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Building Seagram Hardcover – Illustrated, April 16, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Building Seagram . . . is something of a joint biography: a history of this stately Park Avenue landmark that many consider the pinnacle of postwar architecture in New York, rendered through the lens of her vivid memories of its invention and of her privileged early years as the daughter of the liquor baron Samuel Bronfman, who founded the Seagram distilling empire. The book reveals many new details about a building that remains among the most studied of the modern era."—Mark Lamster, New York Times

"As elegant and refined as Mies van der Rohe's glass temple on New York's Park Avenue. . . . A primer on how discipline can translate to beauty."—San Francisco Chronicle

"In its own modest way, this monograph on modernism's most acclaimed tower is as elegant and refined as Mies van der Rohe's glass temple on New York's Park Avenue. The author is the daughter of one-time Seagram chairman Samuel Bronfman, who asked her to find the best architect for the job. The period photographs are exquisite; the tales of Mies at work are a primer on how discipline can translate to beauty."—John King, San Francisco Chronicle

"Lambert paints a meticulous portrait of Manhattan in the optimistic years that followed World War II, two brilliant architects at the heights of their careers, and the golden age of the American high rise."—Elle Décor

"Lambert’s book is an exquisitely detailed . . . chronicle of how the skyscraper came to be."—Christopher Hawthorne, Architect Magazine

"Lambert writes with precision and great passion, and largely alters the conventional wisdom about the building."—Designers and Books

"Lambert’s tour of the genesis and life of the building is an engrossing one, offering a superb account of both the unglamorous planning issues and the specific design choices involved in the project."—Anthony Paletta, Architectural Record

"A fascinating story about New York’s built environment and those who have made it a livable space."—Jewish Daily Forward

"Sumptuous. . . . No one could tell the history of the most seminal office building of the 20th century as well as Lambert. . . . An exemplary architectural monograph."—Dietrich Neumann, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

"Juicy while retaining a scholarly rigor."—Architizer

Winner of the 2013 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE), in the Architecture & Urban Planning category

Winner of the 2013 New York City Book Awards given by the New York Society Library

"[Building Seagram] should be required reading for everyone who plans to build in the public realm."—FormMagazine

"[Lambert's] handsomely illustrated book, Building Seagram (Yale University Press), chronicles a golden moment in architectural history."—Robert Fulford, National Post

"With detailed recollections, snippets of personal letters, poignant anecdotes, and sharp analyses, Lambert’s tome delivers a fascinating insider’s report of the events leading up to Seagram’s construction as well as the legacy that has followed . . . Arguably one of the most critical contributions of Building Seagram, however, is the way it illuminates the history of not just the monument itself but also the social climate in which Seagram’s extraordinary effects were felt."—Artinfo

"A fascinating account."—Metropolis

"Even if your coffee table isn’t as clean-lined and elegant as the Seagram Building, you’re going to want this book on there."—Ted Loos, Inside Sotheby’s

Book Description

A comprehensive personal and scholarly history of one of the 20th century’s most influential buildings, as told by the woman whose involvement and vision helped change the face of American urban architecture.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 3.4 pounds
  • Hardcover : 306 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0300167679
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0300167672
  • Product Dimensions : 11.74 x 10.27 x 1.07 inches
  • Publisher : Yale University Press; Illustrated Edition (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 32 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
32 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2014
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Top reviews from other countries

Bart Hollanders
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars insider Wissen
Reviewed in Germany on February 25, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buch für Eingeweihte
Reviewed in Germany on November 13, 2019
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M. Petrunic
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, informative, detailed!
Reviewed in Germany on August 23, 2019
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Jacques Roy
2.0 out of 5 stars Very well written but way too many details. Print is too small. Hard for the eyes.
Reviewed in Canada on January 29, 2014
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