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Architect and Engineer (Classic Reprint)

Architect and Engineer (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Architect and Engineer

Architects will do well to stem their fear over building conditions resulting from the Government's priority orders. It is true the construction industry, in so far as costly residence work is concerned, is beginning to feel the pinch, but the situation is one subject to early correction, and does not call for unnecessary alarm.

It appears at this writing that the Government's priority plan has been handed some premature publicity that has evoked rumors of building curtailment right and left; in fact all types of building would appear to be doomed, except emergency work. Actually, however, such is not the case, nor is it likely to be. Fact is the Government is not prohibiting or restricting the building of any type of structure. While there are tight spots at present in certain metals, which have made it necessary to enforce a priority program, American production capacity is so vast that there is bound to be a reasonable amount of material available for civilian requirements, even after defense needs have been satisfied.

The present tightening up will probably not last more than sixty or ninety days, following which will come a gradual improvement. It is unthinkable that the Government would see the disorganization of so large and important an industry. Well aware of conditions and with a view to easing the minds of alarmists, many of the architects' associations and Chapters are appointing special committees and passing resolutions. The following, by the Michigan Society of Architects, is typical:

Whereas the architects of the State of Michigan are greatly concerned about the impression which has been created in the building industry, and in the minds of the building public generally that construction of new work must be restricted to defense building or to residential construction not to exceed $6000 in cost, and whereas this impression is altogether erroneous, nevertheless it has had the effect of discouraging private building enterprises, and

Whereas, the building industry is one of the largest in the nation, and such curtailment of work will impose a serious hardship upon that industry, and will deprive several million men of needed employment, and also will deprive the Government of the considerable tax revenues which this industry supplies, and,

Whereas to date the architectural profession has experienced little difficulty in obtaining required materials for building construction, and whereas the architect, by proper study of every building project, can use materials which are not needed for defense,

Therefore, be it resolved that the Michigan Society of Architects deplores the erroneous impression which has been created, and urges that every possible means be used to encourage normal private building enterprise, and be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be furnished to the public press, the building industry and public officials.

Here is an example of the kind of press dispatches that are being sent out from Washington, this one dated October 10:

"In a drastic move to conserve critical defense materials, the supply priorities and allocations board ruled today that no new public or private construction projects can be started unless they are essential for defense or the health and safety of the people.

"This applies not only to public projects, Federal, State and local, but it applies to the construction of factories, lofts, warehouses, office buildings and all other commercial construction. It even applies to residential construction and to construction for public utilities."

If we are to take this news dispatch literally, it means the closing down of the building industry for an indefinite period.

If, on the other hand, we take it figuratively, and that's the way we are disposed to take it, then we need not be unduly alarmed - conditions will not be as bad as they may appear mome
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