Status: Needs Review

Texas State Association of Architects. 7

their coming into the state. I took the opportunity to reply, and placed our association's purposes in the proper light, also enclosing a copy of the act. Both the act and my letter were published in the aforesaid journal, together with the editor's reply, in which, their defense for making the attack was set forth in a polite manner, stating that they had been misinformed of the nature of the bill and were pleased to be set right and be enabled to rectify their previous opinion, also regretting that they had not been earlier apprised of the true intent of the bill. As to the manner of competition and methods of conducting same, most architects will condemn the practice of such, and some present might recall that of the Bosque county courthouse in which the commissioners stood by the architect in 1886, when they refused to look at the plans submitted by the contractors, and only received such as were entered by properly qualified architects, thereby setting an example which should be followed by other public bodies. Time and again, in every department throughout the state we are brought into contact with artisans, whose line of business, somewhat clashes with our profession.

The competition for the Texas world's fair exhibit building was carried out on good lines and the manner of selecting the designs and awarding the work was eminently satisfactory and the system much to be commended. True, the conditions were wanting in some particulars, and the requirements were not so strcity observed as the terms called for. In effect they were:

"Preliminary studies, floor plans and elevations only.

"Line drawings without color, built of Texas material (Frame), cost not to exceed $100,000.

"The supplementary circular calls for the scale of ten feet to the inch.

"All plans must be accompanied with a detailed estimate showing and quantity of each character of material to be used, the net cost of same and the cost of placing the same in the building."

Sections were necessary, although uncalled for, and were generally submitted. A goodly number of competitiors offered perspectives, contrary to the requirements of the committee, and as they are not essential in order to complete a set of drawings, being so often faulty, misleading and cooked, should not have been received.

If a committee specially desires perspectives, of course cate to their wants, but if they are not asked for they should be thrown out and placed where they are not seen.

In the wording "line drawings without color" the competitiors used great latitude in determining same and most of the elvations were shaded with pen and ink to the greatest extent.

Properly "line drawings" are rendered in pencil or with pen and ink without shade lines or shadows. If the projections are shown with a heavier line on the obscure side, they may be designated "profile" drawings, "back lining" or "black lining." This is the most simple way of giving effect.

If it is desired to have "full pen and ink" drawings.


to call for shaded drawings in pen and ink, which permit an unlimited amount of labor and effect. But if only outline drawings are required they should be called for, as that would back lining or profiling and be sufficiently explanatory.

So often do estimates, submitted with the drawings, by the architect come so much lower than the actual cost of the building, that I will cite the instance of a strange competition for a city hall in a northeastern city, in which "all necessary ground plans, sections and elevations, with details of the principal aprtments, also specification, bills of quantities, etc., were required and the total cost of the building, not to exceed $200,000. Prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 were offered, the city reserving the right to the purchase of the other plans submitted on the payment of $100; further, not necessarily accepting any of the designs." The conditions were of so unsavory a character, and the requirements of the structure so great, that, a public journal stated, that the building would require to be of such dimensions, that it could not be carried out for the amount appropriated. The city engineer in reply mentioned that "the committee either thought it beneath their dignity to consult him in the premises, or that, knwoing that public buildings cost twice as much as the original estimates, they thought, that by limiting architects to $200,000 they could get a building finished for about $400,000, and so the trusth as to their real intention leaks out." It is well to avoid getting tangled in such matters, and selling our brain's work for such paltry and to such inconsistent bodies.

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