American Architecture: History and Meaning

Series: Icon Editions
Hardback
A wide-ranging, yet substantive, account of the history of American architecture from pre-historic times to the present. . In American Architecture , Leland Roth introduces the reader to the major developments that shaped the American-built environment from before the arrival of the Europeans to the present, from ceremonial enclosures and homes to Modernism and its discontents. There is extensive historical coverage of 17th and 18th century architecture and regional styles. On both the high style architecture of aspiration and the everyday vernacular architecture, Roth presents the historical impact of changes in conceptual imagery, style, building technology, landscape design, and town planning theory. He charts the gradual development of towns, cities, and suburbs along with the social, cultural, and political forces that shaped their growth. Buildings, like politics, are based on the fine art of compromise, and every building represents a judicious balance between the conflicting needs and aspirations of the client, architect, and builder. Americans, especially, it would seem, have been caught between divergent needs and desires, between the impulse, on the one hand, to build pragmatically and efficiently, and the wish, on the other hand, to realize a conceptual ideal, writes Roth. These ten chapters provide a full, reliable, and up-to-date description, analysis, and interpretation of American buildings and their architects. The 612 illustrations consisting of photographs, drawings, plans and maps are integrated throughout the text. Well-written and comprehensive, Roths American Architecture is invaluable as a guide, a study, and a reference.