America has always presented a unique challenge to architects: should they emulate the Old World or respond to the demands of the New? Professor Hand in tells the complex story with lucidity and insight. Almost from its seventeenth-century beginnings, American architecture was subject to two apparently contradictory processes: the practical and the grandiose. The first comes through in the vernacular buildings of rural America, Bulfinch's fine civic buildings, and the domestic tradition that lies behind the houses of the Greene Brothers and Frank Lloyd Wright. The second is seen in the unprecedented daring of the Chicago school; in the majestic state capitals and public buildings by firms such as McKim, Mead & White; in the luxury of Fifth Avenue apartments; and in the exuberance of commercial Manhattan.