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ing of the National Academy of Design (fig. 15) in New years or more the United States have not been without York, a work whose beauty of detail and material ap- a respectable representation in the architectural departpealed strongly to the newly-awakened admiration of ment of the School of Fine Arts at Paris. In this the Venetian architecture, from which its motives were school the classic traditions are supreme, and its pupils mostly drawn. Many architects gladly adopted the who returned to America to practise their profession style, and worked in it with skill and success, and most have loyally held to their allegiance and have designed of the Northern cities present creditable examples of after the manner of the French Renaissance. With it, applied not only to public buildings, but to commer- rare exceptions all the numerous Government buildings, cial street-fronts and dwelling-houses as well. But it not only at the capital, but in all the cities-post-offices, had not the elements of permanent existence. It had custom-houses, court-houses, and the like have been served a good purpose in turning men's minds away built in this style. The State and municipal buildings from the falseness and ostentation of the prevailing (fig. 18) have for the most part followed the same rule. styles of building, and teaching them to value honesty of material
, delicacy of ornament, refinement of detail, above the tawdry splendors of the debased Renaissance architecture which had latterly contented them. Of the few important public buildings in which the Gothic style was used, one of the latest, as it is also one of the most conspicuous, is the State Capitol of Connecticut at Hartford (fig. 16), built of white marble with much
Fig. 18.-City Hall, Boston, Mass.
The main characteristics are alike in this whole class of Fig. 16.-State Capitol Building, Hartford, Coun. public buildings: three or four orders of columns or pilaselaborateness of decoration both outside and inside, and ters superimposed, corresponding to the various stories
, with a central lantern which is a compound of done with Italian windows between, heavily ornamented; and spire, but missing withal the monumental character projecting pavilions at centre and ends, and a ponderwhich belongs to a building of such scale and for such ous mansard crowning all, violently invaded by pedipurposes. A more satisfactory example of Gothic
ments and dormers and ornamental chimney-tops. The of the Alumni of Harvard University at Cambridge scale of this ambitious style, which reached its fullest plied to buildings for public use is the Memorial Hall yet unfinished city buildings of Philadelphia (PI. III)
furnish a characteristic illustration on a magnificent (fig. 17)—a building with no costly materials or decora
development in Paris under the patronage of Napoleon III. The new buildings of the State and War Departments (Pl. IV) at Washington offer equally characteristic and less extravagant examples of the same style, in which the almost invariable material is granite, and in which that enduring material lends itself readily to the expression of grandeur and solidity.
From what has been said it will appear that the architecture of the United States has been thus far the result of many successive external influences, contradiotory, irreconcilable, transitory, rather than of any matured principles or convictions arising out of conditions of national life. In fact, the time for national individual. ity—if we may use such a term—in architecture, as in most other external matters, has passed. The solidarity of the race-of that portion of it at least among which political intercourse or social relations are maintained has progressed too far for any exclusive eccentricity of
style to flourish. The nations are too intimate with each Fig. 17.- Memorial Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, other. As to architecture, this intimacy is constantly Mass.
