This is, without question, the most complete survey of our built environment, brick by brick. Putting it into a hand-held device is genius.
In 1984, when Virginia Savage McAlester published the seminal AField Guide to American Houses, the text she wrote to fill a void became an instant classic adopted by realtors, builders, architects and schools, as well as Americans who wanted to know about their own homes’ architectural style and history.
“I wanted to identify the homes in my own neighborhood when we were working to become a historic district,” she recalls. “I went to the bookstore, expecting to find something like A Field Guide to Birds, but about houses. There were lots of books about mansions (like those in Newport and Manhattan’s Upper East Side) but nothing about the small and mid-sized homes that most Americans lived in. I wrote this book to understand my own early twentieth-century neighborhood – and to help others understand theirs.”
Her 2013 second edition updated the original survey, which had catalogued American houses up to 1940.
“By the year 2000, more than three-quarters of American houses had been built since 1940,” McAlester says. “How could I possibly have a Field Guide that did not include these?!? At the same time, preservationists were begging for more information on our wonderful mid-century modern houses that were now 50 years old and candidates for preservation and tax credits.
“So I expanded the guide to include houses built up to 2010, and added a section on the many intriguing ways houses are grouped into neighborhoods.”
The new version of the book was met with rapturous reviews that called it “magisterial” and dubbed McAlester “the Queen of Dallas Historic Preservation,” a term suggested by a fellow architectural historian, Stephen Fox of Houston.
But now, McAlester’s field guide is truly user-friendly for the 21st century, available in an e-book version.
Read the full story HERE >>> Source: Forbes How To Learn About Architecture On Your Phone