A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

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Product Description

Now in paperback: the fully expanded, updated, and freshly designed second edition of the most comprehensive and widely acclaimed guide to domestic architecture: in print since its original publication in 1984, and acknowledged everywhere as the unmatched, essential guide to American houses.

This revised edition includes a section on neighborhoods; expanded and completely new categories of house styles with photos and descriptions of each; an appendix on "Approaches to Construction in the 20th and 21st Centuries"; an expanded bibliography; and 600 new photographs and line drawings.

Review

“The most authoritative dictionary of the language spoken by the built environment . . . McAlester’s book is excellent for the layperson who wants to wander about the neighborhood with a bit more authority, or perhaps for the homeowner who can’t decide what kind of windows might look best. It’s also useful to those of us who study preservation professionally, to bring our insistence that buildings are just as alive as plants—and just as worthy of careful, affectionate attention—into the broader cultural conversation about urban spaces. That conversation, in which the most mundane elements of building design are cast as characters in the story of a city, turns the streetscape into something greater than the brick and limestone it’s made of. It’s alive, noisy—and demands our close attention.”
 —Angela Serratore, The New York Times Magazine


"Magisterial . . . The illustrated story of why our houses—great and humble and everything in between—look the way they do."
—Michael Tortorello, The New York Times
 
"Once you''ve pored through Virginia McAlester''s photo-packed bible of American home design, you''ll be able to identify the saltboxes, Dutch colonials, and brownstones lining your own street, and you''ll understand the historical significance of each one."
—Tina Jordan, Entertainment Weekly
 
"The go-to resource for architecture spotters."
—Peter Terzian, Elle Décor
 
"Chronicles the past 400 years of American styles, from wigwam to mobile to modern."
—Alexandra Wolfe, The Wall Street Journal
 
"A classic."
—Pilar Viladas, House Beautiful
 
"Encyclopedic . . . For lovers of historic homes, this is a rich trove of not just details, but reasons for them."
—Susan Clotfelter, The Denver Post
 
"880 pages of scholarly wonder."
D Magazine
 
"The definitive guide to American housing styles."
—Jim Weiker, The Columbus Dispatch
 
"Outstanding . . . Expanded and completely revised . . . Both scholars and average readers will find much to enjoy in this volume."
—Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist (starred review)

About the Author

VIRGINIA McALESTER, was educated at Radcliffe and attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is a founding member and past president of Preservation Dallas and also of Friends of Fair Park, the support group for a National Historic Landmark. She serves as an advisor emeritus for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She is the author of  The Making of a Historic District: Swiss Avenue, Dallas, Texas, a 40-page booklet "how-to" published by the National Trust in 1975 that historic groups across the country have used as a guide in creating their historic districts. She is coauthor of  The Homes of the Park Cities, Dallas: Great American Suburbs.

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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
796 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

