In this comprehensive, highly praised reconstruction of the nation's architectural past, a distinguished teacher and critic of architecture describes and evaluates a wide variety of building styles — from the primitive dugouts and cabins of the first settlers to the Greek Revival mansions of the early nineteenth century. Moreover, this volume was the first to offer thorough coverage of early architecture throughout the United States, including homes, schools, meeting houses, and commercial buildings in the Northeast; Georgian structures in Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, the Middle Colonies, and New England; the French Colonial style in the Mississippi Valley; the baroque architecture of mission churches and ranch homes in the Southwest and California, and the nationwide growth of Neoclassic and Romantic styles.
Nearly 500 line drawings and photographs enhance the text, including reconstruction drawings of buildings long demolished or seriously altered, making this a valuable pictorial repository of the nation's early architectural heritage. In addition to carefully chosen and well-integrated illustrations, the book also contains a number of historical documents, contemporary letters, and travelers' comments that enrich the discussion, as well as account of plans, materials, and methods of construction.
For the general reader or nonspecialist, Early American Architecture
provides an informative and entertaining survey, written with a minimum of technical jargon, and abundantly supplied with clarifying comments, notes, and diagrams. For the scholar, it brings together in one concise volume the research of leading specialists in the regional period architecture. Students, architects, historians, restorers — anyone interested in American architecture — will delight in this thoughtful and expertly written book, described by Lewis Mumford as "a milestone in American architectural history."
Reprint of the Oxford University Press, New York, 1952 edition.