American Architecture

A History


Leland M. Roth and Amanda C. Roth Clark

Second Edition • March 8, 2016 • 752 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813349688 • $85.00 USD$110.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813350073 • $54.99 USD$71.50 CAN

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“This second edition of American Architecture has a great deal more to offer than did the original publication. The original author, Leland Roth, is here joined by his daughter, Amanda Roth Clark. They have completely rewritten the original to reflect an additional 15 years of teaching, research, and scholarship. The authors added new subject matter, included dozens of new footnotes, extended bibliographies for all chapters, almost doubled the glossary of architectural terms, and did a natty redesign of the table of contents. In addition, the illustrations . . . are clearer, richer, more impressive, and much more inclusive of neighboring landscapes of historic buildings. A whole new chapter covers American architecture of the 21st century. . . Highly recommended.” —Choice

More than fifteen years after the success of the first edition, this sweeping introduction to the history of architecture in the United States is now a fully revised guide to the major developments that shaped the environment from the first Americans to the present, from the everyday vernacular to the high style of aspiration. Eleven chronologically organized chapters chart the social, cultural, and political forces that shaped the growth and development of American towns, cities, and suburbs, while providing full description, analysis, and interpretation of buildings and their architects.

The second edition features an entirely new chapter detailing the green architecture movement and architectural trends in the 21st century. Further updates include an expanded section on Native American architecture and contemporary design by Native American architects, new discussions on architectural education and training, more examples of women architects and designers, and a thoroughly expanded glossary to help today’s readers. The art program is expanded, including 640 black and white images and 62 new color images. Accessible and engaging, American Architecture continues to set the standard as a guide, study, and reference for those seeking to better understand the rich history of architecture in the United States.


Leland M. Roth is Marion Dean Ross Professor of Architectural History Emeritus at the University of Oregon at Eugene. Dr. Roth is the author of Understanding Architecture (Westview Press, 2013), McKim, Mead & White, Architects (Harper & Row, 1983), America Builds (Harper & Row, 1983), A Concise History of American Architecture (Harper & Row, 1979), and other works.

Amanda C. Roth Clark is Assistant Professor of Art History and Library Director at Whitworth University. She is the daughter of Leland M. Roth, and the co-author of Understanding Architecture, 3rd Edition.

Preface
List of illustrations

Chapter 1: The First American Architecture
Ceremonial Enclosures and Homes

A Vast and Varied Continent
The First Americans
The Historical or Post-contact Cultures
Reinvigorated Architecture for a New Millennium
Notes

Chapter 2: Europeans in the New World, 1600–1700
Transplanted Vernaculars

Spanish Settlements
French Settlements
Swedish Settlement
Dutch Settlements
English Settlements
Town Planning in the Seventeenth Century
Notes

Chapter 3: In the Latest Fashion, 1690–1785
Georgian Architecture and Vernacular Traditions

Georgian Colonial Town Planning
Early Georgian Architecture, 1690–1750
Late Georgian Architecture, 1750–1785
Notes

Chapter 4: A New Architecture for a New Nation, 1785–1820
Searching for Symbols of Democracy

Eclecticism
Planning the National Capitol
Samuel McIntire
Charles Bulfinch
Asher Benjamin
Benjamin Henry Latrobe
Other Influences and Émigré Architects
Thomas Jefferson
American Urban Growth
Trans-Appalachian Development and Vernacular Architecture
Notes

Chapter 5: Appropriation and Innovation, 1820–1865
Images of the Past, Visions of the Future

The Greek Revival
The Gothic Revival
A Miscellany of Historic Styles
The Impact of Industry and the Exploitation of Cast Iron
In Search of an American Architecture
Notes

Chapter 6: Architecture in the Age of Energy and Enterprise, 1865–1885
Parvenu Taste in an Expanding Economy

Architectural Education
Creative Eclecticism
Second Empire Baroque
High Victorian Gothic
Frank Furness
Richard Morris Hunt
Industry Buildings and Housing
Model Urban Tenements
Frederick Law Olmsted and the Public Parks Movement
American Urban Growth, 1865-1885
The Emergence of American Architectural Publishing
The Centennial Exposition, 1876
Suburban and Country Residences
Transportation and the Impact of Technology
Henry Hobson Richardson
Notes

Chapter 7: The Architecture of the American City and Suburb, 1885–1915
The Search for Order

Women and the American Architectural Profession
The Impact of the École des Beaux-Arts
Commercial Architecture: The Invention of the Office Skyscraper
Classicism and the Search for Order
American Parallels to Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement
Frank Lloyd Wright
The San Francisco Bay Area Tradition
Urban Planning
Housing Reform
Vernacular Architecture
Notes

