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Albert Kahn’s Partners in Industrial Architecture

Chris Meister
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
Vol. 72, No. 1 (March 2013), pp. 78-95
DOI: 10.1525/jsah.2013.72.1.78
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/jsah.2013.72.1.78
Page Count: 18
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Albert Kahn’s Partners in Industrial Architecture
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Abstract

The narrative of Albert Kahn’s rags-to-riches career, as previously told, suggests that his success was a matter of happenstance, augmented by a remarkable work ethic. The happenstance factor turns out to be a distortion resulting from the architect’s innate humility and a need to downplay his relationship with Joseph Boyer for business reasons. Although Boyer did not hire him in 1900 to design a machine shop as widely believed, the industrialist was nonetheless integral to the careers of Albert and Julius Kahn as the brothers developed their respective niches in industrial work. Having experienced numerous setbacks and few triumphs in his first attempt at an architectural practice, Kahn specialized in industrial work as a determined act of reinvention made possible by Boyer. Chris Meister offers a fresh examination of the architect’s work in the first years of the twentieth century and the role that his business partners played in shaping his career in Albert Kahn’s Partners in Industrial Architecture.

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