American Architecture and the German Connection Symposium

American Architecture and the German Connection Symposium

7-8 April 1989

Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall

Columbia University


The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the study of American Architecture, a part of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in the City of New York, announces a major symposium on "American Architecture and the German Connection." Long overlooked by historians, the influence of German architects, theories, designs, and educational curricula has recently emerged as an active field of research on both sides of the Atlantic. This symposium will consider architects who emigrated from Germany to the United States as well as the influences of publications, offices, and classroom studios. One major theme will be the shift from the direct transmission of ideas and images to their subtle transformation in this new setting.


Friday, April 7th, the first day of the symposium, will focus on the 19th century. Speakers will address important stylistic idioms such as the "Rundbogenstil," and particular cities, notable Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. Saturday, April 8th, will consider the impact of German modernism during the 20th century. These sessions will appraise the canonical ideas spread through exhibitions and pedagogy, stressing the reorientation of individuals and ideas as they came to be accepted in the United States.


The symposium is made in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Deutscher Akademisher Austauschdienst and the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation.





Friday, 7 April 1989


Session I: The Impact of the 'Rundbogenstil' in the Mid-Nineteenth Century


9:00-9:15 - Welcome and Introduction


9:15-9:45 - Kathleen Curran, Brown University, "German Immigrant Architects at Mid-Nineteenth Century: The Astor Library as a Case Study"


9:45-10:15 - Michael Lewis, University of Pennsylvania, "Germany, the 'Rundbogenstil,' and the American Architect"


10:15-10:45 - Coffee Break


10:45-11:00 - William Pierson, Williams College, Respondent


11:00-11:15 - Sarah Bradford Landau, NYU, Respondent


11:15-11:30 - Winfried Nerdinger, Technische Universität (Munich), Respondent


11:30-11:45 - Barry Bergdoll, Columbia University


11:45-12:45 - Open discussion


12:45-2:00 - Lunch



Session II: Chicago and the Birth of an American Architecture at the Turn of the Century


2:00-2:15 - Introduction


2:15-2:45 - Roula Geraniotis, Bethesda, Maryland, "Goutfried Semper and the Chicago School of Architecture"

2:45-3:15 - Coffee Break


3:45-4:00 - Rosemarie Haag Bletter, City University of New York, Respondent


4:00-4:15 - Harry Mallgrave, Getty Foundation, Respondent


4:15-4:30 - Sophie Gobran, Columbia University, Respondent


4:30-5:30 - Open Discussion


Followed by reception.



Saturday, 8 April 1989


Session III: Modernism in America before the Exhibition of "Modern Architecture" at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932


9:00-9:15 - Welcome and Introduction


9:15-9:45 - Rosemarie Haag Bletter, City University of New York, "The Impact of German Modernism before 1932"


9:45-10:15 - Paul Krurv, University of Illinois, "Germany, Austria and the Prairie School"


10:15-10:45 - Coffee break


10:45-11:00 - David Handlin, David Handlin and Associates, Respondent

11:00-11:15 - Gregory Gilmartin, co-author of "New York 1900 and New York 1930", Respondent


11:15-11:30 - Wim de Wit, Chicago Historical Society, Respondent


11:30-12:30 - Open Discussion


12:30-1:45 - Lunch



Session IV: The Legacy of the German Emigres after 1933


1:45-2:00 - Introduction


2:00-2:30 - Richard Pommer, NYU, "The Sea Change in the Idea of the International Style"


2:30-3:00 - Franz Schulze, Lake Forest College, "The Changing Character of Mies van der Rohe's Architecture in America"


3:00-3:30 - Winfried Nerdinger, Technische Universität (Munich), "Walter Gropius' Changing Approach to Architectural Education at the Bauhaus and Harvard"


3:30-4:00 - Coffee break


4:00-4:15 - Barabara Miller Lane, Bryn Mawr College, Respondent


4:15-4:30 - Christian Otto, Cornell University, Respondent


4:30-4:45 - Isabelle Hyman, NYU, Respondent

4:45-5:45 - Open Discussion


Followed by reception.