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Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942. / Craftsman homes
(1909)

"The art of building a home": by Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin,   pp. 6-8 ff.


Page 6

 ³THE ART OF BUILDING A HOME²: BY BARRY
 PARKER AND RAYMOND UNWIN
          7 S A nation we do not easily submit to coercion.  We want a hand
             in the government, national or local.     We are pretty direct
if
             we do not like a senator or a governor, and express our opinion
             fully of our ministers and college presidents .In more intimate
             matters of courtship and marriage we regard ourselves as more
             independent than any other nation.       We marry usually whom
           - we please, and live where we please, and work as we please<
 but when it comes to that most vital matter<building a home, individuality
 and independence seem to vanish, and we are browbeaten alike by architect,
 builder, contractor, interior decorator, picture dealer and furniture man.
We live
 in any old house that anyone else has discarded, and we submit to all manner
 of tyrannies as to the size, style and finish of our houses, impertinences
ihat we
 would not permit in any other detail of life. We not only imitate foreign
ideals
 in our architecture, but we have become artificial and unreal in all the
detail
 of the finish and fittings of our homes. How many of us would dare to rise
up
 and assert sufficient individuality to plan and build a house that exactly
suited
 our personal ideal of comfort and beauty, and represented our station in
life?
    And to what extent can we hope for finer ideals in a country that is
afraid
 to be sincere in that most significant feature of national achievement<the
home.
 We are a country of self-supporting men and women, and we cannot expect
to
 develop an honest significant architecture until we build homes that are
simple,
 yet beautiful, that proclaim fine democratic standards and that are essentially
 appropriate to busy intelligent people.
    That this same state of affairs prevails somewhat in other lands (though
 nowhere to the same extent as in America) we realize from the writing of
two
 well-known English architects, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, who in a
 series of lectures published under the title of ³The Art of Building
a Home²
 have entered a plea for greater honesty in architecture and greater sincerity
 in decoration which ought to strike a responsive chord in the heart of every
 American who has contemplated the foolish, unthinking, artificial structures
 which we have vainly called homes.
    In the introduction to this vital valuable little book Messrs. Parker
and
 Unwin take up the question of lack of thought in architecture in so simple,
 straightforward and illuminating a fashion that it has seemed wise to present
it
 to the readers of CRAFTSMAN HOMES as expressing our creeds and establishing
 more fully our own ideals!
 ³~HE way we run in ruts is wonderful: our inability to find out the
right
       principles upon which to set to work to accomplish what we take in
       hand, or to go to the bottom of things, is simply astonishing: while
the
 resignation with which we accept the Recognized and Usual as the Right and
 Inevitable is really beautiful.
    ³In nothing is this tendency more noticeable than in the art of
house-building.
 We begin by considering what, in the way of a house, our neighbors have;
what
 they would expect us to have; what is customary in the rank of life to which
we
 belong; anything, in fact, but what are our actual needs. About the last
thing
6


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