Monday, February 23, 2009

Field Guide to American Houses

cover of A Field Guide to American HousesOver the weekend, I pulled my copy of A Field Guide to American Houses off the shelf. I read it sometime over 10 years ago, but hadn't given it much thought lately.

Wow, what a great book. Virginia and Lee McAlester provide pithy descriptions, line drawings and hundreds of photos of everything from Victorians to Prairie to suburban French provincial to Richardsonian Romanesque (I just love saying that name).

The line drawings provide details of types of windows, rooflines, shingles, chimneys, dormers as well as variations on the overall building shape for each category of houses.

Line drawings of four Prairie-style houses
If you love looking at houses, this is a great book to read and refer to as you try to figure out why houses look the way they do, and how they fit into different building and design movements.

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