THE SOUTHERN CHAPTER, A. I. A. 27
carpenter's trade. 'These men have, in some instances, familiarized
themselves with a few plans and specifications prepared by architects,
and have finally essayed the practice of architecture; and in most cases
the community loses a good builder and gains a person too large in his
own estimation for the honorable trade, and yet greatly too small
for the profession he calls "Arch e tecturing."
The trade of a builder is a most honorable one, and carries with it
great responsibilities; and its emoulments are always satisfactory and
often large; and there is always room in any community for a good
builder while there should be no room for a pretender.
It would be impossible in this paper to enter into a criticism of the
drawings furnished by builders and to follow them up and examine the
building erected from them; but suffice it to say, they are in almost
every case crude, raw, and undigested, and even to the uneducated eye
there is something that stamps them as builders' drawings, and the
house erected from them is neither in design a thing of beauty nor in
plan a joy forever.
The question is how shall we seek to remedy this evil. The fault lay
not at the door of the builder; for he, in making these so-called archi-
tectural designs, is but supplying a demand of the public, the masses
who are too often ignorant and careless in all matters of architecture,
and who, thinking to save the professional fee, will expend often twice
the amount of this fee in patching up mistakes in faulty plans and
specifications, and inflict on the community a Dolly Varden mon-
We can only hope for an improvement by the gradual education of the
public to a higher standard in architecture. That this standard is im-
proving, there is little doubt; and here in the South-land, which we all
love so well, and in whose development we are peculiarly interested,
there isa growing demand for better things, and the public is discriminating
between good and bad architecture. This is the age of travel and
observation, and much is learned by comparison. Art is now diffusing
itself into everything, and this is seen in the simplest forms of household
decoration; and the child of today is surrounded and educated by
artistic objects that were not thought of in our boyhood days.
And so it behooves us now, one and all, to strive for this end; and
with unceasing study and the careful preparation of every detail of design,
both in small as in large buildings, to improve the architecture of the
South, and to place it on a level with that of any other part of this land.
Nature has been most bountiful and the resources of our country are un-
limited; and we desire the traveler in the future to pause and admire
and study our architecture as well as our history.
At this point. Mr. W. S. Smith, of Birmingham, offered a
resolution looking to the strengthening of this Chapter by
further obtaining a charter from the State of Alabama, which
elicited considerable discussion and was finally referred to a
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