Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Biographical notes
 Philosophy and architecture
 His writings
 The Ecole des Beaux Arts
 Miscellaneous information

Title: Ernest Flagg, A.I.A.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00102130/00001
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Title: Ernest Flagg, A.I.A.
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Gonzalez, Sergio Jr.
Publisher: Sergio Gonzalez, Jr.
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Spring, 1977
Copyright Date: 1977
Subject: Architecture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Architecture -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
General Note: Course number: AE676
General Note: Professor Philip Wisley
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Biographical notes
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Philosophy and architecture
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    His writings
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
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        Page 45
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        Page 48
        Page 49
    The Ecole des Beaux Arts
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
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        Page 68
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        Page 73
    Miscellaneous information
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
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Full Text



ArE. 676 History, Spring, 1977
University of Florida
College of Architecture
Gainesville, Florida



Phillip Wisley, Professor


Part I -

Part II-

Part III

Part IV-

Part V -

Part VI-

Part VII

Biographical Notes

His philosophy and Architecture

His Writings

The Ecole des Beaux Arts

Slides and Descriptions

Miscellaneous Information


Biographical Notes:

Ernest Flagg was born in Brooklyn Heights, New York on

February 6,1857. His father was the Rev.Jared Flagg, rector

of Grace church in New York. His mother died when he was

ten years old. His father remarried and went to live in a

house designed by Mr.Upjohn,Architect of Trinity church in

New York. His family was not wealthy and so at a very young

age he was working as an office boy with a wall street

firm,to support his personal needs. He had four brothers,

the oldest was Jared who later became an Architect and two

younger brothers, Allston and Montaque who also became an


On March 29,1945 he addressed the New York chapter, A.I.A.

at a luncheon honoring him~..HIe called hkis speech

" A Fish Story based on the education of an Architect,

which he pointed out was his own experience. He found it

very appropriate since those present were interested in his

work and he wanted to tell them how he came about doing it.

I will briefly, in my own words, describe what he said to

those honoring him:

M~r. Flagg is what I call a natural business oriented

individual. He had an inclination of always inventing reasons

or ways of making money.This inclination began when his

father had bought for his brother Jared a partnership in

a salt fish business. His father asked Ernest to take care

of the bookeeping which he new nothing. He learned bookeep-

ing from one of the other partners of the firm. He was

seventeen then and this experience in bookeeping helped

him all his life.

This first venture failed but was not long before he

thought of another business. This time it was skinning salt

codfish and packing it. It was a profitable business for a

while but that too took a slump and he was forced to close.

His next venture was manufacturing 01eomargarine. He

bought a small factory for $1500. It went:' fine for a while

but once again he was forced to shut down because of less

demand for the product. After this he felt crushed and saw

no hope for the future.

A short time later a man by name of Hubert, who was trying

to found what he called, a home club.(a cooperative apartment

house). Flagg's father found out about it and liked the

idea and decided to build one with the help of some friends.

later an uncle of his decided to build another home club

in a different location. Flagg saw how his father and uncle

did this without profit to themselves and he thought that

he could do the same thing but with profit to himself. So

he decided he would look for a lot to purchase and resell

it for a profit, and perhaps,he thought,that this would

provide him with enough income to build his own apartment


He found an L-Shaped lot, corner of 31st. street and

Madison ave.The whole cost of the property was $202,500

and for $2,250 he could put an option on the property.He

borrowed $i1000 from his father with the condition that he

would share with him a third of the profits and his uncle

offered him the remaining $ 1,250. He formed a company to

sell the land for $225,500 making a profit of $22,500.He

had sixty days to sell or he would loose everything.

Mr. Hubert had invented what he called a duplex apart-

ment, the ceilings in the front rooms being very high and

those in the back very low. Flagg thought it would be better

to make two story apartments, the lower story in each case

being somewhat higher than the bedroom floor above. So he

made the plan like that. During the first thirty days he

carried out all the drawings and in the next thirty days

he sold all the apartments and made his profit.

During the following sixty days he put on a similar

operation at the southeast corner of fith ave. and 28th,

street and in partnership with Mr.Clinton,an Architect.

In this operation he risked $ 14,000. He succeeded again

and made a profit of $50,000. So in four months he had made

more than $75,000. In both cases he was not the Architect

but he had done the floor plans.

One day,as he recalls in his story,he recieved a note

from his cousin, Mrs.Vanderbilt who was married to Cornelius

Vanderbilt the grandson of Admiral Vanderbilt, a very wealthy

and prestigious family. In the note it said that they wanted

to see him for some plans. Mr. Vanderbilt was not pleased

with his house and asked Flagg if he thought he could be

able to do something about it.

Mr.Vanderbilt was delighted when he showed him the plans.

He told him he ought to become an Architect and that he

could go to Paris and enter the Ecole des Beaux Arts and

that he would pay the cost.

He found it was pretty hard to enter for he did not

Know any French and the examination covered far more what

he had covered in school. The admissions were limited to

thirty of which five might be foreiners. He passed and was

no. 5 on the list. He graduated in 1880 at the age of

thirty one.

After graduation he returned to the U.S. and established

practice in New York. He was the founder and the first

president of the society of "Beaux Arts Architects" and

wrote a number of books, the best well known "the Le Naos

Du Parthenon".

He was also active in civic affairs,particularly New

York's traffic problem and city planning. He was a member

of the New York chapter A.I.A. and was elected Fellow in

1926. He retired in 1940 after 50 years of practice. He

passed away on April 10, 1947 at the age of ninety.


His Philosophy and Architecture

An article that appeared in the Architecturral Record

published in April 1902, compared Ernest Flagg's work with

that of others and describes why Flagg had put into practice

what he had learned in school.

The conditions of modern architecture do not favor

a general style and the Romanesque movement even at

its height was signalized not only by the number of

its adherents, but by the contrasting of the noncon-

formists. But although we cannot hope for a commonly

accepted style, there is always observable a tendency

towards some centre of design, and in the early

Nineties" when Mr. Flagg entered practice he was

extremely fortunate in bringing with him those parti-

cular architectural ideas that were destined in the

next ten years to attract the profession, catch the

public eye and become the basis of the latest current

Style". Others before Mr~. Flagg had enjoyed the bene-

fits of the Ecole de Beaux Arts training, but as was

the case with elder Hunt and with Richardson this

training was merely their schooling,and in much of the

work of the former and in still more of the work of

the later, one might easily miss all trace of the

Parisian academic training. In Mr.Flagg's case, How-

ever, the importation is obvious."

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century French

architecture was considered of good taste and very academic.

Such buildings as the Scribner building or the Singer building

for example was considered Parisian in general form and in

spirit. That is why Mr. Flagg was very popular, his designs

reflected the acceptable style of the time.The same article

continues to say;

"M~r.Flagg's designs are,if one may say so,so thoroughly

professional or technical, have been so obviously

arrived at by a special trained process of thought,

and are expressed in a manner so thoroughly grammatical

and educated. His work is indubitably the work of a

man who has thoroughly accepted certain well-defined

principles from which he proceeds' logically.' There ~is

nothing obscure, slipshod, unformulated; no groping,

no obvious experimentation. The result is work wherein

everything seems definitely and purposely" placed ',

and the building, as you study it, clearly "declares

itself." There is very little work in this country

that is so architectural or will stand so well tech-

nical analysis as Mr.Flagg's."

Although Flagg 's put into practice what he learned in

the french school he added the native spirit which repre-

sented a feeling for the vernacular while others were un-

successful doing this.

His. Writings

Ernest Flagg dedicated a great part of his life to the

practice of architecture. Although he enjoyed writing as well

as reading, Flagg devoted little time to writing. During this

time he wrote one of his most important books which he titled

" Le Naos Du Parthenon or "' The Parthenon naos "'

The book was published in 1928 and copywrighzt by Charles

Scribner's son, of New York.

In a letter to M~onsieur Charles Marie Widor, Perpetual

Secretary of the Institute of France,Ernest Flagg makes intro-

duction of his book and reveals for the first time the methods

used in the design and construction of the Parthenon of Greece

and designed by Ictinus The following is a copy of that


Perpetual Secretary of the
Institute of France,
Paris, France.

I)EAR Sla:
At the meeting of the Academy of June 27, I924., I had the honor to
acquaint you with certain facts derived from measurements of Grecian
temples which seemed to show that the ancients, in designing their build-
ings, were guided by a principle which gave them great advantage over us.

In closing my remarks I said: "The doors are now ajar; it should be pos-
sible to throw them wide open admitting us to the full knowledge of the
methods used in creating the greatest works of art which ever came from
the hands of man."

Since then I have labored unceasingly to that end, with the result that
am now able to present what is, in effect, a certificate from Ictinus, archi-
.act of the Parthenon, written in the dimensions of the naos ~of that building.

The facts are of a kind which require little comment. They speak for
themselves. With such credentials I am sure this communication will have
the consideration and respect it deserves.
Yours very truly, ERNEST FLAGG.

According to Ernest Flagg in a letter he wrote to his

readers, this book is only the first volume dedicated to

one room in a single temple and that he is working on com-

pleting five whole temples which will appear in subsequent

volumes. He explains that it has become such a large under-

taking that he feared he would die without completing his


To this date I have not found if this in fact was the

case..I'am investigating further to find the final outcome

of his work.

In this letter to the readers he also mentions the fact

that he is sending a copy of this volume to the leading

Architects, and the learning institutions in the United States.

Interesting enough I found that Ernest Flagg had sent one

of these volumes,as well as dedicating it in a letter, to the

dean of our school of architecture Mr. Rudolph Weaver. In 1944

Mr. Weaver made this volume a gift to the school of architec-


The following are copies of that letter he wrote to the

readers and a copy of the letter sent to dean Weaver.

January 16, 1937.

To the Reader:-

.About seventeen years ago I made the discovery that
the simpleRst practicable proportio;?a were used systematically
in Greek temples. That such proportions abound in Greek work
ha~s long been known, but no one had proved, nor even anggested
so far as I kn~ow, that they were used systematically. The
sporadic use of such proportions might mean little, but their
systematic use denotes a governing principle and one in use
when art' reached its highest development.

This seemed a matter of such importance that I thought I
ought to bring it to the attention of some responsible body,
even if my work was but in its preliminary stage, and as I
believed that the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres
of the Institute of France had the most learning of any, I
determined to address myself to it. So I prepared this
lit tle volume. Through a mistake it reached the hands of
only about half the forty members As I think their acknow-
ledgments may add to the present'interest copies of some of
them are attached.

Since writing this book and for several years before, I
have unremittingly pursued my studies to the neglect of all
other interests, counting every moment otherwise spent as so
much time lo st. This book deals with but one room in a single
temple whereas the larger work, upon which I have so long been
engaged, embraces five.whole temples. I have found it an
Herculean undertaking a'nd fear I may not live to finish it.

Although I have learned much since this book was printed
as to the details of Greek procedure, it all goes to prove
the general correctness of the statements contained in it con-
cerning the main point, i~e. the systematic use of these simple

As I am anxious that this principle should be understood,
I have determined to send copies of the work to some of the
leading architects of the country, and to place others where
likely to be seen by students of art generally, with the hope
that it may take root here and eventually bear its legitimate
fruit as it did. in Ancient G~reece,


H~arch %, 193"7.
School of architctre,
rWhivtersity of rlorida,
Gaineaville, F'la.

Lear Sir,-

It has occurred to me that in connection with my book,
"The Parthenon Naos", you may be interested in a remark by Mr.
Okie of Philadelphia, who, in acknowledging the receipt of it,
says: nWhile I have not completed the book, I am wondering if
through some channel or other those who are responsible for the
early buildings in this country were not influenced by some
lost theory of design which guided them in arriving at the very
pleasing proportions in connection with even the most simple

To which I replied as follows:

"You are quite right, I myself have often marvelled at
the beautiful proportions of many of the old colonial buildings.
Sometimes one sees an old house, barn, or other building whose
proportions are a delight, A few years ago I discovered why it
was. In writing a genealogy of my family I had occasion to ex-
amine many early town records and found that in building it was
the custom to deal in round numbers. A meeting house would be
authorized, for instance, to be 20 ft. wide 40 ft. long and 30
ft. high. I found so many instances of this kind both in public
and private buildings as to show that it was a common practice.
I don't mean that they were all in multiples of ten, though that
was common for the larger buildings.

"One often meets such directions as that contained in the
will of Eltweed Pomeroy of Northampton, Mass. for instance. He
makes provision for 'his dear loving wife Lydia' and promises
her 'a dwelling house 24 ft. x 16 ft.' Or in the records of
this same town where in 1654 John Lyman and five others are ap-
pointed to erect a meeting house to be 26 ft. long 18 ft. wide
and 9 ft. high.

"Thus these people were obtaining unconsciously the same
kind of proportions as used by the Greeks. Could there be a
better illustration of the- value of this simple principle?"

I-might add that as long as civilization remains on
earth proper proportion in design will be a matter of deep con-
cern to man. It appears that the Greeks found the right method
and so excelled all others in art.


Their temples now yield up the secret a method so
simple that any intelligent artisan or mechanic can apply it,
as s aunanty roved by the artistic excellence of the many
commo~bn artiles o daily use found among Greek remains. Beauty
of handiwork should be as natural to man as the air he breathes.
Perhaps it will become so when this long lost principle is
again understood and applied.

The Greekrs saw what anyone can see for himself that any
simple regular geometric figure has perfect proportion and that
any deviation from exactness is offensive to the eye as a mis-
shapen square for instance. They doubtless reasoned that if a
single square has perfect proportion, then two squares placed
in juxtaposition should also have perfect proportion, :. This
gives the ratio of 1 to 2, If 1 to 2, then why not 2 to 3, 3 to
4, 4 to 5 and so on as far as the eye can grasp the proportions.

I have the most superabundant proof that such ratios
were used systematically in Greek work. WjChy should we not make
use of them?

Yours very truly,

MAFnR 4 1987K



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In his first volume The ;Parthenon Naos "' M~. Flagg

explains the methodology used by the greeks in the design

of their buildings. He discovered how simple proportions

were used systematically in the Greek temples and that no

one had discovered that this system was used.

Among Ernest Flagg's other writings are the following:

a) The Ecole des Beaux Arts "' - First of a series which

appeared in the architectural record vol.3 Marchl894.

b) The Ecole des Beaux: Arts -Second of a series which

appeared in the architectural record vol.3 June. 1894.

c) The Ecole des Beaux Arts Third of a series which

appeared in the architectural record vol.4 Sept. 1894.

d) The German conquest of taste Which appeared in the
A.I.A. Journal vol. 5 Jan. 1946.

e) A Fish Story An autobiographical sketch of the education

of an Architect Which appeared in the A.I.A. Journal

vol.3 May 1945.

- g


First Paper.

T~tFo a-
ale et Sp~ciale des
.Bea~ux-qrtli, s1~ de
voted to the teach-

sculpture, and arch-
itecture; of engrav-
ipg and the cutting
oqf ge s. It provides:
First--Courses of lectures relating to the
different branches of art,
Second--The school, properly speaking, is
divided mnto three sections, the section of
painting, to which is attached engraving; thle
section of sculpture, to which is attached the
cutting of gems, and the section of archi-
Third--The ateliers. (Studies, or work-
Fourth--The collections.
Fifth-Tlhe Library.

These papers will deal only with the
section of architecture and matters re-
lating to it. But first, as of interest to
architects, let us take a look at the
buildings.-T'lhe Palais des Beaux-
Artsi" These occupy the site of the
ancient "Couvent des Petits-Alugustins."
Some of the old buildings of the con-
vent still exist, but most of the
structures are modern, and form a very
remarkable group, well worthy of the
high reputation of the institution as
the foremost school of art in the world.

The two principal buildings were
erected, one in 1820-38 by D~ebret, andi
the other in 1860-62 by Duban. As
seen from the Rue Bonaparte, the prin
cipal court presents a very striking
and picturesque appearance. One comes
upon it suddenly. Nothing in the
otherwise uninteresting street gives
warning of the treat in store for the
passer. This vast court, several hun-
dred feet in depth, is separated froin
the street by an iron grille, the central
gateway being flanked by two stone
gaines bearing busts of Puget andi
At the right is the small loge of the
Concierge. The court is divided at
about two-thirds of its depth by a
magnificent screen, the monumental
gateway of the destroyed Ch~teau det
G;aillon, a work of the latter part of
the fifteenth century, contrasting
strangely with its classical surround-
ings. In the centre of the first court
stands a Corinthian column, bear-
mng a bronze statue of Plenty. To
the right of this court is the ancient
chapel of the convent, now used as an
exhibition hall for casts and paint-
ings, having built against its fagade
another monumental gateway from the
Chateau D'Anet, a work by Jeanl
Goujon and Philibert Drelorme.
Directly in front of the visitor enter
ing, and at the extremity of the second


aourt, stands the principal building of
:be group, presenting a noble facade,
consisting of a Corinthian arcade on a
',old basement, and surmounted by an
de~gant attic, in the centre of which a
idrge tablet of colored marble bears
!he inscription, Ecole Nationale et
'piciale des Beaux -Arts." Above
kaves the Trricolor. T'o the left of this
building, and separated from it by a
trille, is another court, known as the
'Cour dies L~oges," flanked at the south
by a large, uninteresting building con-
raining the loges, which will be de-
rribed later. T~o the right is the
diarrning old garden of the H~tel
ihmnay, which has recently been ac-
:ired by the Government and added
! the school. At the rightof the main
unet, a low range of buildings contains
two large hemicycles preceded by a
tcent vestibule, over which are located
'm~e of the offices of Admin~istration.
RHte this vestibule d'Ingres," a cor-
for at either side connects with the
as,:ters of a small court, Cour du
Murlarer." Along the walls of the cor-
''o~rs and cloisters are colored casts
;f the terra cotta frieze of the Ospidale
ci Ceppo at Pistoja. Under the
I'ehes are statues of bronze and mar-
:I. To one beautiful bronze cast,
:'rm an unfinished clay model, is
!::ached a pathetic story. The sculp-
: wans a poor young man, who came
a thin one of gaining the Grand
F!'i de Rome." Undaunted by his
iare he went to Riome on his
En account to brave every privation
: the sake ofthe art he loved. T'he
'enter was unusually severe. One night
; coldl was so intense that he feared
a the clay of the statue he was
:elfcing should freeze, so taking the
..rali froml his bed he wrapped
wetn about the clay. In the morning
Instatue was found uninjured, but the
ag'' man was found dead, frozen stiff
hlis bed. The F'rench Governmnent
~tcred the unfinished model cast in
lrasting bronze and placed in this
'rable position in the heart of the
;'tI M. Charles Blanc says of this
:::e: Nothing more worthy of
'ar. as a work of art, has ever been
ived by France from Rome."
Iio the west of this court the build-

ings contain lecture rooms and ateliers.
At the north, monumental steps lead
to the great hall Melpomene, where
exhibitions are held. T'o the right of
this hall, in a series of galleries, are
preserved the pictures which have won
the Grand Prix" in former years. On
the left are ateliers. Other exhibition
halls and a grand vestibule are to the
north, and face the Q2uai Malaquais.
Returning to the main court on the
Rue Bonaparte, one passes the grille
and enters the further court in front of
the principal building. In the centre
stands a great stone basin, thirteen feet
in diameter, supported on a single
shaft. Heads of gods and heroes are
carved about the edge, a work of the
twelfth century taken from the monas-
tery of St. Denis. Ranged around the
sides of the court are marble statues;
copies from the antique; works of the
pensioners at Rome; also numerous frag
ments from buildings destroyed at the
time of the Revolution." On entering
the building, one finds himself in a very
large and lofty vestibule, adorned with
columns, and iln which are casts from
the antique. Beyond the vestibule is a
central court roofed with glass, and
also containing casts and two groups
of columns, size of the originals, from
the Tlemple of Jupiter Stator at Riome,
and the Parthenon at Athens. Beyond
this court is the celebrated hemicycle
of Paul D~elaroche. It is finely propor-
tioned and splendidly decorated, the
semi-circular wall being: covered with
one immense picture, representing the
principal artists of all times anid nations.
There are seventy-five colossal figures,
each twenty-three feet high. In the
centre on a throne sit Phidias, Apelles
and Ictinus.
On the first story and over the main
vestibule is the library--a long gallery
extending almost the whole length of
the building, having at either end ves-
tibules with stately Corinthian columns,
Tlhe ceiling is richly coffered and the
woodwork is carved oak. On the side
towards the court is a range of great
windows; against thle piers stand busts
of distinguished artists. On the other
side the books extend from floor to
ceiling, separated midway by a gallery,
with a fine brass balustrade. Down the


centre of the room extends a long line
of desks, tables and cases, on which are
placed models of antique buildings.
TIhe room has about it an air of refine-
ment and elegance which I have never
seen equaled. T'he great wall of books,
mostly richly-bound folios, produces an
effect of surprising richness. Many of
the documents preserved here are
unique, being the work of the pensioners
at Rome, and form a collection of
measured drawings and restorations
from ancient buildings, probably the
most complete and trustworthy that
exists. On the Quai Malaquais, adjoin-
ing the other buildings to the west,
stands the Hotel Chimay, purchased by
the Government in r885 and recently
fitted up as ateliers,
From this hurried description of the
buildings, one canl form an idea of their
vast proportions. But large as they
are, they give but a partial idea of the
size of the school, for most of the work
is done off the premises, in the ateliers
scattered all about the neighborhood.
These number from fifteen to twenty,
while those on the premises devoted to
architecture are but three.
I shall now endeavor to explain the
seemingly intricate, but really very
simple and most efficient system of
instruction. First let us begin with the
entrance examinations, a subject of
peculiar interest to many young Ameri-
cans who intend to become architects.
Trhe school is free, supported by the
Government. Tlhe appliances gathered
here for a training in art are such as
only a nation like France could accu-
mnulate in centuries, and such as is not
found elsewhere in the world. The repu-
tation of the school is such that there is
no0 second. Naturally admission to it is
eagerly sought, but alas there are bar-
riers to be surmlountedd before one can
enter. T'he Government has no0 inten-
tion of wasting the public funds on
unpromising aspirants. Tlhe examina-
tions take place twice in each year, in
the months of MLarch and July. Be-
tween two and three hundred apply,
and only about one-eighth of that numb-
her are received. Recently the number
of admissions was limited to thiirty.
TLhe examinations consist of archi-
tectural composition, modeling in clay,

drawing from cast, descriptive geow-
etry, plane and solid geometry, algebral.
arithmetic and history. The fiht
three are called admissibles." 11
these are not successfully passed.
one is debarred from taking the others
Perhaps the best way to give a clear
idea of this trying ordeal will be to
describe my own experience.
Having secured a letter of introduc-
tion from the United States Minister.
which is necessary, I presented myself
at the school and was enrolled on the
list of aspirants for the next examina-
tion. Before nine o'clock on the
appointed day I found myself, with
about two hundred others, in thle
" Cour des Loges," armed with draw-
ing board, T-squares, triangles, andi
drawing instruments. Monsieur Bar
bier, Chief Guardian, Dipartement
d'Alrchitecture," resplendent in his unr-
form and cocked hat, mounts the steps,
orders one of his lieutenants to lock;
the gate to the court, then to make
matters perfectly fair, he takes a smali
dictionary from his pocket, opens it in
the middle, and selects the letter which
first meets his eye, from which tor
begin the roll. Naturally the roll gen-
erally commences at about the middle
of the alphabet. Then follows an in
terminable list of names. Each one, as
he is called, enters and signs a regis.
ter. I, who know no French, strain my
ears for something which resembles my
name, with the result that I bring
the rear amid a volley of what I tk
to be French profanity from Monsieur
Barbier, who has to correct his register,
and who has no great love for "1ES
Itrang~ers under any circumstances.
I mount five flights of stairs and find
myself in a room about thirty feet wide,
but of tremendous length. At the
door I am handed a programme, an
imposing document lithographed on a
large sheet. Along the room on either
side extends a row of stalls, for all the
world like those of a stable; these are
called loges. In the centre are long
tables. Each loge has a shelf, which:
for one to work on, and a small window,
The first to arrive occupy the stalls,
those who comle later must content
themselves with the tables, where the
light is very bad. One is free to walk


about as he pleases and to make all the
noise he cares to, and each individual
of the two hundred or more present is
availing himself of these privileges to
the utmost. At one end of the room a
crowd are having great funl celebrating
mass. One acts as a priest and sings
the principal part while the others join
in the chorus. At the proper time some
one rings on a glass in imitation of the
bell. TIhe priest acts his part to per-
fection and is loudly applauded. Then
some one cries Vive Boulanger," and
the whole room echoes with cries of
" Vive Boulanger," "A 'bas Boulanger."
Many present are old hands who
have tried the examinations before,
without success, and feel at home.
Some even have the hardihood to pro-
pose an initiation of the newcomers
(reception des nouveaux). It is now
about eleven o'clock and time for de-
jeuner or breakfast. I notice a great
many issuing from a door half way
down the room with eatables, and upon
investigation I fmnd it leads to a sort of
kitchen, where bread, sandwiches, coffee
and wine can be bought; the latter
at seven cents a battle. T'he whole
company are now regaling themselves
at the tables, which presently literally
flow with wine and coffee. Suddenly
there is a great crash~ and shouts,
Some one has knocked the legs from
under one of the tables. Bottles, plates,
etc., fall in a heap on the tiles. Tlhis is
too much even for the uniformed guard-
ian, who has thus far been standing stoic-
ally with his hands behind his back
near the door, and his voice is now
added to the general uproar. D~ejeuner
over, the tables righted and the wine
mapped up, work finally begins. Most
of those present repair to the stalls and
scrutinize the programme. There is
an immense amount of visiting from
one stall to another in search of ideas
from those supposed to be strong
(les tyles folrts), but the room
is comparatively quiet, with only
an occasional cry of Vive BoI-
langer," cat calls, and songs from va-
r~ious quarters. TIhe programme calls
for a little portique," to form a point of
view from a chateau, and to serve as a
shelter for eight statues, owned by the
.proprietor, the building to be erected

upon terraces in which can be arranged
grottoes, etc. The greatest dimension
is given, also the scale at which the
plan, section and elevation are to be
drawn; a detail of the order must be
made at a larger scale. The time al-
lowed is nominally twelve hours, but as
the various preliminaries described
above occupy so much time, and as the
guardians are in a great hurry to go
home to their dinner, the actual time
which one can work is only a little over
eight hours. I work as I never worked
before, but, do my best, the light begins
to fade before I have washed in the
shadows on the elevation. I had been
warned to take candles, and provided
myself with six; taking possession of
one of the now deserted loges, I rashly
proceed to light them all, but it is not
long before I discover my mistake.
Some one passing gives a whoop, and
in a moment half of those left are gatr--
ered in front of the loge shouting
"' quelle illumination Oh yes oh yes!i*
mon dieu! quelle Illumination!" I
think I am goings to be mobbed by the
dancing crowd, and it is some time be-
fore the excitement sufficiently subsides
for me to resume work. The next day,
and in the same place, follows the ex-
amination in modeling in clay. Each
student is required to bring his own
clay andt tools, and woe betide the un-
lucky aspirant who is not informed. In
each loge is a plaster cast of a piece of
ornament, all exactly alike. Eight
hours are allowed to rlerproduce it in
clay. This day the table have disap-
p~eared from the centre of the room, and
in their place, at intervals, are piles of
sawdust and pails of water. The water
to wash thle clay from'the hands, and
the sawdust to take the place of towels.
TIhe next day the examination in draw-
ing from the antique completes the
admissibles. For this, like the model-
ing, eight hours are allowed. The stu-
dents are distributed in the various
hemicycles and dejeuneris not a feature
of the sc~ance. On the wall of the room
I am in is a clock which strikes the
quarters, and every time it strikes, a
deep groan resounds from every throat,
but otherwise there is no noise.

