Architectural Follies in America

Front Cover
Wiley, Apr 26, 1996 - Architecture - 222 pages
1 Review
Architectural Follies in America

More than mere curiosities, all of the architectural follies described in this illustrated guide are masterpieces in their own right. Each is the incarnation of its creator′s singular passion, vanity, or idee fixe, from the home of the future to the storybook castle, the palace of love to the monument of spite, the house of devotion to the pleasure garden.

Architectural Follies in America offers readers an unparalleled opportunity to become acquainted with some of the most outstanding examples of this class of architectural marvel. With Gwyn Headley as our guide, we travel the length and breadth of the United States––from the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Niles, Illinois, to a house made of glass bottles in Death Valley; from the floating Taj Mahal in Sausalito, to the grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In a narrative rich with historical erudition, choice tidbits of gossip, and no small measure of sparkling wit, Headley describes more than 130 structures in loving detail. He tells the full story behind each folly, what is known about its creator, the circumstances surrounding its construction, and its prospects for the future.

"Follies stem from passion, obsession, and suspicion. They also come from happiness, grief, and confusion. They can take any form, any style. A folly is a state of mind, not an architectural style. Follies can even have a use or purpose, whether that was in the creator′s mind or not." –– Gwyn Headley

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookishbat - LibraryThing

I enjoyed reading this book, but at the same the author drove me insane. Headley would hop from topic to topic without clear or easy transitions - which was jarring. There are instances where he would ... Read full review

Architectural follies in America

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

There is a friendly mood of excess in Headley's book. Gathering together 130 examples of odd, eccentric, and extreme buildings, he has crafted something like a scrapbook, memorializing the fanaticism ... Read full review


Cha fcr 3

3 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1996)

GWYN HEADLEY is President of the Folly Fellowship in England, where he currently resides.

Bibliographic information