This practical primer is a handbook for decoding a building’s style, history, and evolution. Every building contains clues embedded in its design that identify not only its architectural style but also the story of who designed it, who it was built for, and why. Organized by architectural element (roofs, doors, windows, columns, domes, towers, arches, etc.), the book is roughly chronological within each section, examining the elements across history, through different architectural styles, and by geographical distribution. Additional chapters offer overviews of how architecture has been affected by geography, history, and religion, along with an illustrated timeline of architectural elements. Also included is a chapter on applied ornament and a handy introduction to naming each part of a building. All entries are accompanied by examples in the forms of period engravings, line drawings, and pictures. The extended captions make the book invaluable for anyone who has ever pondered the meaning or importance of a hipped roof, rounded doorway, or classical pediment.
About the Author
Dr. Carol Davidson Cragoe is a graduate of Smith College and holds a Master’s in art history from New York University. She was Architectural Editor for the Victoria County History series and more recently for English Heritage.
"...this pocket-size volume packed with handy visuals is a perfect reference tool." ~Elle Decor
"This practical primer not only provides the answer, but proves that buildings can be the stuff of page-turners, too." ~ReadyMade Magazine
"The draftsmanship of the fine pen and ink drawings, the color-coding of sections, the compactness of trim size, and the quantity of material presented, makes for an illuminated text. A book of architecturally refined elegance on a small scale." ~ForeWord Magazine
"This little guide, measuring just over 5 by 6 inches, is a charmer--chiefly because of the appealing design and the choice of skillfully drawn illustrations in colored ink." ~Interior Design
"I'm leaving How to Read Buildings on my nightstand for a few weeks, but you can bet I'll tuck it into my carry-on bag when we head to Europe next month." ~James H. Schwartz in Preservation