Architecture in Transition From Art To Practice, 1885-1906 by Kelly Crossman

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Architecture in Transition From Art To Practice, 1885-1906 by Kelly Crossman

8vo. pp. viii, [4], 193. 22 double-sided plates. index. bibliography. cloth. dw. Kingston & Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, [1987].

First Edition.


ISBN-10: 0773506047 / ISBN-13: 978-0773506046


However, behind the public face of design, architectural life in Canada during the 1880s and 1890s was in turmoil. The Canadian public had lost confidence in its designers, students were forced to study abroad to secure a first-class education, professional rivalry was unscrupulous, architectural competitions a scandal. American architects and their architecture were the fashion. These things changed, but not before the world of the Canadian architect had been turned on its head, replaced by one which resembled the world of contemporary architects, with professional organisations, regulated standards, formalised education centred in the universities, and the belief that Canadian architecture should reflect local climates, culture, and geography. Kelly Crossman provides the first analysis of this period. Beginning with a review of the architectural milieu in Toronto and Montreal in the 1880s, he traces the rise of professionalism as an idea and architectural nationalism as a goal. His analysis is more a history of architectural ideas than a survey of forms. It places the architecture of these years in an historial and ideological context, demonstrating that it developed with its own logic in response to national and international factors. During the two decades after 1885, Canadian architects grappled with problems whose long-term implications they could not have foreseen: the role of the architect in industrialised society, the need to accommodate and integrate applied science, and the need to express their own and their country's personality in architectural form. By the beginning of this century they had begun to find their own voice. The story of this process will be of interest not just to students and scholars, but to anyone interested in the development of Canada and its architecture.