AIA Southern Chapter Proceedings
12 THE SOUTHERN CHAPTER, A. I. A.
ored to do the past year, and also to bring before you such suggestions as have occurred to me for the perfecting of our organization. The work thus far has been mainly initiative, placing the objects of the Chapter before the architects of the South, securing a charter, and in general correspondence to awaken an interest amongthose we hoped and felt would join with us in attaining our end. Our worthy Secretary has been very efficient in discharging his duties by correspondence and keeping before the profession in the columns of our organ, "The Southern Architect," the need of organization, and several times during the past year I have addressed the members and others, impressing upon them the importance of unity of action in this the commencement of our organization. This large and intelligent body of representative men of the several states before me to-day is but the advance guard of what we hope our annual conventions will be in the future. May the best interest of each and all, and of the profession in general, be promoted by our assembly in this hospitable city of Birmingham.
As yet we are but young in the development of our profession in the South and have had but limited means to encourage its progress as a profession, yet I hope that the younger members will devote all their spare time to the study and development of architecture, from a theoretical as well as a technical standpoint, and endeavor to give a freer scope to its artistic influences, than the older members had in their meager opportunities of study.
I can remember thirty years ago, when quite a young man, I asked an English master-workman how I could become an architect. He replied, "Work in the day and learn the practical; study at night and learn the theoretical; study the works of Nicholson, Pugin, Ruskin, Jones," and uf others he named. We had not then the benefits of the superior photographs, nor the later photo-engraving work, nor the still later beautiful and artistic photogravures to assist us, butrelied wholly on the engraved work in the foreign journals, for as yet architectural publications in this country were very rare, the only ones I could get being "Downing's Country Homes," and later, about 1857 or 1858, I believe, the publications of Samuel Sloan, of Philadelphia, which found a ready sale in the Southern States, and really from his studies sprung those elegant Southern mansions still seen throughout the States, emblems of an era of refinement slowly passing away. But what do we now see opening to the student of architecture? In every state technical schools with architectural studies as a part of the curriculum; architectural photographs giving a tour through the Land of Flowers and Art; all the principal cities of England, France and Italy photographed, so that with a few hours of study he can explore the scenes of months of travel, which formerly only the wealthy and the professor could enjoy.
And not only in the old countries but in our great America the march of architectural progress has kept pace with the spirit of the times. And even in this country, it was one of our Southern brethren, Richard-