List of illustrations

  • William H. Jordy walking up spiral ramp of Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • Study for a mural for a post office near Binghamton, New York
  • William and Sarah Spock Jordy, Winchester, New Hampshire
  • Sketches of Olympic Theater in Vicenza (1580–85) by Andrea Palladio
  • Sketches of Olympic Theater in Vicenza (1580–85) by Andrea Palladio
  • Sketches of Maison du Peuple in Brussels (1896–99) by Victor Horta
  • Sketches of Unité d'Habitation in Marseilles (1947–53) by Le Corbusier
  • William Jordy, Yale University
  • William Jordy in the classroom at Brown, List Art Center, Brown University
  • Modern Architecture Symposium (MAS), Columbia University, May 1964. Left to right: Henry-Russell Hitchcock, William Jordy, Percival Goodman, Colin Rowe, Vincent Scully, George Collins, Eduard Sekler
  • William Jordy in his office with a student's tensegrity sphere, List Art Center, Brown University
  • Sketches of Fontana Dam, incuding the turbine room of the powerhouse (upper right), Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Sketches of "decorated shed" at exhibition "Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown: A Generation of Architecture"
  • Marshall Field Wholesale Store, Chicago
  • Guaranty (later Prudential) Building, Buffalo, New York
  • Boston Public Library
  • Boston Public Library, detail of front elevation
  • Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander
  • Fiammetta's Song
  • Getty Tomb, Graceland Cemetery, Chicago
  • Boston Public Library, central court
  • Tornado over Kansas
  • Broadacre City. Panoramic overview with sky craft
  • Diagram of the "valley section" patterned after the regional thinking of Patrick Geddes
  • Post Office, Sprott, Ala.
  • Boomtown
  • Map, Tennessee Valley region
  • Perspective diagram of the TVA water control system
  • Norris Dam, Tennessee Valley Authority, near Norris Tennessee
  • First TVA board of directors. Left to right: Harcourt A. Morgan, Arthur E. Morgan, David E. Lilienthal
  • Plan of Norris, close view of the segment of the town completed by TVA
  • Norris Dam and Powerhouse
  • Visitors Center. Norris Dam
  • Interior of powerhouse. Fontana Dam
  • Site plan, Raccoon Mountain, TVA
  • Pumped storage plant, analytical section, Raccoon Mountain, TVA
  • Vortex Tower, Raccoon Mountain, TVA
  • Raccoon Mountain, TVA, with reservoir and visitors center at left. Aerial view
  • The Titan's Goblet
  • Willow Run—Close to Conservative Courts and Post-War Soy Beans, but Far from Labor
  • Bomber City—Designed for Living. It Will Never Be Built
  • Adler Cabriolet
  • Dymaxion Car Number 3
  • Project for a Brick Country House
  • Studio for Amédée Ozenfant, Paris
  • Sketch for a house with garden court
  • Project for the garden of the Governor's Palace, Chandigarh, Punjab, India
  • Preliminary topographical sketch toward a project for the planning of Nemours, Algeria
  • Hélène de Mandrot House, Le Pradet near Toulon
  • Cross-sectional isometric of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
  • Model of the preliminary project for Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies, near San Diego, California
  • Harnischmacher House, Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Josephine Hagerty House, Cohasset, Massachusetts
  • Ministry of Education, Rio de Janeiro
  • Drawing of dock cranes in Rotterdam
  • Drawing of a cabin toilet, Liberty Ship Vernon S. Hood
  • Drawing, aerial view of delta, Ahmedabad/Bombay
  • Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building, Philadelphia
  • Frederick Vanderbilt Field House, New Hartford, Connecticut
  • Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building
  • Frederick Vanderbilt Field House, New Hartford, Connecticut
  • Oak Lane Country Day School, Phiadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rendering
  • Chrystie-Forsyth Street Housing, Lower East Side, New York City. Photomontage of project on the site
  • Ten Eyck Houses, Brooklyn, New York
  • Townhouse, New York City
  • Gene's Pavilion, Bristol, England. Exterior view
  • Model for a projected headquarters building for the silk industry, Krefeld, Germany
  • Scheme for an ideal linear city
  • Scheme for six townships near Boston, Massachusetts, with loop roads and greenbelts
  • Preston Robinson House, Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • Project for a Brick Country House, elevation
  • Frederick Robie House, Chicago
  • Graduate Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany
  • Synagogue and Community Center, Cleveland
  • Apartments at 860 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Canopy between buildings looking north
  • Apartments at 860 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Structural plan of exterior wall
  • Seagram Building, New York. Front elevation and plaza
  • Seagram Building, New York. Detail of the stilting
  • Seagram Building, New York. Plan of plaza and lobby
  • Comparative isometric diagram of the projecting I-beams at the window walls: 860 Lake Shore Drive (left) and Seagram Building (right)
  • Comparative window proportioning: 860 Lake Shore Drive (left) and Seagram Building (right)
  • Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, rising above the roof of Cope and Stewardson's "Elizabethan" quadrangle
  • Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. The entrance beneath a corner of one of the studio towers
  • Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, typical floor plan
  • Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, view during construction
  • Research Tower, Johnson Wax Company. Typical Laboratory with circular balcony
  • Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. The main public entrance at upper level
  • Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hamphsire. East façade
  • Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. The north elevation showing the vaulted upper story of exhibition space sitting over the museum's working areas
  • Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. Sketch of section showing the flattened cycloid vaults
  • Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth Texas. Public entrance area with the double flight of stairs leading down to the lower floor
  • Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. Upper-level plan
  • Library, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hamphsire. First-floor plan
  • Library, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire. Model showing relationship of Kahn's library and dining hall on the Exeter campus
  • Library, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire. Reading zone with study carrels
  • Library, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire. The central space
  • Guild House, Philadelphia
  • Three Flags
  • Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong. Urban view with Norman Foster's Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank at left
  • Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong, typical floor configurations
  • Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong. North-south section looking west
  • Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong. Axonometric drawing showing load transfer of the tower
  • Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong. View of north entrance
  • Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong. View from west
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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
~Striding up the ramp of the Guggenheim Museum, William Jordy pauses as if to register some insight about Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture (see fig. 1). A historian whose passionate engagement with his subject matter animates his honed prose, he was that rare scholar whose broad knowledge and inquiring...
Free
Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
~During the summer of 1997, in anticipation of William Jordy’s eightieth birthday, the Buell Center—its director Joan Ockman and board members—initiated this collection of essays, inviting me to serve as guest editor and contribute an introductory essay. As a former graduate student at Brown University, I accepted because it offered me the...
Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
William H. Jordy was the leading scholar of modern and American architecture to emerge in the generation after Henry-Russell Hitchcock. His wide-ranging studies published over more than a half century drew upon the work of the first generation of historians of modernism, especially Nikolaus Pevsner and Sigfried...