*A termn of derision appliedl to Americans and Englishl.


Great is the excitement at the posting
of the names of those who have passed,
and great is my joy to find mine among
themi. I amn now permitted to take the
examinations in mathematics and his-
tory, but as I know scarcely a word of
French I present myself simply for the
form, that being necessary in order
that I may not have to undergo the
admliissibles next time. By the time
the next examinations came around I
had accumulated a limited store of bad
F~rench, and had time to brush up, in-
dleed to polish my acquaintance with
algebra, geometry, plain, solid, and
descriptive, and to lay in a goodly
store of history. Each of these exam-
inations is both oral and written.
O.nly one question in each subject is
asked, and failure means half a year's
wait. The first examination was in
wFritten history, and the question, as
nearly as I can remember it, was as fol-

It is proposed to erect a monument to the
writers of the eighteenth century. Give a
btrief description of the design; the monument
should be adorned with statues of authors and
have upon it suitable inscriptions ; what names
shoulld be so honored, and which should receive
places of the greatest distinction. G;ive an
account of the principal works of the various
aulthors; also a short account of literature of
Ithis epoch."

The examination was held in the
beautiful hemicycle of Paul D~elaroche,
and from my place of vantage on one of
the upper tiers I could see a great deal
of cribbing going on below. The first
c~are of the guardian was to make a
map of the room, showing the location
of each pupil. This to aid the profes-
sor in the detection of frauds. If two
papers are fotmnd to be suspiciously
alike, he looks up the location of the
men; if near each other he determines
at the oral examination which one has
cheated. Once detected in a fraud,
that young man had better choose some
other occupation in life than architect-
ure, for he will find it extremely diffi-
cult, if not impossible, to ever enter the
The oral examinations in his-
tory are held in the same place. A
printed list of questions are furnished

upon application. They embrace about
6~fty epochs of history, art and litera-
ture. The subjects are chieily classi-
cal and French. The United States is
honored by two questions. The ques-
tions concerning the English relate ex-
clusively to the driving of them out of
France by Jeane d'Arc and Duguesclin.
TIhe professor of History conducts
the oral examination in person; he is
the only professor with whom the pan-
didate for admission is brought in con-
tact during the examinations, and the
impression he produces is most agree-
able. He sits in state on the rostrum.
Before him on the table is his hat con-
taining slips of paper, each with anum-
ber corresponding to a question. The
student, when his name is called, ad-
vances to the table and draws a num-
ber from the hat. The professor opens
it and tells him the subject he is to dis-
course upon. While I am waiting, a
young man draws the American War of
Independence. His ideas on the sub-
ject are somewhat misty. He knows
of only two of its heroes, Washington
and Franklin. The professor does
not like his pronunciation of '' Wash-
ington," and says those Americans
over there, indicating myself and
some of my compatriots, are laugh-
ing at him. He says you should try
to get the true American pronuncia
tion of the word, then repeats very
distinctly for his edification Vash-ish-
ton, with strong emphasis on the last
syllable, and an almost imperceptible
sound of the final n.
IMy turn comes and I draw literature
of the time of I ouis XIV. 'I soon get
myself in trouble by making an odious
comparison, having the hardihood to
rank Molibre below Shakespere as a
playwright. Monsieur smiles, shrugs his
shoulders and asks me if I amn English.
I answer American. He says perhaps
it is natural for me to take that view,
but he evidently pities my ignorance.
However, Monsieur La Monier is a gen-
tleman, a man of distinguished learn-
ing, and my beau ideal of a Frenchman.
The written examinations in descrip-
tive geometry and other mathematics
are conducted on7 the same plan. '1 he
students are not allowed to communi-
cate. I hear several, things which


sound strange to an American. One
young man was told to move along, the
inspector explaining that he might copy
from his neighbor if he sat where he
was. Another at the oral examination
wished to show the ''examin ateur" some
problems in descriptive geometry which
he had worked out. The examinateur
politely refused to look at them, saying
some one else may have done them for
you. At the written mathematical exam-
ination was an American newly arrived,
who knew absolutely no French. The
inspector remarked that he did not
write as he read the programme, and
asked him why. "Oui, oui," said the
young man,this being his whole vocabu-
lary. A moment later noticing that he
still did not, write, he asked if he under-
stood French. Oui, oui," he replied.
Again he did not write, and the in-
spector said, You do not write. Why
do you say, 'Oui, oui,' whenever I speak
to you ?" MI'y compatriot gravely re-
plied, Oui, oui, oui," amid shouts of
laughter. It is slow work waiting
one's turn at the orals. Monsieur
Salisis, the official examinateur, is an
old sea captain, with a bald head,
which he wrinkles when he is not
pleased, and he is seldom pleased dur-
ing the examinations, but he has an
unlimnited supply of patience; it cannot
be denied, he gives the men every
chance. A student is at the board
hopelessly perplexed; the old man gets
up, and says, I will return in a few
minutes; meantime you will have a
chance to reflect." Hardly is the door
closed, when at least fifty of those
present begin to give advice to the be-
wildered victim at the boardl, and tell
him how to do the problem. Tbe
examinateur returns, and the poor
fellow is more at sea than ever.
"L re vous r-emrerci," politely says mon-
sieur, as he writes zero opposite your
It is now~half-past six of a Saturday
afternoon. I have been sitting all day
on a wooden benich with no back. The
French Government does not pamper
the pupils at the National school with
luxuries. Monsieur Salisis shuts up
his note book and announces that the
examinations will be resumed at seven
o'clock to-morrow (Sunday) morning,

and I realize that I am in a foreign
Finally the F's are reached. I
momentarily expect to be called. The
last man has failed, and the following
one will be asked to do the same prob-
lem. That is a habit of Monsieur, and I
am anxious for the chance. No, it is
Monsieur Flacet. Do you present
yourself seriously," asks the examina-
teur. This is the seventh time, and I
don't believe you know any more now
than you did the last time. Pre~nne:
un poinrt,et uin plan. Trouves la d~istance
entire ce pointed le flan," This Monsieur
is quickly thanked. Evidently he is
not worth wasting much time upon, and
my turn comes. I am told that I write
very poor French, and I am askedl
where I came from. I say America."
",4dme~rige duc wor~d on Ameriyue dur sudl"
asks Monsieur. I reply, my dignity
somewhat injured, "LLes E~tats Unis."
Bien," he says, and adds: If I hadt
been in America as long as you have
been in France I could have spoken
English a great deal better than you
speak French." B3ut as he has no means
of knowing how long I have been in
France, I mentally do not assent.
At each of these examinations a cer
tain mark is given, ranging from zero
to twenty. Then the mark received in
each subject is multiplied by a co-
efficient supposed to represent its rela-
tive importance, thus the mark in Archi-
tectural Composition is multiplied by
12; drawing by 2; modeling by 2:
mathematics by 5; descriptive geoml-
etry by 5, and history by ,I.
Failure to pass in a single subject
debars the candidate. The names of
those who are received are posted in
the order of merit, ascertained as de-
scribed, and here at the threshold be-
gins the system of competition which
pervades every branch of instruction
at, the school, a system which puts the
men on their mettle, and produces the
most extraordinary results, both as re
gards quality and the amount of work
Having successfully passed the ex-
lamination, notwithstanding my badl
French, I find myp name posted along
with twenty-nine others, all that remain
of the army of nearly three hundred.


Once having gained admission the
student is allowed an extraordinary
degree of liberty. He may stay in the
school until thirty years of age, pro-
vided he accomplishes work ea~h
year which may easily be done in one
or two months. Hie may choose his
own professor in architecture, andl may
work or not as he feels disposed. TIo
keep his name on the rolls he is com-
pelled only to visit the school twice in
the year. His advancement is solely
by the honors, or values as they are
called, which he obtains. T'he school is
divided into two classes, first and sec-
and, the latter being thle lower, When a

student has obtained thle required nun -
her of honorable mentions, or values, he
is admitted without further ceremony to
the first class. WVhen he receives the
proper number there he is allowed to
choose a f~inal programme of his own
making for a buildingr, after which
he receives his dliplom~a fromi the G~ov-
ernmient andi becomes a full-fledgedl
architect. If a young manRI is bright,
he may expect to reach this goal mn
from eight to ten years after entry, but
a large proportion fall out before the
course is ended. TIhus far no American
has ever finishedl the course, though
several have reached the first class.
Er-nest F/agg~i.


7~,~1"-- $I;:~d~





Second Paper.

HE architect, says
r Vitruvius, should
know ho w t r>
;~.k-~~fP~~b~'~~write and draw;
~he should be in-
structed in geom-
etry, and not ig-
norant of optics;
he should have a knowledge of
arithmetic, and know a great deal
of history; he should be deeply
learned in philosophy and under-
iand music, and have had some
instruction in medicine, jurisprudence
anld astrology. T'he school is evidently
of hiis wvay of thinking, for, besides all
the professors of architecture, known as
patrorns, there is a professor for each of
the following courses:* Ornamental
Design, Perspective, General History,
Mathematics, Descriptive Geometry,
Stereotomy, Physics and Chemistry,
Construction, L~egislation of Building,
History of Architecture, D~ecorative
Composition, Literature. Archteology,
History of Art and the IWsthetics,
Drawing, Modeling and the Theory of
'ieraistre, to iwimse excellent w-ork w~e are indebted

vol. III.-4~.-7.

Architecture. Of these, the Theory of
Architecture is to the others in import-
ance as the sun in comparison to the
stars, aind it is the Theory of Architect-
ure which occupies by far the greater
portion~ of the time of the student
at the school. But in order to gain
admission into the first-class, o~ne must
pass examination and receive honor-
able mention in the History of Archi-
tecture, Mathematics, D~escriptive
Geomnetry, Stereotomy, Perspective
Arch,?ology, Construction, IDrawing
of Ornament, D~rawing of thle
Human Figure, and of Modeling of
Ornament in bas relief. He may at-
tend lectures on all the various subjects,
and if he feel disposed to push his in-
vestigations in any one or more lines,
unbounded opportunities are afforded.
On the other hand be may never attendl
anly of the lectures, and the school
with proper discrimination will require
of him only such a degree of knowledge
of the subjects enumerated, as it con-
siders absolutely indispensable for thle
architect to know.
With the exception of construction.
which takes the best part of a y-ear and


is done chiefly in the at~l~ler, the work
of securing these necessary mentions is
dlone by the student at the school
proper and at odd times between P~rojts,
Tlhe fro/ct is the main affair with which
he has to deal ; it is by means of the
prj~Oet that hre learns the Thleory of
Architecture. Six frofets are given to
each class in a year ; these are veritable
competitions. They are issued alter-
nately, one month to the first class, and
thle next to the second. TIhe prelimin-
ary sketch (esycuisse) is madle at the
school, and twelve hours are allowed
EN loge'. Trhe scenes enacted at the
esquisvse are very similar to those de-
scribed at the examination in Archi-
tectural Composition, with thle excep-
tion that the time before dyediner is
chiefly occupied in initiating the
nouv~eaux, when there are any to initiate,
These unfortunates are lucky if they
escape with a whole skin and sound
limbhs; after the ceremony they are
expected to treat their tor-mentors.
TIhe programme of requiremnents for
the competition is handed each one
upon entering. Tlhe sketch of the
proposed building, by p~lan, elevation
and section, drawn to a small scale,
miay be made somiewhat roulghly, but
must not be too indistinct; it is ac-
counted an evidence: of skill to make
the sketch as vague as possible without
overstepping the forbidden mark, in
order to leave roomi for subseqluent
study andl~change. T'he original sketch
mlustt be signed andi left at the school,
the student providing himself with a
tracing to show his fairrol. If the
pftr-on approves he may render, that is,
study the problear and make the
elaborate drawings required; if not,
he must wait-two months for the next
opportunity to try agam., Meanwhile
he may devote his attention to secur-
mng a mention in Archteology, Drawing,
or some of the numerous other subjects
necessary to his advancement toward
the final diploma.
In working up the problem, the gen-
eral lines of the sketch must be ad-
hered to, but changes may be made in
proportion and details. An experienced
handi will make his esqucisse just definite
enough to avoid being placed hrors-de-
concoulrs, but sufficiently vague to allow

of considerable latitude of interpre-
Besides these two months fro/rtfs,
there is what is called the esclui:sse.
esyuisse, that is a programme to be com-
pleted entirely en lee in a single dlay.
These also occur for each class, at in-
tervals of two months, so that both the
first and second chiss have an esc/uijsse-
esq~uisse and a project every two months
alternately at intervals of one month,
As thle esquNisse-esqulissei .is ade enl-
tirely without advice anil without th~e
aid of documents, it is mnuch mg~re diffi-
cult to obtain a mention for it than for
the projet of two months; but for those
fortunate, enough to receive such a
recompense for the esqu/isse-eFqruisse,, then
the work of this one day counts for as
much toward advancement in the
school as a mention on the larger pro-
gramme of two months.
The regular occurrence of these fr-o-
je~ts of competition may be called the
pulse beats of the institution. It is
they which send the life blood of
energy and emulation coursing through
every member of the body in regular
recurring bounds of increasing effort,
from the preliminary esqutisse to the
final r-endur. After the ESqui'sse thle
student generally amuses himself for
some weeks, or grinds on mathematics
and other necessary matters until, real-
izingr that the allotted time is slipping
by, he sets himself seriously to study-
ing the problems. When the prelim-
inary studies are sufficiently advanced,
and th~epatroan satisfied with the result,
the student proceeds to make on What-
man paper, the renduc, or the finished
drawings, which must reach the school
by twelve o'clock of the appointed day.
In the foregoing, frequent reference
has been made to the ate'lier and the
fatronal, two all-important institutions at
the school. The word atidier, as under-
stood by the student of the school, has
no equivalent in the English language;
neither has the word patron as applied
to the chief of an tat~ierl. TIhe Govern-
ment provides three free at//lier-s for
architects situated on the premises of
the school, each presided over by one
of the most distinguished architects of
France, who is known as the patron.O(
The chief instructors in the other


branches are known as professors; but
the master from whom one learns the
great, fine art Architecture, is some-
thing more than a professor. T'o be
the patron of a school ateiler, he must
have arrived at the top of his profes-
sion. They are almost invariably men
who have won the Grand-Prix de Xome,
and are government architects, often
members of the Institute, and all
engaged in the active practice of their
profession. TIhey visit their ateiers
two afternoons a week to give criticism
and advice. Besides the three free
ate'liers, which are called inside ate'liers
(allliers interi'eurs) there are numerous
outside ate'liers (ate'lie~rs exter~ieulrs)
located in the neighborhood of the
school, each under an architect of dis-
tinction. In the latter a smaillmonthly
fee is charged which, however, need
not be paid if the student does not
render. The company in the outside
ateliers is somewhat more chic than in
the others, and the student receives
more attention from the patron, as
there are generally fewer pupils. The
patron pays the rent and visits the
ateier at stated intervals, and there
his functions cease. All other affairs,
both financial and administrative,
are conducted by the students
themselves. T'he latter are divided
into two classes, les anciens and les
nouveaux. The former govern and the
latter obey. :
The officers of the zte'lier, elected by
,the ancienls from among their number,
are a manssier, or treasurer, who is thle
chief officer; he is generally a popular
man and of ornamental appearance, as
befitting one holding a post of such
high distinction. It is he who does the
honors of, the institution upon state
occasions; it is he who receives the
fairons' cane and hat when he enters ;
it is he who sits at his right at the an-
nual dinner and proposes the health of
our beloved master. Being called to
fulfill so many high functions, the or-
dinary affairs of the office are beneath
his dignity; therefore, he has an assist-
anlt, called a sou~s m~assier, who does the
dunning of delinquent members, and
attends to the purchase of coal, oil,
towels, soap, alnd the thousand and one
other necessary supplies, but the massier

keeps the funds in his pantaloons, as
ours used to say.
The second officer is the Bibliothe'-
caire, or librarian. As his, too, is an
office of some distinction, he also has a
sous Bibiolke'caire who does the work.
Then there is the Caporal des nouveaux
who makes the nouv/eaux work; he is
appointed from among their number.
The student pays the patron 20 francs
($4) a month, provided he renders.
He must also pay to the mass, as it is
called, or the fund in charge of the
massier, 5 francs a month, whether
he renders or not. Upon entering, the
nouv~eaux pay to the mass, as an initia-
tion fee, 65 francs. The mass also re-
ceives considerable sums from fines,
of which there are an incredible numi-
ber, but which seldom exceed 5 cents.
All the expenses of the ate~ler, with
the exception of the rent, are paid
from the manss; any surplus remaining
is devoted to the purchase of books
for the library. Upon entering the
ate'lier, one is a nousveaul, and as such
must render implicit obedience to
every individual ancie'n. He must
also fulfill other duties without
special orders, such as lighting lamps,
cleaning drawing boards, going to buy
refreshments for the anciens at four
o'clock daily, and a hundred other
menial offices ; on the le dernier nouvealr,
or the last newcomer, devolve all the
most disagreeable tasks. 'The dern~ier
nouveau is always asked to run of errands
if he is present, and it is he who must
pull the chanrette, or cart, with the draw-
ings to the, school on the day of the
rendur. One may enter the atlmie? with-
out having been admitted to the school,
but he canl never become an anlcieN
until he has been admitted, and even
then not until he has been a member
for at least a year and rendered a cer-
tain number of projets. The choice of
an atliler is left entirely to the student;
thus he may choose for a master thle
man whose work is most congenial to
his tastes.
Having passed my examinations and
been received at the school, it became
necessary to select an at~iler. I had
been in Paris now for some time and
had determined for a variety of reasons
to join the atl~ier Blondel, an outside


a,~jidir in which there were no Ameri-
cans. Monsieur Paul Blondel is a man
with brilliant record and now in the
prime of life; he had won every prize
mn the school, including the Grand Prix
deC Rome ; besides his large practice he
wans architect of the Government. His
altd'ier was one of the youngest in~ Paris,
having been in existence only about
live years, but during that time it had
secured much more than its shar-e of
honors. Monsieur Blondel had the well-
dleserved reputation of taking more
p'ains with his puIPilS than any other
maton in Paris. His own work was
stamped with that character, manly
refinement and elegant originality
whiich one sees in the works of ~ue,
whose friend and ardent admirer he was,
I presented myself at the residence
of Monsieur Blondel, that being the
custom, and asked permission to enter
his ate'ier. He received me kindly,
asked many questions, and finally told
mne to call next day at one o'clock,
when he would take me to the altd~icr
and introduce me to my future com-
rades. Accordingly the next day I
enter the ale'lie, in company with the
pnaron, andl fmnd myself an object of
critical regard by about thirty young
men who have on long yellow gowns
extceedingly dirty. The pfatron an-
nounces to the company that he has
brought them a new comrade, an
A4merican, but does not attempt to
pronounce my name. He then pro-
ceeds with his regular round of in-
spection, going to each student in turn,
Tlhe rooms are extremely quiet, not a
sound is heard; if anything is said, it
is in an almost imperceptible whisper,
and I,nouveaur that I amn,form an
entirely erroneous impression of an
atrt/ier and think it a quiet place. I do
not realize that the deity of the at~~ier
is present, and that this hush is out of
respect for the man whom everyone
present, with the exception of myself,
regard with feelings of admiration
bordering on reverence. I find myself
w~ith nothing to do but to take in the
surroundings; everyone seems to be
intensely occupied. The atnier con-
sists of five or six rooms of liberal
dimensions, and had formerly been an
apartment. They are decorated below

the ceiling with a sort of frieze in
black and white, being the silhouettes
of all present and former pupils
arranged in the order in which they
had entered. There is also the sil-
houette of Bub, the dog of the atd:ier.,
a sad-looking mongrel, at present re-
posing under the stove. On the walls
are several magrnificent r~endus, which
were made by tleshe atro at 'Rome, and
also casts from the frieze of the Par-
thenon, and a number of pictures and
drawings of questionable mioraity.
Not knowing exactly what to do, I de-
cide to go home, but I ami not to get
off so easily. Before I reach the door,
I am intercepted by a portly young
man, Ddormet by name, called Philibert-
by courtesy, caporanl desrls cnoueax. He
introduces himself politely, and asks if
I am aware that it is the custom of the
nIouveaullx to treat the atE'lier- to drinks.
I signify my willingness to comply
with the custom.
"' Not now," he says; you under-
stand there are not enough present; I
will put up a notice so that all may be
here." He also says, I canl spheke
English, steamship, plum pudding~, va-
ter clo-set, oh ye--yes, God damn."
He then relapses into his native
tongue and tells me to go into the
kitchen and help the other nouveau/x
stick paper on cklassis or stretchers, of
which there are to be provided thirty-
five enormous ones for the approaching
charet~te. I am asked if I can work
that evening andi am told to be on
hand sharp at seven o'clock the next
morning'. The first class are rendering
and the next day is the chrarette. Char-ette
is a word very much used in the atCdier,
where ithas variety of meanings unin-
telligible to the uninitiated. Th~le chra-
r-ett is the hand cart used to carry the
drawings to the school. In the process
of time the word has come to be ap-
plied to the last days of the rendu, and
as it always happens that every one
is behindhand at that time the phrase
en chrarette in ate'lier parlance means
behindhand with one's w~ork.
1 reach the aid'ier- early the next
morning. Lo, what a transformation !
It is my first experience with a cha-
rette; things~ appear in inextricable
confusion and all is bustle and excite-


ment. T'he whole force of the ale'lier
has turned out, drawings are being
stretched on frames, borders painted,
blue bands being pasted on and the
last finishing touches given; on some
single drawings, which are behindhand,
there are three, and even live men
worliking. Early as it: is the patr~on is
present giving his final orders; he has
b~een there since six o'clock; he soon
finishes his rounds and the confusion
increases tenfold, for every one be-
gins to talk. The men who are ren-
dering look haggard and worn out;
many of them have worked all night;
some have worked forty-eight hours
continuously. YIesterday afternoon
not one of the thirty-five great draw-
ings was finished; to-day at twelve
o'clock all must be completed, mounted
on frames and delivered at the school.
la spite of the apparent confusion
the work goes on with a precision
and neatness which excites my ad-
miration and I realize that the
ate%'lie is a splendidly trained organiza-
tion. As the drawings, one after an-
other are completed and stood against
the wall they present an extremely fine
and workmanlike appearance, wrell
wcorthy of the pupils of Paul Blondel,
who holds a reputation for technique
second to no man in France.
I, being the 'elrlierl nlouveaus, and an-
other mise/rarble are ordered to go for
the charecttes. We go to a stable where
hand carts are rented, and each haul
one to the ate'ler. Thle drawings have
been brought down to the court and
are quickly loaded. I am harnessed
into the shafts, other nouv~eaux push,
and the whole motley crowd start on a
run for the school. It lacks but ten
minutes of twelve, and at twelve the
gates will be closed. Half of the men
have not taken the trouble to divest
themselves of their gowns. The anciezs
wear their straight-brimmed silk hats-
a curious spectacle we present as we
dash through the crowded streets, and
one which affords no small amusement
to the public. As we turn into the rue
Bonapar~te, we meet charvettes from
other ateliers, and noisy greetings are
exchanged. The drawings are taken
to the Srzlle Afelomene where Monsieur
Bar~bier, sitting at the feet of the god-

dess, makes the proper entry in his reg-
ister while his assistant affixes the offi-
cial stamp. When the last drawing is
registered, the whole ate'Herproceeds to
the cafe' aux deux Aragots to drink Ver-
mouth~ at the expense of those who
Having disposed of the inrojet a
period of relaxation en~sues, and les an-
rclns have time to devote their attention
to the initiation of les der~nier.S nouv1ZEaux
of which there are nine, a number uni-
precedented in the history of thle atc'ller;
so it is determined to have a celebration
somewhat out of the ordinary. Some
one says it will be monotonous to go
nine times in state to drink at the ex-
pense of each representative mulllOt, and
suggests that it would be more pleas-
ant and amusing to combine their re-
sources and give a grand dinner in thle
at~ilie, after which could follow the in-
itiation, or reception as they call it,
Trhe management of the affair was
rashly intrusted to the nouveraux who
were to pay, with the result that proba-
bly a worse dinner was never served up
to man. The food was sent from one
of the cheapest restaurants of the Latin
quarter, where cheap restaurants
abound. TIhe dinner was to consist of
soup, three courses, a plum pudding,
which they told me was in honor of
America, wine and coffee, the whole to
cost something over one franc per head.
To say that the food was bad does not
express it, and as for the wine, the
smell was enough when it was poured
out, the dregs filled at least a third of
the glass.
My share of the expense was so
ridiculously small that 1 felt I could
afford to send some bottles of cham-
pagne, and the patr-on, whose son was to
be initiated, sent a few more. TIhe
whole day was spent in decorating the
ate'lier; the largest room was cleared,
and the great drawing boards were
arranged to form tables; the stools
were to do duty as chairs. Hardly
were the company seated, when every
bottle of champagne disappeared from
the board, each seized by the man near-
est to it and deposited under his stool,
in the cellar (dans la cave) as one ex-
pressed it. In spite of the food, a jollier
company was never assembled and,


strange to say, every one but myself
seemed to relish the viands.
The three courses were served with-
out change of plates; when these were
finished, the plates were turned over
and the backs used for the pud-
ding. Besides having to foot the bill,
les nouv17eaux~ were required to wait on
the table, anid it was only after its
ancricnls had finished that they were
allowed to regale themselves on the
cold remnants of the feast. One poor
white-headed nouvanN sat next to the
burly Philibert Delorme, Cicai-ral d~s
Nouv~eaux. To such a state of intimi-
dation had this young man been
reduced that he dared not even remon-
strate when that worthy functionary,
at the end of every glass, deliberately
poured out the dregs, a good third, on
the top of his head.
The ceremony of initiation varies
with the hlumo~r of /cs andensCI. It usu-
ally consists In undressing the victim,
and painting his body with a variety of
strong colors, P-russian blue and lamp
black being much esteemed for the pur-
pose. In this condition the nouveauN is
required to mount on the table and
sing. Th'2is time the first nlouveau
operated upon, not only sang, but he
made such a long address that the
whole company became heartily tired
of him, and it was with difficulty that
he was driven from the table Les
ancriens had had enough, andi to my re-
lief, instead of proceeding with the
others they devoted themselves to song,
I found this part of the entertain-
ment more to my liking, for the music
was excellent. T'he first song was in
imitation of church music and appar-
ently would have done honor to the
nave of Notre D)ame. TIhe voices
were fine, and as the stately chores
rolled out I closed my eyes to the un-
couth surroundlings as Ilistenedl. Then I
wondered no less at thle majestic beauty
of the refrain than that such music
should be heardl in such a place, for I did
not suspect what I afterwardls learned,
that the words which accompanied these
glorious sounds were a tissue of blas-
phemy and immorality of a kind dear
to the heart of les trpes d'aldierl."

TIhe social life of the ate'ier is an ex-
perience which no one can adequately
describe and no one appreciate who has
not tried it. It is a life altogether un-
like anything to be found in lands
where English is spoken7. The charac-
ter of the members, if not moral, is at
least happy. Nothing dampens their
spirits and nothing disturbs their good
humor. Work goes on merrily amidst
a continual flow of good spirits. No
matter how much pressed and driven.
everyone seems to enjoy life. Some-
thing of interest is always happening.
Music is the favorite diversion. I wads
surprised to.find that nearly every one
could play on some kind of an instra-
ment, and there were several who could
play on a half a dozen different kinds.
Indeed the atdier- had a veritable or-
chestra. There was a piano hired by
subscription, five or six violins, a ba~s
vio1, drum and a number of wind instro-
ments, and withal no0 lack of music,
for it may be said some one was play
ing all the time except during the visits
of the par-oni. Many had fine voices
and wh-en the artr/ier was not en chr~cl~~It
one often heard music well worth list-
ening to.
That these young rnen have bad
traits cannot be denied, but to offset
them they have good qualities of a very
lovable kind, there is a loyal feeling of
comradieship among themn, also an utter
lack of selfishness. The generous way
they work for one another is surprising
to one of Anglo Saxon blood, who as a
rule does not feel, called upon to work
for days and often even all night long
for a comrade behindhand with his
work, but such devotedness is of con-
tinual occurrence at the a~t'irll where it
is considered a matter of course. They
belong to a kind-hearted race, polite
because it is natural for them to be so;
their politeness is no affectation, but
the reflection of an instinctive respect
for others' feelings ; andl I, who entered
the a/d~ier with prejudice and dlislike,
left it in a far different frame of mind,
desiring no better or truer friend
than a true-hearted Frenchman, and 1
found many such among my forty odd
"Camarades nd'Atlier."
E1rnest tlFlag.

and w
win b
the pi
only g
cally I
to ma
and E

lives ir
sees eF
his ev<
have b
the res
To <
the mic
finds a
It is
the sel
that thl
one sel
that wl
loma ai
not jus
other w
as well
for the


Third Paper.

.HERE is little difficulty
in accounting for ,the
supremacy of the Ecole
over all other schools of
art. TIo explain it on~e
has simply to recount her
methods of instruction,
F~irst.-Ml~ost of the poor material is
weeded out by the entrance examina-
Secondl. Advancement is deter~-
mined not by time, but by results; the
student's progress being gauged not by
the number of years he has studiedl, but
by what he has accomiplished. Each one
is left to walk by himself. TIhe bright
are not yoked to the stupid. T'he student
passes frorn one grade to another not at
stated times, nor in company with
others, b~ut up~on the receipt of certain
honors, sing~ly, by himself, andi prizes
are offered to those who lead.
TIhirdl.--All the instruction is based
on a system of competition, and the most
intense rivalry' exists not only between
the pupils, but between the various
ak'~lie~rs and the Paltr-ons. Every man
knows just where he stands with respect
to every other man, for the rolls are
constantly! revised andi the call en l /ge
arranged in thle order of standing,
F'ourthl.-Architecture, andi the same
is true of her daughter arts, painting

and sculpture, is taught, not as is the.
case so often elsewhere, by men who
have not achieved any great success in
their profession, and wrho undertake to
teach others what thiey have not been
able to accomplishi themselves; but by
the greatest masters of the day, prac-
ticing architects, men of the highest
distinction and ability ; men who know
themselves what they teach; men who
are enthusiastically admired by their
pupils.; whose word carries weight.
That such men should be willing to
give up so considerable portion of their
time to the cause of education, speaks.
volumes for the F~rench character, and
throws a vivid light upon the high
state of civilization in that country.
F:ifth.-Th 'le student himself is not in
suchi a hurry to manke money that he
cannot alliordl the necessary time for an
education. Nor are the conditions such
as w\ouldl permit of such a course. In
F'ran~ce something more by way of
qualification is required of an Architect
than his simple assertion that he is one.
A young manl there, after spending a
few months or years in an Architect's.
office, is no(t permitted to erect mon-
strosities, eye-sores as long as they
standl, andi a menace to public taste,
In Paris few structures can be found
which dlo not h~ear upon them unmis..

~t~ti~t~-z~z~ ~ccrroe
u9 plrc,.3Q-2~3~ ~Gf~'S*t~4 (BPY


takable evidence of having been de-
signed by educated architects.
Sixth.-Encouragement to effort is
afforded on a more liberal scale than
elsewhere. Besides numerous endowed
prizes which are competed for annually
and which are arranged in such a way
that in contesting for them one may
winl honors and advancement in the
school, even If not the prize itself,
there is the Grannd Prix die Romec, a
prize foundation, which for dazzling
attractiveness can only be compared to
the prizes of the ancient Grecians; a
prize which means to the winner not
only great honor and advantages im-
possible to gain otherwise, but practi-
cally an assured future in life.
Such are the salient features which go
to make the French school what it is,
and every one is a surprise to the
Now, when to such methods are
coupled the conditions that the student
lives in an atmosphere of art, that he
sees everywhere about him splendid ex-
amples of architecture, that he is con-
stantly brought in contact with the
greatest works of art in the other
branches, that from the start many of
his everyday comrades are men who
have had years of training under the
greatest masters, can one wonder at
the results ?
To compete every two months for
several years under such men and in
the midst of such surroundings as one
finds at the French school, is to learn
architecture under the best auspices.
It is often said that the teaching of
the school is not of a practical kind;
that the projets are for buildings such as
one seldom encounters in real practice ;
that when the student receives his dip-
loma after years of study he is entirely
ignorant of the most commonplace
duties before him, but the results do
not justify the criticism,
TIhe ordinary practical affairs of
everyday practice canl be quickly
picked up, but what is taught at the
school canl be learned so well in no
other way and in no other place. The
principles taught there can be applied
as well to the cottagSe as to the palace,
for they are the principles of good
taste. One is taught a knowledge of

the resources of the art, and mastery of
its technique.
Her atmosphere is not congenial to
the growth of sentimentalism, one hears
little about the picturesque. The
teachings of Ruskin and Turner are
foreign to her methods. Her standards
of art are of a higher type. Art is re-
garded as the highest effort of the in-
tellect of man, the measure of his
superiority over all created matter, and
the human figure, the most beautiful
work of the Almighty, is accepted as:
her canon and guide.
The evidence of the intellect of man
in architectural design lies in the symi-
metry and logical disposition of the
parts as shown principally upon the
M. Charles Blanc reminds us that
man alone of created beings can trace
a geometrical figure.
TIhe lesson of the human form as ap-
plied to such design is perfect symme-
try to the right and left of the central
axis and diversity from head to foot,
On this principle has every masterpiece
of architecture from the earliest record
of manl been conceived,
Success or failure at the school so far
as the architect is concerned depends
chiefly upon his ability to seize the
This word par-ti, as used at the school,
means the logical solution of the prob-
lem, and as every true architect must
have two natures, the practical and the
artistic, the parti must be the logical
solution of the problem from his dual
standpoint as constructor and artist.
'The ability to grasp the right parti
is a g~ift of nature, it can be acquired
only to a limited degree. It is the
characteristic of genius in architecture.
Without this gift no man can ever hope
to become a great architect.
A certain par-t/ for the projet is taken
by every student ent loge during the
twelve hours allowed for the sketch,
but the parti as it is called, that is
the PartiL par excellence or a solution
which is logically right from the artis-
tic and practical standpoint, is seldom
taken except by the gifted or by the
learned. If by the latter it conforms to
the traditions of the school and is
awarded a mention. If by the former


it showVs o~rignality andr thought a7nd
thle maker receives a medal or a prize,
as the case may b~e. For originality
which conforms to the laws of good
taste, more than anythiing else, receives
encouragement at the school.
As the fart~i is most clearly shown on
the plan, the plan becomes the chief
consideration, and upon it is lavished
by far the greatest study and care.
F~or the same reason the plan is the
chiief consideration of the jury; it is
scarrcely an exaggreration to say that in
making awards the plan counts for nine
points out of ten.
Where so much attention is paidl to
the Partri, architecture cannot he very
TIhe consideration of the part/' mili-
tates against many things of which ~e
in this country are: fond. WVhere the
farti is considered affectations disap-
pear, for the design must conform to
the dictates of reason. The same con-
sidleration makes it necessary to comply
with the laws of health andi convent-
ence in7 structures to be occupiedl by
man. WVhere the parit/' is considered
people do not build miles upon miles
of tenements lighted only at the front
andt rear, having slits--courts, so called,
four feet wide, on7 which open1 all bed-
rooms, a menace alike to the health
and morals of the commun~ity--build-
ings often occupied by twenty famiilies
on landl barely sufficient for two or
three. Rich men dlo not build country
chateaux against the street lines of
cities, nor do communlities claiming to
be civilized and refmned make choice of
barbarous styles of architecture, like
the Romanesque, for instance, inl which
to express their aspirations.
TIo say nothing of the artistic con-
siderations, the study of the parti saves
to France millions upon millions yearly,
for careless planning is one of thle
miost expensive pursuits a nation can
engage in and such planning is seldom
found in France. The room thus saved
is devoted to light and air. Paris is
perhaps more densely populatedl than
New York, but the buildings are prop-
erly lighted.
In Paris the parti of the city, too, is
considered. One does not see there
buildings of ten, twelve and even

twenty stories rearing themselves,
monuments alike, to the greed of the
land owner and the folly of the com-
munity which permits such blemishes
on the beauty of the town.
TIhe part/i is always dictated largely
by common sense; it wars against ig-
norance, vulgarity, waste and ugliness
inl architecture. Its characteristics are
fitness, beauty, convenience, economy
and reason.
Because we do not consider the pari-i
we were surprised that the French did
not admire the builings of the late
C~hicago Exhibition; viewed from their
standpoint in respect to the parti, they
were a gigantic failure. In the opinion
of France, America is the champion of
progrress. Amnerica is modern, America
is free. Judge, then, of her surprise to
find at the exhibition, which was to show
to the world her progress and civiliza-
tion, an array of buildings evidently
inspired aind often slavishly copied from
French school drawings of ten, fifteen
and twenty years ago. Buildings, too,
which were precisely what they pre-
tended not to be; illustrating nothing
new in building and nothing new in art.
Having made the sketch and taken
his prarti, the student's duties hence-
forth, so far as the fro/et is concerned,
lie at the atdcier- and with his fatronr.
The system is a simple one. He goes
to school, lays out his work, then takes
it home to the atd:ie~r and completes it,
Always providing, however, the pnratro
consents. If the partiis too bad the
patron will forbid his rendering or else
advise him to boldly depart from the
sketch and b~e placed hrors a'e concours,
On the theory that as he must lose in
any case, it is better to do so with
honor than ignominiously.
The relation between the patron and
th-e pupil is a most intimate one. The
very fact of the student's seeking ad-
mission to the atcdier is an act of hom-
age to the master, an assurance of sym-
pathy and admiration on the part of
the applicant. The ftron takes an al-
most paternal interest in his pupils, and
they on their part regard him with feel-
ings of unbounded admiration. Their
interests are the same, for the rivalry
between the atfi'r~s is not confined to
the students alone. So close is the re-


lationship between the school and the
profession that a man's reputation, at
least among his brother architects, de-
p'ends largely upon the work of his
TLo the pupil the patron's door always
stands open. No matter whom else
may be denied admission, the pupil, be
he never so poor, is sure of a cordial
reception. On such occasions the
pantron's manner is most charming, but
at the ak'l~ier small time is lost on cere-
mony. At his stated visits he passes
from student to student without word
or sign of recognition. He examines
the work and expresses his opinion in
w\ordis impossible to misunderstand.
Praise is sparingly used and seldom goes
b~eyondl the expression pots i/nal. Up)on
occasions he indulges in ridicule and
when the case requires, words of biting
sarcasm bring the blood to one's face.
T'he fair~ons of all the great aidieirls
are members of the Academy of F~ine
Arts, and as such serve on the juries of
the school. At the judgment, the
patron is always on hand as well to dle-
fendl the work of his pupils as to see
that other ate'iles do not carry off more
thian their legitimate share of honors.
I have had no0 personal experience
writh the patronls of other artrierIs, but of
Monsieur Blondel I canl give an account.
He is a manl about forty years old,
handtsome, of fine physique and digni-
fired bearing; he has a keen blue eye,
which meets yours squarely. There is
about him an air of manly decision well
calculated to inspire confidence and the
evident and ktindly interest he takes in
those of his pupils who are in earn-est,
so~on wins for him their affectionate
Wonderfully gifted by nature, he has
hecsides at his command the resources
oif the most superb education in archi-
tecture which the Government of
~ranlce canl give. Moreover, he is a
bocrn instructor. He sees everything,
fo~rgiets nothing, and decides with a pre-
c~isioni and justness which excites the
admliiration of his pupils. He is as
mluch interested in their work as they
are themselves. Or at least he has to
aI remarkable degree the faculty of in-
sp'iring them with that belief. When he
examiness a design his eye takes in
\Vol. I V.--1.--4.

everything. No mouldling so fine that
he dloes not regard its contour, no faint
de pocket so small as to escape his notice.
He is alike master of the n~oblest con-
ceptions andi the most refined detail.
His visits are the chief events of
ordinary life at the atierio. As he en-
ters a hush falls on the place which is
not broken until his departure. As he
approaches each student in turn, the
latter rises deferentially and stands
aside while the patron seats himself on
a ftaboure~t, andlc looks over the work.
At first I find these visits somewhat
trying, for his criticisms are not compli-
mnentary. Yo~ung man," he says, this
all looks oldl. I have seen that door
in Verona, that window in Florence,
that cornice in Romle. This is a com-
pilation, n~ot architecture but arch-
ceology. Yiou are here to learn archi-
tecture, the noblest of the fine arts. It
is not by compiling or copying even-
the greatest works of others that you
can hope to succeed, bunt by learning to
appreciate, and to apply the principles
that guided the designerss" Monsieur
Brlondlel is severe, he dloes not realize
that I came from a place where it is
considered highly respectable and emi-
nently proper not only to steal parts of
a design, but to reproduce European
buildings entire, and palm them off as
one's own.
He passes to another nouveau. This
young man has been working for sev-
eral dlays, has encounteredl many diffi-
culties andi is anxiously awaiting his
criticism; he gets it, but not in the way
he expects. TIhe patron glances at his
work but does not dleign to seat himself.
He says, You dlo not know enough to
draw an axis "; then passes on. Thbe
lesson is short but not likely to be for-
gotten. TIhe student has learned one
of the fundamental laws of architect-
ural design. Next time he will begin:
his work with the principal line.
How many practicing architects here
and in England need to be taught thel
same lesson.
The next student has been en loge-
and shows him his sketch.
"' What is that ?" he says, a church?"'
No, monsieur, a theatre."
Oh! it's a theatre. Have you your
mention in descriptive geometry ?"


No, monsieur."
"L Devote your attention to that dur-
ing the next tw~o months."
In the ate~lierl there are many strong
men, members of the first class, logists
and some who hlave already received
their diploma. F~rom these one learns
scarcely less than from the patron him-
self, for they are ever ready to help
and advise. They have spent years
under the patron's eye and know his
methods. It is interesting to see
with what respect these men regaurd
the master. llis judgment is theirfinal
appeal. If they are masters of techi-
nique, he is past g-randmaster. Nro man
can do a thing so well but that he is
ready to admit the patron can do it
better. From the original conception
to the finishing stroke of the rendlu, the
patron stands unrivaled.
Among the members of the atrlricr
there is an intense espr-it de crpls, and -a
feeling of c~amaradea~l-ri All work for a
common end, the glory of the atrtlic.
If the etiquette of the afrdier calls for
small ceremony on the part of the
patron, such is not the case among the
students themselves. Each one as he
enters is expected to go the rounds,
shake hands with everybody, and in-
quire after his health and well being;
an operation which at first I find somie-
what difficult and expensive.
Fior instance, I enter and shake hand-s
with the first man I meet.
Bon jour Flanc conselr~fnt a to/ mlan

S" Tres brien, mNerci," I answer, et waos."
"( CinquelL sonS d'ameII~Nde PUOur E1ar," )
shouts my friend, andi the sous/ iNassJier
who has charge of the line list writes
five cents opposite my name. Fo'~r in
th~e atdiie~r one must ta-toerl~l. Two or
three days after I have entered I am
fmued five cents for hanging my hat on
a certain peg sacred to the use of the
pa"tron. The enormity of the crime is
explained to me by the manssier himself,
and I am warned that a second offence
will meet with double penalty.
My own experience leads me to the
belief that architects work harder than
most other people, and I know thnt
suchis the case atthe school. I have
been at the atd'ier- early and I have
been there late; I have been .there

Sunday, Christmas and other holidays,
but I have never been there when some
one was not at work. Not that the
student's work is continuous, but when
he dloes work he works.
As the first and second-class proajets
alternate, there are generally at the
aidier;, men of leisure and men e~n
c/rartcfr. As the atdrier is a pleas-
ant place where one may always
be amused, those who are not busy
regardl it as a sort of club and make
it their lounging place. But their
guood nature seldom allows them to
remain idle long. For the men who are
rendering are always in need of help.
One w~ho is not busy himself, may be
pretty sure of being asked to nigger
for another. A man who works for
another is called his nigger, and the
one he works for becomes his patron.
Etiquette requires of a man who is a
patron, to aski his niggers what they
wvill have to eat at lunch time, which
at the arlrier- is at four o'clock, and the
nigger is expected to reply petit painr,
which costs one cent. The patron
often presses him to take a stick of
chocolate in addition, which costs
Even these prices are sometimes
heavy burdens for the students, many
of wVhom are frightfu~lly poor. When a
boy in a village shows any talent for
art he is often sent to Paris to study at
th~e expense of the commune. There
are many such at the school living on
thie princely allowance of So francs
($10) a month.
Any description of the school would
b~e most incomplete without some ac-
count of the Gr-and Pr~ixL de Rome,
The competition for this prize is the
chief eent of the school year, and to
win it is the dream of every French
student. TIhe prize was founded by
Louis XIV.
Trhe Government owns the beautiful
Villa Medicis on the P~incian Hill at
R~ome, andl every year it sends there
from amlong the students of France one
architect, one painter, one sculptor and
one musician, and every third year one
engraver. These young men are
selected by competition and each is
supposed to be the most promising in
his respective profession.


They remain five years, andi canl stay
in Romne or travel as they see fit. For
their personal expenses they are allowed
.a salary. During their stay they re-
ceive every advantage which the
French nation canl give to perfect them
in their several callings, and each year
thiey send back to P-aris samples of
their work. When they return they re-
ceiv-e government patronage. TIo a
great extent their reputation is made
and their future in life assured.
Trhe prize is open to all Frenchmnen
under the age of thirty, but no man
can hope to win it who has not had
long training at the school. T'he
knowledge of technique alone necessary
to the handling such~ problems as are
given requires years of training of a
kind only to be had at the Eol.
The award in architecture is made
after a series of three competitions
con-ducted on the weeding-out principle.
Trhe first, open to all comers, who com-
Plyl with the conditions of age and
niationality, is generally participated in
by\ several hundred. The programme
calls for a somewhat simple problem
shown by a sketch to be completed en
kge in twelve hours. From these the
julry selects forty which are the best,
and to the makers are given the sec-
and programme, which is for a building
of more importance, the design to be
made in one session of twenty-four
hours en logt. The tenl who acquit

themselves best at this trial are allowed
to undertake the final1 problem.
T'o arrive even at this stage is con-
sidered a high honor, and these ten
men are known ever after as logists.
The final p~rogrammee always calls for
a building of the miost magnificent pro-
portions andt the drawings are often as
large as the sidle of a small house. Four
the sketch a single session of forty-
eight hours is allowed enr logcr, during
which tim~e the con-testants are locked
in and are allowed to communicate
w8ith no one except the guardian who
gives them their foodl. If they sleelA
they do it as best they can on the
drawing boards o~r on the floor. Fior
the finished drawings three months are
allowed, the work being done eNl logre,
NVo books or documents can be used,
but they are allowed the advice of
their patrons. The sketch of each man
is hung up in his lcege, for reference,
covered with a sheet of tracing paper,
sealed with the seal of the school.
Like the or~d inar projdhl.~s, the iharti must
be adhered to, buat changes in propor-
tion and detail may be made. To the
winner all sorts of honors are accorded
by his brother students, iilwluding a
triumphal procession and banquet. His
silhouette in the atetlie~r is decorated
with laurel and palms, and his name
becomes one of the chief trophies of
the p-lace. and! a title of distinction to
the arte'~le.
Er-nest Plagyg.

The German Conquest of Taste

By Ernest Flagg, F.A.I.A.

mansions by measure, etc. In short,
art in the production of which
man rises superior to nature.
The moderns while recognizing
the superiority of Greek art have
never been able to practice it, but
simply copy it, thus using an in-
ferior kind of art, that of copyist,
in the effort to produce a superior
kmnd. In other words, the mod-
erns have not used the principles
which guided the Greeks but sim-
ply copied Greek forms.
Although the Germans were
justified in the belief that to sim-
ply copy is not the highest form
of art in design, that is about all
that is right in their procedure
and that of their imitators, for if
what is now practiced by many
and called modern art can be called
art of any kind, then it is a much
worse kind than the art of the
copyists; so, to use a homely
phrase, its advocates have jumped
from the frying-pan into the fire.
Being ignorant of the principles
which guided the Greeks, the Ger-
mans and we who have followed
them have floundered about like
a rudderless ship. Debarred from
using any of the forms thought
beautiful in the past, refuge has
been taken in pure materialism and
unadulterated ugliness.
I first heard of this movement

when a pupil at the Ecole des
Beaux-Arts in 1889.
For about thirty years after that
the French scoffed at and derided
what they called the debased Ger-
man manner in contrast to French
taste; then the virus took and they
began to do the same kind of thing
themselves. Meanwhile the blight
had spread to other European coun-
tries, but it was not until about
ten or fifteen years later that it
reached here, when it broke out
and still rages in a very virulent
form. Its adherents among the
sculptors and painters seem to fairly
rack their brains and to vie with
each other to see who can bring
forth the most nauseous or mean-
ingless production.
This new kind of "art" is very
convenient for those who do not
know how to draw, for the more
slovenly the work the more artistic
the production is thought to be.
It is also very convenient in archi-
tectural design as it requires no
more skill than a child uses in
playing with blocks; indeed, if the
blocks have simple proportions the
results might be better, for many
of the constructions have neither
agreeable proportions nor anything
else to recommend them, but are
stark materialism. Great struc-
tures are erected consisting simply

GERMIAN armies have been
forced to surrender uncondi-
tionally, but the German people
may, if they choose, derive some
consolation from the fact that, so
far as taste is concerned, a large
part of the world has surrendered
unconditionally to them, for the
blight of taste or cult of ugliness
and unadulterated materialism
which now sweeps the civilized
world had its origin in Germany.
About sixty years ago or more,
the Germans began to make hideous
statues and to abandon all former
ideas of beauty in building and in
the design of other things and to
substitute bald materialism, not
only devoid of beauty but of in-
tentional ugliness. The worse a
thing was drawn and the more un-
pleasant the result, the greater the
claim for it as a w~ork of art; it
was said to be the artist's impres-
sion, which if true would stamp
him as a madman, but it was only
an affectation which many foolish
people accepted at face value.
This departure from former
methods was justified on the
ground that to copy nature or any-
thing else is manifestly not the
highest form of art in design that

humanity is capable of. No mat-
ter how well such work may be
done it cannot be more than a
masterpiece in a secondary grade
of art-that of the copyist to which
most modern productions belong.
This was well understood by
the Greeks. Their aim was not to
copy nature, but to spiritualize it
by convention. Their work was
just as thoroughly conventionalized
as that of the Egyptians, but the
aim was different.
They produced the highest type
of art that the world, has seen, a
kind which can only be had by
convention, the convention being
the consensus of taste of all the
minds engaged, as evolved through
a considerable period of effort.
That the best results can be had
only in that way is obvious; it is
shown in Gothic art and we had
something of the same kind here
in our conventionalized Colonial
The Greek aim was to produce
idealistic beauty to endow their
work with qualities which nature
unassisted cannot supply, or does
not give, qualities drawn from the
human intellect---order, symmetry,
rhythm, balance, harmony of di-



of bare walls punched for windows,
gigantic monuments to commercial-
ism representing the unconditional
surrender of human taste.
Columns take the form of pipes
and buildings of boxes, and the
one iden seems to be to studiously
avoid Greek or any other forms
which are beautiful. The result
is that forms which have been re-
jected throughout the ages because
of their ugliness are resorted to,
such for instance as the ball and
trylon of the last world fair. Taste
is vulgarized by naturalism such
as that used for Marshal Foch's
tomb in the Church of les In-
valides at Paris, which fairly swears
at all its surroundings.
To design in architecture one
needs no other training than how
to draw a straight line with a
ruler; to produce a workk of art

the Cenotaph that rose high in the
pale N~ovember sun. When one
thinks of war memorials of winged
Eigures bestowing wreaths, or of
bronze soldiers in helmets and full
equipment, that men of lesser tal-
ent than Sir Edwin Lutyens might
have done, one sees that the present
design is so exactly "right." It
aptly symbolizes the Empire's deep
gratitude for its sons and daughters
who made the last great gift.
Many in the crowd had mirrors,
some on sticks, which they used as
periscopes. They reflected on the
shaded facades sun spots that
looked like a flock of animated
moths. Children were perched for
a better view on the shoulders of
elders. Those who could see re-
ported to those who could not.
"What do you see now, Georgie?"
"Oh! tons of soldiers." The
solemnity of the occasion did not
prevent the usual banter of the
English crowd. I heard nothing
more severe than "Look what
you're doin Don't you see the
byeby ?"' One woman, when after
the ceremony we were all held
tightly, said, "Oh, the Queen! She's
gone. Wouldn't it be naice to go
and come like that. My feet do
From ten-thirty to eleven we
could hear the bands and the Scot-

in painting" the less one knows of
drawing the better; all that is
needed is the imagination such as
one might expect to find in a
lunatic, while to make chef-
d'oeuvre in sculpture one should
have a gift for diabolical ugliness.
Such are the results of the Ger-
man conquest of taste. It would
be impossible to exaggerate in de-
scribing it.
Fashion exercises a peculiar in-
fluence on the mind. We see that
in clothes; things are admired while
in fashion which a few years later
appear simply ridiculous. It is the
same in other things. It is impos-
sible to suppose that the present
blight can last, and doubtless in a
few years this will be recognized
as an age of horrors. Surely a
reaction against that sort of thing
is long overdue.

commemorated elsewhere, but here,
through its entire length from the
Nelson Monument to the Statue
of Cromwell, one is aware of the
blood-red thread in English history.
The gracefully curving street is
not unlike the Grand Canal in
Venice. Today it was in celebra-
tion. The buildings, many designed
like palaces with their superim-
posed orders, were decorated for
the occasion. The balconies of the
Home Office opposite the Cenotaph
were hung with blue and gold. The
flag was much in evidence. From
building to building the street was
filled with people and the scene
resembled so many painted by both
Canaletto and Bonnington,
All wheeled traffic had been di-
verted, and when I entered from
Parliament Square at ten-twenty,
the crowd extended all the way to
Trafalgar Square at the other end.
Many wore the uniforms of the
Dominions, the Colonies, the Mlan-
dates, and the various Allies. I
saw surprisingly few American
uniforms. Many in civilian clothes
wore decorations and medals.
All the windows of the Gov-
ernment buildings were filled with
observers. The only movement in
the expectant crowd was from the
Periphery toward the center, as all
tried to get a place a little nearer

London, Armistice Day, 1945

By John H. Scarf, FYAJ~A.

