Here at last: the fully expanded, updated, and freshly designed second edition of the most comprehensive and widely acclaimed guide to domestic architecture—in print since its publication in 1984, and acknowledged everywhere as the unmatched, essential reference to American houses.
Focusing on dwellings in urban and suburban neighborhoods and rural locations all across the continental United States—houses built over the past three hundred years reflecting every social and economic background—this guide provides in-depth information on the essentials of domestic architecture with facts and frames of reference that will enable you to look in a fresh way at the houses around you. With more than 1,600 detailed photographs and line illustrations, and a lucid, vastly informative text, it will teach you not only to recognize distinct architectural styles but also to understand their historical significance. What does that cornice signify? Or that porch? The shape of that door? The window treatment? When was this house built? What does the style say about its builders and their eras? You'll find the answers to these and myriad other questions in this encyclopedic and eminently practical book.
Here are more than fifty styles and their variants, spanning seven distinct historical periods. Each style is illustrated with a large schematic drawing that highlights its most important identifying features. Additional drawings and photographs provide, at a glance, common alternative shapes, principal subtypes, and close-up views of typical small details—windows, doors, cornices, etc.—that can be difficult to see in full-house illustrations. The accompanying text explains the identifying features of each style, describing where and in what quantity they can be found, discussing all of its notable variants, and tracing their origin and history.
The book's introductory chapters provide invaluable general discussions of construction materials and techniques, house shapes, and the various traditions of architectural fashion that have influenced American house design through the past three centuries. A pictorial key and glossary simplifies identification, connecting easily recognized architectural features—the presence of a tile roof, for example—to the styles in which that feature is likely to be found.
Among the new material included in this edition are chapters on styles that have emerged in the thirty years since the previous edition; a groundbreaking chapter on the development and evolution of American neighborhoods; an appendix on approaches to construction in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; an expanded bibliography; and 600 new photographs and line drawings throughout.
Here is an indispensable resource—both easy and pleasurable to use—for the house lover and the curious tourist, for the house buyer and the weekend stroller, for neighborhood preservation groups, architecture buffs, and everyone who wants to know more about their own homes and communities. It is an invaluable book of American architecture, culture, and history.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
How to Use This Book | Preface | Looking at American Houses | Style: The Fashions of American Houses | Form: The Shapes of American Houses | Structure: The Anatomy of American Houses | Pictorial Key and Glossary | Folk Houses | Native American | Pre-Railroad | National | Colonial Houses (1600-1820) | Postmedieval English | Dutch Colonial | French Colonial | Spanish Colonial | Georgian | Adam | Early Classical Revival | Romantic Houses (1820-1880) | Greek Revival | Gothic Revival | Italianate | Exotic Revivals | Octagon | Victorian Houses (1860-1900) | Second Empire | Stick | Queen Anne | Shingle | Richardsonian Romanesque | Folk Victorian | Eclectic Houses (1880-1940) | Anglo-American, English, and French Period Houses | Colonial Revival | Neoclassical | Tudor | Chateauesque | Beaux Arts | French Eclectic | Mediterranean Period Houses | Italian Renaissance | Mission | Spanish Eclectic | Monterey | Pueblo Revival | Modern Houses | Prairie | Craftsman | Modernistic | International | American Houses Since 1940 | Modern | Neoeclectic | Contemporary Folk | For Further Reference | Index
About Virginia Savage McAlester
Virginia McAlester is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and attended Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is a founding member and past president of Preservation Dallas (formerly called the Historic Preservation League, Inc.) and of Friends of Fair Park, a support group for the Fair Park National Historic Landmark in Dallas, site of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. She serves on the Dallas Landmark Commission and is an Adviser Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Lee McAlester, a geologist by profession, is Chairman of the Geology Department at Southern Methodist University and was formerly Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences there. He is the author of several geology textbooks as well as numerous scientific monographs and papers. He has an active interest in architectural history and has been involved in many Dallas preservation projects.
Together the McAlesters are the authors of A Field Guide to American Houses (available in Knopf paperback), Discover Dallas/Fort Worth, and Great American Houses and Their Architectural Styles. The National Trust awarded them a Preservation Honor Award for creating A Field Guide to American Houses, and they have recently received the Texas Society of Architects' Flowers Award for excellence in interpreting architecture through the media.
How to Use This Book
Looking at American Houses
Style: The Fashions of American Houses
Form: The Shapes of American Houses
Structure: The Anatomy of American Houses
Pictorial Key and Glossary
Colonial Houses (1600-1820)
Early Classical Revival
Romantic Houses (1820-1880)
Victorian Houses (1860-1900)
Eclectic Houses (1880-1940)
Anglo-American, English, and French Period Houses
Mediterranean Period Houses
American Houses Since 1940
For Further Reference