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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
“Since [Edward] Gibbon, the spectacle was almost a scandal. History had lost even the sense of shame. It was a hundred years behind the experimental sciences. For all serious purpose, it was less instructive than Walter Scott and Alexandre Dumas.” Thus, in 1905, Adams chided his fellow historians...

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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
The years between Philadelphia’s Exposition of 1876 and the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 were a time when, as we have come increasingly to realize, American architecture began to assume an independent national identity...

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In the visual arts during the 1930s surely regionalism was a cardinal issue. Publications bracketing the period testify to the pervasiveness of the theme. At the threshold of the decade, there were Benton MacKaye’s The New Exploration (1928), Twelve Southerners’ I’ll Take My Stand (1930), and W. P. Webb’s The Great Plains...

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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
The Tennessee Valley Authority is singular in the history of American design and public policy. First there is its vast geographic scale. As may be seen from a map of the river basin, the ground on which TVA planning was wrought is as large as the area of England and Wales combined...

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So exciting are the blueprints for Bomber City, the war-housing development planned for Henry Ford’s Willow Run bomber plant, that the restrained editors of Architectural Forum have described it as “the most workable and most human guide to the integrated community produced to date.”

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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
The typical image of modern European architecture of the twenties—that is, the textureless container of simple shape as the membrane-thin envelope for extravagantly open interiors—has today become the butt of negative commentary among architects, critics, and historians...

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Surely the first observation to make about the International Style in the 1930s is that the 1930s saw the Style baptized with the name—and by two who are with us today. If one were to mention the documents of cardinal importance for the International Style during its first phase...

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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
A suitcase found in a closet in Le Corbusier’s Paris apartment at 24 rue Nungesser-et-Coli after his death contained seventy-three sketchbooks neatly ordered. They include a mélange of sketches and notes: on designs in progress (not only for architecture, but for paintings and sculpture as well), travel observations, rough drafts or outlines for writings or talks...

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Looking back on it from our present perspective, what can one say of Lescaze’s career? History has been cruel to it. Although the skyscraper for the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society of 1932 (fig. 58), designed with George Howe (in a design relationship which is still debated), shared in the grand sweep of history, there is not much else now to point to...

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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
In architecture and design the German émigrés who most profoundly influenced American developments were former teachers at the Bauhaus. Their impact on American culture may well be considered to have been the most direct legacy of the Bauhaus—not its continuation, but its postscript...

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Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Seagram Building is its visual weight (fig. 78). In this respect the Seagram participates in a widespread reaction against the ideal of weightless transparency, which, until very recently, has provided the impetus for modern architecture...

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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
A real building: that favorite adjective of nineteenth-century architectural morality comes first to mind when confronting Kahn’s achievement. It is real in its tangibility; real in structure and materials; real in the inevitability with which it unfolds from the basic idea of its conception...

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A museum? A school library? To Louis Kahn our institutions were “on trial”: “When we think of the simple beginnings which inspired our present institutions, it is evident that some drastic changes must be made which will inspire the re-creation of [their] meaning.”

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If anyone can be called the father of postmodern architecture in America it is Robert Venturi, however reluctantly he admits his paternity. Some would say that postmodernist architecture has two fathers, Venturi and Charles Moore...

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Description: "Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American...
To the Hong Kong resident it is a silver sword rising abruptly behind and above the dense collection of the city’s downtown skyscrapers, its seventy stories aggrandized by its position on the lower slopes of Victoria Mountain...

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"Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American Culture
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