unfavorable condition governing the architect who has charge of the great
bulk of the State's building. This is not a personal matter — I am talking about
the principle. The state architect ought to be, if there is going to be a state
architect, the head of a separate department and not a mere employee of an
engineer. If anything, the engineer ought to be employed bv the architect, but
at any rate, the architect ought to be independent. Doubtless there is room for
the state engineer, too. I am not questioning that. Least of all, am I criticising
any personal incumbent of that office. What I am addressing my remarks to
is the false principle upon which the state architecture is standing today. It is
a situation which it is our duty to clear up. It can be cleared up only by our
concerted efforts.

Then that great work of education — education of our younger fellows,
and education of the public. Mr. Rosenheim has given us an admirable out-
line of the work that is being done and work that is being attempted by this
League, but we are not doing enough. We ought to be ambitious to enlarge
our educational facilities, not only in our schools, but in the attention given by
individual practicing architects to helping along the younger men in their
offices. A great deal is being accomplished, hut not nearly enough. The efforts
are too sporadic. They ought to be correlated into a great unified movement
for the uplifting of our art and profession. We ought to offer better induce-
ments for our scholars. The suggestion of Mr. Kelham. which was just read,
that we induce fifty men to contribute twenty dollars a year for three years in
order to guarantee a scholarship prize for that period — this is in the right
direction. But we should expand the work, enlarge the field and put our whole
heart and soul into the effort. We can do that only by working together and
by working with absolute enthusiasm and sincerity.

And we have to educate the public as well. It all comes down, most of
what I have -aid. to a question of education, of the profession, and of the pub-
lic. We don't have enough evidence- of the best that may reasonably be
expected of the architectural profession. A very large part of the progress

46 The Architect and Engineer

made in the East in the last twenty-five years has been made because of the
interest that has been aroused in the public mind by exhibitions, which have
become more and more influential. The standard has been raised from year
to year, until it is now really high. After a lapse of some years since the last
exhibition I happened to see in New York, I was astonished and gratified last
winter at the Architectural League- The exhibition was smaller ami much
more select, and that was by reason of raising the standard. There were fewer
things on the wall, but the things that were there, for the most part, were
things of vital interest and genuine beauty. There is no reason why our exhi-
bitions on this Coast should not be just as good as the exhibitions in New York.
But are they? Not a bit. We haven't set any standard; nothing that indicates
that we have a definite opinion as to what constitutes good work and what con-
stitutes bad work. The line is very difficult to draw, to be sure, between good
and bad — different men would draw it in different places. But after all. we
really can agree if we are willing t<> face the situation. Draw the line some-
where. Draw it up as high as you can — nothing below a certain standard to
be exhibited. Put the big work in prominent places ami make the exhibition
tell, for all it is worth. Don't be afraid of offending because you have turned
down something. You often help a man by not hanging his work. You can't
at once set up a high standard for the public or for the profession; you 'can,
however, in the course of a very few years, -el up such a standard that the
profession itself will be raised and the public enlightened.

If we look after all these things the future will take care of itself. Who
cares what the style may be? Call it Mission, or what you like. If it grow
naturally out of the conditions of this wonderful country and if we provide for
it an environment and a nourishment of genuine professional feeling, it should
be the finest style the world has vet seen.

Schools of Architecture

THE introduction of achitecture as a course in our Universities is a step in
the right direction and yet one doubts whether the vocation is not suffi-
ciently comprehensive for separate colleges confined to this one profes-
sion. It is true that a draftsman after a few years at the drafting board often
sets himself up as an architect, but he is more often one in name rather than in

To trace well the patterns set for him is an accomplishment but it does not
make an architect of a draftsman. Wide and varied knowledge, skill and ex-
perience are essential for the true mastery of his profession. To be a good de-
signer is necessary, but it is equally important to lie a good constructor. He
must do more than produce the roughly hewn stone — he must bring forth the
perfect figure. His is a profession which recruires peculiar versatility — so
much so that it seems to dwarf every other branch of artistic scientific accom-
plishment. An architect, besides being a designer and draftsman of mechanical
ability, must be an artist as well, as he is producing pictures more permanent
than those on canvas — he is helping to mould an era which will be in advance of
all that has preceded it in beauty of conception and permanency in construc-
tion. To meet all the requirements of his exacting profession, he should be a
civil, mechanical, electrical and landscape engineer. He must, further, be an
expert and specialist on heating, plumbing, ventilation, lighting, sanitation, fire
protection, acoustics, refrigeration, vacuum cleaning, furnishing, seating, deco-
ration, etc. He is held responsible for results and failure in any particular to
secure good workmanship and the use of the best materials will reflect upon

The Architect and Engineer 47

him ami lower his standing. Consequently, he should have a general fund of
practical information and knowledge of every branch of building, including
masonry, bricklaying, carpentry, painting, rSofing, plastering, concrete con-
struction, metal working, wood turning, etc.

