Purcell & Elmslie: Prairie Progressive Architects

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Gibbs Smith, 2006 - Architecture - 192 pages
Purcell and Elmslie: Prairie Progressives explores the work of two important members of the organic architecture movement, and celebrates their tremendously important contributions to American architecture and the Prairie School. Wishing to return to simplicity and honesty, Purcell and Elmslie created homes and buildings that were consistent with a democratic society-simple forms, the natural use of textural materials and decoration, and buildings that accommodated the nature of a site. As did Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, Purcell and Elmslie held the conviction that a building does not end with its simple structure, but reaches its final and logical culmination in the clothing-color, situation and natural environment, together with its decoration of glass, terra-cotta, and other textural materials.
The firm of Purcell and Elmslie was tremendously successful in the sense that their small open-planned free-flowing houses could be shared by a great number of Americans of moderate means. Projects discussed in this book can be found throughout the Midwest, including Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, North Dakota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and more. The time has come to recognize the work of these progressive architects of the Midwest.
Purcell and Elmslie: Prairie Progressives includes:
Comprehensive biographies of George Grant Elmslie and William Gray Purcell
The Work of the Firm
The Domestic and Non-Domestic Work of Purcell, Feick and Elmslie
Work after the Firm Broke Up
The Late Work of Purcell and Elmslie
A Catalog of Major Projects

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About the author (2006)

Noted architectural historian David Gebhard taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and has been published extensively on American and European architecture. Among his publications are The Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles (Gibbs Smith, Publisher, revised edition, 2003) and The National Trust Guide to Art Deco in America (John Wiley, 1996). Patricia Gebhard obtained degrees in Art History and Library Science from Oberlin College, Mills College, and the University of Minnesota. Her previous books include George Washington Smith: Architect of the Spanish Colonial Revival.

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