The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration, Vol. 01, No. 12, December 1895 - English Country Houses
Author: Various
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Dexter Bros., 55 and 57 Broad Street, Boston, Mass.

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Vol. I. DECEMBER, 1895. No. 12.


Mr. Wilson Eyre, Jr., in an article in The Architectural Review for January, which has been alluded to in our issue for October, and from which we have borrowed the three charming illustrations reproduced from his drawings, speaks as follows of English domestic architecture:

"There is much to be seen from the railroad in the way of long rambling farmhouses and country houses of the modest kind, and there is much to be gained by studying these for use in our own domestic architecture; their average work is so much less pretentious, so much more homelike than ours; their surroundings are studied so carefully, the garden forming as much part of the house as the roof, and great pains being taken that the garden wall, hedges, terraces, the little tea houses, in fact all the immediate surroundings, should form a harmonious effect. Photographs and measured drawings of the well-known and monumental buildings are at hand whenever we need them, but no idea can be gained, except from personal study, of the completeness and fitness of the country houses and farmhouses and of their surroundings, their "flocks of gables," the grouping and composition which through the most careful study arrive at the entirely unstudied and almost haphazard effect, and above all the impression produced that the building belongs to the spot upon which it is built and to no other. This is what makes the English domestic work better, to my mind, than any I have seen, and so well worthy of study, especially by our American architects."

The one distinguishing characteristic upon which all observers agree when comparing the houses of England with those of any other country is the importance given to the idea of a "home." This idea of the family life, more fully carried out by the Anglo-Saxon race than by any other, has given rise to conditions differing essentially from those governing the domestic architecture of other races. As pointed out in the last issue in speaking of the country houses of France, the impulse to associate in communities has been a stronger power in moulding the domestic architecture of France than the desire to have an independent home. In England the isolated house is the type. The social unit is the family, and consequently the architectural unit is the "home." The English character has given to the family an independence and privacy, a permanence and sacredness which are all reflected in the English houses, and it is this which makes them homes. The evidence of these characteristics is what has attracted Mr. Eyre and many other Americans besides, and will continue to do so for years to come.

English architecture is not all and never has been all of the sort here indicated, but where it departs from this type we feel the peculiar charm somewhat lacking. The early Saxon hut, the Norman castle, have each their especial interest, and we feel that the home has culminated in the Elizabethan and Tudor mansions and the simpler homes of later days which are adjusted to the needs of the family and suited to its surroundings, because built honestly with due regard to the necessities, and even if, as Ruskin says, their detail is abominable and there is no precedent, no right nor reason in the square drip moulding over the windows, yet we love them as a whole, and cannot help feeling that they expressed truly the story they were intended to tell. But we do not feel the same instinctive attraction in the Palladian mansions of Jones, however accurately classical are their proportions or their mouldings, nor in any other of the dignified importations transplanted from Greece or Rome and forced to grow on uncongenial soil. They must ever be to us exotics, with perhaps the beauty of the exotic, but without the homely qualities which endear to us the real home.










Club Notes.

Nearly simultaneously with the announcement that the T Square Club, of Philadelphia, has been awarded the medal offered by the St. Louis Architectural Club for the best Club-exhibit of Mention Designs comes the news of John Stewardson's lamentable death. As a founder of the Club, as its president, and for years a member of its Executive Committee, he remained to the last one of its most enthusiastic supporters. Many of his drawings are now in the Club rooms, and his record as the winner of many competitions is upon the minutes of the Club.

His generous aid, sincere criticism, and deep interest in the welfare of the Club contributed more to the advancement of architecture in Philadelphia than can now be realized.

The ninth annual Exhibition of the Chicago Architectural Club will be held at the Art Institute, Chicago, opening March 27, 1896.

This exhibition will include architectural drawings and perspectives in all renderings, scale, details of public and private work, projets, landscape drawings of parks and other public improvements, works of sculpture and artistic exhibits of works of the allied arts.

Detailed information with circular of instructions and application blanks can be had by addressing Frank M. Garden, Secretary, Chicago Architectural Club, 274 Michigan Ave., Chicago.

In the seventh annual competition for the Robert Clark testimonials, held under the auspices of the Chicago Architectural Club, the prize winners are as follows: Addison B. Le Boutillier, Boston, Mass., gold medal; William Leslie Welton, Lynn, Mass., silver medal; John F. Jackson, Buffalo, N.Y., bronze medal; Harry C. Starr, Chicago, first honorable mention (bronze medal); Edward T. Wilder, Chicago, second honorable mention (bronze medal). L. J. Millet, R. C. Spencer, and Irving K. Pond composed the adjudicating committee.

