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The American Architect and Building News, Vol. 27, No. 733, January 11, 1890 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 83 pages of information about The American Architect and Building News, Vol. 27, No. 733, January 11, 1890.

TRADE SURVEYS. 32

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We wonder whether every one who receives these first issues of the International Edition of the American Architect comprehends the significance of the step which we, with the kind support and appreciation of our subscribers, have ventured to take.  How many of those who turn over our pages realize that this is by far the most ambitious and costly architectural periodical in the world, and that it has been reserved for America to try to present every week, with a due proportion of the more valuable models from the past, an adequate view of all the best architecture which modern civilization can show?  Strangely enough, in carrying out our plan of representing contemporary architecture as it should be represented, it is to Americans that we must most earnestly and urgently appeal for cooperation.  We know where we can get drawings, plans, photographs, descriptions and details of all the best current work in North and South Germany, Italy, France and England, and even in Russia, but to secure anything like a decent representation of modern American architecture has hitherto been, according to our experience, absolutely impossible.  Not long ago a discussion took place in England about architectural periodicals, and one or two of the American journals were mentioned with commendation, on account of the beautiful drawing and process-work in their illustrations, as well as the value of their text.  Not long afterwards, a disparaging commentary on this discussion was made in one of the English professional papers, to the effect that it was a great mistake to value so highly the illustrations in the American journals, for the reason that, although charmingly executed and fascinating, they rarely represented architectural work of any importance.  Our readers, especially those faithful friends who have stood by us for years, will understand that this was a sharp thrust, but it is, and not through our fault, altogether too well deserved.  While in all other countries where architecture is practised, every important competition is regularly illustrated from the competitive drawings themselves, which are, as a matter of course, placed at the disposal of the professional journals; and plans, elevations, sections and perspectives of all new buildings of interest, and often photographs from the models for the sculptured detail, and illustrations of the schemes for heating and ventilation are gladly furnished by the architects, who understand perfectly that their professional reputation depends in great part on the publicity which is given to their work through the medium of the technical press:  in this country, on the contrary, the attitude toward technical journals of a great many architects, and among them some who are constantly engaged upon very important work, is one, apparently, of grave suspicion.  The most earnest appeals by letter on the part of

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