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A Guide to Historic New Haven, Connecticut (History & Guide (History Press)) Paperback – November 19, 2007
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The first thing you will notice upon browsing this book, beyond its small size, is that there is a whole lot more to New Haven than Yale University. If you're looking for a comprehensive guide to buildings at Yale, this is not the book. While Yale has its proper inclusion, so do all of New Haven's other fascinating neighborhoods. New Haven's history includes a significant period of industrialization, so most of its colonial core is gone. Though there are a few remaining examples, colonial and federal structures made way for mid to late 19th century romantic styles. Lovers of Victorian architecture have to consider New Haven a treasure.
Since the guide is small and the building stock in New Haven is rich, the entries are exceptionally short. Most simply include an address, building name, date of construction and a brief description. There are a few black & white photographs scattered about, but the author hasn't attempted to add one for each entry. There are few really good photographs, but there are still a few.
Since the book is arranged around walking tours (and a few driving tours), there are nice maps for each chapter that exactly pinpoint the building locations. You're going to do a lot of walking to cover all this material, that's for sure. There are no historical essays to introduce the city or the architecture, rather, the author chooses to get us right to the architecture itself. And there are no architect biographies.
I know I seem to be talking a lot about what this book isn't, but perhaps I should mention what it is; a surprisingly complete and effective catalog of historic New Haven meant for the curious traveler and casual architecture enthusiast.
Note the title: There's no modernism here, but there's a drop-dead beautiful church on every corner (and every page).