Edward William Bok (18631930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.
A Signal Piece of Constructive Work
THE INFLUENCE of his grandfather and the injunction of his grandmother to her sons that each should make the world a better or a more beautiful place to live in now began to be manifest in the grandson. Edward Bok was unconscious that it was this influence. What directly led him to the signal piece of construction in which he engaged was the wretched architecture of small houses. As he travelled through the United States he was appalled by it. Where the houses were not positively ugly, they were, to him, repellently ornate. Money was wasted on useless turrets, filigree work, or machine-made ornamentation. Bok found out that these small householders never employed an architect, but that the houses were put up by builders from their own plans.
Bok felt a keen desire to take hold of the small American house and make it architecturally better. He foresaw, however, that the subject would finally include small gardening and interior decoration. He feared that the subject would become too large for the magazine, which was already feeling the pressure of the material which he was securing. He suggested, therefore, to Mr. Curtis that they purchase a little magazine published in Buffalo, N. Y., called Country Life, and develop it