Ernest Flagg: Beaux-arts Architect and Urban Reformer
Architect of the United States Naval Academy, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Scribner Building, and model tenement houses, Ernest Flagg (1857-1947) advanced the cause of classicism while demonstrating a deep concern for architecture's social responsibility. This study of one of the most innovative practitioners of the Beaux-Arts movement in America covers Flagg's early training and Beaux-Arts works, his town and country houses, his commercial and utilitarian buildings, the Singer Tower (which established a new height record while setting a precedent for New York City skyscraper restrictions in scale and density), urban housing reform, and his small houses of modular design.
Flagg, the author notes, combined French nineteenth century aesthetics and the principles of academic classicism with American structural technology to create significant buildings during the Progressive Era from 1890 to 1917. His contributions to zoning and height regulations were essential to New York's first laws governing this aspect of the city's architecture. A confirmed individualist, Flagg produced highly original writings and ingenious inventions for construction techniques in low-cost housing and railroad cars.
Flagg's adaptation of classicism and his concern for urban contextualism make this study of his work particularly timely. His designs have immediate relevance for contemporary architects and preservationists, as well as those interested in the social and architectural history of New York City.
Mardges Bacon is Associate Professor of Fine Arts and American Studies at Trinity College. Ernest Flagg: Beaux-Arts Architect and Urban Reformer is included in The Architectural History Foundation's American Monograph Series, edited by David G. De Long. An Architectural History Foundation Book.
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AABN Academy of Design Alfred Corning Clark American Architecture Annapolis Apartment Houses April Arch Rec Art Archives Arthur atelier ATSP Bancroft Hall Beaux-Arts Architects Blondel Bourne Broadway Cathedral century Chapel Church classicism commission competition Corcoran Gallery corner decoration demolished Ecole des Beaux-Arts elevation employed entrance Ernest Flagg Ernest Flagg Diary facade Fifth Avenue Flagg Court Flagg's design Flagg's plan French school Gallery of Art Guadet History Ibid illustrated January Jared Bradley Jared Bradley Flagg John Letter light-court plan Luke's Hospital Manhattan masonry McKim metal model tenement module monumental Naval Academy Neo-Grec Norcross November October ornament Paris Pomfret School reform Renaissance Revival Richard Morris Hunt Scribner Building Singer Building Singer Tower skyscraper Slums and Housing Small Houses Staten Island Stokes stone houses Street Suburban Homes Company Sutcliffe Diary Tenement House theory town houses trustees Vanderbilt Veiller Viollet-le-Duc wall William Gray Purcell York City