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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Friday, September 16, 2011
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11-12, 2011
Co-Sponsored by the Schools of Architecture of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Miami
John Morris Dixon
Robert A.M. Stern
Thomas Gordon Smith
You have to be there!
The conference takes place at the Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. Space is limited and reservations are required. Register online or call David Ludwig at (212) 730-9646, ext. 104.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
May 26, 2011 7:23 AM from Architecture Here and There by David Brussat
Pennsylvania Station, in New York
"When the office won the competition for the Rhode Island State Capitol," writes Broderick, "the draftsmen decided to celebrate with a high-spirited parade led by a bevy of office men who would later be stars of the profession [in their own careers. Frank Hoppin (of Hoppin & Koen), John Mead Howells (William R. Mead's nephew) and Henry Bacon dressed up as High Commissioners of Architecture performing an architectural Mass. Hoppin played pope wearing a mitre and holding a T square as a substitute for a crosier. The acolytes followed swinging an old Venetian lamp as if incense. (Passage omitted from quote to save space.)] Henry Bacon carried a cutout of the winning design while the office sang a hymn to the tune of
'Onward Christian Soldiers':
"Onward, All ye Draughtsmen,
Marching as to War,
With our office T. Square
Going on before.
We are not divided
All our office, we,
In all competitions,
Ours the Victory . . .
Foes may struggle vainly,
We will Vanquish all,
For they are not in it,
They will have to crawl.
Providence is with us
Thro' the darkest night;
In our blest profession
We're simply out of sight."
That passage is almost all there is about one of the firm's major works, cited but twice in the index, as "Rhode Island State Capitol, [page] 304" and "Rhode Island State House, [page] 407." [The latter mentions the project in passing.]
So, yes, a little local pique slightly affects my assessment of Triumvirate. The Ocean State capitol offered Broderick a tasty nugget: winning a commission by social connections even in a competition, in this case perhaps scandalously so. She did not bite. Too bad. Still, by the time of McKim's death, in 1909, the firm had some 940 buildings under its belt. Triage, however inexplicably achieved, was mandatory.
The book has been praised for its social tapestry and criticized for going overboard in detailing that tapestry, and also for lapses in the quality of its prose and the paucity of quotation from primary sources, and for many vague references (mostly free of sniggering) to the sexual bent of its subjects. My big problem with the book is its prejudice against the neoclassicism responsible for much of the firm's fame.
Broderick observes repeatedly that the firm relied heavily on precedent. She rarely manages to avoid looking down her nose at the architects for this supposed infraction.
Broderick puts the blame on Joseph Wells, an architect at the firm whom she nevertheless considers the office's chief genius: "He taught the partners how to find precedent in the volumes of Letarouilly and others in their growing library -- and by showing them that the pages of books contained all the answers, he removed their life force. By the end of the century, everything came out of books.
This unwarranted sneer hints at an important subsidiary bias in Broderick's assessment. The "copying" done for the firm's earlier, Shingle Style work based on the quaint vernacular styles of England and Normandy -- rambling masses of gabled roofs, turrets, porches -- is tut-tutted with less severity by Broderick until the firm embraces neoclassicism. She seems dismayed that, as the importance of their commissions increased, the architects adopted an increasingly lofty architectural vocabulary.
A lot of the book is set in Newport. The Isaac Bell House (1883) and Rosecliff (1902) are representative of the firm's earlier and later work. Broderick's ill-concealed contempt for the latter mars her book's scholarship.
Notwithstanding my regrets, Triumvirate is a monumentally fascinating catalogue of how money and social intercourse dressed the Gilded Age in beauty. We may sigh at the evaporation of the past -- so many of the buildings of McKim, Mead & White razed! But many remain to be studied for inspiration today, and we must be mindful that, however rich America was then, now, despite its current travails, it is far, far and away richer, in almost all respects except for its appreciation of beauty -- a need that architecture could easily supply.
David Brussat (email@example.com) is a member of The Journal's editorial board. His blog at projo.com is called Architecture Here and There.
Monday, May 16, 2011
- Free lecture by Steven Semes this Thursday in Newport (Classicist New England)
May 15, 2011 by classicistne
By David Brussat
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Chapter members who missed the lecture by Steven Semes a year ago at the College Club can hear the author of The Future of the Past for free at Rosecliff, on Newport’s Bellevue Avenue, this Thursday, May 19, at 6 p.m. Mr. Semes, whose book is a must-read for architects, preservationists and planners, runs the Rome program of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture.
Again, the lecture is free but space is limited, and registration is required. Go here to register with the Preservation Society of Newport County, which is sponsoring the event along with the City of Newport. Or you can call 401/847-1000 ext. 154.
This is the society’s annual lecture honoring Noreen Stonor Drexel, one of Rhode Island’s most dedicated preservationists.
Mr. Semes makes the case that preserving the places we love means allowing them to evolve naturally, by adding new buildings and additions that fit with their historical character – not attack it, according to the orthodox practice of preservationism, which is led by the nose into bed with the modernists. Modernists aim to lull preservationists into helping them destroy places worth saving. The modernists’ plot has been operating smoothly, alas, to the detriment of civic beauty everywhere, for at least three decades.
Friday, April 1, 2011
via Programs — Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America.
March 18, 2011
The school year runs from September to June, and is divided into 5 six-week terms and a 2-week travel term in Rome.
Applications due May 15, 2011. Any application received after the deadline will be reviewed and processed within 2-3 weeks.
Click here to download the application.
The Design Studio is the heart of the program, where students integrate what they learn in other courses into a series of architectural compositions of increasing complexity. All coursework is related directly to the Design Studio, which meets 3 times per week. Crucial to the Design Studio’s approach is the imposition of time constraint in learning to design. This was a central precept of the École des Beaux-Arts method. Each six-week term begins with a new design problem followed by an intensive one-week exercise in establishing a ‘parti’ or preliminary design. The subsequent five weeks are dedicated to working with the studio instructors to develop the student’s design in detail and render it for presentation to an invited jury of distinguished practitioners. At the discretion of the jury, prizes are awarded at the end of each session to the top projects.
The curriculum is based on the following areas of study:
GEOMETRY AND PROPORTION
AWING AND DRAFTING
MODELING & SCULPTING
ANATOMY, FIGURE DRAWING & CAST DRAWING
ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING IN WASH
HISTORY AND THEORY OF CLASSICAL ARCHITECTURE
STUDY OF NEW YORK BUILDINGS
Students must complete a series of courses in the above areas of study, each building upon the last in range and difficulty. Students will be expected to complete a specific set of drawings, models and sketchbooks for each of the courses. Certificate completion will rely upon the instructors’ evaluation of all required student work.
Each term also includes field trips and tours to local museums, traditional craft workshops, the city’s principal monuments, and local offices.
ROME TRAVEL TERM
All students are guaranteed a spot on the ICA&CA annual Rome Drawing Tour. This trip provides an invaluable completion to the students’ year of study. The experience of Rome is central to understanding the history of classical architecture as well as the inspiration for the great buildings of America, and will be a vital part of the students’ artistic and intellectual development.
All Atelier students are eligible for Rome program scholarships in addition to their existing scholarships. These scholarships will be awarded to students during the spring study term.
Interested students will be assisted by the Registrar and the Atelier’s instructors in obtaining an internship in one of ICA&CA’s professional member firms. The internship will provide students with professional experience in firms that practice traditional and classical architecture.
Housing is not provided by the ICA&CA. The registrar’s office is available to help with inquiries and will assist students in finding appropriate housing.
Tuition for the program is $15,000 for one year.
Scholarships and financial aid are available to all students and are decided on the basis of merit and need. Please inquire for additional information.
Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America
20 W 44th Street 3rd Fl
Attention: Beaux-Arts Atelier
New York, NY 10036
Questions about the Beaux-Arts Atelier may be directed to Anne Wolff Lawson,
212-730-9646 × 108, firstname.lastname@example.org
This program does not lead to a degree, academic credits that can be counted towards an academic program, and is not registered as a higher education institution by the state of New York.