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American Houses:
A Field Guide to the Architecture of the Home

by Gerald L. Foster

American Houses
American Houses is a historical guide to the architecture of the American home. While other architectural field guides show only fašades, this book includes floor plans, showing how the form of a house arises from its function. Photographs and drawings of exteriors illustrate the significant field marks of each style and help pinpoint the key elements that can identify a house even when it has been remodeled beyond recognition. Beautifully illustrated, clearly written, and impeccably researched, American Houses is an essential reference for anyone interested in the history of American residential architecture.



Key Features:

• Floor plans
• Photographs and drawings of exteriors



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Sample Entry:

The Octagon

Easily identified by its shape, the Octagon was not a style but a floor plan. It appeared in the 1850s at the high point of the Italian style's popularity and most of the survivors are Italianate in character. Although often considered a reaction to professionally designed and overdecorated Victorian houses, the Octagon accommodated the various decorative styles of the time. A spectacular surviving example, Longwood, in Natchez, Mississippi, is essentially Italianate but has Moorish trip topped by an onion dome.