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Great Houses of the South Hardcover – March 23, 2010


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Great Houses of the South + Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847833097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847833092
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Laurie Ossman has served as the Deputy Director at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. Her previous positions include Chief Curator at The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida, and Curator and Restoration Project Manager at Ca d’Zan, The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.

Steven Brooke
is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and winner of the A.I.A. National Institute Honor Award for photography. He is the photographer of Rizzoli’s Aqua, Seaside Style, and Miami: Mediterranean Splendor and Deco Dreams.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
The pictures are beautiful and it's a very informative book.
Betty P.
For friends who have visited the homes it brings back happy "rememberies". "I want one" is what I hear most often as they ooh and ahh through the pages.
Peggy Parker
The writing is profound without being pedantic, and the book will be as interesting to architectural historians as it is to amateur enthusiasts.
Jon L. Albee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jon L. Albee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is intended as a living room conversation piece rather than a reference work or scholarly study.

That, of course, does not diminish the supreme quality of the photography of this rather small selection of grand Southern houses. Let me make clear that the SELECTION is small, but the houses are most certainly not.

The author treats us to gorgeous stops at Mount Vernon and the Biltmore House, Shirley Plantation and Whitehall. The book is arranged in chronological chapters, beginning with 1700-1800 and ending with 1865-1940, so the majority of the book is dedicated to OLD structures. Think the framing essays for each entry are just filling material and you'd be seriously mistaken. The author creates the perfect balance of historical depth and reader accessibility. The writing is profound without being pedantic, and the book will be as interesting to architectural historians as it is to amateur enthusiasts.

Here's something really nice: The building selection is limited to places that are open to visitors, so a reader can visit ANY of the houses s/he falls in love with from the book.

My only regreat is that this author's "South" does not include Texas. There are no examples from Texas, but there are several from Florida, Kentucky and Maryland.

This is a big book printed on heavy gloss paper. Overall, it is one of the very best coffee-table books you can buy on this subject, and it's a nice travel guide as well. Exceptionally well done.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Deborah M. Lehr on March 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This beautifully written (and photographed) book is an engaging review of an almost forgotten part of our heritage -- the great homes of the South. Ms. Ossman's prose makes one want to take a "grand tour" of the South, and explore further its history. It is an elegant additional to the Rizzoli collection.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Rabinowitz on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The witty and erudite text and stunning photographs of this beautiful book succeed at placing some of America's most historic, largest, and anachronistic homes in the context of an evolving narrative on life in the South as expressed in its premier homes. Ossman's incredibly well researched yet concise essays trace the evolution of the use of home architecture to provide signs and represent status of the owners from the earliest days of European settlement to the flowering of Colonial Revival in the mid-twentieth century. Seeking common threads in a disparate fabric of house high styles over centuries, Ossman links transplanted English Palladian forms with classic plantation style Greek Revival and later Beaux Arts and Colonial Revival homes through how each represents the aspirations of its creators within the Southern milieu. Brooke's stunning photography illustrates and complements the text to provide a panoply of gorgeous house settings and interiors from Key West to Baltimore, Charleston to New Orleans organized by progress in time. Each house is open to the public so readers can use these chapters to guide them on their own travels through the South's rich history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane Atchley on February 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for my boss for Christmas. It was a smash hit. If you've got someone in your life who loves gorgeous architecture give them this book. You can't go wrong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kerry E. Hannon on May 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Laurie Ossman brings a skilled eye to reveal the inner workings of these amazing homes rich in history and beauty. Her writing style teaches and amuses us, while the beauty of the photographs makes you feel you are visiting as you read along. Read this book. Then hit the road to visit firsthand!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Betty P. on March 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book shows some plantations from all over the south. The pictures are beautiful and it's a very informative book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Pittman on February 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My mother-in-law has always been enamored with the South. This was a perfect book for her for her birthday. It certainly is chocked full of information and photographs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darlene O. on June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book rates a 5 star. It is extensive in the history for each home. The photographs leaves one in a state awe. Through the pictures I could almost feel the warmth and majesty of each home. I have visited several of the homes in this book, but reviewing the book makes me want to go back again and pay closer attention to the detailed architecture and interior decorating. This is an excellent coffee table book. You will not want to keep this book on a shelf. It's too pretty to keep tucked away.
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