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The Star.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1908. OUR ARCHITECTURE CONDEMNED.

Delivered every evening by 6 o'clock in Hawera, Manaia. Normanby, Okinawa, Eltham, Mang-Qtoki, Kaponga, Awatuna, Opunake, Otalteho, Manutahi, Alton, Hurleyville, .Patea, and Waverley.

Wei are not surprise*! that thw criticism offered by His lixc^llemy the Governor, with respect to the domestic architecture of' this. Ooutinion. hac provoked widespread! discussion. Tha condemnation of colonial dwellings was so direct and so sweeping thai nothing elne could be expected. Lord Plunketfs remarks were made at the opening of the Manawatu Art So*ciety's exhibition last week and when art was in question its a;pplica + ian to architecture was quite permissible. ' If strength. o« c language is a virtue Hia Excellency Left nothing to ba desired. Of our architecture ha said*. "It :s: s contemptible." Nothing could be much, severer thau that* For the moment it must quite taite tha pride out of many wno thought "they had built for tthomselves homes tihat were quite (sharming oven if they did not repretfsanib the last word in. srehitecturo. Either one musifc shrivel beneath such an assault or grow angry. His Lordship is a very capable speaker; ho is also a very ectcellanti president of a public gathering-. Being both cod and practised it ir quite improbable that he mid anything 1 he had not intended. Yet, after declaring that the ] average house itn • New^ Zealand wa* "perpetrated" — that is> a fctrcvng and an exproseivu word, topp— Hia J3jce«llomcy wont ou to say : "There ought to be &omo better houses, h< re. .They exo all oxtwotly the sunie^-the Fame tan roof, painted the same red, and probably the wrong rol: tihenime dsraib mud colon' on thei front, and flic same horrible tin th. : ng to- hold the water in «.t the hack, t can't think that these: aJbcmmatioawi ««* built purely for the) purpone of saving

money." It. will bd teem, that J.or <l Plunkot attributes the "perpetrations." to cheer lack of artistic instinct and not to the fiaoossitiea o-r preferment in. the mattca- of finance. We arc inclined to think that the question of cost has mor& to dv with, the ciusiji than lack- of artistic son&e. Every architect will toll you i that people will have tjii* adornment, and that eriibp»llishm€>nt cutout of the estimate© until nothing but a "matchrbox" is left — merely t<> save money. By "adornir.enitsj" and "ttmbaHishmonts 1 " wor mean adaptations of what is acknowledged lo be tha beat in architecture!, noil thoso tawdry scrolls! and drops- and fa'-de-rals which arcs permitted to disafigura so many places. The ne-adi for ecoiiomy plays a very important part iiv daad in building-. "Tho same red' roof — and probably the wrong red," that inakea Lord: Plunket's eyes sichei has bean, found to to a very good prcwrvaifcive for the iron and by gonaral eionr aecati it is much more artistic thaiu no paint at all And! "the same horrible tin thing to. hold the water in at tha back" has proved itaelf tho irost useful m««ais available for conscrrviag an. indispensnibla supply. Admittedly ie is nob picbiresqua, but Art oametinies has 1o give way to dtility. On the whole wa think that tha pa.> pl« of this Dominion mmy stand! unashamed despite His Excellency's Btrichnes. Taking 1 tu'di district as a» OTamplo of the progress in building diat is being mado throughout Ne.v Zealand, wbat if. to te' seen? Forty years ago we had the Maori, thi; forptat, the fern. Then oamei the wliare, next tha aparo weather- board sLruclurci with. t»"n chimney&. Bust now on all hands may ba seen these pioneer habitations converted into cart-sheds, harness sheds, sfca-Hes. and catfclo shejitars while the prospering families are housed in dwellings imme»£ur^ nbly superior. True they da nab yeiu come up to His Excellency's standard but 1 , they nevertheleiss rt present a atriking advance- in comfort, couw-!E,i-encei — and Art! Doubtless that pro*gresis will consbirue uniil — when New Zealand is a little older— -future Governors will sao the facei of the c ouiitry cba^ged still further, and for tho better, and will haivo nothing 1 but hearty congraitulaitions to effer. As ypt in its civilisod infancy the Dominion is eti{riiped in pcoring the fiice of the rude earth with plough-shares; with (wiring the forest to r-jake way for th* pastoralist, and tho agriculturalist- It ia still strenuously engaged in su!> duing the primitive It is in no iseave a reproach that H* buildings cannot, be compared ■w!th tho architectural creftr tionb 1 of the Etruscaais and thet Greeks. Rome was not builti in a day.

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The Star. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16,1908. OUR ARCHITECTURE CONDEMNED. Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVI, Issue 0, 16 September 1908

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