I N a ceremony this morning be-
fore the Cenotaph in Whitehall
the King and Princess Elizabeth
paid tribnute to those who had
fought for the Empire through two
wars, and, together with the people,
mourned those who had died in its

Architecture, in supplyi~ng a fo-
cus arid appropriate background,
played an important part. White-
hall is the street of Government.
Handsome Government buildings
line both sides, and down the center
stand the monuments to the Em-
pire's heroes. Other great sons are


44 -

with such success that they were
sorry to have him stop when the
bookkeeper recovered.
But soon after that he, with
Geore Pot so ofthe architet
started the firm of Post gg
which became one of h ags
ssoouses o~ al Street.
to r~ulnl~rm,, rrlrrgessi,- ,
I had been keeping the books of
John Winans & Company only a
short time before I discovered that
the concern was hopelessly insol-
vent and had been so from the
start. I advised my father to sup-
ply no more money, and an as-
signment was made for the benefit
of the creditors, of whom he was
by far the largest. However, he
got nothing, for the lawyer, to
whom the assignment was made,
collected all the assets and charged
an equal amount for his services.
My brother and I were now
My father was security for the
rent of the building, but we deter-
mined that he should not lose by it
if we could help it. Shortly before
the failure, the concern had been
engaged in skinning salt codfish
and packing it in thirty- and sixty-
pound boxes. That seemed a
promising business, so we deter-
mined to continue it. We would
occupy the two upper floors and
try to rent the rest of the building.
We had $25 as capital, with
which we bought a four-quintal
box of codfish, skinned and packed
it ourselves. Then with a sample
piece of codfish in a tin box, we

tressed my father, and when a
former parishioner told him of
what was represented as a wonder-
ful opening for a young man who
had a little capital, he offered to
supply the necessary amount. For
only $1500 a partnership could be
obtained with John Winans, a
young man who had a salt fish
business, and my brother became
his partner.
The new concern had not been
going very long when it seemed to
my father that there was something
wrong about it, and he suggested
that I should keep the books and
try to find what the trouble was.
I was then seventeen and knew
nothing about bookkeeping, but
Mr. Winans showed me how he
had done it. It did not seem to be
a very good system, and I thought
if I was to keep books, I had bet-
ter learn how to do it properly.
So I went to the Packard Business
College to inquire about taking
lessons, but the person I saw there
gave me such a lucid explanation
of the principles that I saw no rea-
son why I should return.
With the information thus sup-
plied, I had no difficulty in open-
ing a double-entry set of books,
and that knowledge has been of
great value to me through life. A
few years later I taught my
younger brother Allston, who was
a messenger boy in the office of
Lee, Ryan & Co., how to do it,
and when the bookkeeper there was
taken ill, he told the firm that he
could keep the books, and did so

A Fisht Story

By Ernest Flagg, F. A. I. A.
esdfrom an address before the New York Chapter, A.I.A., on the
sio o an exhibition and luncheon honoring the author, March 29, 1945.

-7DolvT want to talk shop, so if
.(there is no objection I will tell
you a fish story. That does not
mean mn this case it is not true. I
don't hold with Charles Lamb that
truth is so precious a thing that it
should be used sparingly. I think
it should be used unsparingly, un-
less there is some very good reason
for not domng so, and I will so use
it in what I have to say.
This lish story might be called
the education of an architect, for
it is my own experience. Under
ordinary circumstances, I would
not talk so much about myself,
but as you seem to have taken an
interest in my work, you may likre
to know how I came to do it.
When I was born, my father
was Rector of Grace Church,
Brooklyn Heights. It was then,
and is perhaps now, the most aris-
tocratic parish of Brooklyn. Many
rich men hived on the Heights in
those days because from there the
financial district could- so quickly
be reached by the Wall Street
According to the family Bible, I
made my appearance at 3 A.Ml.,
February 6, 1857, so I am now in
my 89th year.

In 1863, my mother's health
failed and the doctors said that if
her life was to be saved she must
leave this climate. So my father
resigned his rectorship and we
moved to St. Paul, Minnesota.
Her health seemed to improve, but
these were false hopes, so within
about a year we came back and
hvd t ew Haven, where my

y.Vr. I pio n. architect of Trin
ity Church.

ten years old and two years later
m'i~~her marreda~in. Unde'
my stepmother s influence, he
moved to New York and I wa'
sent to the Coubarrma
Seolwhose headniaster, Mr. a'
con, ha~d been my father s assistant
at Grace Church. But times were
hard for the family and, at fifteen'
I became nofc owiha}l
8 eet firm. We had moved about
so mlu ;iat, at different times, I
had attended ten different schools
and neverH learned much in any of
My brother Jared, who w" J
four years older than I, was also
in a Wall Street office, but he had
lost his place, which greatly dis


MA~Y, 1945

each set out to sell our product,
my br ter euag the grocery
other. Some proprietors refused
to buy, some laughed at the idea
of a sample, and some both laughed
and bought, but before night we
had sold all we had. The cod to
be delivered next day, c.0.d.--in
two senses. What a pleasure it
was when the expressman returned
with the money! Here was $5
profit--not very high pay for three
days' work by each of us.
venue d mt e eaytw r three
Jamity occurred. The expressman
lede piw ath osur money -u
completely discouraged, but for
my brother the misfortune seemed
to have a stimulating effect. Like
the Romans who, when Hannibal
was at their gates, sent an expedi-
tion to Spain, he was for branch-
ing out. If I would attend to the
manufacture, he would do the
se e was right. We bought fifty
quintals on thirty days' credit,
hired a number of girls to do the
skinning and two men to do the
packing; we sold to wholesalers
and before long had fifty girls at

It may seem surprising how we
could compete in the wholesale
market at a profit. The Glou-
cester concerns were our competi-
tors. They, too, put up skinned
codfish in boxes. The operation of
skinning was called codfish jerking.

The skin was yanked off cryn
with itd some of the flsh, whng a

left hand and keep down tthe tneh
with a knife in the right hand. TV
got 97 pounds to the quintal and
the Gloucester people 85'. It took
them two years to discover how we
did it and then they drove us out
of the business
We finally rented the whol
haid sg and so had to move, We
h d slpt on the top floor; now we
oired a 6 muptot71ond o Ined
rison Street, over a wholesale gro~
cry cnern.p The os dfmovi

take in our capital; my brother was
taendi l; sales fell off; no one
seemed to want codlish. I saw
ruin staring us mn the face when
we were saved as if by a miracle.
bummer had come on; the codfish
whgan tod h'k down on the grocer'
ando sirythi ggodhawere spoil d
ad eveyhn H e hd r e ed o

the ground floor of a building in
Duane street, business revived'
had own out ab 5,a or capital

02e day an old man came to
had a moustache dedf b aka t
of hin fbu a quarter of an inch
wfhits face, were the hair was
Mrit. Pire i arduced lumself as
lad ofee th h and hf he land-
He aidy ohe house w ereowe sleh .

lo with us.o Iea said hel hadu gona oe lor n eirdfo h
Bible in which was pasted an obitu- a moe o t id, ifl do say so
ary notice of my mother. If we an early example of mass prdc
boys had had such a mother as that, tion. The raw matter sh wento dn
his lot was to be with us. The at one end and h fn she lost
obituary had been written by Don- uct out of the othher,1witt no ossil
ald G. Mitchell, whose nom de motion antdh at tt eo ec st pucting
plume was Ik Marvel. cost, but te cost fcntutn
101lr. Pierce was a kindly old it had been a heavy drain on my
man and was, as he had said, a resources.
good salesman. Nevertheless, the For a time all went well; then
Gloucester competition soon be- the dairy interests went to work to
caae too much for us--we could dil th y sc md d ri busies
One day, one of our salesmen concerned. I was unable to sell
caein with a rd r fra em0 uld sh lrouc in lascountrydeba

to do with that?" I asked. He with commission houses in London
said: "We can buy the goods from and was allowed to draw on them
a factory in 27th Street and make for a percentage of what was ex-
a dollar a tub." Here seemed to pected to be the selling price.
be something that might take the Then came a complete collapse.
place of our dwindling codfish There was a drop in the European
business. I visited the factory. It market; the goods were sold for
was a poor, little establishment in less than the ~imont u dhad drawn

goosean the trophr eto r~un ouwas agamnturin bills f wase solvent
edly understood his business. After if the vau eof y buctor I cu
dealing with him for some time, I taken into account, u ol
agreed to buy the business for borrow nothing on it. a
$1,500, provided he would teach fore ofi.AlsrsoI
tt hel tto make the abuttera sor weemaaalm omfs
It was made of beef suet melted at ih I e wa S
a very low temperature, and cream. wse
Previous to this, I had bought my noetrteture
boers mteeb dilU W About the time Iwas going
1 took suc parts ote mac V through this dreadful ordeal, a
a mad a ac- man named Hubert was trying to
uppe C~unbd; ta is osay I coaperao ve


IA 145

m "Se what you can do with
meat added The result pleased
thi still aore; then he said, "Take
imother house", and so on 'till the
anhole block front was used.
wAs I made the plans, 1Vr. Van-
derbilt had them traced by his sec-
rtar anid took them to Mr. Post
ehao had been the architect for the
huse. Mr. Post was very much
o stified as to how they were ob-
ma ned and asked Mr. Vanderbilt
who made them. The latter prob-
wb1y thought truth was too prec-
ius to use in this case and told
hio they were made by his secre-
imry H-e told that to me and
taemed to think it a great joke.
seThese plans kept me busy for
1 eea months, but nothing could
sbee dne about them 'till the old
e lady died. WIhen all was finished
tthat I could do, he told me that I
don ht to become an architect and
: h t if I would go to Paris and
t nter the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he
o e would pay the cost.
y, w went, but found it a pretty
os hard job, as I knew not a word of
I French, and the examinations,
Though elementary in character,
rw ent far beyond what I had
er larned at school. They were both
as oral and written and all were com-
hle oetitive. Two examinations were
-held each year and the admissions
nid limited to thirty, of which five
ate mht be foreigners. There were
use migally about two hundred appli-
as usunts at each examination,
herc At the first examination after
:ol my arrival, I could only take what

ful to the king was to be asked to
pay old debts. .
I did not pretend to be an archi-
tect, but I had made the floor
plans for both of these buildings,
the apartments being of the two-
story kind. For twenty-five years
no one copied them, but now there
are a great many in the city and
they are called duplex. As a result
of these operations, I had some
reputation as a planner.
SOne day I received a note from
my cousmn, Mrs. Vanderbilt, sa'-
ing that Cornelius wanted to see
me about some plans and would I
come to dinner. He said be was
very much dissatisfied with the
plan of his house and thought I
might be able to tell hhn what to
do about it. I asked him what he
wanted. He laughed and said whale
he really wanted was more ane
larger rooms.
As the frontage on 57th Stree
was 125' and there were only tw
rooms, the rest being occupied b
a conservatory, which he had n
use for, an enormous butler
pantry and some other things,
had no difficulty in showing ho
he might have more and larg
rooms. He expressed himself
delighted when I showed him ct
plan, but still there were diffi
ties which could not be overcor
on the plot, as it stood. He s;
the old lady who owned the ho~
next door on Fifth Avenue w
more than eighty years old in vl
poor health, and when she died
might be able to buy it, so he t

apartment house; but he met with 'Mr. Hubert had invented what
no success until my father heard he called a duplex apartment, the
of it. He liked the idea and ceiling of the front rooms being
asked several friends to join with very high and those of the back
him in building one. They formed rooms very low. I thought it a
a company, bought a plot on 57th very poor plan. A much better
Street, 50'x100', and built the one, it seemed to me, would be to
first cooperative apartment house make two-story apartments, the
in the city, called the Rembrandt, lower story in each case being
which still stands next to Carnegie somewhat higher than the bedroom
Hall. An uncle of mine, the late floor above. So I made a plan of
Wm. J. Flagg, liked the idea, so that kind and offered to divide the
he and some of his friends built a commission with Hubert if he
second house on the northeast cor- would carry it out-
ner of 28th Street and Mk"adison During the first thirty days, I
Avenue. carried through all the prelimina-
It eeedtome that what they ries, and during the next thirty
had done without profit t tem days sold all the apartments, some
selves might be done by 6me with; of them twice over for a $1000
Dro~ to y11l. ere was a bonus, on each of which I got half.
stable on an shaped lot, corner During the next sixty days I put
of 31st Street and Madison Av- through a similar operation at the
enue. The owner wanted to sell. southeast corner of Fifth Avenue
I found that I could get a 60-day and 28th Street, going halves with
option on the plot for $500. Sim- Mr. C. W. Clinton, an architect.
ilar options could be obtained on On that operation I risked $14,000
three adjoining pilots for $1750; of the money I had made on the
a fifth owner offered an option on Mladison Avenue house, for the
his plot for nothing. The whole options, and cleared $50,000 prof-
cost of the property wras $202,500. it. So in four months I had made
I told my father that if he would more than $75,000-
lend me $1000 I would give him
a third of the profits, and my un- I paid my old debts, but I can-
cle offered to let me have the re- not say I took much pleasure in
maining $1250. I was to form a doing so, especially for some which
company and sell the land to it for were unjust. My feelings were
$225,500, thus making $22,500. similar to those of James I, who
If I did not succeed in sixty d~ays, issued a proclamation to the Scotch*
the amount paid for the option men who followed him to Eng-
would be forfeited, so it was a land, forbidding them to petition
wild gamble on the part of my for favors. It said that of all kinds
father and uncle. of importunity, the most distaste-
MAlY, 1945


were known as the admnissables,
that is to say, examination mn ar-
chitectural design, drawing from
a cast, and modehing mn clay; for
these required no French. At the
next examination, I took the other
things: descriptive and solid geom-
etry, history, algebra, arithmetic,
etc. The mark in each subject was
multiplied by a coefficient supposed
to represent its relative importance
an the education of an architect.
Tke for example history, having
a coemerient of only one, but fail-
ure in which would bar admission.
The aspirants were furnished a list

times basically inadequate in size
or arrangements, and, perhaps
more importantly, are oftentimes
ill-distributed. In other words,
they have been originally located
and designed without reference to
any over-all regional plan--with-
out adequate factual bases for
judgment of the suitability of lo-
cation or design.
The American Institute of Ar-
chitects does not consider itself
qualified to offer suggestions to
this Committee as to the number
or type of hospitals or health cen-
ters that may be needed in the
United States. It appears to us
that the collection of data on
which such suggestions could be
based is one of the most urgent
objectives of this bill. Our reason
for appearing before you may be
expressed briefly thus:--
The architect, by his technical
training and background, ap-
proaches any problem with pro-
found faith in the efficiency of
making a painstaking analysis of
facts and needs, and following this
with orderly planning based on
that analysis.
The bill and the Interim Re-
port of the Subcommittee on War-
time Health and Education, par-
ticularlyr the proposal for a Co-
ordinated Hospital Service Plan,
convince us that here, for the first
time in our knowledge, is sketched
a procedure for health that is to
be based on the solid foundations
of a painstakmgr analysis of facts
and needs, followed by orderly

of fifty great epochs of world his,
tory, upon some one of which each
would be required to write at the
written examination, and on an.
other to discourse and be ques-
tio~ed about at the oral examina-
tion. So it was necessary to famil-
iarize one's self with a great part
of world history. To master any
one of the subjects required con-
siderable time and study.
Imagine my joy when the results
were posted to find that I had en-
tered No. 5 on the list!
So that is how at least one archi-
tect came to be educated.

ance here before you is actuated by
self-interest. Let us say "granted"
-to the extent that all architects
are interested in active construc-
tion programs. We are not, how-
ever, here to favor anly large Fed-
eral construction program nor to
urge authorization of Federal
funds for local construction, except
under those special conditions in
which private enterprise and local
Government seem to have been
less effective than present-day con-
ditions demand, and in which Fed-
eral stimulation and supplement to
local effort seems necessary to
reach objectives for the future
which we might otherwise fail to
The members of The American
Institute of Architects wYho are
experienced in hospital and public
health center design are convinced
(along with physicians, hospital
consultants and managers, State
and county health officials, and
other expert members of the
American Hospital Association
and the American Public Health
Association) that the entire hos-
pital and public health facilities
picture in this country should be
reviewed and analyzed as an over-
all regional picture, with a view
to laying plans-developing "mas-
ter plans" if you will--for the
proper distribution of the greater
and more completely adequate fa-
cilities which unquestionably
should be provided in the years
following the War. It is believed
that existing facilities are often-

AT HEARINGs held by a Sub-
comnuttee of the Commit-
tee on Education and Labor, U. S.
Senate, The Institute presented a
statement setting forth its approval
of S.191- "a bill to amend the
Public Health Service Act to
authorize grants to the States for
surveying their hospitals and pub-
lic health centers and for planning
construction of additional facili-
ties and to authorize grants to as-
sist in such construction". D. K.
Este Fisher, Jr. presented the
statement, March 14, the text of
which follows:
Committee on Education and
Labor--U. S. Senate
Honorable James E. Murray,
Gentlemen :
The American Institute of Ar-
chitects, through its Board of Di-

rectors and its Committee on Hos.
pitalization and Public Health, is
strongly in favor of the basic ob-
jectives proposed to be attained by
the passage of the bill S.191.
The American Institute of Ar-
chitects is the national society
founded in 1857, representing the
professional practicing architects
in the United States. Our mem-
bership of about 5000 includes the
great majority of active practi-
tioners, and, through our affiliated
State Societies includes an addi-
tional large number. of registered
architects and employees. Among
these technically trained men are
most of the experienced hospital
designers who have been and will,
no doubt, continue to be responsi-
ble for practically all civilian hos-
pital construction in this country.
It may be said that our appear-

MAY, 194s


A. I. A. Statement on Bill S. 191


\9~ B

~?h /8~~ ~-
IL lle f'r,,
..........._~._ ;., ,:.2-~:~ .aL;,.~: ..~~:, ~ ;-ly U-~

-c~z~e sc~Pe i.
,, 18~: C8'lo IgI~~I~DIYOolq~8

3tretg t~ect~tua ~itecorb

Vol. XXII PIL 9X.N.4

g8~ 4 '" it is nuw\ somewhai'; t OVer fift\. years
Ssinice thle late Richard 11~. Hu~nt entered T
the Fan~s T-ecole des b~eaux-Arts, ur~e test
of theT lone u of American students~ of
architecture wvh :i sou ht the dis-
ilne and insprain nmfee htin
ospitable iis~titution. For a lullf-cen-
tury the stream ot Ame;i ~ nirican s~~tudnts
into the E~cole hias continued in inlcreas-
ing numbers, and through thiem thle Paris
school hans b~com~e a pot11ent influence on
Amerii-an architecture. Wehe hs
has been1, on thle whiole, a salutary intu-
ence in thie past, is so now, or w\ill be
in the future, are questions which are
being asked with~ increasing frequency
and receiv-ing diver-s aniswers from dif-
ferent sources. Thie first of thlese three
questions is chiefly~ historical; thle sec-
and demands a1 critical estimate of con-
tem~porary tendeincies; the thlird is a v-ery
practical and3 personal question for many
a parent and many7 a student, for it ii-
volves thle problems of the most desirable
architectural ed!--ation and of the: dis-
posal of several of the moist critical years
of a young rnan's life, Perhaojs the

oplinious of an old-tirnle Beauxl-Arts stu-
dient (1878-81), whose active life for
tw~enty-fivee years has bieen chiefly de-
voted to this problems as a teacher of
architecture, m:ay b~e of some interest to
r-eaders of the ARlClrITECTURAi~,, L RECOKm.

So far as thee p~ast is coccrned, the
ue ilnserican ar hltctrureo:i
i-enich ta arngr
fTe Civ-il Wi:ar, andr the ten years
each preceding and following it,
our architecture w~as floundering in
the lowest depths of tastelessnless
andl artistic pover-ty. There were
fecw educated architects; the popu-
lar standards wer-e alniost grotesquely
inartistic, and! really- fine architecture
wvas nearly as impossible to execute as
ulnlikely to be a~pprecciated. A~ few brave
sa~Jls -wevercer strivitw, ux the-
tace of these conditions. to raise t ae
stadadsot: publl tastc andi of-
;nie rotession,, by ?ine qua~ltv ox their
Sowin w~orkl as well as by) the-ir t~ratrngi
oiL voulve nun.I in; lierth~ e !o

des Beaux-.Arts

This article is the second of a series beginning in thle ishsue of Novembecr, 1n000 and
dealing witlh the influence which the, P'aris School of Fine Arts has uxerted in the United

artcl, reas issuject frmtesa oint of n practicnng architect, and in its direct
influence ~onA~mericatn architcture, the author of the precsent article assumues a scholastic
position whichl his experience as a tochellr of architectural subljects and as a dlirector of
architecturall Instruction quanlities himl emninently to assume.
11anly of our architect-readlers w\ill, no doubt, [all in w~ith Professor Havmlin's ideas
and sympatlhlze with hiis attitude, while as manny more w~ill hold other views. W~e trust
thart all our readers, no~t only thec architects, wjll takeR some0 measu~lre of interest in 8,
subject the object lessonls of wvhich are r.~r before thec public.-EU .Ms.n

(1o1.)ri1ht, 1989,l by '(Tax AncurrKcTURRt ItaconoD CoatPANT." All rIghts TRreserve
Entered 1sy 22, 190)2, as second-clars m1tter, Polt Onlce at New York, N Y., Act of Congreen of M sch 31, 199).

lg56 ~?54 ~PI~~LUh?-t~C, ~L qui~'
~f~CldlQ cdn I~f4cLu.X)tLd;;

1610 -

r 9c~
IgejE~, r:

T~he Influence of thie ]Ecole

On ur Archiitectural E~ducation

the firedl w\ith the en~thusiasm~ of their

Richardlson and W2. R;. War and all

Rcardson for thie edlucational wrork
they carried onl in7 their offices, as wecll as
for their professional achievements in
practice; Mir. Ware for the organization
of the eal;;rhet meicn coo a aci.
itectur~e~l te ~assach~usets
nolo uv m .*los~l Until the
beginning of tie greatr revival whlich
dates fromn 1876, these three were like
"voices crying in the wilderness,"' but in
the following years their labors began to
bear fruit, and thley became acknow]-
edged leaders in, the movement. By
18So there were constanltly a dozen or
fifteen Americans in the Ecole at Paris;
there wvere in our own country three
schools of architecture, wvith a fourth
about to be openedl in Columbia Univer-
sity;. scores of~ A-mericani students re-
turned fromn Paris were Ijracticing for
themselves or helping to build up the
reput-ation of great offices in which they
wVorkied. In7 all the schools, Paris-trained
men were in demand as instructors, and
an7 entirely~ new standard andi style of
.draftsmnanship and designn were being
established in thec profession.

I/ The contribution of Paris to our ar-ch-

in at that timec unata,
ave us slna ~
biS: t i gent u ar cncts new
idecas of monumecnnta platinmg~ annd corn-
,rosition. .ti adnwt elz e
over y of ideals formlerly prevailing
even in the offices, the general lack of
broad and monum~ental conceptions, both
in thle planning andi inl the interior comn-
position of our buildings, to say noth-
ing of the poor andl flimsy construction
then tolerated and of thle uninspiredl
mechannical draftsmaniship with which
the architects' designs w~ere presented.
It is almost wholly due to thle direct and
*Professor Wanre was not hnsellf a student in t e
Beaux--Arts, but be w-as a pupill of H~unt's na nd base
hl w-otriftirc of the noston school larg~ely on the
nj ol I usje in 18 I sh he was familiar with


indirect iintuence of thle Paris school that
wc h~av~e emerged from the shadows of
those dark ages, and~ that our architec-
ture hlas taklen on a character of straighit-
forwvard design and rational andi often
artistic planning and comiposition, un-
know~n thlirty years ago.
During this period there wvas ver-y
little diirect copying or imitation of
F~rench m~odlels. Tlhe foreign influence
wvas icit kess in thle types and deta~ils of
Ami~erican builidingse thann in a newl sirit,
new standards and ideals. It would be
difficult to narne a building of MIr.
H-unt's whiich betrays any notable anal-
ogies to Ecole types. Even hiis fine
ndio-greec Lenox Libr-ary is a strongly
individual design1. Mr. Rtichardsonl
abandned Rnaissance miotifs o th
R~omanesque very early in hiis career.
B~ut as the number of Paris-trainedd
architects andi draftsmen increased
andt as thle constantly sweClling~ tidie
of travel t-o E~ulrope andi the m~ultipli-
cation of periodicals and illustrations
madnte our- ipeopie rn-ore and more familiar
w\ith~ the foreign masterpieces of archi-
tecture, it w~as inevitable th~at thle
P'arisianl influence should extend itself
to the dletails, and( perceptibly modify thec
types of our public arch~itecture. Mlore-
ovecr, thie Ecole~ had fuirnished the model
uPon1 whlichl all our American schools
were sh~aping~ the teaching of design, anid
in a majority of' cases for the last: twenty
\.ears andi m-ore th-e instructors in design
in~ these schools hlave been Paris-tranined
men, andc- in mnynn instances Frenchm:ie n.
W\hen wec atld to these intuences that of
thle mnniy ateliers in widely separated
cities, or~ganiized under th~e auspices of
thle Society of Deaux-Art-s Ar\chitects,
dulring thle last fourteen years, wve see
an array of augen-cies for disseminati lgr
F~rench idleas and methods which abun-
dantly expjlains their present vague.

