The Preservation Foundation

Current Suggested Books

 

 

 

 

American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture by Alice T. Friedman

 

$65.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9780300116540

The sleek lines and gleaming facades of the architecture of the late 1940s and 1950s reflect a cul-ture fascinated by the promise of the Jet Age. Buildings like Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK Airport and Philip Johnson’s Four Seasons Restaurant retain a thrilling allure, seeming to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. In this work, distinguished architectural historian Alice Friedman draws on a vast range of sources to argue that the aesthetics of mid-century modern architecture reflect an increasing fascination with “glamour,” a term widely used in those years to characterize objects, people, and experiences as luxurious, expressive, and even magical.

Featuring assessments of architectural examples ranging from Mies van der Rohe’s monolithic Seagram Building to Elvis Presley’s sprawling Graceland estate, as well as vintage photographs, advertisements, and posters, this book argues that new audiences and client groups with tastes rooted in popular entertainment made their presence felt in the cultural marketplace during the postwar period. The author suggests that American and European architecture and design increa-singly reflected the values of a burgeoning consumer society, including a fundamental confi-dence in the power of material objects to transform the identity and status of those who owned them.

Alice T. Friedman is Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art and director of the McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College.
 

 

Architecture on the Edge of Postmodernism: Collected Essays, 1964-1988 by Robert A. M. Stern
 

$40.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9780300153972

Robert A. M. Stern is one of contemporary architecture’s most influential figures, with a career encompassing every facet of the profession: he has a flourishing private practice; he is a noted authority on New York architectural history; his own architectural work has been featured in numerous monographs; and as Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, he has undeniably shaped the field of architectural education.  As a preeminent force in the discourse of the field, Stern was one of the first critics to use and analyze the term “postmodern” in architecture. This collection of essays—Stern’s first—brackets the years defined by the changes in architectural thinking introduced by Robert Venturi in 1966 and the exhibition Deconstructivist Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in 1988. Throughout, Stern provides close readings of architectural events and offers firsthand accounts of transformations in architectural thinking during a critical period.
 

 

A Meaningful Life by L. J. Davis, introduction by Jonathan Lethem

$14.95 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9781590173008
 

The publishing rediscovery of the year, L.J. Davis’s 1971 novel, A Meaningful Life, is a blistering black comedy about the American quest for redemption through real estate and a gritty picture of New York City in collapse. Lowell Lake  discovers a beautiful crumbling mansion in a crime-ridden section of Brooklyn, and against all advice, not to mention his wife’s will, sinks his every penny into buying it. He quits his job, moves in, and spends day and night on demolition and construction. At last he has a mission: he will dig up the lost history of his house; he will restore it to its past grandeur. He will make good on everything that’s gone wrong with his life, and he will even murder to do it. 
 

 

The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories by Edward Hollis

$28.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9780805087857
  

Concrete, marble, steel, brick: little else made by human hands seems as stable, as immutable, as a building. Yet the life of any structure is neither fixed nor timeless. Outliving their original con-texts and purposes, buildings are forced to adapt to each succeeding age. To survive, they must become shape-shifters.
 
In an inspired refashioning of architectural history, Edward Hollis recounts more than a dozen stories of such metamorphosis, highlighting the way in which even the most familiar structures all change over time into “something rich and strange.” The Parthenon, that epitome of a ruined temple, was for centuries a working church and then a mosque; the cathedral of Notre Dame was “restored” to a design that none of its original makers would have recognized. Remains of the Berlin Wall, meanwhile, which was once gleefully smashed and bulldozed, are now treated as precious relics.
 
Altered layer by layer with each generation, buildings become eloquent chroniclers of the civili-zations they’ve witnessed. Their stories, as beguiling and captivating as folktales, span the gulf of history.
 
Edward Hollis is an architect and designer who teaches at the Edinburgh College of Art. Trained at Cambridge and Edinburgh universities, he worked for five years in the United Kingdom as a practicing architect, specializing in alterations to historic buildings.

 

Why Architecture Matters by Paul Goldberger

 

$26.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9780300144307
  

Why Architecture Matters is not a work of architectural history or a guide to the styles or an architectural dictionary, though it contains elements of all three. The purpose of Why Architecture Matters is to “come to grips with how things feel to us when we stand before them, with how architecture affects us emotionally as well as intellectually”—with its impact on our lives. “Architecture begins to matter,” writes Paul Goldberger, “when it brings delight and sadness and perplexity and awe along with a roof over our heads.” He shows us how that works in examples ranging from a small Cape Cod cottage to the “vast, flowing” Prairie houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, from the Lincoln Memorial to the highly sculptural Guggenheim Bilbao and the Church of Sant’Ivo in Rome, where “simple geometries . . . create a work of architecture that embraces the deepest complexities of human imagination.”

Based on decades of looking at buildings and thinking about how we experience them, the distinguished critic raises our awareness of fundamental things like proportion, scale, space, texture, materials, shapes, light, and memory. Upon completing this remarkable architectural journey, readers will enjoy a wonderfully rewarding new way of seeing and experiencing every aspect of the built world.

Paul Goldberger is the architecture critic for The New Yorker, where since 1997 he has written the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in Manhattan. He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. 
 

