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Houses of Boston's Back Bay: An Architectural History, 1840-1917
     

Houses of Boston's Back Bay: An Architectural History, 1840-1917

by Bainbridge Bunting
 

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This superbly illustrated book records the development of Boston's Back Bay during the period of its greatest growth. Bainbridge Bunting focuses his study on one particularly significant architectural form—the town house. He chronicles, both pictorially and verbally, the first appearance, evolution, and eventual discard, during the era, of every local

Overview

This superbly illustrated book records the development of Boston's Back Bay during the period of its greatest growth. Bainbridge Bunting focuses his study on one particularly significant architectural form—the town house. He chronicles, both pictorially and verbally, the first appearance, evolution, and eventual discard, during the era, of every local architectural style, all of which later gained national acceptance. He shows how architectural styles were affected by such developments as the electric light, changing preferences in materials, machine production of such interior parts as woodwork and mantels, new fire laws and building restrictions, and rising labor costs. He also provides an extensive account of the pivotal role played by members of the Boston Society of Architects in the growth of the profession throughout the country during this formative period. These Back Bay homes, Bunting points out, reflect to a striking degree the social and cultural attitudes of the community and, in the process of reconstructing the life that was led in them, he offers an absorbing and perceptive commentary on Boston society and its mores.

Editorial Reviews

American Institute of Architects Journal
This truly fascinating book is a detailed chronicle of a district rich in meaning for architect, planner, historian, sociologist and lover of Americana ... With it all, insights are gained into the mores of those marvelous Bostonians and their equally marvelous city.
Royal Institute of British Architects
An immensely detailed but never tedious account of the development of a district celebrated for the intellectual and financial eminence of its inhabitants.
New England Quarterly - Edgar Packard Dean
Here is an excellent book. Although parts of residential Back Bay are now a century old, surprisingly little has been written about this brightest jewel in Boston's crown. So the book is twice welcome. Mr. Bunting...writes with authority yet with a clarity of style that makes for delightful reading.
Journal of American History - Madeleine Hook Rice
Bunting has made a distinguished contribution to cultural history in his perceptive use of domestic architecture to reflect and interpret the customs, ideas, and interests of an American generation in a setting peculiarly favorable for such a study.
New England Quarterly
Here is an excellent book. Although parts of residential Back Bay are now a century old, surprisingly little has been written about this brightest jewel in Boston's crown. So the book is twice welcome. Mr. Bunting...writes with authority yet with a clarity of style that makes for delightful reading.
— Edgar Packard Dean
Journal of American History
Bunting has made a distinguished contribution to cultural history in his perceptive use of domestic architecture to reflect and interpret the customs, ideas, and interests of an American generation in a setting peculiarly favorable for such a study.
— Madeleine Hook Rice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674409002
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
01/01/1967
Pages:
494
Product dimensions:
6.62(w) x 9.62(h) x 1.45(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Bainbridge Bunting was Director of the Cambridge Historical Commission's Survey of Architectural History in Cambridge.

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