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Cass Gilbert, Life and Work: Architect of the Public Domain Hardcover – November 17, 2001

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


This fine volume is a worthy addition…providing a richly detailed picture of a too long neglected American architect. (Elizabeth Meredith Dowling, Georgia Institute of Technology - JSAH)

A considerable feat of scholarship…what makes this book special are a number of unusual perspectives it offers…an extremely important book on a leading American architect that has contemporary relevance as well. (Richard Guy Wilson - APT Bulletin)

About the Author

Barbara S. Christen is an architectural historian who specializes in the history of Cass Gilbert’s architectural work and the history of campus and preservation planning. In recent years, she has served as technical advisor for the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) Campus Heritage Discovery Project, examining the campus heritage projects funded between 2002 and 2007 by the Getty Foundation (www.campusheritage.org). She has also led the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Historic Campus Architecture Project, which created an inventory of historic campus architecture and landscape design regarding 2100 cultural heritage sites at nearly 400 campuses of independent colleges and universities across the United States (www.cic.edu/hcap). She received her Ph.D. in art and architectural history from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Steven Flanders, a consultant in court administration, lives in Pelham, New York.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (November 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393730654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393730654
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.1 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,800,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
"Cass Gilbert, Life and Work: Architect of the Public Domain" had the potential to be the definitive book on an architect whose work has only recently come back into favor. For decades, his buildings have been derided by dogmatic Modernists; this book places Gilbert back where he belongs as an important figure in American architecture. "Cass Gilbert" backs this up with numerous photographs and architectural renderings of his structures in their prime, before the neglect many of them were subjected to during the latter half of the Twentieth Century. I did not find "Cass Gilbert" an enjoyable read, however. This had to do with the numerous authors. I believe that there was little communication between them as several chapters cover the same buildings and timeperiods. While architectural writing often has the habit of not being the most enthralling type of writing, some of the authors are dry, bland, and unreadable even by architectural writing standards.

I would still recommend this book as it is the only complete look at Cass Gilbert's entire work widely available, and it is filled with many great photographs and architectural renderings.
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Cass Gilbert, Life and Work: Architect of the Public Domain
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