Building with Nature: Inspiration for the Arts & Crafts Home
Much has been said about the Arts & Crafts spirit of Californians, their appreciation of the land, their desire to build "simple" yet interesting houses that connect with the outdoors (sleeping porches, gardens, verandas, terraces, and so on), and their love of wilderness areas. This new edition of the classic, Building with Nature: Roots of the San Francisco Bay Region Tradition, focuses on the beginnings (1865 and on) of the Bay Area shingle style and Arts & Crafts collaboration in California, and the origins of the trend toward building simple rustic homes in harmony with nature. Freudenheim explores how and why a small, influential group of Californians (including Joseph Worcester, Bernard Maybeck, Charles Keeler, William Keith, Charles Lummis, A. Page Brown, and others)--all of whom had come from the East or from England--were especially devoted to Ruskin and the Arts & Crafts style and how this combined with their dedication to California's natural beauty to create a unique architectural movement.
Building with Nature: The Development of the California Arts and Crafts Home presents some revolutionary ideas, including exciting new material on the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church, now a National Landmark and considered to be the model for several lines of Mission-Style furniture; new information on the architectural development of Russian Hill; and the similarities and differences of the almost simultaneous development of the Arts & Crafts movements in England and in the Bay Area. Freudenheim examines how Worcester and his circle encouraged less materialism through architecture that complemented a simpler life in tune with nature, and includes letters from Worcester to his cousin, architect Daniel H. Burnham, along with previously unpublished original documents relating to architectural developments in the Bay Area at the turn of the century.
Leslie Freudenheim is the coauthor of Building with Nature: Roots of the San Francisco Bay Region Tradition (Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 1974). Freudenheim has continued to work on architectural history and related areas, and has been published in the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post. She also served as editor of Federal Design Matters for the Design Department, National Endowment for the Arts. Since 2002 she has returned to studying Arts & Crafts homes and the architectural and social roots of this movement.