THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY HOUSES OF WILLIAMSBURG by Marcus Whiffen

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY HOUSES OF WILLIAMSBURG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1958 Holt published Prof. Whiffen's The Public Buildings of Williamsburg to which this is a companion volume. There was more text related to life in colonial America, contemporary accounts of domestic details, and the close relationship between English and American architecture and town building in the first volume than the scope of this one seems to permit. One might get the same information here but only between the lines. The first part details such matters as the materials of which the houses were built, the factors dependent on local products or on imports, the apprenticeship and indenture system which provided the workmen, and the tools. The general design, linked to the British yeoman houses, is discussed with the variants in law, climate and regional characteristics that colonial Virginia required. A final chapter in this section gives closer examination to how the houses were made. The second part of the book takes 32 of the original houses in the restoration area and gives detailed notes on history, origins, architectural details and condition at time of restoration. Records of costs make interesting reading today. Copiously illustrated with some 132 pictures and diagrams. A book which should be in all architectural libraries, public and private, and that would interest students of the American scene -- and a great many of the visitors to the Williamsburg Restoration.

Publisher: Holt