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The American Townhouse by Kevin Murphy

The American Townhouse

by Kevin Murphy

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The Introductory essay is a good, concise historical account of the development of the urban house within the US and how it developed through various permutations. As I was interested in historical precedents from an architectural standpoint, I found the individual examples and their essays a bit too guide-booky. This dowager’s grandchild subsequently restored these curtains, that historical commission added those lamps, look at the sumptuous environment of ottomans, doilies, and gilded wall thingies – that type of stuff. It’s the same complaint I would direct towards the way Dwell Magazine (among innumerable lesser examples) portrays a particular home design; where we would just as soon see a photo showing the client on the pot reading than a clear floor plan. But Dwell’s popular (and I would say helpful for us “nice modernist”-leaning architects, though strangely I haven’t had a house commission since about exactly the same month that Dwell launched!) and therefore I suppose this book should be well regarded amongst normal townhouse enthusiasts. Admittedly, because of some time constraints, I couldn’t get through many of these individual writings. Therefore in fairness I’m rating this for the introductory essay itself. ( )
  mjgrogan | Jun 14, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0810959151, Hardcover)

The American townhouse is one of the most popular house types in urban America. This comprehensive volume tours the reader through 25 stunning examples of townhouses and rowhouses from Boston to Brooklyn, St. Louis to San Francisco. Radek Kurzaj's striking photographs complement a fascinating text by nationally recognized historic-house expert Kevin Murphy about the townhouse as cultural phenomena, as well as the unique design peculiarities, construction records, and ownership histories of these 25. Included are some of the country's finest townhouses, including the famed Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston; Teddy Roosevelt's New York birth house; the Payne and Helen Hay Whitney House in New York; and the Glenn and Ida Moore House in Rancho Santa Fe. An important book for townhouse dwellers and a captivating read for anyone interested in the history of how we live in America, this book will be widely regarded as a primary reference on this important subject.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:50 -0400)

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