American House Styles: A Concise Guide

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1994 - Architecture - 190 pages
"Colonial", "Victorian", "Neoclassical", "Modern" - what distinguishes one architectural style from another? How and where did these different styles develop? America has an abundance of fascinating and varied house styles, as fascinating and diverse as its people. When we explore our neighborhoods and travel around the country, how do we recognize the kind of architecture we see? Even people interested in houses can rarely identify the style of their own homes with any precision. This unique book will allow readers to recognize the architectural features and style of virtually any house they encounter. To create this guide, architect John Milnes Baker designed a simple, two-story house with four bedrooms. From it he developed the basic plan for each historical style - from the steeply pitched roofs of Early New England Colonial houses to the turrets and grand porches of the Queen Anne style, the austere geometry of the International style, and today's Postmodern multiple eclecticisms. By starting each drawing with the same plan and adding the essential characteristics of each style, Baker ensures that the reader does not become confused by additions and later embellishments to the buildings. Each section of American House Styles begins with a historical overview of the period, followed by a concise commentary on each style. The author then highlights the specific design details that distinguish one style from another. He shows how different styles developed and what influenced their development. His beautifully wrought elevation drawings, each with a floor plan, illustrate the details of style clearly and with precision. Through an understanding of earlier styles, we develop insightsinto the architecture of our own era. Not only is it fun, but the study of architecture also nurtures a critical sense and allows us to make informed judgments about what is being built today.
 

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Contents

PALATIAL PALACES 18801930
91
INDIGENOUS STYLES 18801930
107
REMINISCENT STYLES 18801940
117
THE MODERN MOVEMENT 19201960
137
NOVELTY AND DIVERGENCE 19601990s
159

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About the author (1994)

John Milnes Baker is an architect specializing in residential design. He is also the author of How to Build a House with an Architect.

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