February 01, 2011

The Contractor and the Architect

by: Taz Loomans


While browsing through some old Arizona Builder & Contractor Magazines for some research I’m doing for another article, I came across this poem written in 1954 that made me laugh out loud. Those of you not in the industry may not be aware of the “special” relationship between Architects and Contractors.  I thought this poem by H.E. Deming sums it up pretty nicely and I thought I’d share it with you.  And no, nothing’s changed 55 plus years…

The Contractor and the Architect

Are special kind of friends,

They laugh and jolly at a bar,

But on the job that ends.

The Architect is never wrong,

He’ll never tell you so;

And the Contractor just makes no mistakes,

He’s right, right from the go.

They have their little differences,

They even swear and curse;

But always work out something,

No grudges do they nurse.

The pictures drawn by the Architect

Are matters of debate

For the Contractor knows a better way,

He looks at them with hate.

The brickwork just completed

By the Contractor in good grace

Is amusing to the Architect,

And he laughs right in his face.

There’s always something extra

Wasn’t figured in the job,

The Contractor sends in figures,

The Architect screams, “robbed”.

So they work along together

Till the job is almost done,

The Contractor says he’s lost his shirt,

The Architect’s on the bum.

At last there comes the golden day,

There’s nothing left to do,

The job is finished to a tee

And polished bright and new.

The Contractor gets his money,

The Architect the same;

They have a drink together

For both have lost the game.

The Contractor buys a Cadillac

With the money that he lost,

The Architect a Ford sedan

And writes it off as cost.

Photo Credit:  Road construction on Camelback Rd. in 1951.  Photo by the author of the Arizona Builder & Contractor Magazine of January 1951.

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4 Responses

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Ha! I can see that. It makes me think of the home inspector and the contractor. Another hand-in-hand but butting heads relationship.

  2. mark lymer says:

    funny…will forward the link to buddies!

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