"Symbolic Essence" and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American Culture

Front Cover
Historian and architectural critic William H. Jordy (1917-1997) significantly shaped the way we understand the character and meaning of modern architecture and American culture. This collection of his thought-provoking essays encompasses Jordy's entire career and includes his signature essay, "The Symbolic Essence of Modern Architecture of the Twenties and Its Continuing Influence." The collection also contains critical writings on works by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, and Robert Venturi as well as significant but less-well-known pieces and one previously unpublished text.

Generously illustrated, the book demonstrates the range and depth of Jordy's thinking. He leads his readers to discover important connections of architecture with art, literature, intellectual history, symbolic structures, social purpose, and community. Mardges Bacon's insightful introduction to the volume situates Jordy's essays in historical and architectural context and offers a concise intellectual biography of this original and influential thinker.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
Four Approaches to Regionalism in
81
Fiasco at Willow Run 1943
127
The Symbolic Essence of Modern European Architecture
135
The International Style in the 1930s 1965
151
William Lescaze Reconsidered 1984
171
Seagram Assessed 1958
231
Kimbell Art Museum Fort Worth Texas Library Phillips Exeter Academy
247
Robert Venturi and the Decorated Shed 1985
261
Bank of China Tower 1991
277
Selected Bibliography
294
Index
303
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Mardges Bacon is Matthews Distinguished University Professor and professor of art and architecture, Northeastern University.

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