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Bird's Eye Views: Historic Lithographs of North American Cities Hardcover – October 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568981465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568981468
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 0.8 x 15 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Five thousand aerial perspectives of cities were published during the nineteenth century, so the more than 100 reprinted here in color constitute the cream of the crop. The images, created by itinerant artists, reward both an aesthetic sense and, in close-up viewing, a historical sensibility for urban growth in the post^-Civil War decades. The latter applies more to the largest cities, of which bird's-eye views were made over time, which allows observation of the advent of railroads, factories, and large parks, such as Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Every small town's demand for a perspective view of itself sustained the market, and such places (Bismarck, North Dakota, to name one) in the resultant drawings sometimes look like nothing more than a street grid, a courthouse, and a few houses and stables. Thus, views commissioned on the basis of civic pride carried a promotional purpose of attracting new citizens to the vacant lots--whereas we can enjoy them as quaint visual time capsules. A pretty work for pleasant browsing. Gilbert Taylor

Review

"The preservation of American architecture owes a lasting debt to John W. Reps. His work has kept our attention focused on architecture's main purpose, which is the building and sustaining of the city as a whole. Beginning with 'The Making of Urban America' in 1965 and developing his theme in a series of later books, Reps has continued to show us what the American city looked like before it was torn apart and to describe how it got to be that way." -- Preservation

The 115 panoramic bird's eye lithographs in this volume span the continent from Halifax and Montreal to Yerba Buena and Los Angeles. For the innumerable readers who have reason to care how such cities as Davenport, Iowa, or Lexington, Ky., or Hannibal, Mo., or Phoenix in the Arizona Territory looked in their formative years, this book will be a delight. For historians and others interested in how American cities developed, these illustrations, with their clusters of courthouses, banks, hospitals, churches, schools, general stores, theaters and railroad depots forming a central core and their as-yet undeveloped streets laid out in grids and planted with elms awaiting the future, will be an essential reference. Congratulations to Mr. Reps and his publisher for making this fine volume available. I hope they are planning a sequel. -- Los Angeles Times

The 115 panoramic bird's-eye lithographs in this volume span the continent from Halifax and Montreal to Yerba Buena and Los Angeles. For the innumerable readers who have reason to care how such cities as Davenport, lowa, Lexington, Ky., or Hannibal, Mo., or Phoenix in the Arizona Territory looked in the formative years, this book will be a delight. For historians and others interested in how American cities developed, these illustrations, with their clusters of courthouse banks, hospitals, churches, schools, general stores, theaters and railroad depots forming a central core and their as-yet undeveloped streets laid out in grids and planted wit elms awaiting the future, will be an essential reference. Congratulations to Mr. Reps and his publisher for making this fine volume available. I hope they are planning a sequel." -- LA Times

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another of John W. Reps CLASSICS......The finest of "Birds Eye View" of 19th century US cities ever published. I will purchase more of his books.
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