AMERICANS AT HOME: Four Hundred Years of American Houses by Lee Pennock Huntington

AMERICANS AT HOME: Four Hundred Years of American Houses

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A once-over-lightly survey of American domestic architecture pegged, like the most mundane adult text, on successive period styles. Huntington, that is, has almost nothing to contribute herself (except an occasional inanity, e.g. ""Factory hands,"" however ill-paid or overworked, ""were better off by far than slaves in the South""); she has no idea, in particular, how to relate dwelling forms to modes of living. So we're told, in brief chapters, about Palladian houses and Georgian houses, about the Greek Revival, the Gothic Revival, the Italinate style, etc. Though occasional reference is made to interiors, the illustrations all show facades; the one real discussion of construction techniques--apropos of the balloon frame--is also accompanied by a picture of a facade. Of dwellings since 1913, we see only avantgarde examples--a Neutra house, a condominium by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer, two solar houses. Virtually none of this is more than label-type information linked by generalities; the encyclopedia is more precise, succinct, and instructive.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan