The entire archive of Architectural Record is available online. Dive in and explore 125 years of America’s oldest design publication; it’s all downloadable and available at no charge. The project was completed by USModernist, the nonprofit educational archive for the documentation, preservation and promotion of residential modern architecture. The addition of Architectural Record brings the USModernist Library to more than 2.1 million pages (6,000+ issues) of nearly every major architecture magazine, including full editions of Architectural Forum, Arts+Architecture, Pencil Points and many more.
Think you can read just one? Guess again. I started with the July 1891 issue of Architectural Record, and an hour later found myself in June 1967 (there’s a great article on John Johansen’s Orlando library, which AR describes as a “compatible colony of varied forms,” on page 151).
Here are a few highlights from the July 1891 issue of Architectural Record.
On page 5: “Art has only one revelation, but many forms. Whether it be poetry, music, sculpture, architecture, the spirit that speaks is the same, the message to us is the same. They make alike a similar demand upon us for truth, integrity of purpose, seriousness, nobility. They are eminently aristocratic, not with the aristocratic spirit of a regime, with its rise-Sir-Knight formula, but in the loftiness of the higher nobility whose allegiance is given to Truth.”
(If you’d like to lose yourself in another rabbit hole, google “rise-Sir-Knight”.)
On page 7: The Romanesque Revival in New York by Montgomery Schuyler begins with, “It is an unusual comfort in architectural history or in architectural criticism to find a word denoting a style, about the meaning and the applicability of which there can be no question; and such a word is Romanesque.”
How can you not want to read more?
On page 39: The “American Style” of Architecture by Barr Ferre opens with, “With us, one of the most popular of modern architectural ideas is that there will someday be devised a truly original American style. Seldom has the popular mind made a greater error, or so openly expressed its ignorance of what Architecture really is, and of the conditions under which it is evolved. Architecture is not an article of manufacture that can be produced on demand. It is one of the things not affected by ‘supply and demand.’ We produce buildings, it is true, but few of our most pretentious attempts can be viewed with favor by the advocate of the ‘American Style.’”
On page 49: Fads in Architecture by George Keister, who argues, “The true Architect is no copyist, no stiff-thumbed duplicator of other’s details and ideas, but he who carefully studies the needs of the case before him, and plans, constructs and designs from a conviction that arises not so much from genius as from study and intelligent training, a kind of architectural conscience that abhors as a deformity, superfluous, misapplied or misplaced materials and inartistic lines and colors.”
Other articles in this issue:
Terra Cotta – Some of its Characteristics. By James Taylor.
The New York Building Law. By William J. Fryer, Jr.
Byzantine Architecture. By Professor Aitchison.
Some Common Facts About Plumbing. By W.T.