A History of American Architecture: Buildings in Their Cultural and Technological Context

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UPNE, 2001 - Architecture - 346 pages
Why did the Victorians drape their buildings in elaborately ornate decoration? Why was the Arts and Crafts movement so popular with the American middle class at the end of the 19th century? Why did Modernism replace traditional architectural styles after World War II? Mark Gelernter provides fresh answers to questions like these, convincingly showing how buildings express powerful cultural forces.

Embodying deeply felt attitudes about fundamental issues, buildings express our relationship with nature, our social relations with others, the importance of the individual, the value of science and technology, and our political role in the world. He explains how designers sometimes expressed these ideas with available building technologies, while at other times they invented new technologies in order to realize new ideas. Each of the ten chronological chapters, accompanied by almost 300 photographs, drawings, and maps, begins with a broad survey of the dominant cultural forces and technologies, and then discusses how designers of the day responded with particular architectural forms.

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A history of American architecture: buildings in their cultural and technological context

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Gelernter (Univ. of Colorado, Denver) adds to the constellation of concise histories of American architecture while trying to refrain "from a traditional form of architectural writing that stressed ... Read full review


Foreword xviii
First civilizations 12ooo BC AD 15oo i
Colonial culture 165o1763 65
The age of revolution 1763182o 97
Culture realigned 182o 65
Enterprise and turmoil 186585 166
The age of diversity 18851915
Between the world wars 191545
Modern culture 194573
1o Postmodern culture 1973 98 293

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About the author (2001)

MARK GELERNTER is Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado Denver. An accomplished architectural illustrator and winner of several teaching awards for his ability to bring architectural history alive, he is author of Sources of Architectural Form (1995).

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