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APPENDIX IX

REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE COLLEGE OF

ARCHITECTURE

To the President of the University:

Sir:-I have the honor to submit the following report for the College of Architecture for the year 1908–09:

The attendance in the College has increased from 100 students last year to 133 this year, thus bringing about the condition of overcrowding that I ventured to predict in my report of two years ago as a possibility. Inasmuch as the capacity of the drafting rooms in White Hall is so sharply and definitely limited this is a serious problem.

The success of the work under present conditions is unquestionably due in large measure to the great drafting room in White Hall that has permitted all of the students in the elements of architecture and design to work in close touch with each other. This close contact of the men and classes gives unlimited opportunity for comparison of work, exchange of ideas, mutual criticism, etc., and makes possible more satisfactory results with less of formal criticism and instruction by the regular teaching staff than would be possible otherwise. In my opinion any plan requiring separation of these classes would make impossible the continuance of the present high standard of work in architecture. In other words, the problem involves not only the question of room, but also that of cost and efficiency of instruction.

Since we have been in White Hall the students in landscape design have done their work in the drafting room with the students in architecture. Only their small number has made this possible, and even so they have been crowded and buffeted about this year in a way that must have been exceedingly trying and only tolerable because of the association with things so directly valuable to their work, such as the library and the work in architecture.

I am unable now to see any possible way whereby these students can be provided for in White Hall next year, but their going will be a distinct loss both to them and to us, because of the very close rela

tion between landscape design and architecture. The bringing together of the work in these two subjects has helped the architects by offering constant suggestion, and I believe that the relation has been equally helpful in the same way to the landscape students. If the separation is inevitable under present conditions, I trust it may not be accepted as a permanent condition, but that any larger plan for the future may contemplate as a matter of course the housing of the students in landscape design with those in architecture. I do not wish to be understood as suggesting any change in organization, as that question is not necessarily involved from the educational point of view.

Whether or not the increase in attendance will continue it is impossible to forsee; but I see no reason why it should not, though the rate of increase can hardly be expected to remain at 30% a year. The advance in tuition from $125 to $150, though still leaving our tuition lower than in the other eastern schools, may have some slight effect upon students hesitating between an eastern school and a state college where the tuition is nominal, and upon that very small class who through indecision between architecture and engineering may have been influenced heretofore by the lower tuition in architecture. These, however, are probably so few in number as to be negligible. The effective factor in the situation is the tremendous art awakening throughout the country headed by the architects whose profession is in consequence taking a relatively higher place in the fine arts than ever before. This adds attractiveness in a social and business way to a profession already very attractive in itself. Such a condition must continue to attract more and better men and to stimulate higher and better training; and the only reason for expecting a lower rate of increase in the future is that Cornell may have been getting slightly more than her proportion in a movement that has been general.

I have no hope of being able to house the College of Architecture under normal development in the present quarters in White and Franklin Halls for more than another year, or two years at most. The room in both buildings probably will be used next year to the absolute limit of capacity and after that we must either have enlarged quarters or definitely limit the number of students to be admitted. The latter course, while undemocratic and not altogether in keeping with Cornell spirit, would be much better than to sacrifice standards by a further division that would separate the classes in design by removing a part of them to a third building.

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Up to this year it has been comparatively easy to instruct all of the students in any one class in the College in a single section. The sharp jump from 81 students two years ago to 133 this year brings us to a point where classes must be divided into sections calling for nearly double the amount of instruction. Indrawing, this additional work can be done by men ranking as instructors so long as we keep at the head of the department a thoroughly competent professor; but in design, which is quite the most important single subject in the curriculum, the instruction is almost wholly individual criticism of individual problems, and the master mind and hand is needed everywhere. Only a man of the highest ability and with the best of training is competent to do this work, and I see no solution of the problem except by securing a man who shall measure well up to the standard of the Professor of Design in both these respects. Such a man is difficult to find and hold, but the problem will not be settled until we secure him.

The most important step toward the improvement of instruction in the College made since my last report is the authorization of an Assistant Professorship in the Theory of Construction, a step that at once relieves the College of Civil Engineering of a difficult and troublesome problem and at the same time promises increased efficiency by making possible a better correlation of the work in architecture.

