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building of a simple rectangular plan, 216 feet long St. Paul's in New York (fig. 10), a little later, built of and 105 feet broad, in which the same style is employ- brown freestone, and with a more consistent attention ed with marked refinement and elegance. Here the to architectural effect both without and within. material of the front and the two ends is marble, while the rear is of brown freestone. Such richness of material was as yet extremely rare. Building-stones of good quality were everywhere rare and costly. The Capitol at Washington had been built of a wretched brown freestone from Virginia, which was soon covered with white paint, hardly more out of the desire to counterfeit the nobler material than to preserve the stone from speedy decay. The Boston State-house was built of brick, the colonnade and all the architectural ornaments being of wood.
Fig. 10.-St. Paul's, New York. From the simplicity and reasonableness of these early buildings American architecture soon la psed into a series of more or less extravagant and absurd departures, not to be accounted for on any ground more satisfactory than that of fashion or whim. It is perhaps not singular that this fall should be contemporary with the increase in the number of professional architects, ill prepared to meet the difficulties of practice in unfamiliar styles, yet ambitious to produce effects of novelty. The first fashion (for it can only be called such) to find general favor took the form of a Greek revival. Public buildings, churches, banks, and even private houses, were built after the similitude of a Greek temple, with a portico of two, four, or six columns at one end or both, but with the startling solecism of rows of win.
Fig. 9.--Park Street Church, Boston, Mass. In these early examples of public buildings the result must be reckoned fortunate: the architects followed loyally and without undue ambition the grander models of the European capitals. The same may be said of the churches which were built at the same period. Architects were few and modest, not yet possessed with the spirit of exaggeration, and the examples which remain to us of their work are calculated to inspire us with a sense of respect for the skill, good taste,
Fig. 11.-U. S. Custom-House, Philadelphia. and temperance with which they used the slender re-dows piercing the walls. That the adoption of such a sources at their command. As fair representatives of style for buildings to serve the ordinary purposes of the churches of the first twenty years of the century modern life tied the hands of the architect, and dewe may cite Park Street Church in Boston, built in prived him of all freedom as to the disposition of his 1810 (fig. 9), whose fine steeple, as was usual with the plan, was perhaps not less obvious to him than it is to earlier churches, is the only architectural feature of the us; but it was not a sufficient objection in his eyes to building, but is in itself worthy of Wren or Gibbs ; and the use of the Greek model, which continued in favor for many years. The custom-houses of Philadelphia The Greek fashion, absurd as it was, held undisputed (fig. 11) and New York, the former originally built for sway for nearly a generation. Rude attempts were the United States Bank, are examples of the more made from time to time at building churches in the splendid use of this style. Both are of white marble, Gothic style, but the results were for the most part so with octastyle Doric porticos at either end. In the unfortunate that the older forms were generally adNew York building the metopes of the frieze are plates hered to until about 1840, when the building of Trinity of glass which light an attic story. The Boston custom- Church in New York (fig. 14) set before the eyes of house (fig. 12) is an example of the same style used in men the first worthy example of what might be done
with the Gothic in the hands of a master. The master here was Richard Upjohn, English by birth, who came to this country in 1829, being then about twenty-eight years old, and settled in New Bedford, Mass., as a cabinetmaker, employing his evenings in teaching drawing. In 1832 he removed to Boston, where he worked as an architectural draughtsman, and even
Fig. 12.-U. S. Custom-House, Boston, Mass. a somewhat less unreasonable way. The porticos here occupy only the centre of each front, the order being carried around the building by engaged three-quarter columps. This building is of granite. But the final, crowning example of this singular misuse of architectural precedents is to be found in the Girard College at Philadelphia (fig. 13), of which the main building, fin
Fig. 13.-Girard Colle Phila lphia. ished in 1847, is at once the most splendid and the most preposterous ever raised in this country for educational purposes. It is in outward form a full Corinthian peripteral temple, 169 feet long, 111 feet broad, and 97 feet high, built throughout of white marble, the
Fig. 14.—Trinity Church, New York. columns 6 feet in diameter and 55 feet high; the back- practised architecture in a small way, furnishing deground of this magnificent colonnade being of course signs for small churches, of which St. John's at Banon all sides a cella wall pierced with three stories of gor, Maine, is one. A few years later he became a windows, which admit an interrupted and insufficient resident of New York, and when it was determined by light to the rooms within.
the government of Trinity Church to build a new ediThe example set by the architects of important pub- fice instead of enlarging their old one, Mr. Upjohn was lic buildings was duly
, followed in churches, town-halls, employed—whether in competition or not we do not banks, and even in dwelling-houses, not only in cities, know-to furnish the designs. The church was built but also in country towns. Houses are still to be seen between the years 1839 and 1845. It was the largest in the vicinity of all the larger cities whose front con- and most costly religious building in the United States, sists of a monumental portico of Ionic or Corinthian measuring 80 feet in breadth and 192 feet in length, columns (the Doric was less common in domestic build- and with a stone spire 284 feet high. More than this, ings, as being inconveniently massive) two or three feet it was the first instance in which the Gothic style had in diameter, built up of pine planks, and surmounted ever been used in this country with knowledge and with the correct entablature and pediment, the whole skill
. Considered as the work of a man whose opporpainted a dazzling white, only relieved by the bright tunities for practical work had been at best but limited, green window-blinds.
