Talk:Moderne architecture

Add topic
Active discussions

Moderne vs. subtypes including Streamline ModerneEdit

I just restored this article, which had been redirected incorrectly to Streamline Moderne architecture in 2014 and 2015, along with incorrect redirection in 2015 of Category:Moderne architecture and Category:Moderne architecture in the United States and all their subcategories to Category:Streamline Moderne architecture and Category:Streamline Moderne architecture in the United States, etc. Unfortunately a large number of articles have had their categories changed incorrectly by bot or by manual edits, to put into Streamline Moderne, when the buildings are not of that subtype. Streamline modern involves curves for ship-like streamlining or aerodynamic shape, having ocean-liner-esque curves is the most salient differentiating factor from my point of view.

Persons asserting that Streamline Moderne is just another term, or the preferred term, for Moderne are not completely without sources seeming to equate them. For example equates Art Moderne with Streamline Moderne, and just differentiates them vs. Art Deco (without discussing PWA Moderne or Stripped classicism or other terms not related to Streamline). Please note that source include 'rounded edges', 'curved canopies', ' Occasional circular porthole, oculus, round windows on main or secondary elevations' and 'References to the sea/the ocean: curves, horizontal vectors and lines, and light blue finishes like aquamarine, azure, baby blue, cyan, teal, and turquoise' as identifying features.

However, two huge points to be recognized are:

  • PWA Moderne is very clearly different, and does not involve curves and streamlining.
  • that there are many buildings identified as Moderne in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, a good number identified as PWA Moderne, and relatively few specifically identified as Streamline Moderne. All of those identified as Moderne (hundreds I think) and probably many PWA Moderne ones have been swept (incorrectly) into Streamline categories.

Pinging Carptrash, Lockley, BoringHistoryGuy: I noticed you all collaborating very well in developing Pedimental sculptures in the United States, and I wonder if you could possibly please comment here, towards helping to fix the situation here. The only exception right now is Juneau County Courthouse, a brand new article just created by me, which is currently the sole member of Category:Moderne architecture in the United States. I don't know if a bot will arrive and sweep it away too, or whether my just reestablishing the category (replacing a category redirect) will deactivate the bot which would have swept it. Please comment! --doncram 22:29, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Another online source is, which briefly states Moderne replaced Art Deco in the 1930s. What it describes is compatible with streamline moderne, including saying it is easily seen by its "curvilinear" forms, but it is calling it Moderne. The five example photos don't all show curves, though.
Also I added another article, the 1919-1920-built, mid-1940s facade-modified Lyceum Theater (Clovis, New Mexico), to the category. I suppose an architectural historian might possibly argue (but not in any sources I know) that this building is Art Deco not "Moderne" of the curvilinear type. But it is labelled as "Modern Movement: Moderne" in its NRHP nomination, categorized as "Moderne" in NRIS, and its text describes it or some of its details multiple times as "Modernistic" or "modernistic" without using "Moderne" in the text. IMHO it would surely be wrong to impose "Streamline Moderne" upon this building. "Moderne" is used here and in other NRHP documentation as a general style; what we need to do in Wikipedia is describe properly the common usage of the term (which is not merely the Streamline/curvilinear subtype). --doncram 20:43, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Modern architecture is a well-developed article, which defines PWA Moderne, but not Moderne? Is Moderne in practice a shortcut for PWA Moderne? But what about buildings not associated with the PWA or other New Deal public works programs. The post offices. The movie theatres. --doncram 21:06, 21 October 2017 (UTC)