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State Houses: America's 50 State Capitol Buildings Hardcover – September 12, 2005

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This lovely large-format book takes readers on a cross-country tour of all 50 state capitals, not for the purpose of comparing life in this wide variety of city and town environments but to visit each capital's capitol--that is, the building that houses the state legislature. If anyone believes that all capitol buildings are the same across the nation, think again--or, better yet, take an informative, luxurious trip through the pages of this volume. Yes, there are the traditional domed structures a la the federal capitol in Washington, D.C. (such as those found in Sacramento, California, and Austin, Texas). But take a look at the unusual ones in Albany, New York, and Honolulu, Hawaii. Accompanying the beautiful full-color interior and exterior shots is sprightly text describing design, decoration, and construction. For history buffs as well as travelers. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Handsome, readable book... each capital receives a brief, detailed, and engaging review... many photographs (by Patterson), all new and all in color, portray interior features, many newly revealed by recent restorations. (C.W. Westfall Choice 2006-06-00)

Lovely large-format book... take an informative, luxurious trip through the pages of this volume... accompanying the beautiful full-color interior and exterior shots is sprightly text describing design, decoration, and construction. (Brad Hooper Booklist 2005-12-01)

The book devotes to each structure six pages of informative descriptions and color photos of majestic exteriors, ornate interiors, sculpture, and state symbols. (Russell T. Clement Library Journal 2006-04-01)

Beautiful and informative... This book is a pleasing read and a nice way to travel without leaving your chair. (Dan Hays Salem Statesman Journal 2005-12-18)

Domed pomp and coffered circumstance... from Ohio's oddly undomed pile to Vermont's simple charmer. (David Elliott San Diego Union-Tribute 2005-11-27)

For anyone with a real interest in the places across the nation 'where democracy is enacted'... the photography is undeniably beautiful. (John Mark Bberhart Kansas City Star 2005-12-04)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Boston Mills Press (September 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550464574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550464573
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.1 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Blue on December 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you're interested in architecture or history - especially if you want a flavor for the rich variety of our states and their capitols, this is a wonderful book. The large format photography is excellent and, according to the photographer, used only available lighting. It provides a real sense of the buildings and what has inspired each state. The text also provides a wealth of information about each building. I wish the book had been arranged by when each state attained statehood. A great gift for the traveler for the person who wishes they could travel. A wonderful reference for the library. Or, for me, the latest book on my coffee table.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Deason on January 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a very well executed book. The images are first rate and the text is highly informative. Every state capitol building is covered extensively and the book is full of great photographs, every state capitol building gets the same indepth coverage. I liked how the book is done in chronological order, you get to see the capitols evolve and see what was considered opulent at the time. I have been waiting for a book like this for some time and am so pleased that Ms. Thrane has put out such a wonderful book. Thank you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Capitolshots Photography on March 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a professional photographer specializing in state capitols and county courthouses, I have purchased a number of books within this niche, and this collection of images by photographer Tom Patterson and accompanying text by Susan Thrane is the best collection in print of capitol images I have come across.

Two quibbles with the collection prevent me from giving the book a five-star review. First, the photographs for each building are weighted a bit too heavily in favor of interior photos, with the one or two exterior images per building often having a bit of a "throwaway" feel. It is my experience that those seeking images of state capitols gravitate more towards exterior photos and might be disappointed to discover (opening the book at random) that the collection of images of the Mississippi State Capitol include five interior and merely one exterior photo.

The second quibble comes from the puzzling decisions made with a few buildings in terms of dating the construction of the capitol -- an important consideration given that the buildings are ostensibly arranged in chronological order of their construction. A handful of state legislatures -- Alabama, Nevada Arizona and North Carolina, off the top of my head -- no longer meet in the capitol but instead meet in nearby buildings. The Alabama State Capitol, for example, is listed as being constructed in the 1980s, leading to it coming last in the chronological order, despite the fact that the building everyone recognizes as the actual capitol was built before the Civil War. Tourists travling to the state capitol in Montgomery do not seek out the modern legislative chambers and tell themselves that they have visited the capitol. Thus, the confusing of the homes of the legislature with which buildings serve as the capitol is an unnecessary and distracting oversight.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephane Cools on August 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
From 1985 (Sacramento, CA) to 2007 (Juneau, AK), I was lucky enough to visit at least once all of the 50 state capitol buildings in the Nation. I was really thrilled when this book came out and wasn't disappointed a bit : it is lavishly illustrated with beautiful color-pictures, and the text is full of information. A must-have, whether you are preparing to visit one of these impressive buildings or whether you just wish to be reminded of what you saw when you visited them !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kirk on July 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Purchased as a gift for someone who loves to visit the State Houses.
Beautiful photos and history of each capitol- couldn't be more pleased.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas C. Walker on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have visited many state houses across our great nation and this book is a beautifully pictured and written but it also makes a great coffee table topper. I have enjoyed it again and again and visitors cant keep there hands of it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary G. Hess on January 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THIS IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL AND COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF OUR STATE SEATS OF GOVERNMENT.THE MANY PHOTOGRAPHS ARE SPLENDID AND THE NARRATIVE A VERY PLEASENT READING EXPERIENCE. I COMMEND THE AUTHORS ON A JOB WELL DONE.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Albence on July 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been fortunate enough to visit all 50 state capitols, and this book beautifully capture the grandeur and diversity of these structures--as well as their history,uniqueness,and diverse character. The quality of the photographs and the accompanying text, including historical detailed historical background on the capitols, is outstanding.
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