Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 4, Fall 2009, pp. 337-338
Romy Wyllie's Bertram Goodhue is a richlyillustrated and well-researched exploration of Goodhue's architectural work. Using a large number of historic and current photos, floor plans, and architectural renderings, Wyllie covers much of the same ground as Richard Oliver in his 1983 Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, but with a greater emphasis on his residential work. Oliver's book covers nearly all of Goodhue's nonresidential projects and five completed and five proposed residences. Wyllie describes twenty of Goodhue's completed residential projects and six of his unbuilt home designs in great detail. She discusses some of his significant nonresidential projects, particularly as they affected the evolution of his practice and the impact such projects had on regional residential architecture.
Wyllie highlights Goodhue's efforts to develop different architectural styles for different parts of the country. She sees his work as a blend of local traditions with a variety of initially European but ultimately worldwide influences in both the buildings' details and massing, along with some romantic touches he had been developing since his earliest childhood drawings. The buildings he designed for the Panama California Exposition and his residential work in southern California popularized the Spanish Colonial style in the southwestern United States. In Hawaii, however, his efforts to apply a nontraditional Spanish influence fell flat. Overall, though, he proved able to design homes in a wide range of different materials and stylistic idioms.