promoted by the rapid multiplication of photographs tion, the walls being of common brick and the dressings and the diffusion of illustrated architectural newspapers, of sandstone, but which, through a judicious use of by which the members of the profession are kept apthese, and by a broad, vigorous, and refined treatment prised of what is doing in other countries. England is of the general design, acquires the serious and impres- especially active in publishing such journals, and as sive effect which belongs to a public monument. England is the one country of Europe in which the same
Side by side with the influences which produced the absence of architectural principle and convictions prerevival of the Gothic style in civic buildings, and which vails which we have spoken of above as prevailing in proceeded wholly from England, was another quite op- America, these papers have enough to do in setting posite influence proceeding from France. For twenty ! forth the frequent changes in the fashion of building,
which follow each other as often as any specially clever man Catholic cathedral in New York. In this church, and audacious architect achieves some tour de force suf- whose scale is very nearly that of a European cathedral, ficiently striking to inspire his fellows with the desire measuring in length 306 feet and in breadth at the to emulate his success. Such was the origin of the transepts 140, the design follows, not too closely, the "Queen Anne style," so called, which followed a few type of Gothic prevailing in France in the fourteenth years since in England the sudden abandonment of the century. Its west front has a central gable 156 feet in Gothic, and was promptly, though less universally, height, flanked by two exactly similar spires 330 feet adopted on this side the water, where all the caprices high. The transept ends are of similar design, but and extravagances of the latest English revival are em- without spires. The aisle-walls are flanked with deep ulated with ardor — the broken gables, the straight buttresses, which seem to have started with the expectarches, the carved bricks, the lattice windows, and the ation of sustaining flying buttresses, and we believe it numberless forms of laborious awkwardness which have was indeed the original intention to cover the nave with no recommendation in usefulness or convenience, more a brick vault with stone ribs, and to meet the thrust than in beauty. It is perhaps safe to predict for this by flying buttresses, but a plaster ceiling having been newest fashion a shorter favor even than its predecessor substituted, the outside support was abandoned. The achieved, but what will succeed it no one can foretell. interior of the cathedral is carried out in general with We may instance as examples of its more restrained a worthy adhesion to the old traditions. The nave
piers are of white marble, and carry a high clerestory pierced with broad windows divided by decorated stone tracery and filled with fine glass. A triforium runs around nave and transepts; the high altar is surmounted by a marble tabernacle, and backed by a marble and alabaster reredos of great elaborateness ; the pavement of the church is of tessellated marble-work. It will thus be seen that no effort or expenditure has been spared to make here a real cathedral. Yet the effect is disappointing. A cathedral of the Old World presents to the mind the idea of growth. This American cathedral presents rather the idea of manufacture. The form is here, but the spirit is wanting. To say that the marble of the modern church is not alive with sculpture like the stones of Rheims or Chartres is but to touch the truth. The cathedral of the Middle Ages grew out of the institutions and life of the people. The cathedral of the nineteenth century is but the visible sign of conditions of life which are obsolete. No closeness or completeness of imitation could invest the new work with the charm of the old. The imitation which is excusable in Catholic churches is less pardonable in those of the Protestant faith, where church buildings are no longer the monuments of the power of the Church, but houses erected for the practical uses of a public worship which grows every year more simple, and in which the first necessity is that the words spoken by the preacher shall be clearly heard by all his congregation. Yet in
the Protestant churches of America, thus far, the chief CLUTZ
ambition of the architects has seemed to be, in most cases, to retain as many as possible of the characteristic features of mediæval church architecture. The cathedral nave and side-aisles, divided by great piers or columns which shut out the sight of the pulpit from a third of the pews, are in a Protestant church unreasonable, not to say absurd. So is the high-pitched, gloomy roof, which absorbs the voice of the preacher and the light from the windows. So is the darkness, which makes it difficult to read the service-book. Yet these and others like them in unreasonableness are features
which the modern church architects, generally speakFIG. 19.