Besides being technically perfect he must have a fair business training,
keeping posted on building laws and on contracts, surety bonds, liability insur-
ance, etc. Also, he must estimate correctly and prove himself a good account-
ant and bookkeeper, so that his clients will find that his forecasts of expenses
are verified by actual cost.

After the plans are approved and building decided upon, every step of the
work makes new demands upon his knowledge and experience. The building
may be any one of a dozen different varieties warehouse, church, school,
theater, club house, hotel, apartment house, public building, hospital, store and
office building, resilience, garage, e * c - Each one offers different complexities.
In the larger buildings, the foundation problems must be first considered, such
as borings, pilings, tunnelings, etc. On top of this, weighty matters such as con-
creting, reinforcing, facing, fireproofing, etc., must be carefully weighed and
decided upon. To meet these requirements, he must have a knowledge oi ma
terials (steel, wood, brick, stone, granite, sandstone, concrete, terra cotta and
marble), also the fabrication, bending, turning, moulding, carving, etc , of these
materials, as well as of copper, brass, wire, bronze, and clay.

Then to have the basic materials right is no more essential that to have
them set together and set up in a way which will last and he must be posted on
and able to discriminate between the various brands and qualities of sand.
gravel, rock, lime, cement, plaster, oils, varnishes, enamels, wall finishes, damp-
proofing compounds, waterproofing cements, anti-corrosion solutions, brick
and cement coatings, shingle stains, putty, floor dressings, etc. lie must watch
out for the sheathing, deadening, damp-proofing, waterproofing, glazing and
roofing, and to have the building defective in any of these points would con-
demn it as a whole.

The frame being up, the matters of equipment, fixtures, interior finish, etc.,
are to be considered. The one subject of the equipment may demand an enor-
mous anmount of time ami knowledge, for it can embrace power plant installa
tion ; heating and ventilating systems; lighting and wiring: automatic sprink-
lers; vacuum cleaning plant; elevators and dumb waiters: refrigeration and
cold storage ; fire extinguishers, fire escapes, fireproof doors, windows, etc. ;
garbage ejectors; heat regulators; vaults and safes, etc., etc.

The subject of fixtures is almost as perplexing, for in these days of mod-
ern plumbing ami lighting, these alone offer fields for careful study ami inspec-
tion of the newest types. Also the cabinet work, the ornamental grills, cornices,
mouldings, etc.; the ranges, gas logs and fireplaces; the latest style of hard-
ware; the use of door openers, door closers, door hangers and joists; adjust-
able windows, Venetian blinds, awnings, lockers, disappearing beds, lower
clocks and window screens, not to speak of laundry and kitchen fittings — all
these must he separately passed upon.

Finally, comes the interior finish — the wallpaper, painting, ceiling decora-
tion, shades, hardwood, tile or composition floors, art glass, etc. In many cases
the hangings and furniture are included in the general plan and some ver)
creditable results have been secured by leaving this also to the architect.

Indeed, for a man to build from plans of others than an experienced archi-
tect is to invite disappointment and disaster. Let the contractor stick to his
vocation — the carpenter' to his, and leave to the architect the planning of the
work. Let the capitalist choose carefully his architect and then hold him to
strict accountability for results. To be your own architect is worse than to
attempt to be your own lawyer. "Let him not venture where angels fear to

The Architect and Engineer

Firsl National Bank Buddn,

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The Architect and Engineer


The Art of Designing Commercial Buildings

Commercial Architecture Defined From the View Point of the
Professional Man


IT may perhaps be conceded that commercial
architecture as differentiated from ecclesias-
tical, residential and monumental architect-
ure, may lie described as the art of designing
business buildings, the buildings that line our pub-
lic streets and fill our manufacturing and ware
house districts. It may also be conceded that a
commercial building is primarily a utilitarian anil
business proposition.

It is necessary, therefore, that an architect, to
he successful and capable of maintaining a high
professional standard, must he able to meet his
client first and foremost on utilitarian grounds
and convince him. that from that standpoint, his
services are necessary and valuable and that by
his expert knowledge in the manifold intricacies
of modern construction and design, his employ-
ment will mean a resultant benefit to the client's

It must be admitted that the "commercial"
building public knows little and cares less about
art or architecture. It is not surprising, there-
fore, that the standing of the architect with this
class of client is very indifferent, from the fact,
that without due consideration or analysis, he
sets him clown in his mind as something of an
"artist" and a dreamer of "things beautiful."
When the necessity arises for his employment,
the client is more often than not a skeptic. lie is
from Missouri, and in all things pertaining to the
building, it is a 'case with him of "show me."

