"Let us listen to the counsels of American engineers. But let us beware of American architects!" declared Le Corbusier, who like other European architects of his time believed that he saw in the work of American industrial builders a model of the way architecture should develop. It was a vision of an ideal world, a "concrete Atlantis" made up of daylight factories and grain elevators.
For its size, the city of Buffalo, New York, possesses a remarkable number and variety of architectural masterpieces from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Adler and Sullivan's Prudential building, H. H. Richardson's massive Buffalo State Hospital, Richard Upjohn's Sr. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, five prairie houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, and building by Daniel Burnham, Albert Kahn, and the firms of McKim, Mead, and White, and Lockwood, Green and Company, among others.
First published in 1960, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age has become required reading in numerous courses on the history of modern architecture and is widely regarded as one of the definitive books on the modern movement. It has influenced a generation of students and critics interested in the formation of attitudes, themes, and forms which were characteristic of artists and architects working primarily in Europe between 1900 and 1930 under the compulsion of new technological developments in the first machine age.