The American Architect from the Colonial Era to the Present

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About the Book

The later Colonial era saw a need to replace the buildings hurriedly assembled by earlier colonists, but competent builders were difficult to find. Capable housewrights were usually well paid and many became respected and prosperous members of their communities, but craft apprenticeships and a gentlemanly taste were two of the primary requirements for becoming an architect. As the profession developed, architects in the Northeast initiated efforts to distinguish between their work and that of housewrights and builders.
This work is a history of the development of architecture as a profession in the United States. It is divided into four chronological sections. Section One covers the beginnings in Colonial times before 1800 when there were no identifiable professionals. Section Two examines architecture from 1800 to the Civil War, a period during which the first architects appeared. Section Three considers the profession from the time of the Civil War to World War I and the strengthening of the profession’s status. Section Four covers architecture since World War I up to the present. Each section discusses the training of architects, standards of practice, general management methods, information sources, minority participation, and other aspects of professional operation, with special attention given to the relationship between the profession’s development and the social history of the periods.

About the Author(s)

The late Cecil D. Elliott was a professor emeritus of architecture from North Dakota State University. He lived in Fargo, North Dakota.

Bibliographic Details

Cecil D. Elliott
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: 54 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1391-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

A Note to the Reader     3

BEFORE 1800: COLONIAL ORIGINS

A Compelling Need for Buildings     6

Carpenters, Builders, and Gentlemen     9

Apprenticeship and Education     14

Colonial Books and Libraries     15

Westward Colonization     20

1800 TO THE CIVIL WAR: FORMATION OF THE PROFESSION     21

The New Capital     22

Defining the Profession     24

The Government as a Client     26

Matters of Faith     27

Available Knowledge     29

Professional Libraries     36

Arrivals from Europe     38

The Southern Frontier     41

A Professional Community     42

Architects’ Fees     45

Documents and Contracts     48

State Capitols     51

Westward Movement     54

THE CIVIL WAR TO WORLD WAR I: STRENGTHENING THE PROFESSION    56

Immigration     57

Publications     58

Learning in Europe     62

Learning in the United States     70

The Government’s Own Architects     76

The AIA Revived and Challenged     78

Women Architects     81

Registration     82

Competitions     84

Unfortunate Political Involvements     90

Practices and Partnerships     93

Extending Practices     98

Drawings and Specifications     100

Staff     108

The First African-American Architects     118

Specialization     119

Battling the Government     125

WORLD WAR I TO THE PRESENT: ADAPTATION TO EXTREMES     129

World War I     129

The Small House Movement     132

Estates and Mansions     136

Women in Architecture     139

The American Beaux-Arts     140

Sketch Clubs     145

Government Relations     147

African-American Architects     150

Associated Architects     151

The Great Depression     153

World War II     157

Registration and Reciprocity     158

New Influences on Practice     161

Deprofessionalization     164

The Present     166

Notes     171

Bibliography     185

Index     191

Book Reviews & Awards

“meticulously researched…insightful…highly informative”—Public Library Quarterly; “interesting”—Catholic Library World.