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Issue 4.1

Shifting Practices in Twentieth-Century Specification Writing: The Case of the R. Guastavino Company

As master builders of structural-tile arches and vaults, the R. Guastavino Company was considered the only entity in the US capable of providing the skilled labor and manufactured tiles for the vaulted building system. Archived specifications collected, examined, and categorized according to terminology as Guastavino or Similar, Guastavino in the Title, and Guastavino Only reveal the exclusive selection of Guastavino Work before 1940. Specifications categorized as Guastavino as Subcontractor reflect shifting standardization and management practices in the twentieth-century architecture, engineering, construction, and owner community through the reduced selection of the company’s skilled labor after 1940.