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Everyday Architecture of the Mid-Atlantic

, 424 pages

344 b&w illus.

June 1997



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Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

Everyday Architecture of the Mid-Atlantic

Looking at Buildings and Landscapes

Winner of the Fred Kniffen Prize from the Pioneer America Society

From the eighteenth-century single-room "mansions" of Delaware's Cypress Swamp district to the early twentieth-century suburban housing around Philadelphia and Wilmington, the architectural landscape of the mid-Atlantic region is both rich and varied. In this pioneering field guide to the region's historic vernacular architecture, Gabrielle Lanier and Bernard Herman describe the remarkably diverse building traditions that have overlapped and influenced one another for generations.

With more than 300 illustrations and photographs, Everyday Architecture of the Mid-Atlantic explores the character of pre-1940 domestic and agricultural buildings in the towns and rural landscapes of southern New Jersey, Delaware, and coastal Maryland and Virginia. Approaching their subject "archaeologically," the authors examine the "layers" of a structure's past to show how it has changed over time and to reveal telling details about its occupants and the community in which they lived. The book provides architectural information as well as a working methodology for anyone wanting to explore and learn from traditional architecture and landscapes.

The authors conclude that, as a vital cultural artifact, the distinctive architecture of the mid-Atlantic needs to be identified, recorded, and preserved. Everyday Architecture of the Mid-Atlantic gives proof to the insights architecture offers into who we are culturally as a community, a region, and a nation.

Gabrielle M. Lanier has taught historic preservation and public history at Mary Washington College, Rutgers University, and Millersville University. Bernard L. Herman is associate professor of art history, history, and urban affairs and public policy at the University of Delaware and associate director of the Center for Historical Architecture and Design. His many books include The Stolen House and Architecture and Rural Life in Central Delaware: 1700-1900.

"It won't fit in your glove compartment, but Everyday Architecture in the Mid-Atlanticis a book you ought to have along as you drive... It's a serious book but it is aimed at nonprofessionals who enjoy historic buildings and landscapes."

"A first-rate book... Profusely illustrated with an excellent selection of drawings and photographs... It will be of great use to everyone interested in our built environment."

" Everyday Architecture of the Mid-Atlantic departs from well-traveled roads to explore the less-celebrated architecture of New Jersey, Deleware, and coastal Maryland and Virginia. The authors use more than 300 illustrations to show readers how to date buildings such as suburban houses that have been through many redesigns and expansions."

"Finally, a guidebook of historic architecture that treats whole country, not a particular state, but a natural geographical division—a region."

"This book is important new scholarship for those interested in material culture and vernacular architecture."