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The Architecture of Henry John Klutho
A magnificent book published by the Jacksonville Historical Society

Twenty years after its original 1983 publication, Robert Broward’s masterwork on Jacksonville architect Henry John Klutho underwent a dramatic redesign.  With more than 500 photographs, the new 320-page book published by the Jacksonville Historical Society is a visual feast highlighting the work of the man many call Jacksonville’s greatest artist and architect. 

The new edition of The Architecture of Henry John Klutho is a monumental work and a must-have volume for anyone interested in Jacksonville history and architecture.

A pioneer of modern architecture in America, Henry John Klutho came to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1901 to help rebuild a city leveled by fire.  His greatest architectural works, built before World War I, belong to what was then a radical movement in American architecture, now called the Prairie School.  As the photographs, drawings, and text of Robert Broward's book unfold, Klutho's legacy in Florida, far removed from the Midwestern center of this movement, provides new evidence of the vitality and influence of the Prairie School in America.

When he first met Henry John Klutho in 1950, Broward had just returned from an apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin.  Klutho's work intrigued Broward because of its similarity to Wright's early work and to that of Wright's great master, Louis Sullivan, the poetic genius of modern architecture.  In The Architecture of Henry John Klutho, Broward documents Klutho's long and productive career and analyzes Klutho's innovations.  Klutho was the first to use water-jetted steel caissons for concrete pilings, and his high-rise buildings were the first constructed of reinforced concrete in the South. 


The city of Jacksonville had more major examples of the Prairie School style than anywhere outside the Midwest.  That these buildings were designed and constructed there is in large part to H.J. Klutho and to the progressive citizens of Jacksonville at the time.  The few remaining Klutho buildings and others in the Prairie School style may yet be saved and put to more good use, especially to further the enrichment of the human spirit for which they were designed.

The Architecture of Henry John Klutho:  The Prairie School in Jacksonville is richly illustrated with over 500 pictures, drawings, and plans.  In one appendix, Broward's chronological drawings of Kluthos' ornamentation trace the highly individualistic development of this architectural master's embellishments.  In others, Broward presents information on contemporary architects, other Prairie School-influenced buildings still standing in Jacksonville, Klutho's associates in his Jacksonville offices, and his known projects and designs.

The author, Robert C. Broward, is a native of Jacksonville.  He is an architect who has practiced in that city since the 1950's.  He and Klutho were close friends for fourteen years, until Klutho's death in 1964.  Deeply involved in historic preservation, especially in Jacksonville, Broward has worked to preserve the city's Prairie School buildings.

The book was designed by Dr. Wayne W. Wood, author and designer of several books on Jacksonville's history, including Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, The Jacksonville Family Album, and The Great Fire of 1901.


Henry John Klutho and Robert C. Broward




 


 

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