Chapter 8: Nostalgia and the Avant-Garde, 1915–1940
Architecture for a New Century

The First World War and Industrial Housing
The Suburb and the Automobile
The Architecture of Reassurance: Historicism in the Jazz Age
Movie Palaces: The Architecture of Illusion
American Modernism
Skyscrapers, 1915–1940
Art Deco and Moderne
Frank Lloyd Wright, the Middle Years
Rudolf Schindler and Richard Neutra
Urban Planning and Housing
The Great Depression
Notes

Chapter 9: The Emergence of American Modernism, 1940–1973
Social Agenda or the Latest Aesthetic?

Housing War Workers
Modernism
The Modern House
Form Follows Form
“Silence and Light”: The Architecture of Louis I. Kahn
Heroic Expressionism
Alvar Aalto in America
Urbanism: Cities and Suburbs
Urban Renewal
Preservation: The Uses of the Past
Notes

Chapter 10: Late Modernism and Alternatives, 1972–2001

Rethinking Modernism and Its Shortcomings
Historic Preservation
Contextualism
The Beginnings of Postmodernism
Postmodern Classicism
Late Expressionist/Heroic Modernism
Frank Gehry and Late Expressionism
Deconstructivism
Regionalism
The Cult of the High-Profile Architect
The 1980s and 1990s: A Public Architecture of Self-Absorption
Making Communities
Green Architecture: The First Shoots
Notes

Chapter 11: Looking at the Future: Into the 21st Century

Slender Towers
The Age of Computer Architecture
Starchitects/Global Architects
Architectural Activity in the Twenty-First Century
The Long Life of Traditionalism
Green Architecture
Epilogue
Notes

Suggested Readings
Glossary
Index

“This second edition of American Architecture has a great deal more to offer than did the original publication. The original author, Leland Roth, is here joined by his daughter, Amanda Roth Clark. They have completely rewritten the original to reflect an additional 15 years of teaching, research, and scholarship. The authors added new subject matter, included dozens of new footnotes, extended bibliographies for all chapters, almost doubled the glossary of architectural terms, and did a natty redesign of the table of contents. In addition, the illustrations . . . are clearer, richer, more impressive, and much more inclusive of neighboring landscapes of historic buildings. A whole new chapter covers American architecture of the 21st century. . . Highly recommended.” —Choice

“With extensive revisions and substantive additions, Leland Roth has made this second edition to American Architecture not only the most thorough examination of its subject, but also the most up-to-date. It remains a key reference work in the field.
Richard Longstreth, George Washington University

“Leland M. Roth’s American Architecture is the smartest, most insightful text written on American architecture. This new edition makes it even more accessible for a new generation of students.”
Timothy Orwig, Northeastern University

“Roth’s American Architecture is the perfect companion text to any course on American architecture. Its readability and chronological organization provides students with an in-depth and comprehensive survey of the major trends in the field. The plans, diagrams, and sections are particularly clear and well executed, which is a great resource when teaching.”
Emily Morash, Connecticut College

“This book has been extremely useful for my course—it is long enough that I can use it as the main anchor of the course, but not so long that it is daunting to the students. Students typically find it clear and engaging. Roth’s approach is excellent…broad and inclusive. His writing style is clear and his observations on theory and social content are refreshingly free of jargon. American Architecture: A History is the most comprehensive and thoroughly illustrated survey of American architecture available. Building on the author’s lifetime of research, it is extremely valuable as a reference book and also provides a highly readable introduction to this fascinating topic.”
Jeffery Howe, Boston College

“Roth’s American Architecture provides a detailed introduction to America’s architectural developments, creating a chronological and thematic framework that knits together distinct stylistic periods. It is detailed enough to really explain the ethos behind a given work or period, but also provides the larger framework to contextualize it. American Architecture is a great text for those studying American architecture for the first time, and can serve as an ongoing resource during more advanced studies as well.”
Amy D. Finstein, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

“A comprehensive and even-handed overview of American architecture. Its wide coverage allows you (as an instructor) considerable freedom to consider other, even eccentric examples or contexts, or to focus deeply on particular buildings in the knowledge that the broad outlines have been sketched in by Roth.”
Sandy Isenstadt, University of Delaware

“Exceptionally well written, organized and presented.” —Library Bookwatch

Praise for the First Edition:
“This is the best one-volume survey of American architecture on the market today, and it will long live…as a basic resource and authority.”
Choice

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