ing, have thus far found too fascinating to be laid aside. and skilful use the new building of the Insurance Com- In exceptional instances, however, it has been shown pany of North America in Philadelphia (fig. 19) and that an impressive and beautiful interior can be prothat of the Union League Club in New York. duced without the aid of such solecisms, as in Trinity
In church architecture less extravagance and uncer- Church at Boston (Pl. V), perhaps the most striking tainty of taste has been shown than in public and pri- and successful attempt to domesticate a somewhat unvate secular buildings. The Gothic style has been familiar type of Romanesque architecture, whose noble pretty steadfastly adhered to for now forty years, with central tower, 56 feet square, is a reminder of the twelfthoccasional departures into the round-arched or Roman-century churches of the south and west provinces of esque style. But during the period when Gothic was France, and in whose interior the division into nave and in favor for civil buildings, the Gothic as applied to aisles has been frankly abandoned in favor of that free churches underwent various modifications, notably such open space which the modern forms of worship demand. as were naturally induced by the study of Venetian To meet peculiar requirements, which seemed to call types, as low-pitched roofs, bell-towers, surface deco- for marked divergence from the usual forms of church ration by materials of contrasted colors-features cha- building, essays have been made with more or less sucracteristic of the Gothic of Northern Italy rather than cess according to the individual tastes and abilities of that of England, from which the motives of the earlier the architects. A noteworthy example of this is the churches had been drawn. This was, however, not the Jewish " Temple Emmanuel"' in New York, built about case in the largest and most elaborate and costly relig- 1860, in which many of the features of Saracenic archiious edifice yet undertaken in the United States, the Ro- tecture have been employed with much skill and vigor
and with a lavish use of costly materials. The interior bad age. The group of houses recently built nearly is extremely sumptuous, but the outside effect, though simultaneously for the various members of the Vanshowing much graceful detail, is less satisfactory. derbilt family in New York afford a good illustration
of the various directions in which different architects have been drawn by their individual preferences. The most extensive of these follows the severely formal style introduced in the German capitals, notably in
rlin, by the older architects of the present generation-a style characterized by rigid classicism of detail
, squareness of outlines, flatness as to projection. The restraint imposed by such a style has made this the most satisfactory of all the Vanderbilt houses (fig. 20). In all the others, especially, perhaps, in that which affects the style of Francis I., the effort for splendor is too apparent; the architect is oppressed with
the magnitude of his opportunity, and loses that reserve and self-control which are never so necessary as when an unlimited expenditure seems to warrant the architect in disregarding them.
In houses of less pretension the same diversity of styles is shown, and an equal diversity in size, material, situation, and costliness. The house which has but the usual frontage of twenty-five feet, more or less, offers small opportunity for the
FIG. 20.--Vanderbilt Houses, New York. It is, after all, in domestic architecture that we must look for whatever characteristic national expression we may expect to find in the architecture of the United States. In the large cities the division of estates and the increasing price of land have resulted in a continual narrowing of house-lots, until, unless in exceptional cases, the city house has become a mere slice, all length and height—the most unreasonable, uncomfortable, and unattractive of all known types of civilized dwellings. With all the ingenuity and invention bestowed by clever architects on its plan and its design, this house refuses to lend itself with readiness to the expression of that broad, cheerful, hospitable family life which is before our minds when we speak of domestic architecture. There has, however, been a vast amelioration even here. The style of city dwellings invented by New York builders during the dark period between 1840 and 1860, whose gloomy monotony has impressed itself on many miles of New York streets, where the close-set ranks of brownstone houses, all exactly twenty-five feet wide, with their high break-neck front steps, their flat roofs, their exaggerated cornices and door- and window-dressings in the worst Italian style, have the air of having been turned out of some gigantic building-mill,—this type of city dwelling, vulgar, pretentious, costly, and uncomfortable, though it has not yet disappeared from New York, has ceased to be recognized universally as the correct thing, has been utterly outgrown by the architectural profession, and left as the instrument of speculative building mechanics. Of the modern houses built under professional direction, whatever other criticism may be made, monotony can certainly not be charged upon them. The resources of the modern architectural student and the diversity of individual tastes among the profession are nowhere more forcibly illustrated than in this department of their work. It is to be said in favor of an encouraging view, that while a cool and instructed observer cannot fail to see in the new houses a certain wildness and lack of reserve and self-restraint in the use of the unbounded material at the command of the architect-especially an intemper
Fig. 21.-Dwelling-house in New York. ance in the use of ornament both outside and insidestill, there is a visible tendency to return to the forms development of any pronounced style, and the wise arof the better periods where these evidently conduce to chitect will in such a case limit his effort to producing domestic comfort. Thus we see now low entrance- a front not too obtrusive on the one hand nor too inersteps in place of the palatial flights of a generation pressive on the other, but which shall satisfy the ere by ago, lower stories, broader windows, broad and square- the completeness of its adaptation to the needs of the framed stairways, ample fireplaces set in mantels of interior and by temperance and elegance in detail. Corwood instead of the cold and tasteless marbles of the l ner-lots offer of course an opportunity for composition