by Bailey White
A new edition of a book documenting the work of Henry John Klutho in Jacksonville will be released this spring.
The book, “The Architecture of Henry John Klutho: The Prairie School in Jacksonville,” first published in 1984, has been transformed along the way.
“The first edition was more of a scholarly dissertation,” said architect Bob Broward, the book’s author.
Now, the book is fit for a coffee table. It will reappear almost twice its size, with more photographs and plenty of updates.
“Time has passed and some of the buildings are no longer there,” said Wayne Wood, author of “Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage: Landmarks for the Future,” editor of the new edition. “And we’ve discovered new buildings that weren’t featured in the original book.”
The new edition contains dozens of new photographs that Wood and Broward searched the country for, finding them as far away as New York and California.
“Some things showed up serendipitously,” said Wood, “and some we had to sleuth out.”
The work has taken about two years and was a labor of love.
The original printers had thrown out the first edition’s plates, so Broward and Wood had to transcribe the text of the entire book, adding captions and new text along the way.
But both know the extra work was worth it.
“Wayne has redesigned the layout of the book beautifully,” said Broward. “And the photographs look much better.”
“We want the book to be one of Jacksonville’s landmark books,” said Wood.
Klutho came to Jacksonville in June 1901, just two months after the Great Fire. His work is highly visible in Springfield, where he lived, and downtown. Both the St. James Building, which now serves as City Hall, and the Bisbee Building, the city’s first “skyscraper,” are examples of his work.
“He was just an excellent architect,” said Broward. “His most creative works were done when the Prairie School was at its height, between 1906-1919. The buildings were so different looking at the time that they were considered radical.”
Broward, who has been a practicing architect in Jacksonville for 50 years, was a close friend of Klutho’s in the latter part of his life.
“He is one of the best known architects of the South,” he said. “I knew I had to write a book about him.”
The book will be available in late March or early April, and it is priced at $49.95. Proceeds will
benefit the Jacksonville Historical Society.