"Colonial", "Victorian", "Neoclassical", "Modern" - what distinguishes one architectural style from another? How and where did these different styles develop?
America has an abundance of fascinating and varied house styles, as fascinating and diverse as its people. When we explore our neighborhoods and travel around the country, how do we recognize the kind of architecture we see? Even people interested in houses can rarely identify the style of their own homes with any precision.
This unique book will allow readers to recognize the architectural features and style of virtually any house they encounter. To create this guide, architect John Milnes Baker designed a simple, two-story house with four bedrooms. From it he developed the basic plan for each historical style - from the steeply pitched roofs of Early New England Colonial houses to the turrets and grand porches of the Queen Anne style, the austere geometry of the International style, and today's Postmodern multiple eclecticisms. By starting each drawing with the same plan and adding the essential characteristics of each style, Baker ensures that the reader does not become confused by additions and later embellishments to the buildings. Each section of American House Styles begins with a historical overview of the period, followed by a concise commentary on each style.
The author then highlights the specific design details that distinguish one style from another. He shows how different styles developed and what influenced their development. His beautifully wrought elevation drawings, each with a floor plan, illustrate the details of style clearly and with precision. Through an understanding of earlier styles, we develop insights into the architecture of our own era. Not only is it fun, but the study of architecture also nurtures a critical sense and allows us to make informed judgments about what is being built today.
DETAILS | 2018 Published by W W Norton & Co Inc
REVIEWS OF THIS BOOK:
- “History is all around us—so much so that it can be hard to see it. John Milnes Baker’s classic work, now beautifully updated, helps us to locate it in our very houses. Through brick and stucco, pediments and porticos, he literally brings history home to us.” — Russell Shorto, author of Revolution Song
- “John Milnes Baker is a congenial companion, comprehensive without being dull, discriminating but not dismissive. His affectionate survey of four centuries of American houses and American aspirations is an accessible guide to the world we’ve built and a good set of principles for understanding whatever we’ll think up next.” — Kent Barwick, former chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
- “John Mines Baker’s latest edition is a cause for celebration. This concise and erudite guide is essential for any novice or seasoned admirer of architecture. The combination of text and illustrations makes this book a perfect inspiration to travel the country and explore our nation’s rich architectural heritage. Adam Van Doren, author of The Stones of Yale and The House Tells the Story: Homes of the American Presidents
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