Twentieth-Century American Architecture

Overview

An authoritative and richly illustrated narrative history of the buildings that shaped the American century and the architects who gave them form.
Carter Wiseman presents an original, readable, and literate overview of the major figures, influential movements, and landmark buildings that have defined American architecture over the past hundred years. In a survey that is "as good . . . as anyone is likely to write . . . accurate in its facts, wise and fair in its judgments"(New ...

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Overview

An authoritative and richly illustrated narrative history of the buildings that shaped the American century and the architects who gave them form.
Carter Wiseman presents an original, readable, and literate overview of the major figures, influential movements, and landmark buildings that have defined American architecture over the past hundred years. In a survey that is "as good . . . as anyone is likely to write . . . accurate in its facts, wise and fair in its judgments"(New York Times), he focuses to a large extent on architecture's makers—the commanding figures who by force of personality and sheer artistic ability indelibly influenced its progress: Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, I. M. Pei, Robert Venturi, Louis Kahn, Frank Gehry. The triumph of modernism; the growth of architectural preservation; the eclipse of the practical arts by money, theory, and abstraction; and the uncertain future of architecture in a country that celebrates both individualism and community are just some of the issues addressed in this highly praised work. Originally published in hardcover under the title Shaping a Nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Describes landmark buildings that shaped the American 20th century and brings to life architects of the period and the major architectural movements. Discusses the rise of modernism, the growth of historic preservation, the financial aspects of building, and the struggle in design between individualism and community. Includes b&w photos of buildings. Wiseman was architectural critic for magazine from 1980 to 1996. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
TwentiethCentury American Architecture: The Buildings And Their Makers surveys the major figures, influential movements, and landmark buildings that have identified and defined the American architecture over the past century. Carter Wiseman's informative text is enhanced with photographs as he focuses on the architects whose personalities and abilities indelibly influenced architectural progress. These figures range from Louis Sullivan Frank Lloyd Wright, and Philip Johnson, to I.M. Pei, Robert Venturi, and Louis Kahan. TwentiethCentury American Architecture is an impressive, authoritative, narrative history that is "must" reading for students of architecture, and highly recommended, accessible reading for the nonspecialist general reader with an interest in the development of American architectural trends and the men behind them.
Miller
An acute, useful and immensely readable book.
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393320541
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 370
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Carter Wiseman teaches history and criticism at the Yale School of architecture. He lives in Weston, Connecticut. He is also the author of Twentieth-Century American Architecture.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Prologue. The Themes Take Form
Chapter 1. The Lure of the Tall
Chapter 2. Domestic Diversity
Chapter 3. Eclecticism and the Uses of the Past
Chapter 4. Modernism and the Abstract Ascendancy
Chapter 5. The Romantic Resistance
Chapter 6. The Power of Preservation
Chapter 7. The Outbreak of the Ordinary
Chapter 8. The "Whites," the "Grays," and Postmodernism
Chapter 9. High-Rise, Hard Sell
Chapter 10. The Flight from the Real
Chapter 11. Refuge vs. Community
Acknowledgments
Index
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