Whether th~is influence is at present
salutary' or thle reverse is our second
question. H-ow far is it based on solid
merit andi how far on superficial appear-
allccs ann fCtitious excellences ? And
(10- thle merits of the French system out-
nVcig i tS riefectS~ It Imust b~e borne


in mind that the teaching of thec Paris decnt's eyecs to the artistjc factors and
school hlas not alwaYs beenl unifor-mlll an ossib~iliies of theC problem~1. It aLccus-
unchlangi ng, either in its contirollinlg tons him~ to thinkling of th~e building as
ideas or its details. A~rt in Friance hias an artistic unit., as primarily and always
been too vital to resist th-e influences a w~ork of art~, a1 object of artistic design
of progress or eveni of prevailing falsh- in plan, comp;ositiion and detail.
ionls. But it has always rested upon a It isn dut. these qualities in the
solid basis of accumulated experience Pai..t.1.hn vhici
and tradition which has grown~ up since ed American students. Th here
the founding of the school under Louis ot: Amerlcanl city nte is not art stic.
XIV. This solid structure of crystal- L rict netimnn os
lized experience hias sefneme to many tio~ns in nearly all public enterprises. The
too inert for real efficiency, and its ten- whole pressure of our feverish material
dlency has, no doubt, always becen toward activity tends to crush 'out the vital
conservatism. Flor this veory reason, sparks of imagination, and to relegate
w-hile its methods andi details hanve variedl beauty to, the lowest place among the
fromu time to time, it has on the whole factors of design; witness the.:1ack of
successfully resisted the vaganries, fadis dlecorative sculpture and of imaginative
and novelties which so often tempt the mnural deconration in our architecture gen-
educator from thec safer paths of dis- erally. In the Paris school the Amerii-
cipline into wiasteful and~ unhappy exper- can studentlt brea\thes a different atmos-
iments. Originality anid innovation be- pher~e, aesthetically exhilarating and illu-
long to the designer's maturity; the dis- minating.. W'hen hie returns, the ma-
cipline most needled by the student is trial considerations im7pose themselves
in the fundamentals of architectural upon himn as before, but they wveigh less
conception and expression; and thle tra- hecavily- upon himi. If he hias really profited
dition7s of thie Paris school have always by his so~journl ab~roadl, imnagination and a
tended to curb his eccentricities and to mnore hiighly artistic taste will assert
teach him to do wdl- and thoroug~hlyy thle themselves in all his future wvork.e
accepted alnd established thing~. This is Incidental, moreover, to this discipline
clc function of the "plan type" and thle are other factors of great importance.
''parti type" of so many- of thle familiar Thie French have a peculiar skiill in the
problems given out. The fundamentally sort of suggestive criticism which the
importance of the plan is always sse student Ineeds; a quick perception both of
ujion; compositon is L exte aboe e- faults andr merits, an incisive. manner of
tal;te presentation orrendenn;rr is statciement, wh~ich~ are very stim7ulating..
accor mn o nc es The atelier traditionss of mutual help be-
andj trait~ons. The student is mlade a~ Twee1 the -lounger and colder s-tudef~its c
stud and re-study his dei rnin all its are valued by every on~e who has come
as ects, to dr-aw and lre-dr-aw c~on~stanny under- them, at least In ni ounger day
revismsp t e desion1- >lansectin anc1 Equai~;lly vaaluable surely is the environ-
elev~ation being carried along more or ment of the student, surrounded as he
less together through~ all these rensions is by notable monuments of architecture
intedilyv crifcs nf 1 3 f ellow\-stu- an~d galleries filled with~ the masterpieces
entls as weI Tas the occasional criticisms of all thle ages. The hole city; is a
u e meon., t is rimarlliv the artistic museum, and within a few hours "TTl
consider-ations that are emphasized. It s fr-Tmre s of superb builinrs an-
~li;T~r-~m an d cent, mnechaeval a mdernl. Thie treas-
tradition, but a very salutary discipline ures of Rome and Ttaly, the cat ae ra s at
for the youngster. It has the qualities nooe e h wnes uc monuments
of its defects; it is not "pralctical" but of Spain~ and o~f Germany, m!ay be visit-~
artistic in its aim~s and spirit. It does ie.~tte csofa trin like that from
not encourage the study of mecchanical New Yoirk to Buffalo or Chicago.
an-d utilitarian details; that is perhaps unconscious eduat~i~o n o te tdYvr
its weakness. But it does openr the stu- plo inl ; a-jrt: o- s


te coscious training of thle atelier,
1 ese combmed~nci adv~antages qtute sfie
thle p~opularityr of the E~cole c
th A~merican students w\iie thle ta
cility and rear resource in drattsman- ~;;;

Aleeaccuire. accounts for thie demand e
whlichl alway\ s exists in teoinces wr 5-m
thie r services.
~l~it om ionIs change, and it hase now ~
become a pertinent question whether
whlat these young men have thius gained
abroad is really what is miost needed
here. Is the influence they b~ring to
bear upon our current archiitecture
whlolly an advantage- ? The1 answer is
niot as easy ~as wa3s tha~t to thie first qlues-
tion of the th~ree we have propounded.
in the first: place, there are now
in thle U~nited States five or six large
and important schools of archiite~-c
tur~e an~d three or four others: in
thec seconrid rankl~, besides a con-
siderab~le number of depanrtments giving
architectural instruction, in technical
schools undl other institutions. Tlo these
miust be atdded not only the very exten-
sive worke in design conducted by the
Society of Beaux-Arts Architects, ~ut
innumnerable evening classes in various
cities. Th-ere h~as thuis grown up in this
coun1try a vast apparatus for the .teach-
ing. of architecture to all g~rades and
clashes of students, from the office boy
to thle adlvancedl post-graduate. There is
no danger of su~chl~ a earth of dranftsmein,
possessed of at least anl elementary train-
ing!, as exisrted tw\enty-five years ago, nlor
is P'aris anly longer thle one place in tle
world where a really erticient and ar-
tistic training can be hadl. MToreover,
our architecture has ~undergolne an ex-
traordinary evolution--almnost a revo~lu-
tion-since the Centennial of 1876; ii-
deed, since thie Colubiahin Fanir at Chi-
cag~o. It has adlvanced along tw\o lines,
thiat of mnonumecntall planning anid com-
position, thankls largely to th~e earlier in-
fluences of the P~aris school and schiool-
m-en; and that of scientinc construction,
as a result of whlolly native Amecrican
initiative. Th1us w\e hanve been outg~rov-
ing the n~eed of absolute r-eliance on
Par-isian insp~iration on the onie hanl,
whilelc onl the other wve have been devejlop-

ing~ who:! ly new types for w~hich~ the tra;-
dlitionial F~rechll architecture h-as no an-
aicogues andc can furnish little suggestion
--at least little thant is really aIpprop~riate.
Now if thec hosts of returning Ecole
'men had been always able to distinguish
betwvee1n what is fundamentaln and what
is; superficial in their Panrisian ex-peri-
ences, there wvouldl be less question of the
value of their trainingr as a preparation
for Ameirican practice. But it w\ouldI
seemn that~ many1\ of themil hav~e been dazz-
zledd with a false glamnour, or bew-itched
by\ thec artistic jargoni andt cant of the.
ateliers, inito g~lorifyinig thie superficial
andi thec external, andi forgetting th~e
eter-nal and fundlcamenCtal principles whiich
giv-e wha~;tevecr is valuable to their foreign
training. Cocnfusedl and bewvildered by
thec lack; of correspiIondenclle between~ thle
ideanls of thec atelier and thle conditions
which herie confront them, such mnen
hiave w~ith little icimnto un-
loadecd upa heir operations anid
office b~uildinogs, theirr houses and
cha3pels andt stables, the stocks formis
of the atelier-. Anid the often uned-
ucatedl youiths whlose cleverness wVith
pen andl brush ha~s w~on themn mecn-
tions and1 medlals in B~eaux-Arts
comnpetitions inl our ow\ii cities, have imli--
tated and~ somectimecs surpassedl the for-
eign-trainedi me~n in thle adoption of the
Frenlc~h ar.chlitectura. l vern-lacular for thes
b~iltling~s thcy hiave diesignedl, "Car-
touchie ar..ii~chitetue"' has become~ a bv-
word int~l New YlorkI. Anld the very~ cle'-
ernecss of p~resentaltion, thle techniical skill
of <1ra~ftsinansh~ipl, the facility w\ith which
thiese: ormis are u~sed, help the vogue of
this mnistake~n art amlong~ the unicritical,
while thley dliscdcit at thle sam~e timec
suich elements as arer really sound in the
training of thiese ou~ng men, amngn1
those w\hol, with trucer taste discern the
hollow\ness of thiis architecturall trickery\.
Moreover, there hans been, whether
justly or niot, bu~t unmistak~ably growving~,
among the okller men11, including mnynl
whlo gratefully~ acknuowled ge the value of
their own'I Pris studies, a seeing thiat
thec Ecole is no longer wholly true to the
best of its oldl tradlitions. We are no
dloubt Inaturally laudatullres tem~poris acti,
or it mnay be, oni the other hand, that the


E~cole tr-ainino- seemsr to us less so~und
alnl It u1se -f ac, no t causee te
old way~\s were atter ~iin tist nnno
bultbecausethn melut. icu1 rL'n a Ic~rm TT
, than they -once werel~. W\e try\ to tak~e a
etacheilid niew\ mi judinTg both~ thec uld
anid the newv alik~e in I'aris andt inl the
United States, andi we believe thiat the
E~cole dlraftsmlanship, is to?-day! less thlor-
ough,! Icss careful andi situdied tha~n it
once wvas, and th~at the pursuit of .the new
hias to somc extenlt dliverted the Ecole
from thie pursuit of thec beautiful. This
may be a transition to better things
whiich shall be both new antd beautiful,
but even if it so be, thec present state of
thec Ecole training--its spir-it andt its
standardls--seem to us toi-day~ less fitted to
traini the youungS Americanris taste and
artistic habits for the special problems
of his professional career thann w\as for-
m~erly thec case. O~ur ow\n schiools do the
w~orki more efficien~tly- andl thtinlyt 1 inl al-
mnost all particulars. etil nal
thant relates to construction and practice,
acs well as to thle hlistory andl theocry of
the art, th~e teaching in oulr Ileading
schools is fully equail if not sup~eric lr to
thiat of the Ecole. I sa\ thiis w\ith full
recognition of th~e fact th~at Ju~lienl Gu~-
dect, the author of th~e famous treantise on
th~e Theory of A~rchitecture, still cleictrs
at the B~eauxs-Arts.~ Febclie as hie is, in
bis advan~ced years, his discourses on the
fundam~ental principles are stimulaing
andr sugge~- stive; but for Amrnl-ican sto~-
dlents wh~at hc h1as to say of the plannning
of theatres andcl libraries, hosp~itals and
schools and~ churches, is ejlheir so fir
rem~ovedl frods~ American ideas and p~rac-
tice or so far b~ehindl thiem aIs to b~e a
dectriment rather than an adv~antage to ,
the Amrcican,
The sam~e is, in the judgment of many
thioughtful men, trtic of the entire course
*Tlhis Inst~ Etatement wvill. I four, be conderl mned
a ankI:~l hclres y by theP th~~.ik-anld-llhiinln avr:\e s of
stdyinPais. t cruIL.linl r.Crent. exper(ieCeI1s are
vanlid rlidence in its- suppor~t. F'or somel yearsI paIt
lored in the Columbia UnlivePRity schol0O have bien
rloing their w~orkl in des~ipn in Pa'ris nteliers, uplon
iprogramn s cenlt out by thle Colulmbin\ Committer on
by he same juries which p~nes upon the wolrk~ *1 th
Mlorningside Heights students;. Thlese jnbr~,i are
complosed of the heads or apsociate directors5 of the
th~r~e Columb~in ateliers writh froml one o I lrthree
outsided" architects from downtown on l.. In
revery case, so fo\r as I knowv, every memli~~r atI the
jury bas been a Beaux-Arts man, so that there could

ilnr the diip~lain---that crowniing honorr
wh\lichi looms so large in the estimntiion

SIn''estigc; it is a passp~ort to governlment
cnipinyr,, and its value both in aI business
\\a! and~ socially is verp great.Iths
ofi course, no suchi signiticanlce hecre, anid
thle pre~stige ofI the pocstscriptlion Dllliprlch
far, /c gove~rnement!iro i is w\ith~ us var1iablie

student four to isi \cars of studyv
in~~I Pai i e has alreadyv taken at
four~I \.ear1s' course ini an Ame~~rican school
of architecture,, it means that h~e has dec-
\.otedl two. or three years of' his timi-e in~
i'aris mercely to repeating w\hat he ha3s
alreadyl gone ovecr in the Amecrican
schoi-ol; andi thiat. ofi the remainningr two.i
or three years the g-rea~ter part is dlevoted
to, the sttule\ oft mthodl s ofi con~-
structio~n andl practice whll far-
cign to ou~r s!-stems, and~ thec rest
tlr advlancedl w\orkl in decsignl whlichi
cnlstitutes thle ol rel valuablei

evenl thiis adva;n~cd wuirk- inl design~ might

school. AH\I the ilarger schools of this
co-untry- are perfectly we-ll eqluipped for
sulch post-gr-aduaite work,l in decsign, and
techcl it in th~e ju;dgmnlnt of many quite
as w\ell as it is dione in P'aris.*l
Coming. theni to thie third and last
ofi our qluestions, tha~t as to the future
va uc of the F~rench: mtheunce and tramn-
me,~ my own-1 comart uan us ~-c e vn mw
r-erent crexpeiece arc a~llyn i strengthenedr r

traningn is co~ncernedf th~e Amelrican
schanii s are io~ingill and ill in thle fulturle
corntinuecii to o, bectterln- and ore efticie~t

hath as to druign ni' d pIl'r iientaionii anI hlap rank e~d
It onl the avcragep hohaw~ the wrorki of thel students in

fu~rthelr enlnflirm thle virdicii of thle junes reeriredl
rti. I do not care to atlinh tool much impol~rtance to
thet~e r~eults, butl I thinklj they' tenld tol disprlove( thell
CupeFritiion. fondedrF. upon1I con1ditionS thatl have'
I~passe away. thant ther teanchinf of dcpir n in Paris is
so greatyI LIuperior to our1 Owni als to tw worth the
smerifice~ of fourl or five` prec~iouis years oRef th: e stu
drinl's life after gradluation from teAeia


school is dloingn or canl do in ;1ll tha~t re-
lates~ to thle hiistory, thcory-, scieclle aind
practice of thle profession. Wh~ly should
they! nlot ? Theiy have adiop~tel from the
Fre~nchi school all thiat hias b~een fo~und
in its mlethlods to b~e best 11tted for Ameri-
cani conditions; they~ have added to these
thie accumnulatedd results of Amer-ican ex-
per'ince and thec best of Amnerican
methilods; thiey are oiliicered by teachers
thlo:oughlly trained and full of devotion
andi enthuisiasmi; they are for thec most
part admlirably housed and equipped,
andl they naturally appreciate A~merican
requirements anid conditionlsas the
Frnch~cl school andc techerlcls can never do. c
Se~conldly, even inl thle ileki of decsign
thle Amenrica n feachlingr is niow ful\ on 1
a paLr w\ithl the F~renchl, and~ mu~t inl tle
future become increasingly! welcl adlapted
to thle special needs andl conditions of
Amenrica n practices, andt, so~ far forthi, bet-
ter for Amerlicans thann eveni the brilliant
F~renchi teaching. ~
Thlirdly, in the( natur-e of thiings Amneri-
can architecture cannot and shlouldl nit
conitiniu to be dcpendent upon F-rench
ideas, taste, or training~r. OuLrs is; astrong ~
and prog-ressive art, capablec of iendiing
on its owvn feet and of developing its
ow~n ideanls, its ow\n practitionlers and its
owcn training. Th'ie gI:alpor of F~rech C
artistic pre-em1~inence, real as tha~t pire-
emninenice has beecn andt still is inl many
fields, has te~ndedl, in thle judigmntcl of
mnany to k~eep urll art too long~$ inl Icad~ing r

to I1lumper free andt normal dev-elopmant
ailongb thle lines of Americrian thiougjt and
taste. sarslmcho ractc-
ture, evenci whncl exccelcntly planned~l3 and I
admnirably\ andl scientiically~ construicted.
mlasqueradel s ini a dlress essentially~ iir-
eign aund exotic. 1 em om ih
timie to break31 thCse lea~ding~:-Str~ings,5 and
to dlevelop our ar~chitecturec, as: our. en-
gineers have' deveclopedl their engineer-
ing, inidepeiil ndentl of any foreign pra;c-
tice or forecign1 fsioiillns.
F~ourrtihiy, for such A~mericains as cln
afford~ to dvtl'le three 71 o cr fr yearlls to

atingn froml a fir~st-class Americani school
of architecture, tw\o years of Parisian

ael~ieLr work on advanced problems fol-
lowedcc by one or two years of European
travelc~ anid studyq-including- if' possible a
fuill yefar in Italy or in Italy and Greec~--
pr]ov:ide a far broader, safer and more
p'ofiltable dlisciplinie thian thle samec length~
of timeC dev~oted to study in: the Ecole,
whether ; r for thle dipidinle or not, wvith
melrely incidental short sight-seeing and
skectch~ing trips between the problems. In
tw\o years, perhaps even in one, an
Amlericanl gr~aduate can get all1 that is
Iiest w\orthi while ini the P'arisian training
-ijts canianraderic,, its artistic: spirit, its
enlvironment, the FIrench point of view--
w\ithout b~eingr carried awVay by the~ ficti-
tious andt miisleading anffe~ctation of ar-
tistic s~r-iousle~ss whlich~ in timne sduces
thec jud.gmient o'f thec miost sensible Am~er-
icaulnit a ;ndmkes hiim believe that the con-
tinuedi solution of French Ecole problems
is the one only path to architectural sal-
vation andc thle hope of future -lory~-). It
is a 1'1easant inlfatuation, froml which it
takes yea;rs to recover; but it is an infat-
nationi contrary to realson, for it elevates
thle atelier problems into a rank as discip-
line fur Amierican architects superior to
thec di-ci~linie of actual struggle wvithi
Amercanproblems under Amnerican
condilins. Al th~at is fundamental,
thie Grou"nd-conceptions of art anid logic
thlat ulderlie e thle best F~rench techciing,
anI initell~igent American graduate sought
to manster in a yeCar'S w\ork inl the atelier.
It is in myi! judlgment a sad waste of timne
arnd strength for American graduates to
spendlc the better part.' of a year in trying
to "make"' thc E~cole, reviewvingS celemen-
tar! subjects` in whiich they were examl-
ined~ four~l or- fiv'e !ear~s agon~e ; and then~
spending~ precious months on "ana;11lyi-
clues" andl order-p~robliems suchl as th~ey
hiave already\ ha3d their fill of in thle early
!:ears of their Amiericani .schiooling; at
last, at thie end ofi two or three years
makingng' the F~irst Class, to begSin on
probllemis like those of their four-tth yar
;it the hiome school; and finally retirni-
ing w\ithi their p~rcious dlipl~lmes to be-
gin~ office w\ork; ninle or' tenl years from
theC timec they:\ first enltered on1 th~ir ;rrchi-
te~ctu~all studies. Thle fruit is hardly
w\orth1 thle cost of its raiisingr; Ic jcul neL
ncaut fas la? chandeIl'l.


ful realization of th~e great decbt wve owe
to the E~cole; w~ith full appreciation of
thle excllence of its metchods, of its hiighi
idealsj, andi of its admiraiible perlonnanlce,
Thle mninor fads whiich? prevail in it from
timne to tim~e, thec recipes andi formulae
of thiis or- tha; alclier, ;,ro
cesses" andt infll~ible systems~ for solving
alli problems. these ou lnot disturb, my! ad-
miiration for its splenldid achieivemntsn
andii for whlat is sound a nd true in; its tra-
tlitions and-. its ideals. They~ are only the
froth upon its dleeper currecnts. BUit
I believe wn have outgrown our
diependecnce upon it, andt that w~ith
;;ur present ~civiizlizatio, culture and
edlucational resources, w\e shall pre-
senlt an anstonishing spectacle to the
w\orld if w\e continue to send; ever\
Iyea;r scoresct of graduat~ne students to lay
on the Elcole shrine thie oji'ering~ of four
or fiv~e of their b~est y~ears. The tidec that
once rolled fromn Am:erica to thec German
nivercisitic s hlas dwl\indled to almosst nothi-
ing. I foresee a day in th~e near future
wheiln Am:~ericani gr-aduiates in- arch~itec-
turec w\ill cease frequeniting the courts
nod~t halls of thie Par-is Ecolc. iuNay, 1
tar-e to forc~ast ther corning of'; a dy in
thei future, not too iar- cistann, whenc
Fre-nch students will comc to~ Am~erica to
studyl! ar-chitecture. seeking fre~sh inspira-n
tioin, a new point of view\, a new\~ enth~u-
slasm~, in the~ study ofi ain architecture as
verlec, as -fresh andi indep~i~enden in~ its
ideaxs as the American people itself. Thle
so~nner w e em~ancipate our art from~ de-
pcndcnce upon Paris thle sooner w~ill that
dayi coime.A.DF.H mln


:a!, I woauld go further. Iwu
even question at thle outset thle necessity
or- wiisdomn of going to Par~1is at all to
studyv, except as a pa~rt of a schemei of
traviel-studyv coveriing all the greaC t arcli-
tectural ceniers. ?I thle student must
enite- ani atelier, let himn- do it for thle p~ur-
pose of broadening~ his culturec by! a
vecnr's work under foreign muasters and i
according to foreign methodls. Then let
him~l go to R~om n d NIil~ orthern Ita~ly), the
centers from wh~lich, in thec early middle
ages andi again in thle Renniissance,
flowecd the streamsi of influence wh!ich
heilped makei thle gr-eat arch~itectur~e of
Western Euro~pe. Let hliml vjSit Can~-
stanninople and see for himiiself the
granidest interior ever erecled for relig-
ions wonrship. Let himi visit thle Mledit-,
crraneanl countrries, andi the great mleiic-
val cathedrals, or study\ the w~ork~ of m~ol-
ern~ architects in Gecrm:any andi E~~~ng~lan
A year thus spent after a \ear in Paris
--tw~o years in all-wo~uld furnish a
splendid education of the greatest possj-
h~ic a:-tistic and cultural valu~e, broadcn-
in- anid not narrow-ing, as the F~lrech
atelier training too often pr-oves, and ti ,
Icss thanlI half theC COst, jln timel, of the
fivec or six years' gr-indi for thie 'ip-
13e believe if~ all ouir young
graduates w~ouild follow~ such a pro-
gram our nationlal architecture wvouh!
rap'idlyl develop a freshiness, a freedcom,
a self-reliantce and b~oldnecss of style and
expression w~hich~ it now greatl lacks,
andc wihich- decpendecnce on? Par-isian
modecls and straining can~ never giveC it.
I hanve w\rittenl thiis w-ithl full andi grate-

The poor Ecole des Beaux Arts has
been the cause of a great deal of writing
in America in the past few years. Criti-
cisms, complaints, denunciations are
heard everywhere. If an architect, too
skillful for his competitors, wins a com-
petition, it is the fault of the Ecole. That
the Renaissance, happening in the fif-
teenth and sixteenth centuries, super-
seded Gothic, which was old and no
more in harmony with the new ideas of
men of this period, is the- _fault of
the Ecole. That the generation of ar-
tists of the three following centuries
were so much in error as to keep on in
this way, following out the spirit of the
Renaissance, is the fault of the Ecole,
What difference does it make if these
artists did create masterpieces ? What dif-
ference does it make if they did have no
prejudices, and that, though they were
nearer the spirit of the thirteenth cen-
tury than we are, and still had the same
skilled workmen whichh we have no0t),
they nevertheless broke away from the
old forms of their own free will. They
were wrong, every onle of them--or so
it has been decided by the critics, who
without a doubt alone have a sane judg-
ment, the true artistic method, andi, I
hope, the way of using both of them.
Meanwhile the Ecole which is the
pretext for all the noise, looks e~lnlmy
over the river that reflects the Louvre,
the wrater-jet in the courtyard of the
Murier springs serenely from its ivy-
covered basin, and Poussin and Puget
stand calmly oblivious on either sidle of
the entrance gates. Amid these almost
cloistral surroundings the students go to
spend a few years of a new life, laugh,
become enthusiastic and start in every
direction to try in many different coun-
tries to put into lasting form their aspi-
rations and personal qualities-high, it
may be, or vulgar, ingenious or com-
The critics accuse; the Ecole does not
answer. Its function is to give to those

who ask for it the only thing a school
can give--a method of work. It makes
no effort to bring people to its classes;
it prints no advertisements, no circulars
filledl with promises. Its purpose is not
to defend nor to promulgate anly special
theories. The right to teach is the
right of every one at the\-Ecole--pro-
vided, only, he can obtain a sufficient
number of followers. And he may teach
what he pleases. A newcomer may open
an at~elier to teach Oceanian or Roman-
esqlue, or be a fanatic in Art Nouveap
or Tudor--the Ecole does not object.
Hiis pupils have selected him, and are
following him because they want him,
andi only so long as they want him. It
is the most liberal organization I know.
It was an American who said, some
years ago, to one of the professors of
the school: "What differentiates your
school from those I saw in Italy, in
England and in Austria, is its complete
liberalism, the way in which a pupil
here is treated as a man--as a man who
has the right to select his own master,
to choose his own artistic way."
Fifty years ago, at the time of the
reaction in favor of the Middle Ages,
due mostly to the deep researches of
Lassus, Viollet le Due and others, in-
fluential people tried to diminish this
liberty by creating a regular course
in esthetics, with examinlationls--that
is, to impose on all students a certain
appreciation of beauty. The professor
selected for this chair was Viollet le
Duc--whose ideas on modern architec-
ture, while excellent for a few, were
very bad for the majority. As the pu-
pils of the Beaux Arts are between
twenty and thirty years of age, they are
no longer schoolboys; and the most of
them have the necessary culture to ad-
mire what is worth admiring without
being told when to admire. There was
a sort of revolution, the Government
gave way, and only those who wanted to,
took the examination in esthetics. Since

The Ecole Des Beaux Arts: WNhat Its.

