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Edward Durell Stone: A Son's Untold Story of a Legendary Architect Hardcover – October 25, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"This intimate biography of one of the most controversial figures of the modern movement was written by the architect's youngest son...Not only does the author do a fine job of detailing his father's achievements, many of which have been largely forgotten today, he writes honestly about the architect's career, relationships, and struggles." ~Metropolis Magazine

"This is a beautifully illustrated book to own and treasure and keep as a reference." ~Metro Magazine

“Notable book of 2011. This monograph, written by Stone’s sons, offers a personal and authoritative biography of this misunderstood architect who was celebrated in the mainstream press...Hicks Stone not only details his father's achievements but also writes honestly about the architect's career, relationships, and struggles with alcohol."~ Paul Makovsky, Designers & Books

“It’s a tome that seeks to lay a new foundation for understanding the architect who brought us Radio City Music Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the North Carolina Legislative Building. As the book’s flyleaf notes, Stone was both celebrated and scorned, and led a life that was both triumphant and embittered. This book by Edward Durell Stone’s youngest son promises to achieve similar glory, by raising a new curtain on one of the nation’s most original architects.” ~Architects and Artisans

"This biography of Ed Stone by his architect son Hicks is a highly personal story of the rather melodramatic life of an architect who came to exemplify the best and worst of the 1950's. Hicks Stone's book is a lovingly told and disarming story of his father, warts and all, an engaging read about an architect who may...be on the verge of a revival." ~Architectural Record

Edward Durell Stone: A Son’s Untold Story of a Legendary Architect provides a judiciously balanced and often unsparing assessment…” ~ The New York Review of Books

“Hicks Stone sees as an almost urgent need to record and persuasively celebrate a body of work now, when such a record is still possible. He sees it as his duty to be an insightful interpreter to the broader design community rather than to his father, which lends implicit poignancy to what is otherwise a fine, straightforward account.” ~ The Architect’s Newspaper

"The book is an elegant, image-filled volume that is fitting for the figure of Stone who looks beautifully comfortable in a finely tailored suit amidst the likes of President and Mrs. Kennedy...The pages of Hicks Stone's in-depth history are testament to the sophistication of Stone who could merge clean lines with complex forms and surfaces." ~Tropic Magazine

About the Author

Hicks Stone is the youngest son of architect Edward Durell Stone and a practicing architect in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847835685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847835683
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,326,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The book surprised me and was, in a way, also a revelation.

I, too, was one of the many who didn't take Stone's work seriously. This began to change when I saw his own townhouse featured in a glossy magazine a few years ago (House & Garden, 2/06). You know, the infamous one in NYC with the lacy concrete grill covering the whole? Yikes! But seeing color images of the recently restored/renovated home (undertaken by Stone's son, the book's author) was a revelation. The house is incredible! I would kill to live in it. The façade grill allows impressive privacy, and behind it is nothing but glass so the rooms are FILLED with light. The interior is an intoxicating mix of the old (original Victorian-era details), the exotic (obviously influenced by Stone's work in India and other countries), and modernism. I cannot recall ever seeing anything quite like it.

A little while later I saw another restored Stone-designed home in another glossy magazine, this one in Dallas (The Graf House, Oak Court, Architectural Digest, 10/08). I immediately recognized it as a miniature version of Stone's famous American Embassy in New Delhi. While not of a style that one would normally associate with What A Home Should Look Like, I nonetheless found the house and its design compelling. I also yearn to live in it.

So when Untold Story came to my attention I was primed. And my instincts were correct. There really needs to be a wholesale reappraisal of the man's work. Some of it I loath, but I loath most of what was built during the same era.

Looking at Stone's oeuvre, it's obvious why he has been vilified. He clearly didn't buy into ridged Modernist orthodoxy, yet he was obviously modern. This is the very thing I love about his work: a Modernist without the dogma.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hicks Stone has written a highly articulate biography of his father, a talented but complicated man who left an impressive body of architectural masterpieces in the U.S. and abroad. The book not only covers Stone's life, with all its ups and downs, but provides the reader with a collection of illustrations, photos, and drawings from the Stone archive that will give joy to the inveterate browser of art books (like me!). Having seen firsthand Edward Durell Stone's creations in New York City and the U.S. embassy in India, I have derived special enjoyment from the book
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Format: Hardcover
My wife and I purchased a " collectable" modernist home in Chapel Hill, N.C. last year and have since become intensely interested in the Frank Lloyd Wright / Edward Durell Stone era. Though this book would surely be most meaningful to an architect, it is definitely written to appeal to the neophyte audience as well. The story of Mr.Stone is one of persistence, brilliance, and of human frailty. This tigtly woven narrative lends insights into the architectural style of the modernist era. We were also fortunate enough to attend one of his son's book signings in Raleigh and would recommend attending one in your area if possible. Everyone interested in architecture will enjoy his book.
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Format: Hardcover
Hicks Stone's long-awaited biography of his father is in part a biography of Stone the architect and in part Stone the man.

The author records his father's many personal and architectural transformations with the insight only a family member could bring: from Stone's early years as an avant-garde modernist with self-professed "unmade bed" personal habits to his final days as a pseudo-corporate CEO, impeccably turned out, trying desperately to maintain the design quality his small offices had established.

Hicks Stone brings enlightening information from many diverse and unexpected sources. The book is alive with color and B+W illustrations accompanying a very readable narrative, not at all the usual historian/critic impersonal account.
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