A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada, by Barry Magrill
By Barry Magrill
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Additional resources for A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada, 1867-1914
Thus, the pattern books can be understood to have compressed time and moved architectural fashion across vast distances. The expansion of print distribution in the Dominion was closely related to the development of infrastructure that included railway lines, a major factor that compressed time and space. N. Hibben and Company of Victoria, British Columbia, which relied heavily on rail for regular delivery of commercial goods. Hibbens also benefited from the lowering of postal rates and tariffs just as architects and builders across the Dominion increased productivity by a timely access to the latest techniques and fashion occurring in Britain and the US.
The pattern books provided architectural knowledge and also contributed to the increased demand for it. A general reader’s interest in the imagery in the books also enlarged the distance from the building standards that elevated the professional’s status. Taste was that other critical and political factor that the church pattern book promised, only to elude the general reader in the assertions of the professional crowd. During the rise of commercial society, observant Canadian architects recognized the dangerous connection between taste and church architecture in relation to the instrumentality of knowledge.
Taste was that other critical and political factor that the church pattern book promised, only to elude the general reader in the assertions of the professional crowd. During the rise of commercial society, observant Canadian architects recognized the dangerous connection between taste and church architecture in relation to the instrumentality of knowledge. The Vancouver architect Robert M. Fripp noted, “all denominations in the Dominion share guilt in making poor church architecture which is ‘history in stone of a nation’ … Perishable as most of our modern buildings are, they will endure long enough to exercise a baneful influence on the habits of taste that do duty with most people for education or cultivated taste.