ARCHITECTURE, AMBITION AND AMERICANS by Wayne Andrews

ARCHITECTURE, AMBITION AND AMERICANS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The path of architecture as a fine and social art is here pointed out to us by a gracious guide. Wayne Andrews feels that previous to the 16th Amendment in 1913 with the ensuing taxation of income, architecture flourished in the new money centers, and so he takes us on a tour of the 18th Century Virginia, 19th Century Chicago, and on to New York in the age of elegance, 1872-1913. Who built the buildings, how and for whom is the approach here, and both architects and clients appear ""in person"". The work of many men -- on the Capitol, the terrible L'Enfant, Thornton, Latrobe among them, of Harrison at Newport; the effect of Downing on Romantic tastes; the contributions of Richardson, of McKim, Meade and White in building pleasure palaces in the East, Hunt's Vanderbilt chateau; Sullivan and the Chicago World's Fair -- this is described with anecdote and a view to the social web. Andrews feels that today the West coast is a new center and has many interesting points to make on modern architecture. He divides the architects into two groups: the Veblenite or impersonal, formal, cool school, under which he places Gropius, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Breuer, Neutra; and the Jacobites, marked by the opposite characteristics and represented by Maybeck, Schindler, Greene & Greene, Dinwiddie, Harris and others. This concluding high voltage commentary will snap practioners to attention -- the total is highly informative.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1955
Publisher: Harper