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Ivey and Crook
The architectural firm Ivey and Crook (1923-67) excelled in traditional architecture during a competitive period of eclecticism.
A sense of refinement prevailed throughout their work, a quality instilled in the architects' academic training at the Georgia Institute of Technology under professor Francis Palmer Smith and in their apprenticeship with architect Neel Reid. "Buck" Crook was the principal designer, responsible for the consistently high quality of the firm's design. Ed Ivey was a masterful "clerk-of-the-works," a specialist in construction; he ensured quality of execution.
Like most architects seeking to establish a new firm, Ivey and Crook first built houses in the current eclectic styles. El Paradisio (1923, razed), for F. O. Stone, was an Italianate palazzo built in the Druid Hills suburb of Atlanta.
Ivey and Crook's best houses of the 1930s, comparably eclectic, include the Otis Barge House (1932), which blends Palladian and Federal features of eighteenth-century classicism, and Lewis Crook's own residence (1938). The latter house is a little jewel of southern colonial style, whose four-columned portico became a signature element of late Ivey and Crook houses, including those for L. E. Grant (1948), Julian Harrison (1950), Fred Patterson (1951), and Marcus Emmert (1951). The motif is similarly evident in fraternity houses (Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter houses at both Emory University  and the University of Alabama ) and public buildings, such as the library at LaGrange College (1948).
Churches and Schools
Ivey and Crook developed similar variations on a classical theme for the designs of their churches. Major sanctuary designs were based on porticoed and steepled New England colonial churches,
Ivey and Crook also executed extensive school commissions, including major work at Emory University, where the firm's earliest projects were the Candler Library (1924)
The firm undertook commercial work less frequently but completed several significant projects. The Crum and Forster Building (1926) is a Renaissance revival palazzo reminiscent of the Beaux-Arts projects and student exercises of Francis Smith's architecture program; the five-bayed façade centers on an entry loggia of three sweeping arches. In the mid-1930s the firm built two modern classic structures reflecting the restrained aesthetic and the economies of the depression. The Olympia Building (1935) is characterized by a delicate classical ornament and was recently preserved with alterations that opened the lower west end into a pedestrian walk-through, linking Five Points to Underground Atlanta. Rhodes Center (1937) was Atlanta's first shopping center, but all of it except the south block has been razed.
Significance of the Firm's Work
Lewis Crook's preferred neoclassicism brought a unity to the firm's body of work, which encompassed almost 600 projects between 1923 and 1967. As Crook noted, good taste in architecture is not a function of size or cost but requires a sense of proportion, a fitness to a building's surroundings, and a regard to precedent. In a period of architectural traditionalism, Ivey and Crook attracted clients who valued these qualities. Clients found in Ivey and Crook a leading proponent of architectural excellence based on beauty and economy derived from skill in massing and detail.
Robert M. Craig and Elizabeth Dowling, "The Manor Born, 1900-1940," in From Plantation to Peachtree: A Century and a Half of Classic Atlanta Homes, ed. Jane F. Schneider (Atlanta: Haas, 1987), 64-107.
William R. Mitchell Jr., Lewis Edmund Crook, Jr., Architect, 1898-1967: A Twentieth-Century Traditionalist in the Deep South (Atlanta: History Business, 1984).
Robert M. Craig, Georgia Institute of Technology
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.