2Many Books
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Made for the Kindle App!
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2018
The Kindle version, which I read on an IPad & Mac is a stunning achievement. The publisher has taken this massive tome, with its hundreds of images and synchronized the accompanying text to make what is a daunting printed volume into a remarkably useful and informative... See more
The Kindle version, which I read on an IPad & Mac is a stunning achievement. The publisher has taken this massive tome, with its hundreds of images and synchronized the accompanying text to make what is a daunting printed volume into a remarkably useful and informative masterpiece. So much easier to navigate and extract data in this format than the cumbersome hard bound version. The ability to manipulate drawings and photos is impressive. My weary eyes thank you!
41 people found this helpful
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Valeria & Jack Weir
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It’s like a book that architecture students might be using during ...
Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2018
I think that when you’re truly committed in the design process of your house, knowing the basics of architecture will come in handy in order to come up with an aesthetically sound and coherent design, working with your architect of course. This book is a 101... See more
I think that when you’re truly committed in the design process of your house, knowing the basics of architecture will come in handy in order to come up with an aesthetically sound and coherent design, working with your architect of course.
This book is a 101 introduction to the basics, from roof types, dormers, porches, architectural styles, etc... It’s like a book that architecture students might be using during their beginning courses. I loved it! and moreover it helps you extend your general knowledge.
24 people found this helpful
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amazoncustomer1000001
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Content wonderful but PAPERBACK BINDING NO
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2019
Get the hard copy! The paperback is too thick & pages too small to read comfortably. Forget trying to get even the middle of book to open flat enough to read near the binding without a lot of effort. So hard to browse or read while commuting or in uncomfortable chair... See more
Get the hard copy! The paperback is too thick & pages too small to read comfortably. Forget trying to get even the middle of book to open flat enough to read near the binding without a lot of effort. So hard to browse or read while commuting or in uncomfortable chair (doc appointment). I’m seriously thinking of “unbinding” drilling holes and putting it in an old school notebook. If I go forward with volunteering at History Colorado I may buy the hard copy and will add if that is worth extra cost
CONTENT IS WONDERFUL a great “knowledge” book. I love walking off Main Street in cities I visit and admiring the architecture. This book makes speaking of it much easier, and the experience more enjoyable.
13 people found this helpful
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Allen SmallingTop Contributor: Classical Music
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Cheap at Twice the Price, Depending on the Price -- A Must-Have Regardless
Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2015
I know of no single one-volume work on American architectural styles that has (a) established such a good track record in its previous editions, (b) added to much new information for this (2013) edition, and (c) is available significantly below retail at Amazon. This book... See more
I know of no single one-volume work on American architectural styles that has (a) established such a good track record in its previous editions, (b) added to much new information for this (2013) edition, and (c) is available significantly below retail at Amazon. This book is aimed at the layman -- obviously, an 880-page tome with over 600 pages devoted to text is not for people who want a quick looker-upper, but it is fascinating nonetheless and not over the heads of those motivated by curiosity. If you hear Jed Clampett''s TV mansion referred to as "Beaux-Arts" (boze-ahrt) style -- well, it is, and this book will tell you about the history of such edifices, just as it does with "Second Empire," "Minimal Traditional," "Italianate," pretty much the whole range of American houses, old and new, vernacular and individually designed. Cheers to Virginia Savage McAlester and her hardworking staff for bringing the original 1984 volume -- itself no slouch -- gloriously up-to-date. I own not only the 1984 predecessor and this new volume, of course, but have been proud to make this one a gift to friends far and near. It''s that good.

Cheap at Twice the Price? Could be. Prices have been fluctuating lately, but are always well below the benchmark retail of fifty U.S. dollars.

Hint: This would make a terrific present not only to an architecture student, but to someone who has just received her or his Real Estate sales broker''s license.
25 people found this helpful
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David
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A comprehensive resource on American home architecture
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2019
Building on a catalog of architectural features (including layout, doors, windows, roofs, and coverings), the book establishes a vocabulary for describing ancient to modern architectural styles. From there, it provides a comprehensive catalog of American home architecture... See more
Building on a catalog of architectural features (including layout, doors, windows, roofs, and coverings), the book establishes a vocabulary for describing ancient to modern architectural styles. From there, it provides a comprehensive catalog of American home architecture over the past 300 years. Well-documented with hundreds (or thousands?) of photographs, the book shows a spectrum of permutations for architectural styles. It helps make sense of the eclectic mishmash of housing styles we have in California. It''s the most useful architectural reference book I''ve got, and I have dozens.
5 people found this helpful
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Miss V.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Outstanding reference book
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2017
I love old houses so this review is based on that fact only (not an architectural student). This book is wonderful. It discusses and illustrates the styles of houses in the early days of our country to the present. There are detailed descriptions along with a plethora of... See more
I love old houses so this review is based on that fact only (not an architectural student). This book is wonderful. It discusses and illustrates the styles of houses in the early days of our country to the present. There are detailed descriptions along with a plethora of photographs of all types of houses, my favorites being the Queen Anne, Tudor, and Gothic Revival (just a personal preference.) I think this is an amazing reference book, I would recommend it to anyone that loves old houses. In my case, because I was unfamiliar with a lot of the technical terms in McAlester''s book, I also bought "Old House Dictionary", which helped immensely. Love this book.
11 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An exhaustive and detailed book on American Architecture
Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2021
Condition of book on arrival: Pristine. Would prefer a hardcover, but at 840+ pages it''s already super thick. Content of book: Pros: This book has an exhaustive history and summary of American Architecture detailing the origins of certain styles, why the... See more
Condition of book on arrival: Pristine. Would prefer a hardcover, but at 840+ pages it''s already super thick.

