Knopf Doubleday

A Field Guide to American Houses


This volume covers more than 50 styles of American residential architecture, from early settlement homes of the seventeenth century to the modern ‘Millennium Mansions’ of the present day.
“Expanded and completely revised from the 1984 edition, this edition includes American house design from the last three decades and adds more than 600 new photographs and illustrations. The introductory section, ‘Looking at American Homes,’ is broken down into distinct narratives. ‘Style: The Fashions of American Houses’ distills the majority of houses into one of four principal architectural traditions; ‘Form: The Shapes of American Houses” features copious line drawings that show ground plans and proportions; ‘Structure: The Anatomy of American Houses” details the walls, roofs, and structural elements of a house; and ‘Neighborhoods: The Groupings of American Houses’ highlights the different types of neighborhoods, including a discussion of plans, density, streets and sidewalks, and development influences.
“Each section that follows covers a specific style (e.g., ‘Dutch Colonial,’ ‘Italianate,’ ‘Queen Anne,’ ‘Tudor,’ ‘Mission,’ ‘Prairie,’ ‘Ranch’), with notes on identifying features, principal subtypes, variants and details, and geographic occurrence. Numerous black-and-white photographs illustrate the wide variety of houses found within each style, and line drawings express both fine and broad details. The appendix ‘Approaches to Construction in the 20th and 21st Centuries’ discusses prefabricated structures and ‘green’ construction.
“Copious notes and a bibliography for further reference round out the work. Highly recommended for most public and academic libraries—and the price point may allow for a circulating copies.” —Rebecca Vnuk, in a starred review for BOOKLIST

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