Architectural Teaching Means


then every course, apart from the scien-
tific and technical courses, is optional-
and the student does not have to sub-
scribe blindly to any formulae.
To discuss the methods of the -Ecole
is,- then, a task as endless as the one of
the Danaids. The professors are many,
and when one dies or retires his place is
taken by a younger man with very dif-
ferent ideas. The principles of the
Ecole are really those of contemporary
French architecture. The professors
are nothing more than architects follow-
ing honestly their profession, with vary-
ing success. The only point in common
between them is devotion to their art
and to their teachinlg-which is not for
them a profession.
As for the pupils, their object in life
is not, as my contemporary, Mr. Barney
believes,* to obtain the Prix de Rome.
It is to become more proficient in their
profession. But those who obtain the
Prix de Rome (who are said with some
disdain to have simllPy proved that they
are past masters in scholastic theories
and able to teach them to others) are
first of all architects, some of whom
have built in France buildings whose
perfection of study, care in construction
and perfect adaptation to modern needs
have made them the types of Nineteenth
Century Architecture.
We are too near to give recognition to
men like Labrouste, Duc, Coquart or
Vaudremer; or, rather, most writers on
art have not the necessary clearness of
mind to appreciate what makes an archi*
tectural work a masterpiece, but are
Largely influenced by the opinions of
other people, whiCh they simply adopt as
tr~ue. That is of small importance; papers
do not prevail against monuments, and
artistic criticism is the most ridiculous
thing to read fifty years afterward.
That'there is a French influence in
modern American architecture is true
beyond a doubt. The influence does not
date back for the last decade, as Mr.
Barney has said, but has been apparent
for thirty years at least--to say nothing
of the first influence, too rapidly
checked, which procduced the plan of the
*See Mr. Barney's article in thle November, 1907,

city of Washington, and inspired some
southern buildings.
Mr. Barney seems to wonder that the
importation was made without a protest
from the general public. "If anyone had
attempted to import the railroad system
from France, or the banking system, the
thing would not have passed so easily.
Is it not, then, time to stop and con-
sider ?" he asks. Yes, but the importa-
tion of French architecture came about
because there was a need for it. There
would be no point in importing the
F~rench railroad system, when the Amer-
ican system, which developed simulta-
neously with it, is perfectly adjusted to
Amnerican needs and ideas. But in ar-
chitecture there is something more in
France than in America. The simple
fact that it has been brought in without
a single protest from the general public,
as Mr. Barney recognizes, is proof
enough that the general public could not
get along without it.
At the same time the United States
was importmng formal architecture from
France, they were borrowing domestic
architecture from England--which is a
new proof of what is somewhat compul-
sory, that in these importations a nation
goes in different ways to different coun-
tries to brirgr back what it wants.
It is remarkable to one who does not
satisfy himself with a superficial study
of art to see how a power greater than
the reason of the individual seems to
regulate these transactions--to see how
in the Sixteenth century France bor-
rowed from Italy what it needed to re-
juvenate its art--and that without abdi-
cating the smallest portion of her na-
tional originality; for I do not believe
that anyone conversant with these qlues-
tions canl find a similarity between the
French Renaissance and the Italian
other than in mere detail or ornamenta-
At thle origin of everyart there is a for-
eigrn influenlce-no art is national from
its beginning. I would be ashamed to
write so evident a truth if I had had no
opportunity to read monthly dissertations
in which it seems to be ignored. The
G~reek architecture was borrowed, the
Roman architecture, the Gothic--but that


takes nothing from their glory, which is
to have assimilated heterogeneous ele-
ments and to have wrought them into
a harmonious whole. .
In my window this winter I had somne
tulip bulbs from which I was expecting
an abundant bloomn of flowers with the
first March sun. The green stems came
.up, but when they reached their full dle-
velopment, the buds did not open. Like a
poor gardener I had forgotten to let the
bulbs stay in the shade to delay their
opening and give the roots time to ac-
complish their work underground, in or-
der that the plant might later on have
the necessary strength to bloom. I ask my
contemporary not to do as I did. Rememn-
her that from having broken too soon
the artistic intercourse with Europe,
American architects killed Colonial arch-
itecture which was so full of promise,
They are at work again, accumulating
material from France, England and
Italy. The assimilation is going on, tle
bloom cannot be far off--but you mnust
be patient. Fifty years for the forma.
tion of an art does not correspond to
five years in the life of a man; and he
does not show very strong personality
when he is but five years old.
And neither Mlr. Barney nor I can
change these laws, which are deeper than
the human will. Nobody imposed French
architecture on the United States. It
was of their own free will that hun
dreds of Americans went to Paris and
that thousands more took their inspira-
tion from th~e ideas they brought back.
Were all these men fools ?
What were they looking for in France ?
and what did they bring back ? Docu
ments* would have answered the purpose
--besides which the importation of
forms comes as largely from Italy and
England as from France. Then it must
have been something more. It was
composition and design. The methods
now in use all over the United States in
the universities, by means of which
those who have something to say are en_
abled to say it clearly, are those of
the Ecole. It is there that the real
French influence is found. The science
*In the architectural sense of anything from
which one can "Lcrib."

of design is not all that is requisite to
the professional man, but it is essential
to him in order to make himself clear.
'The more important the subject the
more is felt the need of design. But
even in a cottage, where a little taste, a
little common sense, a little originality
and a sense of the picturesque are
enough to create a charming piece of
work, these same qualities, unless ac-
companied by the science of design, re-
sult only in disorder, lack of dignity and
in a building which is practically bad.
This quality of clearness--the science
of harmonious results necessary to de-
sign--where could it be better studied
than in France ? Where could be found
a group of menl of equal culture and
with the same willingness to give up
their time, where could be shown, so
complete a set of representative buildings
as in Paris ? There is no modern program
that has not there an excellent transla-
t-ion. Other cities have more beautiful
work, or a more complete ensemble of
monuments of a certain period, but
Paris can show types of all periods--
which includes the best existing group
of modern buildings, theatres, railroad
stations, markets, prisons, libraries and
The Ecole develops in an admirable
way the study of design, respect for the
program and the research of a special
character proper for each kind of build-
ing. It is as a result of this that in
merely looking at a building designed
under such principles, one knows imme-
diately its purpose, simply because its
plan and elevation correspond to its
needs, and it is executed throughout
with a respect for artistic truth. The
comparison of architecture to-day in the
United States with that of twenty years
ago shows clearly to every fair-mmnded
manl the salutary results achieved by
French training for American students.
The greater part of my contempo-
rary's paper was devoted to ridiculing
the method by which design is taught.
It will seem strange to the reader that
such childish methods as he describes
should result in the beautiful work they
have admired. Here is the reason for
this contradiction:


by his companions in Paris, in saying
there is such~ a series of formulae. In
the school problems there is such a con-
stant change that it would soon outgrow
any set of formulae. One may notice
in the book of competitions for the Prix
de Rome, which dates as far back as
1797, a change every ten years corre-
sponding to the change in the art of the
It is not the Ecole which creates the
architecture of Europe. It is the Qrchi-
tects. The students are only pupils fol-
lowing the impulse given by the masters.
A great mistake in America has been to
take as types the work of students.
Whereas the French are more critical
and have realized. so thoroughly the im-
maturity of such work that they apply
the term "school architecture" to all
productions which have good qualities
but are undeveloped. It is fair to say
that no man produces an architectural
work that is representative of himself
before he is forty. The complexity of
architectural study is responsible for
this, and it is only wvhen the different
parts of the profession have been mas-
tered that real work can be accom-
"The students in the school are
taught to plan too mucht with their eyes."
says Mr. Barney. Others are planning
too mu71ch with figures, and of the two
excesses I prefer for young men the
first. Practical requirements will soon
enough cut the wings of his dreams, but
something will remain. It is necessary
at one period of every man's life that he
shall h~elieve that thle object of architec-
ture is to produce beautiful things.
Those who, during their youth, had only
in mind four-foot lightwells instead of
Boboli gardens wi'1 not in the end do
better architecture--even for lightwells.
There are other sweeping accusations
in r. arey' pper. One of these is
thle elasticity of teSho rgas
have often seen in the United States
and elsewhere competition prograins of
fifty or a hundred pages, which one had
to study for three weeks before starting
to design. Now, if one admits that a
student can learn how to design by do-
ing one problems a year, let him have

Hle speaks of the danger to American
students of getting in Pfaris simply tor-
mulae devoid of sense, and a stock of
atelier slang instead of French methods
of thought. H-e adds, "Discredit has been
thrown on the Ecole des Beaux-Arts by
such men who, through ignorance, did
not catch the spirit of tne wonderful
training." It is too true. It is regretta-
ble that Mr. Barney, so far-seeing in
that, did not stop there, without going
on to give so striking a demonstration
that the spirit of the training had been
for him a dead letter; and that exter-
nal appearances alone and not purpose
and significance was all that he had
brought back from his foreign travel.
This is not a reproach. The duration
of his trip and the way he made it, at
an age, as well, when the habit of
thought is crystallized and not easily
modified, made it impossible for him to
see anything but superficial customs.
He had then to come back deceived,
and, not being the sort of man to be sat-
isfied with this empty food, he felt it his
duty to proclaim the failure of French
methods--when it was really the failure
of h7is own attempt to assimilate them.
Where he saw a "meaningless per-
formance" in the spinning of lines, cir-
cles and grey tones which were to be-
come a plan, he could not see that it was
the work of the brain directing it. He
was looking at the movement of the
fingers, believing in goodl faith that in
this were all the methods of design. Of
course, he asked the reason; andl as it
is sometimes difficult to tell why we do
Sone thing more than another, on account
of t~he complication of things thlt deter-
miries our choice, he was answered with
one of those ready-made sentences, the
sort of professional slang that the stu-
dents of-the Ecole, or some of them, like
to use, because they are short and
often avoid long explanations. These
Mr. Barney promoted to the rank of
canon, of magic formulae, permitting :
anyone, professional or layman, to des-
sign. "while yiou wait." anything from
a bishop's residence to a railroad station
in a Chinese town.
My contemnporary is witty enough not
to take offense at the joke played on him


such programs--with all survey inform-
ation, climatic changes, cost of building
and so on. If, on the other hand, one
believes it is necessary to have designed
much in order to design well, in the
samle way that one must have painted a
great deal to be a painter and that three
studies from life, ever so careful apd
complete, do not accomplish that, thle
objection is of no value.
H-e objects more than once to the
phraseology used by the Patrons in the
ateliers, which I am afraid he did nrot
fully understand. For instance, a state-
ment he takes exception to I discover to
be no more nor less than that the situa-
tion of a building should have a large
influence on the way it is planned--a
principle certainly true, if not very
If these formulae or means of ex-
pression were not in sympathy with Mr.
Barney's way of thinking and he was
going to Paris to study the methods of
the School, he should have looked for
these methods at the lectures or in the
book of the only manl who has authority
to give them out in the name of the
School. .Instead of noting without un-
derstanding them the sentences which
occur in the ateliers (that every intelli-
gent student knows to be only a sort of
cloak covering either results or ex-peri-
ments) and processes in presentation of
plan, which have no importance to any-
one but the newcomer--why did he not
read Guadet's book, "The Elements and
Theory of Architecture," which is the
only authorized document on the mod-
ern teaching in the Ecole in the last
fifty years. By simply reading the
chapter entitled "General Principles," he
would have seen that there is no need for
complicated words to express what we
have all been looking for .in the Ecole,
and the truths we have taken for a basis.
It would have been fairer, in writing of
the Ecole, to have taken anotations from
such a book, instead of relying on per-
sonal ,impressions, which are subject to
the same suspicion as memoirs to the
historian. He would have found that
what we try to do in making a beautiful

plan is not to make a picture. "You
must ~understand by a beautiful plan,"
writes Guadet, "a planl which allows and
is apt to give beautiful things, beautiful
interiors and beautiful facades. Yes,
there are beautiful plans--I find the ex-
pression perfectly legitimate--but in the
same way as there are beautiful books,
beautiful by what you can read in
them." This is quite different from what
M~r. Barney states to be the beautiful
plan in the Ecole. Whom are we to be-
lieve ? The superficial observer, or the
man who has been teaching- thirty years
in this school ?
Further on (page 134) Guadet sums
up the principles of design as he taught
them, and as the others--Pascal, Dau-
met, Laloux taught them to us:
"t. You must be faithful to your
program, be familiar, with it; and also
see correctly what is the character to be
kept in the building.
"2. The ground, location or climate
canl modify absolutely the expression of
a program.
"~3. All architectural composition
must be constructible. Every inconstruc-
tible scheme is absurd. Every scheme
of construction more difficult or compli-
cated than necessary is mediocre or bad.
"14. Truth is the first requirement
of architecture. Every architectural
untruth is inexcusable. If in some
cases one of these untruths is over-
looked on account of the ingenuity and
ability shown in the building, the im-
pression given, nevertheless, is of an in-
ferior art.
"~5. Effective strength is not suffi-
cient-it must also be apparent,
"6. Designs proceed by necessary
sacrifices. A design must be good first
of all, but it must also be beautiful. You
must compose then with a view both to
the utility and beauty of the building.
And, as an element of beauty, you will
try to obtain character by variety."
This is what I think to be the teaching
of the Ecole, and I believe that Ameri-
can architecture has made for progress
in following it.
Paul Cret.


1- Ernest Flagg- See biographical notes

2- Grace Church, New York City- Designed by James Renwick
Jr., Architect..Ernest Flagg's father was rector of this
church. It shows the architecture which surrounded Ernest
Flagg in his early years.

3- Trinty Church, New York City-Designed by Richard Upjohn
Architect. Mlr. Upjohn was also the Architect of the
residence in which the Flagg family lived (no photos
available). This is also an example of the architecture
that Flagg was exposed to.

4- Residence of Cornelius Vanderbilt-Designed by Richard
M. Hunt, Architect. Flagg's Cousin was married to
Cornelius Vanderbilt and visited this house in many
occasions & was also exposed to good residential design.

5- Living Room, Cornelius Vanderbilt Residence.

6- Ecole des Beaux Arts,`Paris, France- This is a slide of
the main building Called 'Palais des Beaux Arts "
This building occupies the site of an ancient convent.
Some of the buildings of this convent still exist. This
slide is taken from the first paper that Ernest Flagg
wrote in 1894 for the architectural record. This main
building was erected in 1838. When you arrive at the
site you are recieved by a principal court. In the
center of this court stands a Corinthian Column",
bearing a bronze statue. To the right of this court is
an ancient chapel of the convent used as an exhibition
hall. In front of the facade there is a monumental

The facade of the main building consists of a Corinthian
Arcade over the bold and rustic first floor and an attic
in which at the center there is a large tablet of color-
ed marble which bears the inscription;

Ecole Nationale et Speciale des Beaux Arts" and above
that waves the tricolor flag of France.

7- Once inside the building there is a large vestibule,
adorned with columns cast from the antique original.
Beyond the vestibule there is a court roofed with glass
and containing casts and two groups of columns, size
of the originals from the temple of Jupiter Stator at
Rome and the Parthenon at Athens.

8- Ecole des Beaux Arts, Courtyard at the library-This
courtyard is surrounded by marble statues and numerous
fragments from the time of the french revolution.

9- The interior of the library is a long gallery. On each
side of the vestibules are Corinthian Columns". The
ceiling is richly covered with woodwork and carved oak.
On the sides are busts of distinguished artists. Beyond
the gallery are the books which extend from floor to
ceiling. In the center of the room there is a long line
of desks, tables and cases in which there are placed
models of antique buildings.

10- This slide is a sketch of a student preparing a presenta-
tion at the school.

11- A sketch of the students getting ready to present their
projects at the school.

12- An instructor grading the different projects at the school.

As I mentioned earlier Ernest Flagg graduated from the
Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1880 and established practice
in New York. The following are some slides of his office.

13- Drafting Room.
14- Specification room..
15- Library and conference room.
16- Library and conference room.

17- Ernest Flagg was best known for his design of the Singer
Building located at 149 Broadway, New York City.The first
12 stories of the building was built in 1904 and was the
tallest building in the world for 18 months.

18- The building is L-shaped in plan and its structure was
of steel frame. The corners are almost solid masonry
covered with terra-cotta panels.

19- The two front fascades are of a glass curtain wall. The
glass is held in continuous rows of french glass doors.
Above the doors are glass transoms which later had been

20- This glass wall is recessed for protection from sun and
weather and is placed behind shallow balconies with wrought
iron railings and delicate iron posts.

21- The tower was added three years later and carries the
consistency in color, texture and roof form with the
building below. These principles in coherence and consis-
tency in design, Flagg learned at the Ecole des Beaux
Arts, in France.

22- The tower is composed of strong verticles, bound together
by horizontal band courses at different levels, culminat-
ing in limestone balconies, dormers and arches, all cap-
ped by a series of metal hip roof crestings and finally
the towering Lantern which is 60' high.

23- The lobby of the Singer building is a rich warm colored
marble edged with crisp bronze profiles. The columns
flow upward into ribs to carry pendentives which support
great glowing saucers of glass.

24- Another view of the Singer building.
25- Another view of the Singer building, Now demolished.

26- The Singer building at 561, Broadway, New York. The main
design problem of this building was to protect the steel
frame, provide all the light necessary in a commercial
building and to let the building tell its own story. The
Steel frame is covered with fire resistant _material ,held in
place by metal bands and straps. The opened spaces are
filled with glass.The rest of the building consists of
small terra-cotta panels. The upper surfaces of the cor-
nices and balconies were protected with iron plates and
the wrought-iron which supports the main cornice.

27, In an article written by HW.Desmond in the architectural
record of march 1904 he said the following:

This building is very novel, very ingenious and highly
thoughtful. Surely, no other Architect has ever so frankly
accepted the situation which the skyscrapper presents
and submitted it to so much real brain work.

28- The Singer Building, St. Petersburg,Russia-This building
faces the principal square of the city.It is about 100'
x 200' long and to be constructed of stone.The lower floors
is to be occupied as a showroom and the upper floors to be
used as offices.

29- The Bourne Building, Broadway, N.Y.C.- The cost of this
building was $ 500,000 and the materials are red brick
and Indiana limestone.

30- The Scribner Building, Fifth ave.,N.Y.C.-Built of Indiana
limestone. The front Marquise was the first of its kind
in the city and later copied by many Architects.

31- The Scribner Building, Fifth ave. N.Y.C.
32 -

Another of Ernest Flaggs most important commnisions was

the design of the buildings of United States Naval Academy,

at Annapolis,M~d.

33- General View of the Buildings- In the foreground is the
parade ground with a practice battery on the point.01d
Fort Severn on the parade ground to the right of the
center.The large central building facing the parade ground
is the Cadet Quarters.0n the right the Boat House and on
the left the Armory.All three buildings are connected
together by a colonnade.The central building is the Mess
Hall below and the Memorial Hall above. The building with
the tower is the Academic Building, to the left the Physics
and Chimistry Buidings. The Chapel is at the center right.

34- Cadet Quarters-( seen from the main entrance) This building
is to be built of Indiana limestone.Bronze doors with marble
steps leading to Memorial Hall.

35- Memorial Hall- Interior view. 150' long by 60' wide. The
walls are of Indiana limestone. The vault is of concrete
with relief work in stucco.

36- Armory Building-

37- Library -

38- Interior view of library-

39- Central Pavillion, Bancroft Ha~ll

40- The Chapel- The general plan of the building is a Greek
Cross, intersected by two circles. The inner one forming
the rotunda 60' in dia. The Chapel has a seating capacity
of about 1,000. Below the floor is a crypt to be used as
the resting place of naval heroes. It is constructed almost
entirely of granite.

41- St. Luke's Hospital, Cathedral Heights, N.Y.C.- Consisted
of ten pavillions in which five were built first and the
others to be added later. The basement is of granite, The
main dressing are of Georgia marble and the plain surfaces
of light brick. The roof are of red slate and copper.

4t2- St. Luke's Hospital- A view from Columbia University.

43- The Corcoran Art Gallery,Washington D.C.- Built of Georgia
marble almost entirely of glass with copper frames.The
building is overloo~in~g't~he grouni'Lds .oE.:f theWh~Tifte R:ouse and
it is about 206' long by 100' wide.

44- The Main Entrance Corcoran Art Gallery- Bronze Doors and
Bronze Screens on the windows.

45- Interior Stairway of the Corcoran Art Gallery- Made of
marble steps and large blocks and the sides are intended
for decoration and sculptures.

46.- View of the Central Statuary hall of the Corcoran Art
Gallery- The columns are of Indiana Limestone with skylights

47- Drawing of St. Margaret ]Memoriagl Hospital, Pittsburg,Pa.
Constructed of red brick and a light sandstone. The roof
are of red tiles.

48- Lawrence Library. Pepperell, Mass.- The central portion is
of limestone and the walls are of red brick. The cornices
and roof are of copper supported by wrought iron brackets.

49- Farmington Ave. Church, Hatford Conn.- Built of red bricks
laid with wide joints giving to the plain wall surface a very
pleasant and interesting appearance. Cornices are of wood,
the string courses are of marble and roofs are of red tile.

50- Interior view of the Farmington Ave. Church-The rotunda is
about 50' high and the vault is richly ornamented with relief
work. The woodwork is white enamel, trimmed with mahogany.

51- Rendering of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co.,
Hartford, Connecticut.- The old building is to the right
with two new upper stories. The old building is of granite
and the new building is to the left. It is constructed of
brick and limestone.

52- Apartments for the city and Suburban homes Co.,N.Y.C.
An improved housing council was organized in 1896 as a
preliminary to the establishment of a model tenement building
company. They sponsored a competition in which the first
prize was awarded to Ernest Flagg. The council had Required
that Architects submit plans for a 200' x 400' plot, typical
size for tenement buildings. Flagg instead, used 100'xl00'
lots as his standard unit.The building covered less of the
lot area with no sacrifice of income-producing space and it
allowed to cut down on the expenditure of materials used in
partitions, walls and corridors.There were eleven buildings
per group all built in 1898.at west 69th, street, N.Y.C.
They were constructed of light colored brick with limestone
dressing around doorways.

53- Mills house no.1, at Bleeckes st., N.Y.C.-Built of light
brick with trimImings of Indiana limestone. The cornice is
of copper with wrought iron brackets.

54- Dinning Room Mills House No. 1- The average price of a meal
was 10 to 15 cents. Room and board for 50 cents a day.

55- Mills House no. 2,Rivington st., N.Y.C.- Built in the same
materials as Mills House no.1.

56- Central Court Mills House no. 2.

57- Fire Engine House Great Jones street, N.Y.C. -
Built of Indiana limestone and red brick, Cornice is of
copper supported by wrought iron brackets.

58- Fire Engine House at 107th, street, N.Y.C.- It resembles
the Great Jones Fire House in design and construction
except that the brick is light yellow instead of red.

59- The Sheldon Library- Concord, New Hampshire -Built of
Concord granite with a red tile roof.

60- Rendering of the Washington State Capitol, Oly~t~mpiaashington
Constructed of local sandstone, and dome entirely of masonry.
This also was the result of a competition in which two hun-
dred Architects participated.

61- Y.M.C.A.

62- Automobile Club of America, New York -
63- "
64- "
65- Interior view Automobile Club of America.

66- Residence of Mr~s. Alfred Corning Clark, Riverside drive, N.Y.C.

67- Residence of R. ~Fulton Cutling,67th.st. and Madison ave.,N.Y.C.

68- Residence of Edwin Ginn, Winchester, Mass.

69- Residence of 0.J. Jennings, 72nd.st.,N.Y.C. built of Indiana

70- Residence of F.G. Bourne, Oakdale Long Island

71- Residence of Robert L.Burton, Wood-mere, L.I.

72- Proposed Naval Arch. for N.Y.C. This is a photograph of
the model and intended to serve as an entrance gateway to
the city. It was never built.

73- Soldiers Monument, New Britain, Connecticut.

74- Tomb ( Unknown owner )

75- Tomb of the Late Samuel J. Tildon, New Lebanon N.Y.

76- Bridge Design, Competition for the Brooklyn Bridge Which he
did not win.

77- Country House of Ernest Flagg. Dongan, Staten Island.

78- Country House of Ernest Flagg

79- Hallway Country House of Ernest Flagg

80- Living Room, Country House Ernest Flagg.

Miscellaneous Information:



AIr chi~fftectur bper or
VOL. XI APRIL, 1902 No. 3



H IE first buildling that brought Mlr. Fla~gg into promin~ence 4

in Newv York C~ity. R~oughly speakmgnS that is an affair of a
decade ago.
Rarely has an aIrchitect been so fortunlate as to mak~e hiis debut
upon so monumenltal a stage, andi a student of architectural his-
tory might b~e p~iquedt to inquire whether t-his unusual opportunity
was not merely- a gift of chance, wecre he niot stopped by! the archi-
tectural worth of thc b~uildina itself, andl by the rapid professional
successes that follow\edl it, w~on by- its author in a series of works,
which in volumec at least, represents a ma~rkedt achievementc even in
these dlays of b~ig "architcturarl p~l~n ts," a~ndl lrge "coutp~uts."
O~mittingf for a mnomncit thle "p~er-sonal factor-," the explanation
of both the initial opportunit and thie sub~sequent success is to
be foundl in the fact thatl Mlr. F~lagg b~rought to his task; a very

M~r. F~lag-g w\as ftc~-unate in tha~t he b~roug~ht that part cular train-

coterie of architects po~ssessedl of a pr1ofess anal eqlupimentsjm lar
to hiis owl-n mnln of thle Schiool" whose w~ork ini the beeinnine

h!igh commercial value.
Our architecture at that moment was in a tran~sitionlal condi-
tion. The "Romianesqlue Mov~ement" derived from Richardson.
was runnuing feebly to its imnpot-ent conclusion. It wras in its veryr
Copyright, 1902, by "Thle Architectural Record Co." All H~ights Reselred.
Entered as "Second-Clas Matter'" in the Pos~t Offle in New Y'ork. N. Y.

It 1

Sto li.

a vita
of cani


the va
I ecIe~i



arec 11
o~f thec
baissh a
if onec
bcecn s

i1i t stage. Fracuttito necrs wecre -1.n..1_1. to throw off thec heavy' E
archaic hlandw\\ writing thley- had so Ilaboriou~sly acqluired dlurinlg the
i'rced'ing~ decaded andt over, andi inl the ma~in were turning for
novclty to thec "classic" of Romlle and to the Rec Cnaissan~ce. It is in-
teres~ting now\\ from an historical point o~f view to sltudy designs like
thlat of I.nst's Hlavemeyrc luildling on Cortlandt t Street, or R. H.
Robel~rtso~n's (`orn1 Ex~changeC Bank, to See the newv tendency
andtheoldhabt truglig oe iththeothr.The~ new Neth-
crlandsl HIotel. the Aletropoclitan Te'leplhone Buitlding, th~e Mutual
Reserve IBuibtlii ng wre recently expre-ssionls of an expirinlg faith,
wheeasfro deign suh a thse f te lolveury Savinigs B~ank,
thle W\aldo~rf H otel, thle -;Ma~il andt Explress" I uildling~, thle Hleit-ter
residences, thle John Jacob A.stor residences, w\e ob~taini some idea
o~f the many11! dlir.Ctionsl inl wh.lich novelty wvas so~ught.
The coinditio~ns (7f modetlrn architectlure dlo no~t p~ermiit or at leas
tio niot fav\or a gene-all style andi the R~om~ancsqlue movement even
;It its hecight wa.;s signalizc~l It nt onlly by- thle numbers ofE its adlher- )
(nts~, but1 by! thle conltr~astingg a~chievemntcls of thle Ilonconlformuists. ?l a
lInt althioughl w\e cannot hiope for a co~nuno nly accep~tedl style, there *
is alw~ays oblservablle a Itendency townardls somec centre of design, ~C' ~
aInd inl the nearly nolties" w~hen M\r. F~laggf enteredl practice he P6
was~~ extremely\ fortunate in b~ringing with hliml thoUse particular
ar~chitectural idea;s that w\eri destin~ed inl th~e next ten~ years to
attract thie pro~cfessionl, catch the p~ublic eye andl become the basis
o~f th~e latest currentt sty.le."~ Others before MIr. F~lagg hadl en- c
joyedl the benefits of the Ecole dies Dcaux Airts training, but as wYas
theo caseC withl the eldecr Hulnlt andi with Riichlardso n this~ training
w\as mcrelyy their schoolingf, and in much of the worki of the
former andl in still mlore of the work o~f the latter. one might easily
misis all trace o~f the P'arisian academic trainingf. In Mfr. F~laggf's
case, howevec\.r, as inl the cases of a fewv other "lleaux A~rtists" the .
impor"tatio ni is obvious. neoic l, t eveni thc manL1 inl thle street, )
ca osil isae say, thle Scribner I uildling or thec Singer I
11uildling, for anything b~ut P'arisian in gnel~rarl form nd spir ri~-t, aml
even il such cases as, le~t us say., the homelik~e Clarke residence on
iversid e Drive. New\ York C'ity, or the sp~lendlid buildlings for tT
Naval Academy.lv at Anniapah, sl. Marl and,, no one at- alil strict qd



would hocsitate ora mome~nlnt inl saying that, despite a foreign
accent, such things speak~il IFrench vcry- well.
It miust not be imnagined tha~t in desfcrib~ing as "impilortation" the
ideass atWr training undelrlyingK this wocrki, there is anyl intenioni~i
to diisperacel. rcs tc al la rii r einal\
3onsutlered the bes~t thle world to,-(ay- alffords~ 'Ihey have
a vitabity x reality qurite ulnmatclchd. If thre h~e a distinctly
m7odernl style of value as hile aIrt it is the F~rench, ho\ever
miuch one may- be inclinedt to, qluarrel w\ith it. InI turniing- from the
R~omanesqlue aiiul thec C~lassic to, Modern F~rench, Amernicanl archii-
tects dlirectel their thlough~ltS, at any! rate, from11 theC deCad to the
living, from a st!-clr;le arcai ad obsolete thant hladl etirely p~assed
from~ the w\orldl w\ith th~e conditions that p~roducedl it, to a style
"foreifign it muay- b,c bunt live, ro~duc-ing its exa;mples and caplable
of contemlporary- explanations. *
O)f course. tictitiou~s inl a senise, the mod~tern~ Fren~ch sty-le miust
always h~e for our- architects. or- at any ate, to alwhun
M4r. F~lagg, havC no(t acqluiredl it as their vernacular. Q1u ept
thec vas~-i~iri't~-; amun o ork pr-11odui- ce in it lately, little is aIt all ver-
,nIcuar rob~ab~ly nlon hals more o~f the na:tiv;c sp~irit than~ Mr.~:
Ilg'. W\ith himl it is nlot thle F~rench -of Stra~tford-att-~T~Tow How
HeIrein, no dloubt, we ha~ve anoctherr rea~sonl for hiis rap~id success or
vogue, for clearly at1 a tiimP alin inl a "mIIOvemen~lt" whenC all are
imnitatingi andt most imiitatiing badll-, the artist w\ho dlraw\s, so to -
speak~, "fromn thle source," pocssesses a dlistinct adv~antage.
B~ut necithecr thle timelinecss o~f MIr. F~lagg's aentl.lt nor the "au- 4
thenlticity" of hiis p~rodtuct inl thle midist of a w~idespreadl imnitative
mnovemenclt acc~ountl s for- the h'igh] pocsitionl hie hlas attainedt inl the
ranks of his professionals. Thelc designs of few\ men'1 inl theC
country are mocre soughllt for anld Stuldied p~rofessionaly~l than
are Mlr. F~lagg's. T~iis inlterest is, perhaps, livelier with men
of the rising generationl thiain with the oldecr architects, an-d the
basis of this interest lies in thle fact that nl.T1LC' lsin r,/
if oner may say so, so thoroughly professional or technical, have
been so ob~viously arrivedl at by\ a special trainedl process of
h~oughlt, andi are expressedl in a manner so thoroughly gram-n
matical andi edu~catedl. His work is indlubitr;tably he wok of



mlann who has thoroughly accepted certain wvell-definled princip es

slipshod, unformulated; no groping, no0 obvious experimlenltatioll

prefer something more structural, or something more picturesque,
but there is no dlenying that the building before one, stich as it is,
has been deliberately "'done," is organic and logical and repre-
sents a clear process of architectural thought and not: a number
of loose reminiscences forced together in some wiay onto paper.
And there is something very admirable, and, let us add, very
French, in this clearness. There is very little w~ork in this country
that is so architectural or wvill stand so well technical analysis as
11 ag enlsi in
many ases e excellences are more of a technical and formal
character than of an imlaginativee order; much more likely to ex-
cite admiration fromt the educated than from the popular critic.
Wie hope no one will derive from this anly idea that M~r. Filagg's
work is caviarere to the general." The intention is to point out
one of its distinctive excellences. As a matter of fact, no style
to-day is quite so "'taking" with the crowd as the m~odern French.
Its very defects are of the sort that attract the public, and Mr.
Flagg's buildings do not seem to miss popular appreciation, be-
cause they are technically excellent as wyell as F~rench. B~ut then
popular admiration of a design rarely reaches what is really ar-
Finally, we ought to qualify what w~e have already said by point-
ing out that M~r. F~lagg is not always F~rench. Witness thle F;. I K.
Bourne residence, the admirable Lawrence Library, adhsown
cL~nt!- plce on~ Staten Island. The~ste show\ that hris thoughts are
fre nTTi~gh in other~ stls ut even her-e we may notice the
samle goodl qualities ~of design that distinguish his Parisian mode
--logical clearness, freedom from eccentricity andi all those irri-
tatinig marks of the unedlucatedl pencil.
H. W. Desmond.


IN the Decembler number of this magazine, the designers of the
new Blair Building, recenltly completed in New York City, on
the northwest corner of Broad street andi Exchange place, were
praised for an act of deliberate abstention from irrelevancy-.
In designing their facade theyg adloptedl the novel scheme of a pal-
pable decorative screen in place of adlhering: to the usual semblance
of a strictly masonry front. The decsign itself, no doubt, was man-
aged with skill, even with consummiate skill, but then, notable as the
buildling might be from that point of view, excellence of that kindl
alone would hardlly be sufficient to give it pre-eminence among all
skyscrapers recently erectedl, for no one will say skill of comnposi-
tion, ability to put together on B~ristol b~oardl tasteful and hiar-
monious arrangements of time-hionoredl architectural forms is so
rare with us as it was a few years agio. In literature, the "dliffusion
of penmanship" has b.een hewnailedl by! Henlry James, but in archi-
tecture no one complaints beccause dlraughtsmnanship andi "goodl
taste"-the negative dliscip~line--h ave beccome gen eral comnmodli-
ties. No!i The great decficienlcy dloes not lic in that direction The
difficulty is not to gect speakers, buat to find somebody who has
som-ethingi of import to say.
Many dlesigners, amongn the number possibly the designers them-
selves of the very clever Blair uuldling=, will disagree with this
philosophy, andi with its implication that there is anything finer than
good design, always meaning~S by that phrase, design at the surface,
the putting of architectural things together--columlns, arcades,
mnouldlings andi what not--"a string: of epithets that improve the
sound without carry-ing on the sense"--in anl essentially pictorial
way, to please the eye without r-eference to the reason. That, at
any rate, has been the methodl that has ruled in the past, almost
without exception, i~n the making of thle skyscraper, and it is, in
the judgment of a few, the very persistent adherance to that
method by the entire profession that has vitiated all attempts to
deal fundamentally (and in essence that means artistically) with
the problem-~ presented by the high building.
The "problem of the skyscraper" indeed Who is there among
our architects that has hadl courage, we will not say to squarely
face it andi strive with it, b~ut eveni to seriously think about it ?
Is there any wonder that whenever the subject comes uppermost,
at convention, or meeting, or elsewhere, among two or among a
hundred, there is inevitably in a short time a shrugging of shoul-
ders and finally a dismissal of th~e matter as one of the impossibili-
ties of life--or shall we say the imnpertinen~cies of the client ? Throw
it out of window! Thiat endls it! A nd possibly by and by it will


be placedl in the list of sub~jcts tab~ooedl in goodl professional so-
ciety, like ventilation andt acoustics and government architecture,
1'erhaps our architects think as Sancho P'anza didl, "Recommendl
the matter to Providlence; 'tw\ill b~e su~re to give what is most ex-
Ioedient for thee."
A~ few have protestedl, noct, indeedt, beclieving~ that the skyscraper,
w\ith its baldl utilitarian p~urpocses anld its fixedl 5C/o "'projet" affords
the artistic soul thle hligherst empye!ran for [lighlt, bult nevertheless
convinced that A~rt cannot fail before any p~roblem that may prop-
erly be assigned to its b~eneficence without at the samne time losing
i~s ultimate authority in human affairs. and( p~referrinig, therefore,
to believe that, in the case of the skyscraper, the artist, rather than
th!e Art, is at fault--at least believing so until thle architect has
applied himself to the p~rob~lemu with great veracity than the scene-
p'ainter's, and with more seriousness than the m~odiste's.
B~ut these were the critics They preachedl of function andi logic,
of reason, veracity andi thought. What have these to dlo with archi-
tecture? Why! has not the aim of the architect for four hundred
years been to get ridl of these incub~i, to cleanse the A~rt of its heav-
ier particles, and make it, as it were, fit for the emnasculatedl energy
of the dilettante, or the quicker purpose's of the architectural shop ?
A~nd if the critics, the p~rotestanits, have been few, how much
smaller, alas! is the h~andl of those w\ho have laboredi at the high
buildling problem wvithl any sincerity of soul, sadl or otherwise?
So far as the skeleton building is concernedl, Louis Sullivan is per-
hap's the on~ly architect of markedl ability wvho has addressed him-
self deliberately and sincerely to the dliscovery- of an adequate ex-
pression in architectural sterns for the metallic frame. The Pru-
dential Buildling in B>uffalo, N. Y., the WIainwright Duilding in St.
L~ouis, and the Bayard Buildling on E~leecker street, N\ew York City,
are the most conspicuous results of his highly personal and thor-
oughly intelligent effort. If we are restrained b~y a sense of prose
from the poetics of one of Mr. Sullivan's ardecnt admirers regard-
ing the Bayard B~uildling: "R2ising thus creamn-white, maidenlike and
slender, luxuriant in life andi joyous as the dlaw\n of wistful spring,
this poem of the modern wlorldl will ever daily hail the sun on high
and the plotdder below with its ceaseless song of hope, of joy, of
the noble labor of man's hands, of the vast dlignity and power of
inen's souls--a song of true democracy and its goal";
we are sure the judgment of the judlicious is that Mr. Sullivan's
work is very much superior in originality andi force to any-other
productions of the samne class. If the lyrics of his admirer are
slightly too perfervidl for the case, wye trust they will at least faintly
indicate the celebration that attends the successful solver of the
problem of the skyscraper.


It may well be muletlrstoodl, thecrefore, that it is not the mere
superficial design of the rBlair B~uildling, referred to at the outset
of these remarks, extremely skilful though that design is, that
called primarily for attention. The greater significance of that
building lies in t-he fact thiat it announces, or at any rate, seems to
announce, thiat onie of our highest authorities in architectural p~rac-
tice, a firm particularly addtictetd to the schoolol' and the "tradi-
tions" have either by a deliberate concession to architectural
veracity or from an effort to redluce architecture to a more dlirect
expression-a "lowei- term," as the mathematicians say-of "pure
design," contributed an important step to the task of bringing the
tall building back to reason, to the logic of its owvn facts andi funic-
tions. F~or, so long as the steel skeleton bu~ilding simulates mna-
sonry, imitates a construction of strongly differentiated structural
parts, progress beyond the limits of dlraugh~tsmlanship andi the
copy-books is a sheer imipossibility. It is, therefore, a great gain,
as in the B~lair B~uildling,. to get ridl, and. m~oreover, to get ridi with
conspicuous success, of the m~aSonry! fiCtionl. W~e may be confident
that so notable a piece of w~orkr so generally acclaimedl is bound
to be a hint to others, andi bringS forth imlitators,, traducers even,
and, rn~ay be, improvers. And once let us get set up in front of
our skyscrapers frank facades, mere decorative front wYalls that
neither express nor conceal the facts of structure, simulate nothing
(but a, real Ar-t!) and w\hat mor-e natural and easy further step
can be taken than to turn up, one's artistic shirt-sleeves at last and
buckle down to the hardl work of making our tall buildings really
say, or as Montgom~ery Schuyler said, sing something veracious
about themselves?
And curiously, more than curiously, fortunately, as though to
remove this anticipation of ours from the reproach of prophesy,
the B~lair Buildling was scarcely finished before the outer walls of
a far mo7re revolutionary structure arose to attract attention and,
as it w\ere, fulfill the promise of its predecessor, almost its con-
We refer to the Singer Building, situated at Nos- 56r and 563
Broadway, New York City, with a front adjacent on Prince street.
Ernest Flagg, the architect of the New Naval Academy at Annap-
olis, is the designer; and here, again, we are called upon to note
the curious and possibly significant fact. that it is out of Nazareth
that good cometh. 1VIgg is one of our notable "Beaux Artists."
His activity and indubitable ability have been centered inb teTfdf~
to imn ore ina s coun rt eormis an I eas o current renc
architecture. importerss of French modes, we pe ps e


ing with things architectural, its It~idiy andi directness. The
F~ren~ch forms to which he has hitherto been adlT bc regardled more asanacc~~?Ti~ident oil 7 ei17 han as th
ciic ghlystlca;ifIi3ji~o~iv worked~ot lLfrrc ; at
any rate, once the problem of the skyscraper was placed before
himn, he sought its solution directly on logical instead of traditional
lines, relying rather up~on the "'principles" inculcatedl at the Ecole
than upon any established set of patterns. F~or, in a sense, this
Singer B~uilding is M~r. Flagg's first skyscraper. Th7e other Singer
Building, lower down on Broadway, for which also he is respon-
pible, is only ten stories high, and, mloreover, it is, we believe, of
real masonry construction. A story, we remember, was circulated
at the time when this buildings was pliannedl, to the effect that Mr.
F~lagg was under the bond of a vow, registeredi somewhere,, that he
would never commitit' a real skypscraper. Tecn stories were his
limit. Possibly he regardled the cr-ime o-f dlesig~ning a tall office
building as one impossible to commit with artistic impunity. Cer-
tainly he was able to figure out to his owvn satisfaction that build-
ings higher than ten stories dlid not pay financially--they required
protection as to light and air by! the purchase of abutting property
--that is, they became unremunlerative as soon as every other
pirate of air and sunlight committee similar excesses. It is true, the
Bourne Building followYed the ~Siniger Building, adjacent to it, and
this was carried up many stories beyondl the limit of ten. But who
can be consistent in a worldl composed of clients ? The skyscraper
problem would not "dlownl" even in Mr. Flagg's office. We are
afraid it will not be disposed of anywhere until it has either been
solvedl artistically by the architect, or until its very existence has
b~een legally banished by a more sensitive public sense of civic
But if the architect cannot dlispense with the skyscraper, the
next best thing for him to dlo is really to grapple with it. Mr. Sul-
livan pursuedl that course with success, although he failed, as we
see it, to strictly adhere to his own~ principle that form should
follow function. The f~unctionless arch crept into some of his de-
signs, and some of the members of some of his buildings are only
to be accounted for by a reference to "pure architecture."' Mr.
F:lagg has perhaps been more thoroughgoing than M/r. Sullivan,
for his design is a much more uncompromising attack upon the
str-ucturesque problem of the skyscraper. Traditional forms in
th~e latest Singer Building have given way almost everywhere to
structural expression. Th7e architect clearly has endeavored to
permit the structure to design itself, confining his own role as
miuch as possible to making the structural features as good looking
a!: lay: within his power. His problem, as he understood it, was


to protect a steel frame, provide all the light necessary in a build-
ing devoted to strictly commercial p~urpo"ses, and to let the building
tell its own story as agreeab~ly as it mighlt.
Our illustrations show clearly the dectails of how the task was
actually perform7edl. The steel frame, it w\ill be seen, is covered with
fire-resisting material, held in place by! mectal b~andls and straps; the
steel columns do niot masqueradle as stone p~iers; the steel beams
do not conceal themselves behind stone architraves; there are no0
classic columns, and Rienaissance arcadles, nor even does the metal
itself, where visible, simulate in its prop~ortions or profiles another
material. The open spaces'are filled with g~lass where glass is re-

am u.. o wwmeemmmamogigilIW

Singer Building, No. T,01-T,(13 Broadw~ay. Ernest Flagg, Architect.

quired, and for the rest, the eneasement consists of small terra cotta
panels that reveal themselves b~etweeni the metal fram~ing or straps.
Ornamentation is confinedl entirely to such expression as rightfully
can be impartedl to terra cotta andi iron. The reader's attention is
particularly directed to the isomietric drawing, wherein is set forth
very plainly the method adopted of filling in the panels of the iron
latice-work which protects the angrles with terra cotta slabs;
also the plan used for constructing thie cornices with angle irons
for the angles of the corona, andi for the slabs of enriched terra
cotta for its soffits. The drawing also indicates the use of the terra
cotta blocks for the cyma andi for the bed m~oulding~s, the brick


work which protects the columns and girders,- the way in which the
upper surfaces of the cornices and balconies are protected with
iron plates, and also the nature of the.wrought iron consoles which
support the main cornice.
Al hisisvernovlvery mngenous,~lglaghlyQthoughtfid. Surely,
no other architect has everse frankly accepted the situation Ti

wo? So much we ;U m ust;;;~Iii~ ~`qacllcknowledge. 3~uT~r jf
T~So much is immensely creditable to the designer. Apart
from Mr. Sullivan's experiments, here we have for the first time, a
skyscraper on which a manl may ponder, about which he may talk
seriously, analyze and judge with the same respect that he may
accord to a structure of the days when architecture was not a mere
"mode" like till milliner's.
It is not to be expected that a building, the first attempt along
such novel lines, should be entirely successful. It is enough for us
and for the profession, and it should be immensely gratifying to
the designer that his bold attempt must be acclaimed a pronounced
success--an innovation which cannot Dossibly be disregarded in
the future by his confreres. Even Roman architecture was not
built in a day, and it had no intractable problem to handle like the
skyscraper. Experimentation is necessary. Logic may deliver
its conclusions in a day, but not so Art. Grace of line and justness
of proportion are the result of a long-continued revelation, and
of an inspiration persisting with and working through genera-
tions. But, one or the other, the revelation or the inspiration can-
not be of substantial value unless derived from the actual struc-
ture; indeed, neither is a reality so long as its source is merely an
academy or a. set of copy-books. And this consideration brings us
back again to our building and to the value of Mr. F~laggr's notable
achievement. H. W. Desmond.




Johin Beinet~t Photoa

It is many years now since Ernest Flag~g became widely known for. ,..
his development of cheap masonry walls laid up in forms and backed --..3
with concrete. Ilis early u'se of modular planning to reduce costs, now riCt:
gauiningr recognition as an important factor in the integration of struc-
ture and equipment, was another indication of an alert and inquiring i
mlind. In these apartment houses in BUrooklyn further evidence of his
ingenuity appear~s. The apartments have been designed as a long term
investment, a factor reflected in the unusually fireproof construction,
thle quality of the equipment, and the amenities offered. Reversible
fans provide flexibility of ventilation, window shades are located ou~t-
side rather than inside the windows, and the underside of the concrete
floor slabs have been so finished that plaster is unnecessary. Amenities
include two swimming pools,, recreation rooms, howling alleys, and -
large roof playgrounds. Rents average about $18 per room, a moderate
figure in comparison with the New York rental scale. se s


ROOM KT2-,'S''"I~LWs ~ ~ ~riTCHEN~~aL ~ --

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b 1 ~overingsulatione Johns-Mavie, Inc., -coveredwth, sandr
al' 9uip ad oppn-Wd~ied byprmnade the pstet iann cement
13'xi Coper, 6oz. thl-cikroughou, Revere Coppiser Brass, nc.,

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LIVINGJ ROOM LIVING, ROOM CoeAn consEd it oEVAORe lStr ruua Gp
li'xQL U )B'')0"x1* Stirs-steel, itn ironraiings N hmiaorth Ambericanon-
Elevatior- n eetsas otadCmn Co.

18'x13 18x2 ie
Lobbies,1 z,Mahrtsthone, Mrtvr Cp & Lawton, Inc. Btros
KIT #I-hil -No. 1 U..i S.h-wod gaugment stelAes-utna Selas PrdutsCrp
Ceil ~k~rl ings-cGalscimn. Florees-pr and tim-wax, John T.
LIVING ROM RoSwan sons Co.
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Ioks .lvtr-atm tc .olctv ,otrl O tal/tc ero

lilTI I obHeat & Ptsower Co aditors-basso, ReveBatreopper &
under each window, The Westwind Corp., Seattle
00R~~No PLA Mai oxs-United Mteal, Boxn Co., In. ndvduals lock-
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Buildngo Spciais o


York Chapter, A.I.A., hon-
ored five of its members who have
distinguished themselves outside of
the profession. The citations fol-
low, to each of which were added
the words "The Chapter hereby
expresses its appreciation of these
services which have contributed to
the prestige of the profession."

F.A.I.A.--Equally distinguished as
architect of residential buildings
and of low-cost housing groups, he
has recently completed a term of
service as architect member of the
Art Commission of the City of
New York. His suggestions to
thle architects submitting work to
the Commission, always given with
tact and sympathetic understand-
ing, have served invariably to
improve the designs of public

lic-spirited member of our profes-
sion, director and trustee of several
banks and institutions of public
welfare. He is a member of the
Board of Education of the City of
New York, and as Chairman of
the Committee on Buildings and
Sites is in charge of its great post-
WVar planning program, in which

he has encouraged participation by
architects in private practice. Re-
gardless of his desire to be relieved
of these arduous duties, he has
agreed, at the insistence of the
Mayor, to serve another term of
seven years on the Board of Edu-

tive practitioner in New York City
for over half a century; architect
of Saint Luke's Hospital and of the
Singer Building in New York, of
the Corcoran Gallery of Art in
Washington and of many buildings
at the United States Naval Acad-
emy at Annapolis. He is distin-
guished also for his studies in hous-
ing and for his research in build-
ing materials and methods of con-
struction, forever striving to bring
buildings of better design and bet-
ter construction within the eco-
nomic grasp of the average citizen.
He has met every problem of his
long career with courage, imagina-
tion and energy. An outstanding
example of the full and fruitful
life possible to an architect.

F.A.I.A.--Architect of many dis-
tinguished buildings of interna-
tional renown, Competent de-
signer, sensitive engineer, and gen-


Honors to Architects

N. JnEI.s STOKES (1867-1944) belonged to a small
;upi of A~merican architects who possessed a special in-
'Iat1 inl the planning and design of low-cost housing. An
!il murlt imaginative technician, Stokes pioneered in this
t .nh r ichl he related in a unique way to the organization
acit'r~lectural competitions and to an ingenious park-
ilue~nt scheme suggestive of modern-day urban re-
d~~. Stokes made important contributions to restrictive
"'ng' legislation as a member of the New York State
i encnlen House Commission of 1900, but he always em-
a iilted economicc planning' as a preferable alternative.
'' 1I.I dtaillled regulatory codes, he claimed, could not
rc\ith the central problem of reducing housing costs
:1 o~tals, and they stifled architectural experimentation
o~ riginality. Stokes was a conservative who did nlot
i!,la tionte speculative land-use and real estate system,
h~:Ie sk~illfully demonstrated how progress could be at-
nil within it,
firrn inl New York City, Stokes inherited a family tradi-
-, whc~ichl equated wealth with social obligation. His fa-
:I.:.\nson Phelps Stokes, was prominent in the affairs of
ReI~formn Club, Nineteenth Century Club, and Civil
Il:iceC Reform Association. His grandfather, James
i tes, helped found the New York Association for Im-
sin~;lg the Condition of the Poor, and he served as a
-cou~r of the YMCA as well as numerous hospital and
iscolenlt organizations. Stokes's aunts, Caroline and
'ia E. Phelps Stokes, were noted philanthropists espe-
.ri identified with Protestant church benefactions and
w ~elfare of the Negro (the residual portion of Caro-
:'s w\ill wvent for the establishment of the Phelps-S tokes
i.dt inl 1911 to improve race relations and Negro educa-
I;:d facilities). The grandparents of Caroline and Olivia,
:i m~as Stokes and Anson Greene Phelps, had launched
:: bnity tradition of service rooted in Evangelical Prot-
!,:rnct eal. They helped establish and direct many of the
:rl t enlevolent organizations of the mid-nineteenth cen-
, including the American Bible Society, American
:*tI Society, American Board of Commissioners for For _
:rl3i ssions, American Home Missionary Society and
IHe ricanl Peace Society. I. N. Phelps Stokes contributed
!bie Family legacy, not only in the housing field, but as a

director and president of the Phelps-Stokes Fundl, trustee
of the New York Public Library and member of the Art
Commission of the City of New York.
After graduating from Harvard in 1891, Stokes spent a
year in a banking firm. He had taken engineering, draw-
ing and fine arts courses in college with a possible archi-
tectural career in mind, but had not fully committed him-
self. Following his briel business apprenticeship, however,
he enrolled in the Columbia School of Architecture in
1893. During his year there he decided he was more in-
terested in 'economic planning and construction' than
'exterior design and decoration'. New York civic leaders
and reformers, including Josephine Shaw Lowell, Seth
Low, E. R. L. Gould, R. Fulton Cutting and Robert W.
de Forest, persuaded him that he could best apply his tal-
ents to the design and promotion of better housing for the
poor. Stokes then left for Paris and advanced training at
the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.'
While in Paris (1894-1897), Stokes spent some time in
the atelier and office of Henri Duray, an expert in apart-,
ment-house design, and on two occasions visited London
for a survey of the housing situation. He met Samuel
Barnett, who had been active in housing reform, and was
then serving as warden of Toynbee Hall, England's first
social settlement. An opportunity to contribute to settle-
ment work in America arose when Stokes was asked to
participate in an architectural competition for a new Uni-
versity Settlement building. His plan, submitted in col-
laboration with John Mead Howells (a Harvard classmate
and son of the novelist), won, and the two young archi-
tects returned to New York where they established the
partnership of Howells and Stokes. The firm specialized
in office-building design and lasted until 1917.2

i. I. N. Phelps Stokes, Random Recollections of a Happy Life,
revised edition (New York, 1941). PP. 81, 91, Stokes to Fiorello H.
LaGuardia, 28 December 1933, I. N. Phelps Stokes, Letterbooks,
xxy (New-York Historical Society; these Letterbooks will be cited
hereafter as, INPS-LB). The Random Recollections were published in
two limited, mimeographed editions, 1932 and 1941. A copy of the
latter edition is owned by the Avery Library, Columbia University.
2. Stokes, Random Recollections, pp. g8, 1g-Isro. During its exist-
ence the firm designed more than $2o,ooo,ooo worth of buildings.

I. N.Phelps Stokes: Tenement Architect,

Economist, Planner

ROY LUBOVE University of Pittsburgh

3. H. W. Desmond, 'The Works of Ernest Flagg',ri A s .
Record xr (April 1901), 1, 3
4. Ernest Flagg, 'The New York Tenrement-lousell )Iu! m I
Cure', Scribner's Magazinre xvI (July 1894), los,

ing the supply of good, 10w-cost housing. An Aprou.~\c
Hou~sinfg Council was organized in 18g6 as a prellifiGY
to the establishment of a model tenement building (Im:
ypany, and the Council sponsored the competition iid.0
Stokes entered.
The first pirize was awarded to Ernest Flagg, a No~.
York architect, and the auI~or~of TE-lusn ri
Scribner's which greactly impreasse tke hn
peared mn 1894. 'Ihe omiip~etitio~n prve tohues a
laton tha~t blagg s prmnciples were sound, and hf~e 41
regarded Flagff as the fatherof thle modern impr\rove tcu
ment. Beaux-Arts trained, Flagg achieved pronunence
te 18gos asth~e achtect of St. Luke's Hospital in T
tokandan mp orter of contprryrec~ l

t _~horouglylyp~ professionaP and 'so thoroughly grammeac:

qualitie than for its technicle. rih nce rtistic~lh~ po
tIon, however, was hardly the most pressing nelcci
working-class housing; any significant structural .
provement depended upon architect-technicians adci:
cost analysis, site planning and design. These skills b.
F~lagg and Stokes possessed in full measure.
'The greatest evil which ever befell New~ York'. -
Flagg's opinion, 'was the division of the blocks intolrc I.i
25 X too feet.' The resulting tenement systern, cllubinah: ;
in the notorious dumbbell or double-decker, he desas:.
as the 'worst curse which ever afflcted anly great canon::
nity.' IThese con1victions stimuIlatedU Flagg s inlterc, a ,
new approach to tenement construction which w~oukli i,
vide more light, air and open space at a cost equllJ Io n
less than the 'majority of the inhabitants of this tour, r;1
now forced to pay for dwellings not fit for the lo\se a
mals.'" By means of careful economic and plal n~l andm
Flagg demonstrated that the standard r5'xio'l Innu;;
hlopelessly unsuited for tenement or multifamily hous;c
It was extravagantly expensive--the consYequence ii,
perfluous halls, walls, partitions, corridors anld comr ~i
-and precluded an efficient distribution andi Fllr
of space. The 25' x too' subdivision facilitated speak a.~
purchase, trading and sale of land and buildinR,. t..
had no other justification. Speculative imperativer r i,i
rather than human biological or social needs, espir:r w
the practice of erecting four buildings insteadl of am. .i
two on a too' frontage (fig. 1). Yet one carefully do~~:~ **
edifice, Flagg emphasized, would produce thle sari,< ;n
of rentable room space, cover a much smaller peramai~
of the lot, and facilitate the grouping into large no.. .I
the space otherwise wasted upon superfluour ham, ;
corridors (fig. 2). Equally important, suchl a Lua~ i

Fig. i. Design for too' frontage, as frequently built (from Scribner's
Magazine, July 18g4).


; I

I ~


Fig. a. Design for too' frontage, by Ernest Flagg g
Magazine, July 1894),

(from Scribner's

Stokes participated in a second architectural competi-
tion while abroad. Although he lost thle competition, it
profoundly influenced his reform strategy. The intensive
investigation by the New York State Tenement House
Committee of 1894, under the chairmanship of Richard
Watson Gildler, had resulted in widespread criticism of
tenement conditions in New York Chty anld demands for
remedial legislationl, Thle Committee's work also stimu-
lated renewed interest in the possibilities of 'investment
philanthropy', or model tenements, as a means of increas-

En ~ wepE



Fig. 3. Model tenement plan, by James E:. Ware (from Review of Reviews, December 18g6i).


LN1K, ~Bro


Pr. Y


I..aythe DE
EM. /.11.





~li):r~c ruC: r~--
~llii; -
Fig, q.Tenements at West 68th and West 6gth streets, by Emest Flagg (from Architectural Record, April Igoz).

development was comparatively economical. The building
covered less of the lot area with no sacrifice of income-
producing space and cut down on the expenditure for
materials used in partitions, walls and corridors.
The Improved Housing Council's competition had re-
quired that architects submit plans for a soo'Xqoo' plot,
the equivalent of one city block or thlirty-two ordinary
tenement lots. In his prize-winning design, Flagg used
the loo'xtloo' lot as his standard unit. The individual
apartments, none of which were more than two rooms
deep, he grouped around a large central court, supple-
mented by additional courts at the sides of the building
which were considerably wider than the dumbbell's dia-
mond-shaped airshlaft. Both Flagg's plan and the second
prize winner in the competition (fig. 3) were similar to
Flagg's original design for a tenement onl a too' lot in~
cluded in his 1894 Scribner's article. Flagg's influence up-
on architects and others interested in tenement design
increased when the City and Suburban Homes Company
(the successor to the Improved Housinlg C~ouncil and the
greatest of thle model tenement comhpanies of the period)
used his plan for a group of buildings erected in 1898 at
217-233 West 68th Street and ax4-aso West 6gth Street
(fig. 4). Thle same company used a modified version of
James E. Ware's second-plrize plan for another group of
tenements built in lgoo on Firslt Avenlue between 64th and
65th streets, thus drawing further attention to the desira-
bility of Flagg's large-scale development principles.

Flagg's design techniques--wide frontage, cenual or.:
and apartments limited in depth to two rooms-wnen :,.
entirely new. They had been used by Alfredl T. WI'i:: a
his widely-acclaimed Brooklyn model tenements IA us
1870s and 18gos. F~lagg, however, provided a S!Scow,~
theoretical rationale for the economic anld site-phnai,. l~
superiority of large building units. He was also ther ~zE,
tect for the first fireproof tenements in New Yettl (,:
built by the Fireproof Tenement Association. inl my, i,
Tenth Avenue at 41st and qand streets.' Flagg's irrn-is
in improved tenement planning was shared by a cuti
group of New York architects in the early twentich;~.w
tury, including Hlenry Atterbury Smith, Crosventor t::
bury and Andrew J. Thomas, as well as Stokes!.~ O 4

5. Flagg later criticized the Tenement House law ul si: we
cause it did not 'discriminate intelligently in favor rd her..~
methods'. Ernest Flagg, 'The Best Method of Teneme'nt (mwn.,,
tion', Charities and the Commons xvur (6 October l906). >
6. Henry Atterbury Smith was identified withl the dsctbyusl r
the 'open stair' tenement, involving the ventilation ofcrli who a a
open stairways. His design first appeared in connections we~ us
architectural competition sponsored by the Chlarity orrn as~.,
Society Tenement House Comnmittee in 1goo. Grosvenrlt .hu: sra
architect for the Russell Sage Foundation's Forest tlils ts aLi,
designed the First Phipps Tenements in 1905i at 351 la,
Street. Andrew J. Thomas, father of the 'garJeti aporunes;, ;II
Igzo0 is discussed in thle author's Cormunlity !'no~r I n Ili ...p
TThe Contributlion of the Regrion~al Planning Assoiaionr f ra..
(Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 196#3)


dren. It wvill be of contempol~r~ ran .4,1,,
with a main block 415 ft. long;lr land w
stories highl. A-uxiliary se~rvice. ranged inl one- or twco-sttar! bulds.h1(
surrounding twyo coulrts, onec of ~I~ wind
a service court and th~e other al "Jubs
patio. Thle cost of~ the strulctulre, re
mnatedl at about $3,000,000).

Thle dfeathl of Ernesit Flagg~. American architects, on~ Aplril Ilost
brought to a close a long: andl( brlbwsh~j
Mr. Flagg, w~ho celebra;tedl hbi (ws!
birthlday last Februnal- ry, l~ wa perhaps
besat kinow\n as ther ar.chlitec~t of( rii
Unlited States Naval Academy! atl \Innap.
oils. Other wcell-kinoiwnI st~l(trulctue c( ()u
design inlclulde the Singer~ Huli~ibbug II
lower Broadw\ay (thle tallesrt consonalI.II*
structure in the counltry- at theI timel )1
wFas b~uilt, 1908), thle W:ashington, 1 21Jw
Capitol in Olympia, thle C:or~c.ranl inr
Gallery anld the Naval Ilo-.pital as~
Washlingtonl, D. C., andt the (connucti~ iso
Mutlual Life BuildingF inl ~liarlL~no
Connl. One of h~is earliest assignments~1
was the, design of St. L~uke's lia-piti.ll il
N~ewv Yorki City, a contlrat whlichl bel c\onr
over some 80 other arc~hit~c~ts.
A native of Brooklyl n andt ar Franll.ne
of thle E'cole des B~eauxs-Arts inl P'.m,.
Mr. Filagg practiced continuoulyll in\
New York; from 189)1 until hris deth~;I. lb
wras a foundler and. former p~rlesidentll o
thle Society of Beaux Arts Arch~itrets,~
and thle author of a number of books,

Victor L. S. Hafner, A~.I.A., diiedi .1Id.
denlyl at his home~ on Apr~il 27h.11, l
was 54.
B~or in, Cincinnati, Blr. I~alutnr use
a gradluate of the Massictlachusttsi buri
tulte of Architecture, rec'(ip~ient inl ill"0
of a 110tch tlraeling schonlalrlhi, andll ll
bellowing year winner of a three-wa~r
fellow~ship in arch~itectu~r e in~ the P'rix der
Riome comrpetitionl. H~e nervedt inl thc~
Navy inl hothl Worlld War*, attaining:
thle rank of' Colnunander.

Walter Ross"; Baume~s Willcem.;:
Tprofesso BemeritusB in ar~chitecture. at ther
University of Oregon andi a memben~cr orf
the, staff for more thann 21 yearsl., posed?.
nwa on April 20th at his homell ini
WViell-known in architectural c~irc~les onI
the P'acific Coast, Prof. W'illent, hadr
practiced in 'ashmig~ton andi taughtl in

Ielothivf tex Aeric In 1St i (fc

~L. II
- E.
' rri~~ 1
'': ::
I'' ~"

a, rooklyn 221 N. I crotomle ven D~y *

37Geepin o oui Dl

FISHER, WILLAM E. (1871--8/31/1937) Denver, Colo. (F.A.I.A.)
In practice with his brother, Arthur Addison Fisher for more than three
decades, under the firm name of W. E. and A. A. Fisher, he was connected
with the planning of many public and commercial buildings in Denver, and
was prominently known in the western states.
A Canadian by birth, Mr. Fisher went to New York to study professionally
and after a period of apprenticeship with architect C. Powell Karr, continued
training in draftsmanship while working in offices in the east. In 1900
he left for a year of supplementary study and travel in Europe. Following
his return to this country, Mr. Fisher established an office in Denver and
formed a partnership with his brother, in which they acquired a large and
successful practice, and maintained an office in the Denver National Building.
Among the most important works of the firm during Mr. Fisher's years of
activity were the following buildings in Denver: Colorado General Hospital
(1924-25); Presbyterian Hospital (1921); Colorado National Bank Building
(1914); Morey Junior High School (1923);* South High School (1924);
Stadium at Denver University (1924); Midland Savings Bank (1924-25);
Y. W. C. A. Building, 1927 (in which they had their office). Also Fisher 6
Fisher designed buildings for the new town of Parco, Wyoming (1925)
and were associated on works of St. Luke's Hospital at Boise, Idaho (*).
--References: Information from Mr. A. E. Fisher, Denver, 9/5/1939; Archi-
tect & Engineer, Sept., 1930 (*).

FITZHUGH, THORNTON. (1864--12/4/1933) Los Angeles, Calif.
Originally of Indianapolis, Ind., he migrated to California during his youth
and eventually settled in Los Angeles. After a period of architectural train-
ing Mr. Fitzhugh opened an office in the city, and early in the 1900's was
appointed architect of the State Penitentiary at Florence, Arizona. He also
designed the State Hospital at Tempe, and during the erection of these struc-
tures made his home at Phoenix (*). Returning to Los Angeles some years
later, Mr. Fitzhugh resumed practice with an office in the Story Building,
until 1925 (**). During that period he was commissioned to design the Labor
Temple on Maple Avenue, one of his more important works.
--References: Obit., Architect 6 Engineer, Dec., 1933. List of Architects in
Southern California, 1910 (*). Roster of Architects, State of California,
1926 (**).

FLAGG, ERNEST. (2/7/1857--4/10/1947) New York, N. Y. (F.A.I.A.)
Active in practice for half a century and a distinguished member of the
profession, he was born and educated in Brooklyn, son of the Rev. Jared
Flagg, Rector of Grace Church in New York. On the maternal side he was
related to Cornelius Vanderbilt, grandson of Commodore Vanderbilt, and with
his assistance was enabled to acquire architectural training in France. At the
Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris he completed a course of study under Blondel,
and was graduated in 1888, but due to his age (thirty-one) was not awarded
the grand prize, although his work entitled him to it.
Following his return to New York Mr. Flagg established practice in 1891
and continued to maintain an office in the city until 1940. One of his first
important works were the new St. Luke's Hospital, Amsterdam Ave. and 113th
Street, a commission won against eighty contestants. Early in the century
he designed the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., followed by later units
which form an impressive ensemble, an outstanding achievement which brought
him wide recognition. Other buildings of note planned and completed under
Mr. Flagg's direction include the forty-one story Singer Office Building, an

early skyscraper on lower Broadway completed in 1908; the Corcoran Art
Gallery at Washington, D. C., an earlier work, opened in 1897 Connecticut
Mutual Life Insurance Building, Hartford, Conn.; Bourne Building, New
York; the Scribner Building on Fifth Avenue below 50th Street, and the
Scribner Printing Plant in the 'thirties; the Automlobile Club of America in
the fifties west of Broadway, and the Sheldon Library at St. Paul's School,
Concord, N. H.
Mr. Flagg also designed several distinctive urban residences, among them
the Charles Scribner home a~t 9 East 66th Street (still standing); a home for
'Mrs. Gouveneur Morris on Park Avenue at 85th Street; the Fulton Cutting
residence, Madison Avenue and 62nd Street; and the Oliver Jennings house
on 72nd Street near Fifth Avenue. In contrast to these fine homes he also
planned a number of model tenements, and was architect of the Mills Hotels
in New York and other cities. For low salaried white collar workers he
designed and built in 1933 the 560-family Flagg Court Apartments in the Bay
Ridge section of Brooklyn, one of the largest of such buildings in greater New
York; also built the first co-operative apartment house in Manhattan at
Madison Avenue and 28th Street. In addition to his professional activities
Mr. Flagg was interested in civic affairs, particularly New York's traffic
problem and City Planning.
He had been a member of the New York Chapter A. I. A. since 1912 and
was elected to Institute Fellowship in 1926. After fifty years of continuous
practice he retired in 1940 to his home at 109 East 40th Street where seven
years later he passed away at the age of ninety. He was a brother of Mon-
tague Flagg (see) and Charles Noel Flagg, the latter a portrait painter, who
founded the Connecticut League of Art Students which became the Flagg
Night School of Drawing for Men.
-References: Obit., New York Times and New York Herald-Tribune,
4/11/1947; National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol "E," p. 259.

FLAGG, MONTAGUE. (11/1/1 883--4/17/1924) New York, N. Y.
Younger brother of the late Ernest Flagg, artist as well as architect. A
native of Mount Vernon, N. Y., he was educated professionally at the Massa-
chusetts Institute of Technology and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In
New York he practiced both independently and with other architects and was
identified with the planning and/or erection of the Bankers Trust Company
Building; Thomas Cook Building, 535 Fifth Avenue, and the Rockville
(N.Y.) Savings Bank.
--Reference: Obit., New York Times, 4/18/1924f.

FLAKS, FRANCIS A. (/25/1886--1/29/1945) Chicago, Ill.
Of European birth, a native of Mecin, a town in what was Bohemlia, now
Czechoslovakia, he was educated at schools in Blovic and Pilsen, and at the
age of seventeen set out alone on7 a voyage to the United States. In Chicago,
where he eventually settled, the young man took up the study of architecture
in public schools, attended classes at Armour Institute, and acquired further
training while employed as draftsman in the office of James B. Dibelka. In
1916 Mr. Flaks joined the office of Worthman G Steinbach, but left in less
than a year to practice in association with Mr. Dibelka who had been appointed
to the post of State Architect. Under the firm name of Dibelka, Flaks &
Minchin he carried on his work for a number of years, leaving to enter the
office of Schmidt, Garden G Erickson where for more than two decades he
remained "an esteemed and valued associate."
Mr. Flaks made his home at Hinsdale, Ill., in his latter years and died there
in 1945 at the age of sixty.

to Minard Lafever. A
Relic from New York's past when blocks surrounding this spot had
houses of equal quality. A foundation now keeps it. Open to the
[16b.] 37 East 4th Street, bet. Lafayette St. and the Bowery. ca.
(17a.] New York Shakespeare Festival/formerly Hebrew Immi-
grant Aid Society/originally the Astor Library, 425 Lafayette St.
bet. 4th St. and Astor PI. 1849-1881. Center Section, Griffit~h
Thornas; South Section, Thomas Thomas; North Section, Thomas
Stent. Remodeled, 1967. Giorgio Cavaglieri. -k
John Jacob Astor here contributed New York's first free library,
later combined with its peers (Lenox Library, which was sited where
the Frick Collection is today, and the Tildexi Foundation) to form
the central branch of the New York Public Library at 42nd Street.
A central skylit space formed the main reading room, off which
supporting library spaces were strung. Now this grand core contains

[Lj 15.]


r I00-seat theater for Joseph Papp's Shakespearean repertory.
(17b.] Colonnade Row/also known as La~range Terrace, 428-434
.Jsyette St. bet. 4th St. and Astor PI. 1833. Alexander Jackson

The Villages (V): Astor Place/East Village 75


four 01:~
ir RAMs

1104.] 245 East 87th Street, 1966. Paul and Jarrnul.
The same economics, the same materials, the same zoning ..
tod building laws, here in the hands of someone who cares: the
oldh massing of the balconies reads with great richness on the
2105a.] Ruppert Brewery, Second to Third Aves. 90th to 93rd Sts.
'Thirty-four buildings gradually accrued on this one set of
?icks, for the glory of the German beer-hall (this is Yorkville).

vw,,L '' E~ [108b.]

':~b,) Renewal Project/formerly Rupport Brewery, Second to
: 3 Ave. 90th to 93rd St. in design 1967. Whittlesey, Conklin &

;;.X) YMHA (Young Men's Hebrew Association), SE cor. Lexing-
lir hLe. and 92nd St. ca. 1928. Gehron and Ross.
A4 city-wide center for cultural affairs, the Kaufmann auditor-
mer holds readings from the resident Poetry Center and presents
;lllarts and lectures of general interest.
ydji.) RKO 86th Street, Lexington Ave. NW cor. 86th St.
Mother of the now-rare movie palaces of the Twenties (see
uoi Inth Street). Just to sit in the lobby and eat popcorn is a classy
,amence. Soon to be replaced by Gimbel's!
owese Unlimited, 1263 Lexington Ave. NE cor. 85th St.
*ol ('hackam is the cheese-god. Pay obeisance at his shrine and
onr Yiul be enriched by W~ensleydale (old and decrepit as possible),
wwNj Blue, any of assorted Bries or Camemberts, for sensual, im-
;1, b~l'bs: Triple Crkme or Boursault.
4*'' Nut Shoppe, 1267 Lexington Ave, bet. 85th & 86th St.
~ri, (and candy) in bulk, for those who care to escape univer-
kl' likckagled America.
*carwrs, 1469 Third Ave. SE cor. 83rd St.
Wa,~re drinking tha~n eating takes place here in this pleasant,
swme!'.i b)it of nostalgia for something that never was.
IU9s4l John Jay Park, Cherokee Place (E. of York Ave.) to the
o. ",r Dr. 76th to 78th St.
t ulnall, neighborhood park with swimming pools and play-
.!unIda. ntensively used.
:rUlI1) Cherokee Apartments, 77th to 78th St. on Cherokee
,n we a 1900. Ernest Flagg.
( tecond glance is here well-deserved. These simple buildings
-., ,pmi new architectural thoughts for their time: the triple-hung

Upper East Side (UES) 183

,i 6':,~S~

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C1'` d - ~HJT~I~-;a~l 8~~~il~~; q:Jl~~~I~~I:-Il- s
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Bii~ D B~E:o il~f~ a
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Fully equipped, way back in 1904, with all-glass front, curtain wall
and logical ornament, this 12-story office building
set an example to the Singer Tower and remains instructive

11 was discovered, a delightful surprise, by architects
,)a a Sunday walk. Then Architect-Historian Alan
Hurnhamr dug out the story of this lost, remarkable
building :

Writing in March of 1904, the editor of a leading archi-
tecutural journal deplored the staleness of the ideas he
saw expressed around him in New York's new buildings,
mluch as the editors of FORUM wrote on the "dullness"
elf the scene in March '57. "The difficulty," he said, "i~s
n~ot to get speakers but to find somebody who has some-
thling of import to say" ('). As flashes of hope he men-
tioned Louis Sullivan's Bayard Building of 1898 at 65 ~
Eleecker St.--although he disparaged the use of ma-
so~nry arches under the cornice to cover a steel skeleton-
a~nd the more recent Blair Building at the northwest cor-
ne~r of Broad St. and Exchange Pl., by Carrere & Has-
tin~gs, which had a fenestration that was novel and free-
although the architects had still toyed with an academic
treatment of masonry surfaces.
A real ray of light; had appeared, however, onthe
horizon. A new building was being erected by the Singer
Sewing Machine Co. as a combined loft and showroom,
by an architect named Ernest Flagg. "L"-shaped in
plan, the building fronted on Broadway (Nos. 561-3)
andl also on Prince St. (No. 88). Here, as one brochure
put it, ". .. all th~e lofts are exceptionally light, as the
entire fronts, both on Broadway and on Prince St., are

practically all glass and there is, in addition, ample
provision for light from the rear of the building" (2)
It may amuse us today to hear of this tiny 12-story
structure referred to as a skyscraper, but our editor
called it such when he said ". .. no other architect
has ever so frankly accepted the situation which the
skyscraper presents and submitted it to such brain-
work." He continues his praise in expressing the novel
idea that ". .. the architect has clearly endeavored to
permit the structure to design itself, confining his own
role as much as possible to making the structural fea-
tures as good looking as lay in his power. His prob-
lem, as he understood it, was to protect; a steel frame
. .. and to let the building tell its own story as agree-
ably as it might" (1)
The building still stands in excellent condition, the
only changes being a store-front modernization with
glass block on the Broadway frontage, and removal of
the roof cresting.
At each front an immense glass area completely fills
the frame. The glass is held in continuous rows of
windows, or, more accurately speaking, French glass
doors, under glass transoms that reach to the ceiling
(most of the transoms having later been painted). In
the wide central bay of each front this fenestration is
recessed behind shallow balconies with wrought-iron
railings and delicate iron posts.
It is the small amount of masonry covering the steel


architectural FORUM / April 1957

Forgotten pioneering


Fingl~le biarsi~!~ at~ c~ the core s. Snce the. skebl.i dto s:

place oft I~sth usual~t)~ lne ule I nrtelleer so people ,i thl,!

Yel'y allica eprntli fol;l) ilowe9 i~l CtIl, I;lpldi l.l leth-
;odsa I~aut the-Tl~i importa t things s bil~ith alesoninhr\elnrt so

St l ll t l linit\ si lati on 4. t.4 r **-e, fli, l il ) te l~lt C ltill. Ha\.

He noltl~ r lone thaE I'm- ezrlement s o t oday's~c cu rjbic llt ImaI;,

...I.adl "CliitJ lf lc.l Ste**I ut" 8L iftlilllt' l I StL~' clpp ttsl .*ill ell, ll I.tl~r

i:Llrtl y 0110 gllSlll" nthe J klwlt~ r !It pu 'dllef. I t lis 1!Iase~II1-* the

USEii thisant IT ove an l i s h t I~cnst uc io l i ys B~ltern Pilln th

Sig r ote hreyer ltr.T e n ve 01 llh

FW lelhRnlg idlisV0Sil Se epiflta


Equally~~~ facntn ste'eto h h kd..

Head-to-toe glass olpens up I t h. o~fik 11. .0.- -
nf the-:?~~..3-y..ar-ok buibb]iin Ir. then her 1.:o. ri



*Fanciful wrought iro~n .u-cu~~tat~ ..n f the
11-story bush~llrIIC gI ast~ qutJ1C log l, rt r it i

A 'Illli~ h

~iir~Pi~L~;.~yiri-"~IIL~i I \II *r .
,.-- ~i-
II : i
c-~ -i~ `' :
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Singer Towrer, still among the
slimmest, pioneered the modern

concept of city zoning


"Princie Sidkyong Tulku, Iheir ; l~appaent to the Manhardiahh
of Sikkim, a Tibetanl pr~incipaity, whlo is here foL a
fort~night, .. relaxed a bit yesterday andi became a trifile
mlor~e communicative .. b:ut at that he didn't talk
much. Perhiaps his longest speech w\as madle after' a
visit to the Singer Building'" inl reply\ to a questions
to what he thought, of its height.
'Your building isn't really hiigh,' responded the
Pr~ince. 'In my country there is a mountain 29,n00' high
rising at my feet. It is Mlount Everest. I must do
honor, though, to the brains that conceived and erected
such a business building""
Although the excitement of great height is long since
past, and the Singer Building was destined to be the
tallest in thle world for only 18 months, af'tei r which it
waIS ecipSedd by' the Metropolitan "camlpanile," it has
a slendernless r~atio of one in seven, w~hichl mayr very
w~ell hold thle r~ecor~d even today among skyscrapers.s
The architectural quality of the tower is what now~
chieflyy interests us. The question may fairly be asked
whiy the Towver is so much less "pur~e" and self-consistent
in its appearances than the earlier 12-storyJ buliilding;
for Singer bjy the samer architect (p. 1143). A look at a
contemporaryg renldering, and at a 19(7 con\Strulctionl PiC-
tur'e (next page), suggests the answer.l~
Unlike latter towe'ri buildlings suich as the W~oolw\or'th
or the Empiie State, ther Singer Buildling wans not ear'-
riedl out inl a single oper~atioin. Its pre~senlt baisl` repre-
senlts thle inlterconrnect ion ait llnd aronization of no feweril
than fur buildlings or b~uildlng~ extll-nsio~ns, \, varing in
theirii original h~eight andi treantment, tstatinig wiithi an
or'iginni Sing~er stru~cture of 1898, only tenl stl'torie high,.
at the nlorthw\\eSt cornller' of ~io:d\ndwa andi Liberit! St.
Accoidiglyyl the miaster~ plan whiichl thie Sinpger compnylni
commilssioned~l~ of FlagFg il n loat, diuring an~ (;ra of corl-
para'te pro:sp~erit andt expansionl, wasR a combl~inatlion)l of

P-erhalp it wasR Flagg's thorIoughl tra~iningp in thie prin-

inl thle Frenich Beaus-Artss w\hith led- him tol sheathe his
tow~er with brlick andlC limetstoine to: ag''cre. in ~c-olor, te1-s
lurec, anllI ioof for m, writh thlj buiiilding below\r.

inlg or nolt it m..ust b~e clone~~ cede thallt the tal\l:i.ller I~ni las
r~epresen-~ts a v.ery! icoherent, \iriler pliece~ o~f dlesign~ \ithi

coursc s at dliffereni~t le\.els, culminatiing in anl a~llows~-

capp~ed~ by! a series o~f metal hlip Iroof's, <.restingrs a7nd


"'}-wo 2

TIhien oIlr ntl ... n.1.1I-I.

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