It is not at all an uncommon occurrence for a

client, after the architect has completed his plans.

and specifications, to make secret investigation of

them. He will consult (gratis of course) some

Smith Buiidmi. Smith friend in the steel business as to whether or not

Gaggin&Caggin. Architect ^^ ^ ^ [^ Qf ,„„ ]mu ., 1 . R , el j,, Uk> building.

Possibly a friend in the plumbing supply business (on the same terms) to in-
form him whether the plumbing system is laid out correctly and where money
could be saved, or some self-created heating expert, possibly the agent for the
sale and installation of a patented system of heating, as to the heating system.
\nd s,i on down the line. All of which tends to show that there is a woeful
lack of confidence on the part of the client toward bis architect, and that he
approaches the enterprise of erecting a commercial building with trepidation.
In the matter of design the client is very apt to say: "I want you to un-
derstand that you are not building a monument to yourself, and 1 want you to
cut out all fuss and gingerbread." This is probably as far as his instructions
on this point will go, unless he lias some preconceived notions as to materials,
or colors that he wishes selected.

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The Architect and Engineer

Kohler 6 Chase Building. San Fu
Frederick II Meyer, \rchiiect

The Architect and Engineer


A further disturbing element that adds
to the confusion and unrest in the mind of
the client, particularly out here in the west,
is the unfortunate fact that he is always
ready to listen to some self-styled expert
who calls upon him and tells him how he
can save money and economize by using this
system or the other. No sooner does the
press announce that Blank & Company will
improve their property, and have selected

I ones & Jones as their architects, than they
find the volume of their mail perceptibly in-
creased, and are daily favored with calls
from "experts" whose sole object, appar-
ently, is the benevolent one that they have
come to save them money, if their particular
form of construction, or system of heating
or plumbing, is adopted anil their architect
is instructed to use it.

It is not intended by these remarks that
the client should not Use every business pre-
caution and careful considerations not only
in the inception, hut in the development of
the undertaking-. There is. furthermore,
no doubt 'if shortcomings both among the
older as well as the younger members of the
architectural profession.

I low then can the relation, between the
clienl and the architect in commercial un-
dertakings involving the employment of the
latter be ameliorated ?

The first step toward this end is to
thoroughly inform the building public what
,-m architect, of high professional standing,
really does for the fees that are paid him.
The measure .if the success of the architect
who does commercial work is the measure
of the success of the buildings he erects.
The modern commercial building oi todaj
is a complex study, ft involves a thorough
grounding in the sciences that are compre-
hended in the term "building engineering."

I I is safe to say that no man is an expert in
all of them. The competent architect knows
his own limitations, and when a problem
arises in any branch beyond bis own powers
of solution, he employs a special expert in

that case for the protection of his client's interests.

The building when completed must be a harmonious whole, a smooth
running, economical working machine.

The client has the right to and should expect the solution of his utilitarian
project in terms of beauty. It must be utilitarian first and beautiful afterwards.
If a client instead of building was purchasing, and two buildings were offered
each costing $100,000, each having the same rentable area and the same work-
ing facilities, the one well designed and harmonious and attractive in its ap-


The Architect and Engineer


The Architect and Engine



pearance, the other com-
mon-place and disturbing,
which would he purchase?
Herein lies the commercial
value of good architecture
considered only from the
standpoint of the spirit i f
the present age.

The trained architect of
experience brings to bear
upon the solution of the
problem of design, ele-
ments of thought and
study, the details of which
are not of interest to his
client. It may Safely be
said that he is conscien-
tiously working at all
times with due regard to
the needful economy of
cost insisted upon by the

The building to be de-
signed must have the utili-
tarian element in its con-
ception, in other words,
the design must tit the
purpose for which the use
of the structure is in-
tended. The relation of
the design is considered
in regard to the location.
It should harmonize with
the surrounding buildings,
it' others exist in its vicin-
ity. Incongruity in de-
sign of adjacent buildings
destroys the very much
needed harmony in our
streets. A trained archi-
tect is not above subordi-
nating and restraining his own individuality in the matter of design in order to
produce the best effects in the interests of the general impression in relation to
the street. Widely divergent types or "styles" of architecture should not be
erected in juxtaposition. Heights of buildings may and will vary, hut their
color schemes while not necessarily the same should he in harmony with each

It must not he considered that a uniform monotony in street fronts is ad-
vocated, but a warning is intended against erecting some vulgar monstrosity
entirely nut c.f keeping with its adjacent neighbors. Diversity in monotony is
recognized as a principal of natural beauty. May it not apply equallv in the
upbuilding of our street fronts? It belongs to the architect to elevate the stand-
ard of public taste in design. If the true meaning of architecture is the expres-
sion of ourselves, it is time we avoided caricature and the "motley" in our

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The Architect and Engineer


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The Architect and Engineer





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It may be granted that the prosperity of a community or city is evidenced
by its buildings, but the measure of the intelligence of a community will be
judged by the nature rather than the extent of them.

