Construction magazine, May 1929 (via TRAC)
The Concourse Building
... It is quite apparent to
anyone with even a smattering of knowledge about building that the basic
structure is of heavy steel and of concrete columns and beams. No attempt
is made by the overlaying covering material to conceal the rough structure.
On the contrary, the position of the columns running from the base to
parapet is revealed and stressed. The native strength and beauty inherent
in the bare outlines of the structure are glorified.
Old forms of architecture,
such as Classic, Gothic, Elizabethan, and the rest are laid aside. The
Concourse Building is a modern of the moderns. It is frankly a skyscraper,
not dressed up as a Doric temple, or as a Gothic hall: but a skyscraper
exulting in its own inherent characteristics of strength and height. The
base is massive, consisting of three storeys of solid stone. The columns
and pilasters flow upward without interruption clear to
the parapet. The windows, numerous and large, are frankly vertical
rows of glass, recessed between the vertical columns. The old-fashioned
tall building treated the wall as a self-sufficient flat surface, which
it is not, punctured by windows, and resembling a sieve or a waffle, surmounted
by classic friezes or cornices.
The Concourse Building, on
the contrary, deals simply in mass and height. Ornament is not artificially
applied. The building is arresting and striking, because the qualities
belonging to a skyscraper are not hidden, but emphasized. It should not
be assumed that the materials were casually chosen; on the contrary a
glance reveals that none but materials most appropriate to the design
have been selected to produce the resulting effect.
In this respect, the brick
work plays a definite part in emphasizing the underlying basic structure.
The columns are overlaid with light grey brick, whereas the windows and
spandrels are shown as alternating vertical lines in a darker color, the
effect being much like organ pipes or a clump of slender trees.
indeed plays a most vivid and important part in achieving the general
result. This[,] with the freedom from slavish precedent or traditional
style in the design, and the introduction of poetical lines from the verse
of Canadian poets, in the chiselled inscription of the walls of the entrance
hall, makes the structure one which has a wide popular interest and appeal.
"The Concourse Building, Toronto,"
Construction V. 22 N. 5 (May 1929), pp. 138-44.