“An engaging historical account and an attractive, practical resource.” —Booklist
Colonial, Neoclassical, Queen Anne, Craftsman—what distinguishes one architectural style from another? This unique book will allow readers to recognize the architectural features and style of virtually any house they encounter. Here, architect John Milnes Baker explains the historical, cultural, and technical influences that shaped each of these styles and many more. Organized in periods, from Early Colonial (1600–1715) to the Modern Movement (1920–60) and beyond, this tour of America’s varied residential architecture is rendered in elevation drawings that precisely illustrate the key characteristics of each style.
Nearly 25 years since the original publication of American House Styles, this updated edition includes a new preface and house styles from the mid-1990s to the present—from the rise and fall of the McMansion to energy-efficient, regionally influenced homes. The illustrations, now in color, are more delightful than ever in a new, larger format. This a must-have volume for anyone interested in architecture or adding a bit of style to their home.
"History is all around us—so much so that it can be hard to see it. John Milnes Baker’s classic work, now beautifully updated, helps us to locate it in our very houses. Through brick and stucco, pediments and porticos, he literally brings history home to us." — Russell Shorto, author of Revolution Song and The Island at the Center of the World
"John Milnes Baker is a congenial companion, encyclopedic without being dull, discriminating but not dismissive. His affectionate survey of four centuries of American houses and American aspirations is an accessible guide to the world we’ve built and a good set of principles for understanding whatever we’ll think up next." — Kent Barwick, former chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission