American Architecture


To limit modern architecture to that particular which appears to embody what exactly are known as modernistic habits could be not just foolish, but arrogant. The architecture which to-day is considered as unprogressive, an era from now might be within the van, with no man, be he layman, critic, or designer, can pass an infallible judgment, or perhaps create a good guess, in regards to what will be the architecture for the future. Modern American architecture may be the American architecture nowadays.

The mechanical fallacy, or, when we approve it, the mechanical theory, has loomed large within the critique of contemporary American architecture. The analogies, many of them superficial, between Medieval architecture and steel construction managed to get inevitable. Almost when the first timid attempts within the “Chicago construction” made an appearance, critics both at home and abroad started insisting upon the desirability from the design revealing within the skyscraper the machine of construction making it possible.

A brief history of yankee architecture is dotted with disasters in polychromatic design. Happily, this difficulty has been recognized and met. The truly amazing monuments of color previously, like Raphael’s loggia or Pintoricchio’s adornments for that Borgia Apartments, are now being studied as a result monuments ought to be studied–not for imitation, but because effective solutions of the problem–along with a couple of monuments of yankee architecture have recently made an appearance which could compare, when it concerns effective color, with anything that’s been done previously.

A short sketch, therefore, of the introduction of American architecture, with especial mention of the that side from it which affects modern design, may be the necessary prelude to the discussion of the kinds of structures, or even the habits of architecture to-day. The traditions of yankee architecture go as far back towards the earliest Colonial period. Colonial architecture varied broadly, however, period by period, and it was influential more in the later phases than its earlier.

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