- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 4th edition (November 12, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801884683
- ISBN-13: 978-0801884689
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C. 4th Edition
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Accessible to architects and tourists alike, and perhaps especially locals.(Jamie Hammon Roll Call)
Although the guide is designed for the pedestrian, all but the most tireless trekkers will want to use the Metro subway system to get to at least some of the sites.(Lori D. Kranz Bloomsbury Review)
About the Author
G. Martin Moeller Jr. is senior vice president and curator at the National Building Museum and is the former executive director of the Washington Chapter/AIA.
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Top Customer Reviews
Why? This book is great for three main reasons.
First, it's a great source of history about the big picture of DC and its most prominent areas as well as the nooks and crannies of the city. At the same time, that history isn't presented in an overwhelming way that makes the reader feel as if s/he is preparing for a high school history test. And even the minutiae that it contains are really pretty interesting, partly due to the high quality of the writing (more on this below.)
Second, it does a great job of organizing the city and guiding the reader through the different areas. All guide books break down the city into areas to some extent, but I often wonder if the writers have actually spent much time in DC. One can always quibble about where certain neighborhoods begin and end, but this book is far better than most and gives a good feel for what the actual areas are really like and how they got that way.
Finally, it's a great source of architectural info about tons of buildings throughout the city. Although I live here, it turns out that I've often walked past many notable buildings without a second glance. Now, not all of these buildings are notable for their strengths (which is one of the fun features of the book - it includes some dogs along with the highlights), but what I've found having read through much of this book is that I now notice some of the more subtle features of the buildings that the book points out.Read more ›
Written in standard AIA format, the authors are sensitive to, and critical of, the overbearing classicism of the city. But for all its self absorption, unrestrained classicism is really what makes the city interesting and distinct. People come here to see big, monumental, classical structures. This book presents them all to the reader.
The book is organized into tours by geographical area. The entries are framed by brief descriptions that offer surprisingly insightful critical commentary. There is a small black & white photograph for each entry, which shows you what the building looks like from the street.
There are 400 sites included, all of which lie within the District. As one would expect, many of the sites are historic or neo-classical buildings concentrated in the so-called "tourist" areas of the city, but important landmarks away from the Mall, or outside NW, are also included. There are more than a few modern sites too. The catalog is surprisingly comprehensive, though it is really about public buildings. Gardens and parks are thinly represented, as are the historic houses of Georgetown.
Now in its fifth edition, this book is a well-refined guide for readers with an intense interest in the subject. I would recommend to architectural historians and serious cultural tourists.
one more thing--why no comment or information on that odd and misplaced structure stuck on to the side of the washington monument?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We stayed on New Jersey Ave East among gorgeous row houses and NONE of the surrounding area was included in this book. Perhaps an AIA book dedicated to DC row houses needs doing.Published on May 4, 2014 by T. Janke
This is a thorough guide to architecture, both old and new, in the nation's capital. In addition to the usual tourist sights, it covers a number of residential areas, especially... Read morePublished on May 1, 2013 by Silver Spring Dave
Excellent book for those who want to explore D.C. on foot. Even for those familiar with D.C., the discoveries are amazing. Read morePublished on January 16, 2013 by Richard Hillman
Other than the Smithsonian, tourists come to DC for the architecture. From the historic colonial and Federal buildings in Georgetown to the enormous neo-classical monuments, DC is... Read morePublished on March 23, 2008 by Jon L Albee
This guide is a tremendous improvement. The attention to detail is impressive, the guide is timely and VERY informative. I particularly liked the images with each entry. Read morePublished on January 25, 2007 by Kindle Customer