Although the U. S. Army is often associated with standardization and regimentation, particularly concerning its weaponry, uniforms, and equipment, the military was less successful in standardizing its architecture. The construction history of three Wyoming forts-Laramie, Bridger, and D. A. Russell-in the post-Civil War period serves as a means to examine the origins of standardization over the forty-year period of its introduction and acceptance. The slow acceptance of standardization involved a fundamental shift in attitudes toward professionals and centralized authority. Other factors changed as well: an administrative reorganization clarified lines of authority; improved transportation systems permitted the importation of building materials; contracting construction work to civilians necessitated accurate plans and specifications; and the introduction of plumbing to housing required specialized skills. These changing conditions facilitated the recognition of professionalization and centralized authority, which are an integral part of successful standardization.
- Copyright 1998 The Society of Architectural Historians