firm active: 1907-1921

minneapolis, minnesota :: chicago, illinois
philadelphia, pennsylvania :: portland, oregon

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Purcell and Elmslie advertising brochures
Purcell and Elmslie

Brochure showing Edward W. Decker residence (Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota)

The text reads:

"American architecture is slowly and inevitably arising about us as a natural result of what we, as Americans, desire to do and to have. Like all great arts, our American architecture expresses and exhibits best those things which most interest American people. But just so long as the particular interest we have in our public buildings and our dwellings causes us to look condescendingly and without understanding at our great work shops, our bridges, and our railroad trains--just so long will our public buildings and houses remain untouched by the wonderful thrill and the urge of American life, or become factors in our development as a people.

There now appears to be dawning, the world over, the day of the nations, whole and complete, democratic and reliant, working together, wherein the dwelling places of the leaders and the trained men will cease to conform to arbitrary types utterly at variance with our democratic desires and unresponsive to our deepest needs.

Already the homes of many American are expressing the American aristocracy of being useful. The Old World aristocracy of usefulness by proxy is passing away before our eyes and with the feudalism is passing the architecture that waited upon it."

   Collection: William Gray Purcell Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota [AR:P&E 348].
research courtesy mark hammons