Compared to the buildings of the World’s Fair, Holmes hotel was built not only to last a long time, but to be a sort of ‘fun house’ to assist in his killings. Rooms in the hotel were especially made to block out sound and be completely sealed so a room could be filled with gas. Holmes’ hotel also contained a basement, which the buildings at the Fair did not. Here Holmes kept all sorts of creepy stuff: vats of acid, a dissection table, and two buried vaults full of human remains. To me, I see Holmes’ building as being a type of weapon used to assist him in murdering innocent people. Just the structure alone causes me to think Holmes a genius, I can’t help but ponder the time it took to plan and design such a building. In more detail, the buildings of the Fair were beautiful, set to bring astonishment and wonder to the eye of its visitors, but not to last forever. The buildings were not built strongly, the way I see it is as a type of movie set, only to be there for a short time before it is destroyed and replaced. Together both Holmes’ hotel and the buildings at the World’s fair were meant to bring pleasure, one to a creepy man who liked the ladies, and another to entertain thousands of people daily. As I see it, the structures of the fair and the structure of the hotel aren’t quite that different, they were both built for similar reasons, one just being a bit darker than the other. I believe architecture can reflect goodness or evil. In Devil in the White City, Holmes designed his building with killing in mind, therefore the structure reflected the evil in which the building would be used for. At the fair, the designs for the buildings were so intricate and almost heavenly that the image of them reflected the feeling of greatness they would bring to spectators. The architects for the fair designed the buildings in a classic way and colored all of them white, this I would imagine would set a more pleasant view possibly comparable to that of Olympus. Architecture can reflect good or evil, just by the techniques used. If the angles and embellishments were to be put at sharp angles or to look large and intimidating, the building would seem crude and harsh. Whereas if angles were to be softer, with more curves and detail put into the design, then the building would have the illusion of peaceful prettiness.
I love your phrase that Holmes' house was a weapon. So true, but I had never thought of it like that before!You are right, too, in that architecture is a form of art and just like any other piece of art can exhibit good or evil.
The buildings of the World's Fair were built to bring joy and entertainment. However, Holmes built his hotel for the sole purpose of bringing fear and horror to his guests. Both the World's Fair buildings and Holmes's hotel took a long time to plan and build. The hotel took a long to plan because it was so intricate and there were so many specific rooms and different valves that connect to different rooms. Also, just like the World's Fair, the hotel took a while because Holmes had to switch contractors constantly to keep them from catching onto his evil plan. I can say this with almost certainty that the World's Fair buildings were not built for murder. I think architecture is neutral until it is used. I think it's the same as the difference between a house and a home. Holmes's hotel could have been a normal hotel if any other person built it but since Holmes was the owner he made the decision to make it a living hell for people. On the other hand the buildings at the fair could have turned into a place of evil doing with the amount of people that visited but Burnham would not have allowed that because he wanted it to be a place of happiness and sheer joy.
I like how you addressed this: the architecture of both stories came about in the same manner. Both took time, planning, many different people to help construct it, and each had a certain purpose in the architecture!
The two subjects contrast in one major way in my opinion. While the buildings of the fair were for aesthetic purposes, the murder castle was for function. Burnham spent days, weeks, and months planning the buildings of the fair so they looked just right. That the water reflected the buildings perfectly. That the lines, contours, and forms of the walls were able to evoke so much emotion and thoughts that they successfully "out-Eiffel Eiffel". While Burnham did this, Holmes simply made a building in which he could kill. He did little to hide his actual rooms and walls. When the building was actually searched the authorities had little trouble finding incriminating evidence. Holmes did not waste time with worrying if the inside looked innocent. He needed a kiln to burn people, so he built one. He needed a vault to hold his prisoners, so he made one.In response to whether or not the buildings themselves could represent good or evil, the answer in my opinion is yes. Buildings, like any other object, can represent those who own or created them. The buildings of the fair are connected to Burnham and his honorable goals of giving a gift to the nation, while the murder castle is associated with Holmes and his evil ways. However, the buildings themselves are not representative of good and evil. If you take away everything that they can be connected with the buildings lean toward neither side of the moral spectrum. They are simply walls standing in place that form rooms. This rule of connections applies to many other aspects of life; not just buildings.
I never thought of comparing these two buildings in that way! I really liked how you said "While the buildings of the fair were for aesthetic purposes, the murder castle was for function." This contrast is so true. Holmes hadn't cared if it looked good at all he just wanted it to work. You went deeper than just Burnhams buildings were white so light connected with good whiles Holmes's was dark and dangerous, so good job! I also really agree with your take on buildings representing evil or good. I am in the same opinion that it is not the building itself but the person or people inside of that building. Just look at when houses are sold and bought. It could look like one thing when the first person lives there but when they sell it the new owners could totally change the look and the aura of the house. But when you said "If you take away everything that they can be connected with the buildings lean toward neither side of the moral spectrum." It was a good analyzation of the question and you used a big word: spectrum. :) I also enjoyed how you ended your response it leaves the reader thinking about what you actually meant to say because you leave it very open ended in a way.
