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Viollet-le-Duc and American 19th Century Architecture

Daniel D. Reiff
Journal of Architectural Education (1984-)
Vol. 42, No. 1 (Autumn, 1988), pp. 32-47
DOI: 10.2307/1424998
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1424998
Page Count: 16
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Viollet-le-Duc and American 19th Century Architecture
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Abstract

In the 1870s and 1880s, when the establishment of schools of architecture in the United States was in its infancy, one of the main methods of architectural education for builders, carpenters and others who wished to advance in the field was to study the many books on architecture being published after the Civil War. Even professional architects had frequent recourse to books (and also periodicals) for design ideas, theory and contemporary issues. Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was one author who was avidly read during this period; at least eight volumes of his writing were available in English. His Discourses on Architecture (volume 1 published here in 1875; both volumes in 1881) was of immense importance both to well known architects such as Furness, Van Brunt, Jenney and Root--and probably even Hunt--but also to uncounted lesser architects. Viollet was extolled by architectural critics such as Montgomery Schuyler, and even the young Frank Lloyd Wright owed much to his writings. Viollet's influence here ranged from architectural theory to providing specific design motifs to an eclectic American architecture.

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