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The Progressive Architecture of Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr.

by Martin Aurand

Publication Year: 1994

Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr. (1872-1958) was the rare turn-of-the-century American architecht who looked to progressive movements such as Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement for inspiration. Scheibler envisioned each building as a work of art, integrating architecture and ornamentation. Prized today, Scheibler’s best works are scattered through Pittsburgh’s East End and easter suburbs. This richly illustrated volume, the first comprehensive study of Scheibler, includes 125 historic and contemporary photographs and drawings, of Scheibler’s known projects - including many not recorded in any other published source - a list of books in Scheibler’s library, and a selected bibliography. Martin Aurand discusses Scheibler’s life and career, the influences on his architectural concepts, his artistic sensibility and tastes, and his lasting significance.

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xiv

I first encountered the buildings of Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr., when visiting my future wife in Pittsburgh. She took me to see two buildings near her apartment that had caught her eye: two stucco apartment buildings decorated with birds and mushrooms. Since that time we have been...

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pp. 3-8

The work and significance of architect Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr., were first noted in print in an article by reporter Penelope Redd published in the Pittsburgh Sunday Sun-Telegraph in 1934· She wrote: "The younger generation of American museum officials have spent...

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1. Man and Architect

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pp. 9-17

Frederick Gustavus Scheibler, Jr., was born on May 12, 1872, the son of William Augustus and Eleanor Seidel Scheibler.1 Although his father's name was William, Frederick was a junior because he was named for his uncle Frederick. William Scheibler was variously a clerk, a bookkeeper, a salesman, and a partner in McAllister...

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2. Half and Half

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pp. 18-27

Schiebler did not immediately take up the progressive banner. Like many a young architect, his first independent efforts as a designer were constrained by his training and the need to find commissions. From the start he demonstrated...

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3. Old Heidelberg

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pp. 28-38

To all immediate appearances, the Old Heidelberg apartment building (fig. 22) sprang full-blown and with great suddenness from the mind of the architect in the spring of 1905. There had been intimations of a new direction in Scheibler's previous work, but nothing to indicate...

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4. The New Manner

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pp. 39-53

Following the success of the Old Heidelberg, Scheibler received commissions from new clients for four major apartment buildings over the next three years. These clients were doubtless acquainted with the Old Heidelberg, and their commissions suggest their approval of...

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5. Group Cottages

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pp. 54-69

One manifestation of the progressive movements was a reformist effort led by architects and planners to improve living conditions for the working and middle classes. This effort took shape most prominently in England as the Garden City Movement, which promoted the creation...

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6. Highland Towers

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pp. 70-82

In 1913, at the height of his powers, Schetbler returned to the medium-sized apartment building one last time when he designed Highland Towers (figs. 63-64) for Daniel L. Dillinger in Pittsburgh's East Liberty-Shadyside district.1 Harry...

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7. The Artistic House

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pp. 83-104

In turn-of-the-century America, the growth of the middle class dramatically altered the urban landscape, not only with the introduction of apartment buildings and group housing, but also with the construction of ever increasing numbers of freestanding single-family dwellings. In a...

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8. Charmed Territory

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pp. 105-121

After the achievements of Highland Towers and Vilsack Row, Scheibler's use of a very rich decorative palette seems reactionary, but his projects of the early twenties were more elaborate than anything that came before. Eva Harter blamed this on the influence of her husband...

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9. Up-to-Date and Familiar

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pp. 122-131

Following the extravagances of the early 1920s, Scheibler's work turned away from elaboration and idiosyncratic architectural concepts toward increasing simplification and a more common denominator of contemporary design. The impulse toward simplification waxed and...

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10. A Place Among Progressives

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pp. 132-138

Schiebler was a talented architectural form giver. His buildings took shape as simple volumes, commonly comprised of one or two basic building blocks. He favored elemental geometric forms like the cube and basic roof types like the gable and the hip roof. But he turned gables...

Appendix 1. Catalogue of the Works of Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr.

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pp. 139-152

Appendix 2. Scheibler's Library

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pp. 153-154


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pp. 155-166

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 167-168


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pp. 169-172

Back Cover

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p. 186-186

E-ISBN-13: 9780822970378
E-ISBN-10: 0822970376
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822937814
Print-ISBN-10: 0822937816

Page Count: 184
Illustrations: 125 black and white photos
Publication Year: 1994