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Philanthropy and light: Carnegie Libraries and the advent of transatlantic standards for public space

Prizeman, Oriel Elizabeth Clare 2012. Philanthropy and light: Carnegie Libraries and the advent of transatlantic standards for public space. Ashgate.

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Abstract

Walter Gropius associated standardisation with promoting civilisation in 1935, yet Andrew Carnegie’s influence on the proliferation of pattern book public library plans internationally predated these observations by 50 years. Through the first twenty years of his programme, he supported the erection of almost three thousand public buildings across Britain and America. Though better acknowledged in the US than the UK, this philanthropic contribution radically extended the scope of public provision and remains incomparable in its scale and scope in both nations. Frequently engraved with the self-deifying slogan “Let there be Light”, open access to navigate these new interior public spaces after work coincided with the first provision of electric light. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, professional groups had sought to specify minimum standards of natural light and air for schools and hospitals. However, the commercial quantification of electricity accelerated the development of a readily comparable vocabulary to prescribe adequate quantities of light for all tasks regardless of their location or orientation.

Item Type: Book
Book Type: Authored Book
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Publisher: Ashgate
ISBN: 9781409427988
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:58
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/30036

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