Both the Fair and the "Murder Castle" took much planning and organizing. Both were thought over very carefully to work perfectly for the function they were intended for. But Holmes had a lot more time on his hands to get things done right without causing suspicion. Burnham, on the other hand, threw everything together as fast as he could while keeping it as beautiful and functional as possible. He and the other architects had to forgo things like making the buildings out of stone for the sake of time. So, while Holmes building was made to last, the Fair was fragile. Also, the Fair was absolutely gorgeous and pleasing to the eye, while the Castle was often referred to as very gloomy. Even the girls who lived there didn't like it; they just stayed because of Holmes. Buildings can definitely reflect good and evil. When you think of a giant kiln and sound proof rooms it indefinitely leads you to think the worst. When you see a beautiful white building lit up by tiny white lights it's pleasing and fills you with awe. But without the history of the person who designed them to reflect, buildings wouldn't mean anything. Without knowing the purpose of something in a building it is void of good or evil. It is people and their intentions and actions that give things meaning.
Holmes' building majorly contrasted with the buildings of the fair. Holmes' hotel was crooked with uneven hallways, dark, creepy and pretty unstable. In the books it explained how the hallways jotted in random directions with random doors appearing. Holmes hired construction workers, fired them and then a brand new company had to continue construction. Everything was kind of thrown together which is why nothing was proportional to each other. On the other hand, the buildings for the fair were all enormous and elegant with white painting. They were all planned and drawn out by the most famous architects in the history of the world at the time. It resembled the new and pure Chicago, the advanced and progressive side that this city needed. I Do believe that architecture can reflect goodness and evil. Holmes' building definitely reflected evil because of the way it was constructed and how jagged and uneven it was. It was also dark and creepy. But lets face it, any building with sound proof and gas rooms cannot serve a good purpose so it has to be evil. At the same time, buildings can also reflect good. The buildings at the fair were good because they were well thought out and changed the thought of architecture for the rest of the world. Also the color white that the buildings were painted in reflect good and pure without a doubt. So yes, buildings can reflect mood or good or evil.
Nice job -- I hadn't even thought about Holmes' construction was crooked and dark...mimicking Holmes himself.
Holmes’ hotel, compared to the buildings of the World’s Fair seems atrocious. Just the descriptions of dark corners and oddly angled hallways sound super creepy. Typically I would say that any space could reflect either good or evil, but in this case the hotel just seems evil. I just get the feeling that you could be swallowed up by the building and never get out. I also think that some of the design aspect of the outside can also reflect the feeling of good or evil. Take the World’s Fair buildings, they are all white, large, and very open, giving one the feeling of freedom and peace, to me this just screams goodness. On the other hand, the hotel was quickly built giving it no unity, it feels hodge-podge and like it have secrets, which it does. I really enjoy how Holli compared it to a ‘fun house’ for killings. It gives me this picture of one of those really creepy fun houses with all the mirrors. It just gives me the creepy feeling like someone is watching you and just seem to give the building an ominous presence.
Your response brings some interesting points to light. You start off by stating that buildings are capable of reflecting any design, and then you proceed to give examples of the buildings and how they do so. Holmes’s building is naturally more evil than the bright, serene buildings of the World’s Fair, and this is because of their creators. Burnham designed his buildings with the goal of impressing people all around the world. Because of his motivation, his buildings had a naturally positive feel to them, reflecting the designer’s determinations and aspirations. On the other hand though, Holmes’s edifice was contrived of twisted corridors and largely looming shadows. Going even deeper than that, you find that the building was built entirely on the premise of deceit and murder. How could something so treacherous possibly be a positive building? However, just because a building was built one way doesn’t mean that it will permanently stay that way. The Cold Storage building is an example of this. In the book, the Cold Storage building was initially constructed to stand as a monument alongside the rest of the World’s Fair. However, despite its positive intention, it failed to live up to that, instead turning into a monument to sloppy labor and human error after it caught fire and burned to the ground. An even greater example exists in real life with the Twin Towers. Initially, they were meant to be paramount buildings in world trade. Now, after the 9/11 attacks, they are remembered as the centerpiece of America’s darkest hour. The point is, buildings are mirrors to their architect’s desires and ambitions, reflecting their motivations and character out onto the world. However, that mirror can be moved and adjusted to fixate upon something else through outside force, such as the Cold Storage building and the Twin Towers.
