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Priscilla Boniface

Building for the projection and viewing of films. The term derives from cinématographie, the equipment devised for showing moving pictures patented by the Lumière brothers in France in 1895. Significant forerunners of this development include the Diorama, invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in 1822, and the Kinetoscope, a machine for running a film-reel, invented by Thomas Edison’s assistant William Dickson and introduced by Edison in the USA in 1891. The Kinetoscope was one of a variety of solutions produced in Europe and the USA in the last decade of the 19th century to the challenge of presenting moving pictures to an audience. Pressure for improvements in technology and comfort was probably at its most intense in the USA, and the first permanent, purpose-built cinema, the Electric Theater, was opened in Los Angeles, CA, by Thomas L. Tally in 1902.

The early cinema was typically a simple rectangular auditorium fronted by an ostentatious façade; this derived in part from fairground booths and shops, in the recesses of which picture shows were held during the 1890s. Music halls and theatres were often used for projecting moving pictures in conjunction with other forms of entertainment, and their decoration and plan were emulated in the design of early cinemas, many of which had stages. A few cinemas built before World War I had simple balconies and, occasionally, side-boxes, despite the limited vision these usually provided. From ...


Alodie Larson


Building used for the storage of grain or other cereal, generally found with attached loading and distribution machinery in large agricultural areas, warehouses, and ports. The giant grain elevators of the 20th century developed as a result of the massive expansion of agriculture in the late 19th century in South America, Russia, and, above all, North America. During the 19th century industrialized countries in Europe experienced huge population increases, but agricultural output shrank, and most ceased to be self-sufficient in their food production; large-scale importation of grain thus became the norm. The use of pesticides and more efficient agricultural machinery led to increased agricultural productivity, and North America was in the forefront of this development, with its industrial design seen as a model for Europe. The latest structural developments were used in grain elevators, an innovative design being the iron-framed example (1860–61) built by George H. Johnson for the ...


Julia Robinson

American artists’ space located at 239 Thompson Street at the south edge of Washington Square in New York City. Beginning in the late 1950s the Judson Church hosted experimental avant-garde activities—art installations, Happenings, the beginnings of postmodern dance—launching a now celebrated group of artists, dancers, poets and composers, and fueling the radical downtown art scene. The platform of free expression Judson provided for the untested work of the 1960s generation, at a time when these artists were far from established, was a critical contribution to the invention, originality and ultimate international renown of these preeminent American artists.

Built in 1890 and designed by the renowned architect Stanford White (of McKim, Mead & White), the church’s original mission was to serve the immigrant population of Lower Manhattan with health and recreational programs as well as religious services. In the 1950s Reverend Bob Spike (1949–55) asked his seminary intern, Budd Scott, to go into the neighborhood and spend time with the locals—including a significant contingent of struggling artists—to discover their needs. Scott found out that the artists urgently needed a place to present their work. Judson’s national reputation for fostering radical artistic practice came under the tenure of Reverend Howard Moody (...


Phyllis Lambert

(New York)

Office building at 375 Park Avenue in midtown New York City by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson (see fig.), which marked a pivotal moment in the history of architecture. It was commissioned in the euphoria of post-war America in November 1954 by Samuel Bronfman, owner of the Canadian distillery Seagram. Bronfman’s daughter, Phyllis Lambert, then 27, was director of planning and, as such, effectively the client, selecting the architect as well as establishing the ethics for a building meant to represent the best of modern society. With such a broad mandate, the Seagram Building would bear responsibility not only to the people who would occupy it but to an expanded, even global audience.

The Seagram Building created a rare triumvirate in New York City’s broadest and most majestic street, Park Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets; it was sited directly opposite McKim, Mead & White...


John Nelson Tarn and Matico Josephson

Multi-storey housing, specifically that provided for the working classes, as opposed to Apartment building, which refers to flats for the middle and upper classes. Although the term is known from the 16th century, it came into regular use during the 19th century and the early 20th. Tenements are separate dwellings or flats off a shared staircase and are a common building type in Scotland, northern Europe, and North America. Except for the developments described below, such housing is less frequent in England. In ancient Rome a similar block of workers’ housing was called an Insula.

Tenements are particularly associated with housing provided for workers for the new mills and factories following the Industrial Revolution and with urban growth in the first half of the 19th century. At first, single family houses were divided up and rooms let off as tenements or flats; subsequently, buildings specifically for the poor were constructed on the principle of sets of rooms that could be let in combinations of from one to three or four, or that might be designed as small self-contained flats. Sometimes they shared lavatories and washing facilities but there was always some common access system....


Leonard K. Eaton

Building for the storage of goods, especially those in transit. In Western architecture the warehouse has a history that can be traced back to the ancient world, although this building type has also been of substantial architectural interest in other cultures. The earliest known examples are the horrea of Roman times. For Rome and her armies the organization of an adequate food supply was of fundamental importance. The necessary storage of corn required special conditions, and granaries had to be dry, cool, free from vermin and able to resist the considerable lateral thrust that grain exerts. Hence Roman granaries were solidly built, brick-vaulted and efficiently planned. Those at Ostia (early 2nd century ad) are particularly impressive. The Horrea Epagathiana (c. 145–50) is typical, with a rectangular plan and different-sized rooms opening on to a central court with a brick-piered arcade. Two staircases lead to the second floor, which has a similar arrangement of rooms, and there is an unrestored third floor. An elaborate security system guarded against pilfering. The courtyard has a cistern to collect rain water, and a black-and-white mosaic with meander patterns, a swastika, a tiger and a panther. Few warehouses of architectural significance survive from the early Middle Ages, although the great medieval tithe barns (e.g. ...


Margaret Moore Booker

(World’s Columbian Exhibition, Chicago)

Landmark structure built for the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 that was administered, designed, and decorated entirely by women. The Woman’s Building was the most publicized exhibition of women’s art in the 19th century.

A national competition for the building was held, to which 13 designs were submitted by women architects. Sophia G. Hayden (1868–1953) of Jamaica Plains, MA, won first place; her impressive three-story Italian Renaissance-style structure—featuring center and end pavilions, multiple arches, and columned terraces—blended perfectly with the classical architecture of the Exposition. Praised for its “delicacy of line and grace of detail,” the building was recognized by national architectural journals.

Built for $200,000 on the west side of a lagoon, it was approximately 120×60 m and contained a large central Hall of Honor surrounded by meeting rooms (where conferences were held on advancing the rights of women), a library (designed by Candace Wheeler), and a roof-garden restaurant....