There are some serious questions in connection with our departmental library. Intimate relations with the library are essential to our work, and in some respects the freedom with which the students can now consult and use the books is ideal. But it is a rare and valuable collection and there are two reasons for concern. First the building is not fireproof, and the housing of such a library in such a building is a risk that can be justified only by the sternest necessity. When other quarters are provided for the College, as must soon be done, one of the first considerations should be a thoroughly fireproof room for the library. Second, the increased use of the library by an increasing number of students has introduced new problems that make it impossible to care for the books properly under present conditions of administration. At present the office stenographer must act as librarian as well, and she can be in the library only a comparatively short time each day; hence we are dependent upon the students themselves to keep order, to handle the books properly, and to make proper charges and entries when books are taken from the room. When there were 50 students in the College and the library communicated with the office of the Director, as in Lincoln Hall, the problem was not serious; but the changed conditions demand the services of a librarian whose duty shall be to remain in attendance throughout the day and who shall have no other work than to care for the library and to consult with students in the use of books and photographs

In the matter of equipment one of the pressing needs for the work in design is a good collection of casts of architectural details, representing in architecture what the museum in Goldwin Smith Hall represents in classic archæology. This, carried to its logical conclusion, would be an enormous undertaking, but it is something that can easily and profitably be commenced in a small way and is one of the things to be taken up seriously in the further development of our work.

During the past ten years there has been, principally in University circles, more or less criticism of the courses in architecture based upon the wholly erroneous assumption that the work in mathematics and engineering has been materially reduced to increase the work in design.

It is true that important changes have been made in the curriculum, but in the making of them both construction and design have been regarded as absolutely fundamental and inseparable in architecture, and the time given to mathematics, engineering, etc., has been increased, not decreased.

A brief resumé of the changes in the curriculum will be helpful here as showing that the increase in the work in drawing and design has in no case been made at the expense of the work in mathematics and engineering Where reference is made to University hours it is to be understood that they have in all cases been reduced to the twoterm system.

As late as 1893 there were included in the curriculum of the College as much as 20 hours in language and mathematics that are now required for entrance. In the early years of the course, moreover, a great deal more time than was necessary or profitable was given to graphics, that is, linear and projective drawing in its various aspects. Again, prior to the general reorganization in 1897, from 10 to 15 hours were given to such subjects as physics, chemistry, botany, geology, etc., all valuable subjects but some of them less valuable than other work in architecture; consequently this work has now been reduced to 4 hours in physics and 3 hours in geology. It is largely the time thus gained that has been given to drawing and design to strengthen this work with a minimum loss in other directions.

Now as to mathematics and engineering. Prior to 1900 the time given to higher mathematics never exceeded 6.66 hours.

In 1900 the time was increased to 10 hours and so continues, though, as a matter of fact, the consensus of opinion among educated architects seems to be that the higher mathematics could very profitably be replaced by other general Arts and Science subjects, except in the case of students who are specializing in engineering.

In the matter of engineering, from 1880 to 1896 the total number of hours given to this work varied from 5.33 to 10.66, with an average of about 8.3 The number of hours given to materials and general construction varied from 4.66 to 14, with an average of 8 and a small fraction. The average time given to engineering and construction combined, from 1884 to 1897, was approximately 17.3 hours. Since 1900-01, on the other hand, the minimum time given to engineering in any year has been 7 hours, the minimum given to materials and construction 12 hours, the minimum total in any one year 20 hours. . Instead, therefore, of a reduction in the time given to these subjects the minimum in any year since 1900 (and this is less than the present requirement) shows an actual increase of 50% in mathematics and an increase of 15% in engineering and construction combined over the average for 13 years when the College was supposed to be especially strong in engineering and weak in design.

Moreover, courses in the theory of construction, besides being strengthened by the additional time given to them, will now receive the further advantage of the new plan mentioned above whereby this work is to be placed in charge of one man, a specialist in architectural engineering, who can correlate them much more effectively than has been possible under former conditions.

The following comparative table will give a fair idea of the character of the studies comprising the curriculum at various stages in its development. The classification of subjects is somewhat arbitrary, and there is considerable room for variation in placing subjects under the headings, because it is not always easy or even possible to tell from information in the Register just what certain courses really are. For example, stereotomy in one place is an engineering subject treating of the theory of the arch, while in another it is graphics as applied to stonecutting and not engineering at all. The figures, however, are quite accurate enough for a fair and honest representation of comparative values. 1884-5 is taken

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