Mississippi Architect, November 1964

We haven’t done a Mississippi Architect in a while, so for those new to MissPres, this is the latest in a series of reprints of Mississippi Architect, which ran from March 1963 to March 1965 and was published by the Mississippi Chapter of the AIA. Each issue typically had an editorial, such as today’s, and one article about a new Mississippi building, which we’ll post tomorrow. To learn more about editor Bob Henry, see William R. Henry (1925-2010) and William R. Henry follow-up.

To read previous issues of Mississippi Architect, click the MSArcht tab.

The Package Deal

Whenever a building of any kind is erected, somebody practices architecture. The completed building, functional or not-structurally sound or unsound-beautiful or ugly as sin, is still architecture.

Contractors practice architecture when they do a single line plan layout on brown paper and construct a warehouse therefrom. Engineers practice architecture when they design a structure to house a mechanical plant. “Designers” practice architecture when they put together and sell stock plans-incomplete plans-for residences. None of these have qualified themselves to practice architecture, and in most cases they are careful not to call themselves architects.

In recent years another kind of practitioner has appeared on the scene in large numbers. He is the “Package Dealer.” He usually poses as an expert in the design and construction of some particular kind of building-industrial plant, bank, hospital, etc. He proposes a package that includes financing, design, construction, equipment and furnishings for a price. He usually has a licensed architect or architects in his employ whose allegiance is to him, not the owner. His sales pitch is convincing. It often states or implies that the “package” saves an architect’s fee for the owner.

Hogwash!

There is still no acceptable substitute for the trained architect who is registered under the law: who practices architecture as a profession: who subscribes to a professional code of ethics; who accepts a commission to design a building as an opportunity for service and as a sacred trust; and who owes allegiance to no one except the owner who commissioned him.

Bob Henry

This article is reprinted from the November 1964 issue of the Mississippi Architect, with permission from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. View the full November 1964 issue of Mississippi Architect in a digitized format, or for other articles in this ongoing series, including the pdf version of each full issue, click on the MSArcht tab at the top of this page.



Categories: Architectural Research

2 replies

  1. Welcome back, Bob Henry! I had forgotten how much I liked this series, and it started me on one of my many quests–in this case, to document the work of the architects that were profiled.

    Like

  2. I too welcome back Bob Henry.
    His editorial reminded me of Joe Weilenman FAIA, who was talking with a well-meaning but ignorant observer. Commenting on an especially ugly building, the fellow told Joe “Somebody needs to hang some architecture on the front of that building.”
    Noel Workman
    Managing Editor
    The Mississippi Architect 1980-1990

    Like

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