Sloan, Samuel, 1815-1884 / Sloan's homestead architecture, containing forty designs for villas, cottages, and farm houses, with essays on style, construction, landscape gardening, furniture, etc. etc.
Remarks on style, pp. 25-30
WhEN we speak of a building being in the Grecian, Italian, Gothic, or any of the numerous well-known sub-styles, we mean that the spirit rather than the sum total of the peculiarities of that style has been seized upon and infused into it. No design in this work can be pointed out as a fac-simile of any ancient or foreign specimen of architecture; but ancient forms and details have too long appealed to the tastes or prejudices of mankind for the architect to dream of their abandonment. They have been consecrated to architecture by long-continued use and the admi- ration of by-gone ages; and, so far as their existence depends on intrinsic beauty of form and the laws of proportion, they are bound to be immortal. The orator or poet would not be more culpable for laying aside the teachings of the past than would the archi- tect for neglecting the precedents set before him in the works of the ancient masters. Each might sub- stitute a chimera of his own, and the failure of all would be alike pitiable. Instead of eloquence and poetry, the listening audience would be fed on the rudiments of an unintelligible language; and instead of a pleasing combination of forms resulting in the most happy effects, unmeaning piles of brick and stone at every step would greet our vision. (25)
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