Architectural Follies in America by Gwyn Headley, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Architectural Follies in America

Architectural Follies in America

by Gwyn Headley
     
 

Architectural Follies in America

More than mere curiosities, all of the architectural follies described in this illustrated guide are masterpieces in their own right. Each is the incarnation of its creator's singular passion, vanity, or idee fixe, from the home of the future to the storybook castle, the palace of love to the monument of spite, the house of

Overview

Architectural Follies in America

More than mere curiosities, all of the architectural follies described in this illustrated guide are masterpieces in their own right. Each is the incarnation of its creator's singular passion, vanity, or idee fixe, from the home of the future to the storybook castle, the palace of love to the monument of spite, the house of devotion to the pleasure garden.

Architectural Follies in America offers readers an unparalleled opportunity to become acquainted with some of the most outstanding examples of this class of architectural marvel. With Gwyn Headley as our guide, we travel the length and breadth of the United States—from the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Niles, Illinois, to a house made of glass bottles in Death Valley; from the floating Taj Mahal in Sausalito, to the grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In a narrative rich with historical erudition, choice tidbits of gossip, and no small measure of sparkling wit, Headley describes more than 130 structures in loving detail. He tells the full story behind each folly, what is known about its creator, the circumstances surrounding its construction, and its prospects for the future.

"Follies stem from passion, obsession, and suspicion. They also come from happiness, grief, and confusion. They can take any form, any style. A folly is a state of mind, not an architectural style. Follies can even have a use or purpose, whether that was in the creator's mind or not." — Gwyn Headley

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
There is a friendly mood of excess in Headley's book. Gathering together 130 examples of odd, eccentric, and extreme buildings, he has crafted something like a scrapbook, memorializing the fanaticism of people driven to make strong personal statements through individualistic architecture. The application of found materials combined with construction by devoted amateur builders is common to these structures, the results of much time and an unwavering focus. President of The Folly Fellowship, an architectural heritage group, Headley serves up the familiar-e.g., Scotty's castle in Death Valley-and surprises like Elis Stenman's Paper House in Pigeon Cove, Massachusetts. Certainly each design was clear in the mind's eye of each builder, yet the results coalesce into a book full of much ugliness and unrestrained embellishment. While no building is treated as absurd, each seems bizarre, if only for the company it keeps in this book. Still, this work is recommended for larger architecture collections.-David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., Ct.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471143628
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
04/26/1996
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)

Meet the Author

GWYN HEADLEY is President of the Folly Fellowship in England, where he currently resides.

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