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American House Styles: A Concise Guide Paperback – January 23, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
What helps in a book like this are the odd bits of information casually thrown out that show mastery of the subject.
Colonial homes were never white; Greek Revival were never anything but. A particular cornice is usually done incorrectly, compared to the true Classical version.
He also make the sensible point that you can only compare styles within limits, that at some point you're really discussing altogether different building types, as in ranches, bungalows, and certainly octagon houses. And early on he boasts he can design a modern four bedroom house in any style. Then he proceeds to do it, providing a front elevation and a repeating ground floor plan (front: LR, center hall, DR. rear: family room, kitchen, mud room) with added porch, tower, fireplace, chimney, as needed. Not so much to explain the architectural features, I think, but to give the prospective homebuilder something that actually could be built today.
Where most authors stop around WWII, he continues up to the present.Read more ›
The author does this in the form of a survey of American architectural styles up through the years. As it is a concise guide, this is nothing more than a survey which is just fine by me. Anything more would have made my eyes glaze in a very short time.
What the author has done is cover the major American Archi. trends and place them in context. All the while he makes editorial commentary on their relative merits and how one influenced or was influenced by the other. Interspsersed in in the discussion are names and titles so that one may go further in depth if he chooses.
Each of the major styles is given a short synopsis acoompanied by an excellent line drawn illustration. The author presumes some knowledge of the genre as he does use quite a bit of jargon/terms of art. Thankfully there is an excellent Glossary included which one likely will need to consult.
Along with the survey is a bit of editorial commentary which I, for one, thoroughly appreciated. The author obviously has strong opinions on these matters and he doesn't hesitate to share them. This is helpful. As it turns out, I am sympathetic to his views so his essays sensibilities make sense to me.
If i have a criticism is is that the floor plans are way too abstruse for the novice to cipher. I struggled with understanding them at first and then ignored them: They just didn't make sense to em. I'm not sure it matters, but it might.
I walked past a Ranch style home yesterday, it was adorned with a completely inappropriate columned temple form out front, I tipped my hat to Mr. Baker for helping me to identify this while I snickered at the pretension.
Love this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Customers looking for less concision are recommended to re-examine the title of the volume. Baker's dismissals of the tasteless travesties of mass-produced modernity are as witty... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This fascinating book is a quick introduction to the evolution of house style across the history of the United States. Read morePublished 22 months ago by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
Very good price and very prompt delivery. Needed this (and other books) for test prep. C ame earlier than anticpated and gave me a little more lead time. Very pleased. Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by Robert P.
I'm a real estate appraiser, and this book is a great field book for residential appraising for design and style purposes.Published on May 22, 2013 by Anthony Murdock