Of Houses and Time: Personal Histories of America's National Trust Propertiesby William Seale
Of Houses & Time is the illustrated story of seventeen very different houses - mirrors of three centuries of American life - that are united today as properties of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Their story is the saga of the nation's growth and change, through political revolutions and wars, tragedies and triumphs, and evolving architectural tastes. But most of all, their stories reveal themselves in the lives of the people who built and occupied these houses over many generations. Author William Seale's novel-like approach to these personal histories makes Of Houses & Time like few other books ever written on a collection of buildings.
The account begins in the 1740s at Drayton Hall, a South Carolina plantation renowned as one of the finest Palladian houses in America, and continues through the construction, and rescue of a small home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a model of a modest residence for all Americans. In between, a revolution is won, a new republic embarks on its future, a civil war divides the country, the Victorian era captures America, and the modern age arrives. Around this American story Seale weaves the tale of many houses and many lives.
Among them are two presidential houses: Madison's Montpelier in Virginia and Woodrow Wilson's town house in the capital. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette put in appearances, as does financier Jay Gould, owner of the Gothic castle Lyndhurst on the Hudson. Other houses come to life as well: a quintessential southern mansion on a Louisiana bayou; two early Monterey adobes in California; "the grandest house west of Chicago"; two Frank Lloyd Wright designs, including his home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois; Chesterwood, the Berkshire studio of Minute Man sculptor Daniel Chester French; and Filoli, a California house known today for its spectacular gardens - and a starring role in a television series. In William Seale's deft telling of their tales, the houses take on personalities of their own, divulging the stories of generations of inhabitants. Of Houses & Time recreates their pasts, including how they came to be properties of the National Trust, in an original and engrossing text, surrounded by a tapestry of documentary views and color photographs of the houses as they look now. An illustrated "genealogy" provides information about visiting the houses, all of which are open to the public.
- Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.41(w) x 12.08(h) x 1.16(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews