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Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture & Development Second Edition Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231078504
ISBN-10: 0231078501
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Editorial Reviews


Combines recondite research with bare-knuckle history, interweaving the nuts and bolts of neighborhood-building with a messy human drama of rivalry, greed, marketing, bigotry and idealism.

(The New York Times)

Thorough analysis of this architecturally rich neighborhood.

(New York Observer)

Every town, hamlet, and neighborhood deserves an historical portrait by Andrew Dolkart. His history of Morningside Heights is a magnificent work of scholarship that grows out of a true love of urbanism and a profound respect for the contribution of architects and developers, whether high-minded or not-so, to the vitality of place.

(Robert A. M. Stern)

While Dolkart focuses on aesthetics, his analysis of taste and design is informed by a penetrating knowledge of Manhattan's social history. The resulting book, gracefully written and generously illustrated, will appeal to historians, residents, and anyone whose search for scarce parking on the Heights has taken them past buildings which astonish and delight.... Dolkart adeptly explains the social implications behind... artistic decisions.... the work is a remarkable social portrait.

(New York History)

About the Author

Andrew S. Dolkart teaches at the Columbia University School of Architecture and has written and lectured extensively about New York's architecture and development. He is the author of the Guide to New York City Landmarks, has curated numerous exhibitions, and is well-known for his walking tours of New York City neighborhoods.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Second Edition edition (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231078501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231078504
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This attractive book, with over 250 historical photographs, tells the story of a unique neighborhood in New York City. Dolkart traces its development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from a rural, undeveloped tract with an insane asylum and an orphanage into the home of some of the nation's most important educational and religious institutions (Columbia, Barnard and Teachers College, Union and Jewish Theological seminaries, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Riverside Church, and the Institute of Music and Art (later Juilliard and now Manhattan School of Music). The architectural history is meticulously documented, tracking the invovement of the major architects of the period in the neighborhood's transformation. The book also explores the involvement of New York's wealthiest families in and the rivalries that drove this neighborhood's development. Dolkart also for the first time documents the growth of Morningside Heights as the first middle-class apartment building neighborhood in New York City. His insights into this process help all those interested New York City and other urban centers in this country in understanding the fascinating ways in which important neighborhoods take shape and influence the future history of their city and the nation. This is a must for all those who love and study New York City, and urban and architectural history and development.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fletcher on January 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Morningside Heights is one of America's greatest unknown architectural treasures. Most people who didn't go to Columbia University or one of its other institutions of learning don't even know that it exists. But this half-square-mile of Manhattan boasts classic old-fashioned streetscapes, dotted with architectural monuments, that compare to the best Europe has to offer. Mr. Dolkhart's book on how it all got built is comprehensive, flawlessly accurate, well illustrated, and informed by a cultivated urban sensibility from which we all can learn. I am the webmaster of this neighborhood's website.
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Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture & Development
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