January 2, 2007
The slim, stapled volume XXVII, no. 1 of The White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs could have been printed 85 years ago. Color is limited to the occasional sage accent, serifs and curlicues ornament the type—even the frontispiece illustration is topped with the requisite old-fashioned swag-draped urn.
This little publication isn’t a fine vintage in reality. Rather, it’s The Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association’s first issue in resurrecting the monograph series, which launched in early 1915. The industry promotional introduced and enticed architects with stories and images of pine construction, ranging from colonial structures to new $12,500 homes.
Besides striking many similar visual notes, the manufacturers association, known as NeLMA, retraces much of the same territory as its predecessors, from historical perspective (ships’ masts had a 36:1 height-to-diameter ratio, in inches) to find workmanship. Now, though, memory lane shares space with discussion of sustainability; a call for submissions also requests Modernist applications of pine. NeLMA plans to publish The White Pine Series as a quarterly, and while it’s one of any number of industry plugs to clog your mailbox, this one wins points for placing charm above shamelessness.