 

The Architecture of Community by Léon Krier

 

$40.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9781597265782
  

Leon Krier is one of the best-known - and most provocative - architects and urban theoreticians in the world. Until now, however, his ideas have circulated mostly among a professional audience of architects, city planners, and academics. In The Architecture of Community, Krier refines and updates his thinking on the making of sustainable, humane, and attractive villages, towns, and cities. The book includes drawings, diagrams, and photographs of his built works, which have not been widely seen until now.
 
The Architecture of Community provides a contemporary road map for designing or completing today’s fragmented communities. Illustrated throughout with Krier’s original drawings, The Ar-chitecture of Community explains his theories on classical and vernacular urbanism and architec-ture, while providing practical design guidelines for creating livable towns.
 
The book contains descriptions and images of the author’s built and unbuilt projects, including the Krier House and Tower in Seaside, Florida, as well as the town of Poundbury in England. Commissioned by the Prince of Wales in 1988, Krier’s design for Poundbury in Dorset has be-come a reference model for ecological planning and building that can meet contemporary needs.


 

On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change by Ada Louise Huxtable

 

$35.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9780802717078

Known for her well-reasoned and passionately held beliefs about architecture, Ada Louise Huxtable has captivated readers across the country for decades, in the process becoming one of the best-known critics in the world. Her keen eye and vivid writing have reinforced to readers how important architecture is and why it continues to be both controversial and fascinating.  
 

In her new book which gathers together the best of her writing, from one of her first pieces in the New York Times in 1962 on Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center at Harvard, to essays in the New York Review of Books, to more recent writing in the Wall Street Journal Huxtable bears witness to some of the twentieth century’s best and worst architectural masters and projects.
 

With a perspective of more than four decades, Huxtable examines the century’s modernist beginnings and then turns her critic’s eye to the seismic shift in style, function, and fashion that oc-curred mid-century all leading to a dramatic new architecture of the twenty-first century.
 

Booklist reviewed it saying “this thoughtfully structured retrospective collection reprints pieces for the first time and offers quotable lines and arresting observations on every page.”

 

 

Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint

 

$27.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9781400066742

To a young Jane Jacobs, Greenwich Village, with its winding cobblestone streets and diverse makeup, was everything a city neighborhood should be. The activist, writer, and mother of three grew so fond of her bustling community that it became a touchstone for her landmark book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. But consummate power broker Robert Moses, the father of many of New York’s most monumental development projects, saw things differently: neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village were badly in need of “urban renewal.” Notorious for exacting enormous human costs, Moses’s plans had never before been halted–not by governors, mayors, or FDR himself, and certainly not by a housewife from Scranton.

The epic rivalry of Jacobs and Moses, played out amid the struggle for the soul of a city, is one of the most dramatic and consequential in modern American history. In Wrestling with Moses, acclaimed reporter and urban planning policy expert Anthony Flint recounts this thrilling David-and-Goliath story, the legacy of which echoes through our society today.

The first ordinary citizens to stand up to government plans for their city, Jacobs and her colleagues began a nationwide movement to reclaim cities for the benefit of their residents. Time and again, Jacobs marshaled popular support and political power against Moses, whether to block traffic through her beloved Washington Square Park or to prevent the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway, a ten-lane elevated superhighway that would have destroyed centuries-old streetscapes and displaced thousands of families and businesses.

Like A Civil Action before it, Wrestling with Moses is the tale of a local battle with far-ranging significance. By confronting Moses and his vision, Jacobs forever changed the way Americans understood the city, and inspired citizens across the country to protest destructive projects in their own communities. Her story reminds us of the power we have as individuals to confront and defy reckless authority.

  

 

The Judicious Eye: Architecture Against the Other Arts by Joseph Rykwert

 

$45.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9780226732619

Is architecture art? This vexed question has been posed since the 1700s, when – breaking from earlier centuries in which there were no divisions between visual artist, architect, and engineer – architects and laypeople alike began to see these vocations as distinct. Exploring how this sepa-ration of roles occurred, and how in the 20th century the arts and architecture began to come to-gether again, The Judicious Eye is the definitive history of the relationships between painting, sculpture and architecture as they have shifted over the past three centuries.

The current Paul-Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture Emeritus at the University of Pennsyl-vania Joseph Rykwert locates the first major shift during the Enlightenment, when key philoso-phers drew implied and explicit distinctions between the visual arts and architecture. As time progressed, architects came to see themselves as part of an established profession, while visual artists increasingly moved toward society’s margins, widening the chasm between them. Detail-ing the eventual attempts to heal this breach, Rykwert concludes his book in the mid-twentieth century, when the artistic avant-garde turned to architects in its battle against a stagnant society. The Judicious Eye, then, provides a necessary foundation for understanding architecture and vis-ual art in the twenty-first century, as they continue to break new ground by growing closer to their intertwined roots.

 

 

Palm Beach: An Architectural Legacy by Polly Earl, The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach

 

$65.00 suggested retail price.

ISBN # 9780847825103

Palm Beach: An Architectural Legacy details the meticulous restorations of over twenty great houses and public buildings on what has been called "America's Riviera." These houses were restored from 1988 to the present, and each house has won the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach's coveted Ballinger Award. The glorious photography showcased here respectfully documents the superb restoration of these houses, many of which have never before been published.

The cycle of building and restoration chronicled here encompasses one of America's enduring architectural landscapes, as well as the dynamics of its social history. Public and private structures designed by some of the style-setting early architects are depicted, including the works of Addison Mizner, Joseph Urban, and Maurice Fatio, as well as anonymous designers whose feats of imagination rivaled those of the most celebrated professionals.