Content of book:
Pros: This book has an exhaustive history and summary of American Architecture detailing the origins of certain styles, why the American styles and neighborhood evolved the way they did.

The first picture is a pictorial key for figuring out what features belong to a style, e.g. a Greek column belonging to Federal or Georgian styles.

The book also defines the origins and where individual styles are located. Then defines them pictorials (such as the Federal Style in the next two pictures here). Both by illustrating features such as roof styles, facades etc. Then by showing photographic examples of different buildings in that style.

Cons: My only con for this book is that it doesn''t detail internal floor plans of the styles of these buildings and is only useful for identifying the structural and external features of a style. But overall, it''s an invaluable resource.
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thunefeld
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Better Than Expected
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2019
I have purchased many Kindle books that were basically just a print book cut and pasted into an eBook format... you know the type, very poor fotos, rotteren functionality. THIS BOOK IS TRULY FANTASTIC. In the first minute you are aware that the author re-designed this... See more
I have purchased many Kindle books that were basically just a print book cut and pasted into an eBook format... you know the type, very poor fotos, rotteren functionality. THIS BOOK IS TRULY FANTASTIC. In the first minute you are aware that the author re-designed this book with an eBook in mind... and what a WONDERFUL book it is. Nearly unlimited clear, bright, excellent photo illustrations for the dozens of styles. This book should be the standard by which eBooks are judged. Not only is the content superb, the functionality is better than any of the 100 or so eBooks I have purchased over the past 10 years. Don''t fret about the price.... THIS BOOK IS PRICELESS!! Terry Hunefeld, San Diego, California
3 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
THE essential book on understanding American (and Canadian) residential architectural style.
Reviewed in Canada on June 2, 2020
This is my favourite book explaining Anerican houses. As a Canadian architect, I am so grateful to have used this book for decades. I just gave this updated fancier version to my oldest friend for his birthday after we walked through a heritage part of Toronto and he kept...See more
This is my favourite book explaining Anerican houses. As a Canadian architect, I am so grateful to have used this book for decades. I just gave this updated fancier version to my oldest friend for his birthday after we walked through a heritage part of Toronto and he kept asking what style were this house and that house. I then knew what gift to give him!
This is my favourite book explaining Anerican houses. As a Canadian architect, I am so grateful to have used this book for decades. I just gave this updated fancier version to my oldest friend for his birthday after we walked through a heritage part of Toronto and he kept asking what style were this house and that house. I then knew what gift to give him!
One person found this helpful
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Mr. Michael C. Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of my new favourite books
Reviewed in Australia on June 6, 2020
This book is so interesting and I live in Australia where it is of limited use in identifying house styles. It is brim full of quotable information about house design and history.
This book is so interesting and I live in Australia where it is of limited use in identifying house styles. It is brim full of quotable information about house design and history.
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Fabian Davila
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Un libro de consulta clásico
Reviewed in Mexico on May 12, 2021
Contenido muy extenso, gran cantidad de ilustraciones, explicaciones sencillas y correctamente estructurado. La manufactura excelente, tanto la tipografía como la calidad del papel, la tinta y la impresión.
Contenido muy extenso, gran cantidad de ilustraciones, explicaciones sencillas y correctamente estructurado. La manufactura excelente, tanto la tipografía como la calidad del papel, la tinta y la impresión.
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Julian
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Anschaulich und informativ
Reviewed in Germany on September 5, 2020
Das Buch hat sehr viele anschaulich Grafiken in schwarz-weiß und ist ausführlich sowie informativ verfasst.
Das Buch hat sehr viele anschaulich Grafiken in schwarz-weiß und ist ausführlich sowie informativ verfasst.
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Dwayne Seal
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you are a home designer or a home enthusiast...
Reviewed in Canada on August 31, 2020
This is the bible to true home design styles. A must for any designers library. I have owned mine for over 25 years. This one was a gift.
This is the bible to true home design styles. A must for any designers library. I have owned mine for over 25 years. This one was a gift.
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A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale

A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide 2021 to Identifying and Understanding America's sale Domestic Architecture outlet sale