Josh, your thoughts about buildings being mirrors reminded me of Fahrenheit 451. Remember at the end when Guy discussed building a mirror factory? How important is it for us to see ourselves as we truly are? That is a truth in an individual sense as well as a societal one. Buildings can reflect our intents/motives, but your point that outside force can also change the focus and the reflection really made an impact on me. The Twin Towers will forever mirror achievement, man's limitations, and rising from the ashes--another echo from Bradbury's work.
Between the World’s Fair and Holmes’s hotel there are certainly a lot of interesting architectural differences. The World’s Fair was largely the vision of Burnham, and he oversaw the construction of a coherent group of buildings. The Fair’s purpose was to showcase the cutting edge of America through its architecture, and it generally succeeded in doing this. On the other hand, Holmes’s hotel too had a main goal – that of murdering people while enticing them to stay in his hotel. This time, however, the project really wasn't coherent. Hallways flew off in odd directions, staircases lead to nowhere. The general structure of the building resembled a labyrinth. This might've disguised Holmes more overt murderous actions, but it gave it an off putting and immature appearance that really distracted from the original goal of the enticement of people. If demand for hotel rooms wasn't so high because of the World’s Fair, I think nearly everyone would be put off by the generally dark aura Holmes’s hotel presented. However, I don’t think we can label architectural structures as being good or evil in nature. Like any other art form, architecture is meant to invoke feeling in its subject. So the White City made the visitors feel amazed, and Holmes’s castle brought darker emotions to the surface. These effects on the subject don’t necessarily have to align with the function of the building. In other words, while function and form of a structure may overlap, they often do not. Perhaps in this case, the emotional response does match the intent or inherent “goodness” of the buildings. Holmes castle felt evil and was evil. This isn't always true though; the true function of a building and how good/bad it is cannot be judged by its form. I know when I visited Chicago everything looked grand and important. However, just because everything looked important didn't mean it was. Most of the buildings were just normal things like clothes stores or offices. Their function didn't really match their form – they had no point in being as grand as they were. This also applies to structures that are supposed to be good or bad. Maybe it’s just me, but to me lot of churches look really scary and imposing, especially more medieval styles. But everyone would agree the function of churches is most definitely good. In other words, their form does not match their function, and the architectural form really doesn't reflect how good or evil the function of it is.
The buildings of the Worlds Fair and Holmes' hotel were built for two very different reasons. The Burnham's buildings were built to entertain the masses, while Holmes built his hotel to entertain himself at the expense of the public. The definition of art has a very broad scope, and it definitely umbrellas both buildings. Burnham's buildings were very pure, and deliberately so, he wanted to build a perfect "White City", and he did just that. Holmes' hotel was far from pure, specifically designed with murder in mind. It fills the bill of a much darker artistic style, one that Holmes' found arousing. While any building could potentially be used for good or bad things, the Holmes' hotel was definitely designed with the bad in mind. Frankly, if he had built the hotel any other way, he would have been caught sooner. Similarly, if the Fair's buildings were designed to last, they wouldn't have had the artistic freedom that they did, instead worrying about the buildings ability to age.
“Structure determines function” is a phrase all high school students should be familiar with. When comparing Murder Castle with the White City, the underlying architecture provides us a clear view of the contrast between the two undertakings. The White City was clearly built as a display. Much like a movie set, the buildings weren’t made to be real, but where made to look stunning. Every building tied into a common theme, there was order, and there was design. The purpose of the buildings in the World Fair was to act as buildings in a World Fair.In stark contrast was the ominous construction known as “Murder Castle”. With its crooked hallways, hidden gas lines, and “mysterious” air-tight vault, it is clear that Holmes’ creation was meant as a tool to serve a specific utility. The building itself was not the focus of the architecture, rather what the building could do. However, there were similarities, if not in the structures, in the making of the buildings. Both Holmes and the many architects spent much time planning and perfecting their projects. They also both experienced numerous labor changes.Buildings are inanimate objects. Normally, I would say there are neutral until used. This applies to the ordinary buildings that surround us every day: houses, mall outlets, office spaces. However, architecture is an art, and buildings are the creation of architects, and can therefore reflect their image. This can most definitely be classified as either “good” or “evil”, with the intended use and resulting arrangement contributing.
Mimi,I think you had a really good opinion on this question. The biology reference was perfect, and made so much sense. You were able to back it up with good examples from the book. I really enjoyed your connection to the movie set and The White city, it was really clever and thoughtful. I think your best point in this was the fact that architecture it art, that it reflects those who build it. You did a very good job at addressing the question. So my question, in response to your short essay is, do you think that people can disguise evil in a beautifully crafted building? And could Holmes have gotten away with even more murder had he created a less sinister building?