Enlightened reason, and underlying sense of beauty are the first essential
elements in developing good architecture; as the building public becomes more
critical acquiring by precept and good example, a better knowledge of beauty
and utility in matters architectural, so shall we have better buildings and our
cities become more simple and dignified and reposeful.

Aside from the question of plan and design the successful architect must
have acquired a thorough business training. He it is who handles the business
end of the undertaking, watches the construction of the building, safeguards
with due vigilance the financial interests of the client in the cost of the building,
issues certificates against the owner in payment of the contracts and is respon-
sible Fi t their correctness.

The architect who faithfully performs all of the e services is certainly en-
titled to the complete confidence of the client, and having it can always pro-
duce the best results.

* *

The Australian Capital Competition

A news dispatch from Sydney, Australia, reads as follows:

'"The designs for the federal capital have been reduced to a dozen, most

of them the work of Americans. Frenchmen, "r Germans. The adoption of

a radial plan is likely.

"The Rritish designs have only a small chance."

56 The Architect and Engineer

A College Education for the Draftsman


THE University of Illinois is the Mecca of Education for the self-support-
ing man. It is said that fully fifty per cent of the students at the Uni-
versity are self-supporting and that at least ten per cent are self-sustain-
ing during the school term.

The commonest position of the self-supporter, is that of waiter at one of
the boarding chilis, fraternities or sororities or "counter hop" at one of the
near by restaurants. For his services at the three meals during the day, he is
given his board, and or. jeeasions of banqueting or special service he is paid
extra in money. Disiiwaihing three hours a day for board is another source
uf support.

Students are able to earn the use of a room for tending furnace in winter
and mowing lawns in summer. Positions are constantly open in the various
departments of the College at twenty cents an hour. This is not large, of
course, but in comparison with the cost of living, it is not small. Jobs at win-
dow washing ami house cleaning, work on the agricultural farm, clerkships in
stores, and various odd jobs afford abundant Opportunity for support to the
man who is not too proud to work

In summary, it is safe to say that a man who can come here with a hun-
dred dollars a week ahead of opening, with ambition and a desire to work, and
who has not an over-developed love for peg-top trousers and girls, may easil)
go through the University of Illinois.

( if course, this above is written primarily for the draftsman, but it applies
to any other class of student as well.

The curriculum of the architectural course may be gotten from the cata-
logue for the asking, so I shall not dwell much on the various subjects. The
head of the department, Prof. I'. V. Mann, is one of the foremost leaders in
the profession in America. Prof. Mann is late of Washington University.
Associated with Prof. Mann in the department of architecture are Profs.
\ aron, of Paris, [ones, Dickhutt and Forsythe with a large corps of assistant
professors in the various art and construction departments. I think most of
the fellows will be interested in design. It may be well to say, though, that a
man may not go out of Illinois a poor constructionist. No school in the coun-
try holds a greater reputation for engineering.

The freshman year in architecture, is a most valuable one. I was fortu-
nate enough to enter with advanced credits, but if time were not a serious con-
sideration, I should like to complete all of the freshman work.

Students in design are given problems very much after the fashion of the
Beaux-Arts Society, but with the difference that they are required to make
there researches in the library before preparing the esquisses. The work on
the problems must be developed to certain stages each week, and sketches of li-
brary material must be turned in weekly. In this way the student develops abil-
itv to make useful researches and gains a comprehensive vocabulary of orna-
ment and decoration. The final problems are judged from the standard of de-
sign, composition and rendering, very much on the same basis that the Beaux-
Arts problems are judged.

Some very interesting problems have been given this semester, a bank,
flower pavilion. Gothic chapel and a crematory and columbarium are among
the most interesting ones.

'Mr. Underwood is studying architecture at

5t lei ti I 1 1 "in a letter written by him and addressi
of which he was an active member prior to going
tlo oli f Architect A. B. Benton.

:rsity of Illi

nois. The accompanying

members of

the Los Angeles Archit(

Vhile in Los

Angeles, Mr. Underwo.

Online LibraryUnited States. National Archives and Records ServiThe Architect & engineer of California and the Pacific Coast (Volume v.29 (May-July 1912)) → online text (page 4 of 40)