Messrs. Thomas Hastings, John Galen Howard, and Albert L. Brockway, the committee of the Architectural League of New York upon the annual competition for the League gold and silver medals, announce the program for this year. Drawings are to be submitted on or before February 6. The problem is the principal entrance of a terminal railroad station. Plan, elevation, and detail are required.

The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration.


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Since the introduction to the public of THE BROCHURE SERIES in its present form a year ago, five-cent magazines have been made fashionable. Their number is countless, and they are of all degrees of value and interest. A year ago the experiment was a comparatively untried one and the policy of THE BROCHURE SERIES was necessarily more or less experimental, but it has now crystalized into fairly settled shape. In its main feature, the illustration of historic architecture, it must appeal to all who have any connection with the architectural profession. An architect can never have too many photographs, provided they are well classified and accessible; and it is practically impossible that anyone shall have all of the one hundred photographs given in a year's volumes of the magazine, as they are drawn from so many different sources. The classification of subjects is of itself sufficient reason for buying THE BROCHURES, even provided they duplicate photographs already owned.

The educational features of the magazine relating to architectural societies, schools, and public competitions have proved of unusual interest to the younger members of the profession, and during the coming year it is hoped that more importance can be given to this work. The cooperation of all who are concerned in organizations of this character is earnestly solicited.

The competitions which have been offered from time to time under the direction of the magazine have proved so successful that an effort will be made to establish them as a regular feature, and it is hoped that at least one competition a month can be looked for in future.


Draughtsmen's Addresses.

We intend issuing, the coming year, a number of interestingly illustrated announcements of new architectural publications and importations. We want to send these to every architectural student and draughtsman in the United States and Canada. If you are not on our subscription list, send us your residence address for our circular mailing list. Address a postal card as below, putting simply your address on the back. If you are in an office, have the other fellows put their residence addresses on the same card. We prefer to address mail matter to your residence, as there is less danger of miscarriage. Do not get the idea that by sending your address you are ordering something you will be asked to pay for. All the expense, except the postal card, is on our side. If we can't get out announcements interesting enough to attract your attention and occasionally secure an order, it will be our loss. Address:—

Bates & Guild, 6 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass. For Circular List.

Brochure Series Competition No. 3.

The designs submitted in the competition closing December 20 for the advertising page of the Boynton Furnace Co. proved of even greater merit as a whole than those submitted in the first competition, and it has been difficult to decide which has the best claim to the prize; but the judges have finally decided to award the first place to Mr. William L. Welton, of Lynn, Mass., and his design is given on advertising page xiii of this number. Of the reasons for this award some will be evident at a glance. The effect of the page as a whole is striking and unique. To be sure, there is a certain suggestiveness of Mr. Binner's familiar advertisements for the Pabst Brewing Co., but the similarity goes no further than the selection of Egyptian motives and the simple, flat, silhouette-like treatment. Mr. Welton has merely gone to the same source of inspiration, and his design is just as good in its way as Mr. Binner's. The idea of connecting the character of the ornament with the advertisement is carried out in both cases. The Pabst advertisements all state that the history of brewing begins with Egypt, while Mr. Welton has very cleverly used the Great Pyramid of Cheops as a graphic illustration to indicate the area covered by the heaters built by the Boynton Furnace Company.

If any suggestions were to be offered towards the improvement of this design, they would be mainly in the direction of refinement in drawing. The lettering is not what it might be, especially at the top in the name of the company, which is somewhat confused. The monogram, an unimportant feature from an advertising point of view, is given the most important position in the design.

The following competitors, in the opinion of the judges, deserve honorable mention: W. B. Olmsted, 118 Lake Street, Elmira, N.Y.; Pierre Liesch, 53 State Street, Boston, Mass.; P. G. Gulbranson, 31 West Street, Boston, Mass.; F. Chouteau Brown, 31 East Newton Street, Boston, Mass.; William J. Freethy, 85 Water Street, Boston, Mass.

