Frank Furness: Architecture in the Age of the Great Machines (Haney Foundation) (Hardcover)

Frank Furness: Architecture in the Age of the Great Machines (Haney Foundation) Cover Image
By George E. Thomas, Alan Hess (Foreword by)
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Description


Frank Furness (1839-1912) has remained a curiosity to architectural historians and critics, somewhere between an icon and an enigma, whose importance and impact have yet to be properly evaluated or appreciated. To some, his work pushed pattern and proportion to extremes, undermining or forcing together the historic styles he referenced in such eclectic buildings as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania Library. To others, he was merely a regional mannerist creating an eccentric personal style that had little resonance and modest influence on the future of architecture. By placing Furness in the industrial culture that supported his work, George Thomas finds a cutting-edge revolutionary who launched the beginnings of modern design, played a key part in its evolution, and whose strategies continue to affect the built world.

In his sweeping reassessment of Furness as an architect of the machine age, Thomas grounds him in Philadelphia, a city led by engineers, industrialists, and businessmen who commissioned the buildings that extended modern design to Chicago, Glasgow, and Berlin. Thomas examines the multiple facets of Victorian Philadelphia's modernity, looking to its eager embrace of innovations in engineering, transportation, technology, and building, and argues that Furness, working for a particular cohort of clients, played a central role in shaping this context. His analyses of the innovative planning, formal, and structural qualities of Furness's major buildings identifies their designs as initiators of a narrative that leads to such more obviously modern figures as Louis Sullivan, William Price, Frank Lloyd Wright and eventually, the architects of the Bauhaus.

Misunderstood and reviled in the traditional architectural centers of New York and Boston, Furness's projects, commissioned by the progressive industrialists of the new machine age, intentionally broke with the historical styles of the past to work in a modern way--from utilizing principles based on logistical planning to incorporating the new materials of the industrial age. Lavishly illustrated, the book includes more than eighty black-and-white and thirty color photographs that highlight the richness of his work and the originality of his design spanning more than forty years.

About the Author


George E. Thomas is a cultural and architectural historian who serves as codirector of the Critical Conservation Program at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. His books include First Modern: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and, with David B. Brownlee, Building America's First University: An Architectural and Historical Guide to the University of Pennsylvania, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press; and Frank Furness: The Complete Works with Michael Lewis and Jeffrey Cohen. He is also lead author of the Buildings of Philadelphia volume in the Society of Architectural Historians' series Buildings of the United States.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780812249521
ISBN-10: 0812249526
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 2018
Pages: 312
Language: English
Series: Haney Foundation
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