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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2012, 9:55 PM
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Best Architecture Book

I am wanting to know tons about tons of American architecture. Are there any books that go into great detail the architectural styles found in America/Europe throughout history? I am always driving around and come across lots of architectural styles that I dont know much about. Victorian has about a million different sub sects, etc, etc, etc. Is there a book that is kind of like an in depth field guide to architecture from Americas beginnings to the current day; and that even goes into architecture found in different regions of America, like Acadian architecture from the 18-early 19th centuries in Louisiana and Mormon architecture of Utah, etc.

Ok, for example



I would love to know the intricate details of the architecture of this house found in Galveston. I know what style it is, but I want to know more in depth stuff about it, like where it originated, what dates were this style built in, etc.


photos by me

And maybe the detailings of these structures, like what style they are and such.


photo by me
And Id love to see a book go into details about common houses like this that were built in the early 1900s to late 1800s.

Basically Im looking for something that goes into great detail about every architectural style that is fairly common in America or uncommon.

Thanks so much in advance for your guys help.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2012, 10:13 PM
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For something that specific and detailed, you are honestly better off looking for books on the individual styles (or by city). Something as broad as 'architecture of the Americas' is much more likely to be a coffee table type book and might have 1-2 examples of each style (and likely examples you've seen before like Fallingwater).

Anecdotal, but whenever I get a new house project, depending on the style that the client is looking for, I usually will go and get 5-6 books on the subject for inspiration and detailed information.

Unfortunately I think that might be the only way you'll find what you want.

Amazon isn't bad for searching, but you might try:

www.hennesseyingalls.com (Santa Monica)
www.stoutbooks.com (SF)
www.rizzoliusa.com (NYC)

The VanAlen Institute is also opening a new architectural bookstore in NYC in April.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Ontario Architecture: A Guide to Styles and Building Terms, 1784 to the Present by John G. Blumanson is a very good book for beginners and offers a diverse look at all regions of Ontario up to the mid 1980s. (I think an edition was published around 1993 but my library just has the first edition.) I primarily like it because it features my city more than any other.

There is an accompanying website which has become more resourceful with each passing year. Almost all architectural terms you'll ever need to describe a North American or European building are explained on that site.

My city's library has a very limited selection of architecture books, but I found this one to be the most useful by far. Probably hard to find outside of Ontario, but for anyone in Ontario it's a must-read.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2012, 10:44 PM
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Google Books is a good place to find stuff about architecture.

You can read a lot of books that are actually from the time period, as well as more recent books that are hard to find. The books from the original time are especially interesting because they really help put the architecture in context. There's a lot of really neat stuff on there.

Like this book goes on forever about schools, and it was published in 1921.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2012, 9:04 PM
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Well, I think I found some pretty good books. I bought these ones off of Amazon.

American Shelter: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Home
by: Lester R. Walker, and Charles Moore

A Field Guide to American Houses
by: Virginia McAlester
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2012, 9:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
Well, I think I found some pretty good books. I bought these ones off of Amazon.

American Shelter: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Home
by: Lester R. Walker, and Charles Moore

A Field Guide to American Houses
by: Virginia McAlester
I have those, theres lots of books like that:

American Houses: A Field Guide to the Architecture of the Home
Gerald Foster

Regional books will give more detail like plinko said....
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Old Posted Feb 9, 2012, 4:37 AM
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A Field Guide to American Houses is one of my favorite books. I spent several weekends in the summer of 2004 in Winston-Salem learning about houses and their housing stock. They have houses in every style and a few of their houses are actually in the book! I used this book on the trip and took photographs to bring back home to study more. I then published some of the results with what I learned from the "Field Guide" that summer on this forum's photo section. An ex girlfriend would laugh as I would attempt to identify almost every house's style we would see, but it worked. I learned my housing styles. Some people in West Salem and Washington Park thought I was with the local historical/preservation group. Walking these neighborhoods was also good exercise and today, I don't need the book.
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Old Posted Feb 9, 2012, 6:01 AM
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^
Sweet, I cant wait to get it in the mail. Houston doesnt have much historic housing stock left, but Galveston has tons, dating from the 1840s-now. So, Ill have plenty to learn down there.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2017, 1:49 PM
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Here is a list of architecture books for archie students broken down into categories:

http://www.andrewmikhael.com/blog/20...-expert-advice
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Old Posted Today, 3:13 PM
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The "Buildings of the United States" series by the University of Virginia Press is great. The plan is to have at least one book for each state. Some states have two books; Pennsylvania is divided into east and west, and Virginia is divided into north/east and south/west, for instance. Not every book has been released yet, because many are being researched now. So the series is incomplete.

The books are being digitized at sah-archipedia.org, and all 50 states have at least some buildings on there. Incidentally, I am also a contributor to the digital version for the University of Virginia, helping them with photographs and spatial data in my spare time.
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