Mr. Olmsted's design, which is illustrated herewith, is, like the design which he submitted in the last competition, in many respects distinctly the best of the collection. It is unfortunate in representing a heater not made by the Boynton Furnace Company, but very suggestive of a pattern made by one of their competitors in the trade. If it were not for this unfortunate slip, it would be given first place. The idea is good and the treatment all that could be desired. It is good advertising and meets the conditions directly and well.

The design of Mr. Liesch has the virtue of being unusual, and would arrest the attention of many who might not be attracted by the preceding one. The lettering in this case, although done with exceptional taste, is not sufficiently clear and readable to be entirely satisfactory as an advertisement.

Mr. Gulbranson's design is of more interest as a drawing than as an advertisement. To the readers of THE BROCHURE SERIES this characteristic would doubtless appeal, while it might be of no value in an advertisement intended for a different clientage.

Mr. Brown's design has an interest of a different sort. It is crude in treatment, purposely so no doubt, but the idea is so unusual, with a quaint touch of humor, that it would be sure to attract attention. If space would allow, several of the remaining designs could be reproduced to advantage, and would give a wider field for comparison.


Attention has already been called in these columns to the efforts of the Henry F. Miller Piano Co. to foster the designing of artistic piano cases. Their later designs are a long step away from the conventional and hopelessly ugly piano cases that have been put out by the piano trade universally. They reason that the piano, as an artistic instrument, should have an artistic setting, and it is to draw the attention of architectural designers to this point that they have already given prizes for one competition, and purpose offering another prize, probably of $100, for a second competition. The making of special designs for piano cases has fallen largely into the hands of custom-furniture makers simply because the work of piano factories has for years carried its own condemnation. The furniture maker often is forced to buy a new piano, from stock, and build it over as best he can, charging a price that is almost prohibitory. Since the Miller factory has been equipped with the best facilities for special case work it has become possible for architects to have their own designs intelligently executed without unreasonable expense, or to secure unfinished cases should they wish a cabinet maker to execute their designs. The Miller Company is one of the few piano companies in a position to undertake this departure. The character of their pianos as superior instruments was established years ago, and every succeeding year has added to their reputation. The fight for a front-rank position as instrument makers has been won. Now they begin to fight for artistic case building, and they deserve the sympathy and encouragement of every American architect. The work of the pioneer is always hard, and it is seldom the pioneer who gets the benefits from this work. Should this move of the Miller Company prove that better designed cases will be appreciated by the public, every piano maker in the country will follow suit, but none seem to have the courage to strike out independently with the same aim. The piano shown on this page is the Wagner Grand exhibited at the World's Fair, while their Colonial design is shown in their advertisement. They are the two extremes.

One could hardly get a more attractive case for ordinary purposes than the Colonial pattern.


In this number we present to our readers a class of advertisement that cannot but prove acceptable, owing to the intrinsic interest of the subjects published in it. The seven pages preceding our first frontispiece show an attractive collection of country and suburban residences by Boston architects. The fact that these residences are stained with Dexter Brothers' English Shingle Stains, which constitutes the advertising character of the illustrations, adds to rather than detracts from their value, for each subject is remarkably satisfactory for its color scheme, and while a photograph does not give the effect, the selection was made very largely on the basis of good coloring.

No further word concerning the stains is necessary. The fact that they have been used on these houses, let alone thousands of others throughout the country, is sufficient.


The Dalton-Ingersoll Co. have come to the front with an improved style of lavatory, which presents many new features all in the line of open fixtures. A cut is shown in their advertisement where a description of the lavatory is given. The same arguments in favor of the porcelain, or enameled bath, standing clear of everything, apply with equal force to the lavatory.

The attention of all readers of THE BROCHURE SERIES is called to the announcements of our advertisers whose goods are offered as premiums in the subscription competitions, which will be found in the advertising pages of this number. None of these offers have been made without careful personal investigation on our part, and all the goods we can confidently recommend as strictly high-class in all respects. Those who may have occasion to make purchases in any of the various lines represented will do well to look up this matter. A few moments spent in writing for information may save much time and money.

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Illustration: HOUSE AT BAR HARBOR, ME. [BAP HARBOR] public and private work, projets ... [spelling unchanged] Illustration: XCIX. Old Farm House, Lythe Hill, England. ["Farm" illegible: supplied from printed list of illustrations]

The piano shown on this page is the Wagner Grand exhibited at the World's Fair [text damaged: reconstructions in braces The piano shown on this page {is th}e Wagner {Gra}nd exhib{it}ed at the World's Fair]


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