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Lawrence Bolton Valk

November 16, 2017

L. B. Valk, architect

Architectural design is, like other creative activity, difficult to protect through both the patent and trademark processes. Frank Lloyd Wright, for example, unsuccessfully attempted to patent his concrete block construction system called “textile block”, essentially because the technical aspects of the system had already been established and used by at least two other architects, one of them more than twenty years before. Wright was hardly the innovator he is popularly believed to have been, at least in this case.

The Akron-Auditorium phenomenon certainly involves innovation in the organization of spaces and the methods for their connectivity. So imagine my surprise when I found that a U.S. patent was issued to architect L. B. Valk, one of the handful of architects to dominate the A-A in publicity, if not in actual numbers of churches built. Valk applied on 04 November 1901 and Patent #723426A was issued fifteen months later on 24 March 1903. What’s really odd is that I found this on a Dutch website, (which probably accounts for the spelling errors):


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