the result was most surprising. There is in Trinity Church no indication of an uncertain or inexperienced vantage—but also for the entire fronts of buildings. hand. The proportions are just, the construction is An order of Corinthian columns with entablature at so scientific, the details are well chosen and well placed. much a pound was thus repeated as many times as the There is no striving for originality or picturesqueness. number of stories required, each story being an exact It is the work of a student who is contented to follow repetition of the one below. The iron being painted loyally the ancient models and to reproduce as closely in imitation of marble and the spaces filled in with as may be the ancient effects. But it would be too plate-glass windows, a certain grandiosity was attained, much to say that fifty years of rapidly-increasing know- not procurable so cheaply in any other way. Numerledge and more rapidly-increasing expenditure have ous examples of this meretricious architecture are to enabled us to produce a single church which can be be seen in almost every street of that portion of New pronounced the superior of this first work of an un- York devoted to business, and the bad example was trained and self-taught student. Mr. Upjohn continued followed, though to a less extent, in some other cities. in a large and varied practice for more than thirty Fortunately, it was discovered before many years that years, building not churches only, but dwelling-houses this cheap splendor was in the long run expensive, the and civic buildings of various uses. His buildings are iron-work tending to deteriorate rapidly from rust, and widely scattered over half a dozen States, and while requiring constant outlay to keep it in safe condition. they are of course of unequal merit, they have all This point settled, the progress of cast-iron architecture been designed with conscientiousness and refinement. was brought to a sudden stop. It is, however, by his example of the use of the pure In the course of time, fortunately, the rapid material English Gothic in his churches that he has been of development of the country began to bring about a the greatest service to American architecture. The ad- perceptible though inadequate education in matters of Fantage of this influence was not immediately appar- art. Foreign travel increased to a remarkable extent, ent. The classical style, which had furnished three and the splendors of the European capitals and cathegenerations of modest builders with churches in which dral towns became familiar to large numbers of those dignity and propriety, not untouched with elegance, classes upon whom the production of architecture is dewere joined with convenience and appropriateness, was pendent, while to those who did not travel abroad phoabandoned for the newer style. The temple was for- tography brought home the first adequate representagotten; the cathedral was now the approved model. tions of the best buildings of all ages and countries. But the Gothic style was a much more complicated in- To these influences must be added the writings of Russtrument than the Greek, and less governed by rules kin, not less widely read in America than in England, and proportions to be found in the books. In the and not less immediate and powerful in their effect. It hands of untaught architects it was capable of pro- is easy at this interval of time to see the extravagances ducing results more afflicting on the whole than those and fallacies with which these remarkable works were which had followed the use of the classic style. Only filled, but it is impossible to deny the influence which here and there a church or a chapel was built in which they exerted at a period of great degradation in art, in a little of the Gothic spirit was caught and preserved. opening the eyes of intelligent people everywhere to the But this was not all.” As in the case of the Greek worthlessness of many of the things they had been used fashion twenty years earlier, so now the Gothic became to admire, and to the beauty which it was possible to suba fashion, and houses, large and small, especially in the stitute. It is certain that large numbers of young and country, showed a tendency to become violently Gothic enthusiastic disciples were moved by the eloquence of and to decorate themselves with sharp wooden gables Ruskin to take up the profession of architecture, and and battlemented caves and crocketed pinnacles. The in their practice to contemn all building bearing the absurdities of such a use of the style were, however, stamp of the Classic or Renaissance, to dist every too apparent to be long persisted in, and Gothic became opening that was not covered by an arch, to regard in a few years restricted mainly to churches, where it with aversion all conventionalized ornament and all has prevailed as by common consent to the present day. symmetry of parts, and generally to treat the question
In the mean time, the condition of the people was of one architectural style or another as a matter not of changing with great rapidity. The growing cities, cen- good taste, but of good morals. In the United States, tres of commerce and manufactures, were developing as in England, the practical effect of all this was the in wealth and luxury. In this development a taste for general adoption of a modified Gothic style for civil and architectural display occupied naturally a prominent domestic as well as religious buildings—a style in which place. Public and private buildings became yearly more ambitious and costly; the humbler materials which satisfied the builders of a generation before, like the classic models which furnished their modest façades, were far from satisfying their richer descendants. The broadening field attracted to the pursuit of architecture increasing numbers of men ready to style themselves architects and to undertake the duties of the profession, but whose training was for the most part limited to such as they could secure from their experience at the carpenter's bench. It was natural that under such conditions, among a people in whom the native sense of beauty is wanting, and while as yet no attempt had been made to supply that want by education, the architecture of the cities should soon present abundant examples of every form of ugliness and vulgarity which ignorance and ambition together could invent. Essays were made in every style known to history, from the Egyptian temple to the Swiss chalet. The introduction of cast iron as a building material dates from this period. The cheapness and rapidity Fig. 15.---National Academy of Design, New York. with which castings of any desired pattern could be the pointed arch was de rigueur, in which much account multiplied led to the adoption of this material to a con- was made of surface decoration by contrasting materials siderable extent, not only for shop-fronts—where, the of different colors, and in which all sculptural ornament great end being the display of goods behind great was realistic and dependent for the most part on the sheets of plate-glass, the attenuation of the supports forms of flowers and leafage. One of the earliest and gained by the use of iron columns was a welcome ad- most successful examples of the new style was the build