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Building Seagram Hardcover – April 16, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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$46.30 FREE Shipping. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Building Seagram] should be required reading for everyone who plans to build in the public realm…” —Form Magazine
(Form Magazine 2013-03-25)

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
(Mark Lamster New York Times)

[Lambert;s] handsomely illustrated book, Building Seagram (Yale University Press), chronicles a golden moment in architectural history…” —Robert Fulford, National Post
(Robert Fulford National Post 2013-04-09)

“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
(Artinfo 2013-04-09)

“a fascinating account” —Metropolis
(Metropolis 2013-04-10)

“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
(Ted Loos Inside Sotheby's 2013-04-22)

“The history of the New York building that many, including this writer, consider the masterpiece of the 20th-century architecture is related here by the person who knows the story best and was largely responsible for its genesis…" —Stanley Abercrombie,  Interior Design
(Stanley Abercrombie Interior Design 2013-04-15)

“Lambert’s book is an exquisitely detailed … chronicle of how the skyscraper came to be.”—Christopher Hawthorne, Architect Magazine
(Christopher Hawthorne Architect Magazine)

“Lambert writes with precision and great passion, and largely alters the conventional wisdom about the building” —Designers and Books
 
(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
(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
(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
(Dietrich Neumann Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 2013-11-21)

“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
(John King San Francisco Chronicle)

“Juicy while retaining a scholarly rigor.”—Architizer (Architizer)

“Her account captures some of the excitement one feels when one approaches the slender tower for the first time.”—Christopher Turner, London Review of Books
(Christopher Turner London Review of Books 2014-01-06)

Winner of the 2013 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE), in the Architecture & Urban Planning category.
(PROSE Awards American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence 2014-02-07)

Winner of the 2013 New York City Book Awards given by the New York Society Library.
(New York City Book Award New York Society Library 2014-04-06)

“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
(Elle Décor)

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First edition. edition (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300167679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300167672
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1.1 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce M. Coleman on March 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For one of the most important buildings of the modern era, and one that has been written about so many times, this book finally delivers enough of the inside story to truly understand the "Why" of much of the building. Told from Lampert's inside seat it has to be considered the definitive version. Many of the photographs are seen for the first time.
To be sure, one has to be a fan of the building and really want to know much more than has already been delivered by so many others. It is also fascinating to hear the story of what happened after its construction, the life of the building and how easily it could have all gone astray.
Well done.
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I would subtitle this book: "Phyllis Lambert's Seagram Building Memoir". Ms. Lambert oversaw the entire project as the de facto owner's representative (and family member), apparently a dream job. She provides us with the background, architectural details, the resolution of architecture and building problems, the legal and zoning issues involved, and where the building stands today - all from the viewpoint of an artist who really cares about the building. I am a nontechnical, lay person, who enjoys reading about architecture, cityscape, and so. A few technical details were over my head, but not enough to make a difference. The author makes her points clearly and concisely. I especially liked the chapter at the end of the book about landmarking the property. I deem it very readable for the layman, but in no way dumbed down. There are plenty of illustrations, but none without a purpose. The illustrations are excellent and well used.
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Required reading for architects and anyone who cares about architecture and its role in our cities. The author Phyllis Lambert, along with other strong-willed and knowledgeable women such as Dominique de Menil and Ruth Carter Stevenson, did much to require the inter-relationships of the building's architecture, public spaces and plazas, interior spaces, and art into an integrated whole in the urban environments. Mrs. Lambert, as a young artist and later architect, describes well the personalities and accomplishments of architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson as they designed one of the most important buildings in the United States.
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I found this detailed narrative of how a building originates and survives very informative -- informative about how design is accomplished, applicable to any building.
This one happens to be one of the great landmarks of Modern design, and the narrative is a knowing participant in its design, Phyllis Lambert. After reacting vociferously to an image of the building her father, president of Seagram, plans to build, he appoints her Director of Planning. It is up her to find the architect, and we read about the considerations that led to Mies van der Rohe;. She details who worked with whom to achieve what, down to the last stair tread or door jamb.
Since this is such a fine building, I felt privileged to learn so much about it from a first-hand source.
She writes well, and the book is very well illustrated (not prettied up) and designed.
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I have loved the Seagram Building since it opened in 1958 and I knew of Ms Lambert's role in getting Mies van der Rohe to design the building and now i have the whole story directly from the source. I love the Four Seasons Restaurant on the south side of the building as well.
Ms Lambert, THANK YOU! Since you live in the Province of Quebec in keeping with C101, Merci Beaucoup
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Scholarly account of how it happened. A good resource for anyone interested in the development of the Miesian architectural ideals.
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