Encyclopedia of American architecture /

Main Author: Packard, Robert T.
Other Authors: Korab, Balthazar., Hunt, William Dudley.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : McGraw-Hill, c1995.
Edition: 2nd ed.
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Review by Choice Review

The first edition of this work (1980) appeared to high acclaim. The 1980s, however, saw many changes in the American architectural landscape. Most older architects trained in Europe passed from the scene, and were replaced by younger American-trained architects with new philosophies and aesthetic approaches. The use of computers and other technological advances have added to the mix. Packard, architect, writer, and associate editor of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Architecture (CH, Nov'88; Jul'90), has prepared this new edition. New facts, biographies, and histories of architectural firms, as well as new essays on earthquake protection, computer applications, environmental protection, postmodernism, and facilities for the handicapped, have been added. Most notable, however, is the inclusion of more than 500 full-color photographs by the eminent architectural photographer Balthazar Korab, which virtually take over the book with their excitement and dynamism. Because of the amount of material the book covers and the diversity of its intended audience, it is nontechnical in nature, although new ideas, technical advances, and designs are reviewed. The 18-page, three-column index and the list of further readings at the end of each essay add to this exciting new architectural reference book. General; professional. R. J. Havlik; emeritus, University of Notre Dame

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Editor Packard was a colleague of the late William Dudley Hunt, editor of the original 1980 edition of this work. The basic format has been retained, a mix of several types of articles: biographies of architects of major historical importance, articles on periods in American architectural history, and survey articles on aspects of architectural practice, building types and elements, kinds of materials, and such related topics as climate and real estate. A major enhancement is the replacement of the black-and-white photographs in the first edition by a superb selection of color photographs by illustration editor Balthazar Korab, a celebrated architectural photographer. More than 20 new biographies have been added, covering figures who have come to prominence in recent decades (I. M. Pei, Frank Gehry, Richard Meier, Robert Venturi) and historically significant architects such as Alexander Jackson Davis and Julia Morgan, who were missed in the original edition. Other new articles cover such topics as Health-Care Facilities; Lead; Patron, Architectural; and Building, Vernacular. A few of the original articles have been renamed as well as updated; Earthquake Protection, for instance, has become Seismic Design. The article Environmental Protection has been carried over unchanged from the 1980 edition, with only the short "Further Reading" list updated. Computer is also unchanged except for a new concluding section on recent developments; here, as in some other cases, the "Further Reading" list has been dropped. Contemporary Architecture is now defined in the updated and slightly expanded article on the topic as "American work produced after 1970." The article on the history of architecture has been carried over unchanged and remains a superficial overview amounting to little more than lists of noteworthy structures from various periods. The strength of this encyclopedia continues to be its combination of coverage of American architectural history and styles with attention to practice and to the links with the construction industry, all in nontechnical language aimed at the general reader. (Reviewed May 15, 1995)

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

This is a quick, one-volume source of information on selected aspects of American architectural history and contemporary architectural practice. It includes entries on about 100 architects, 50 building types, and an equal number of building components and systems such as thermal insulation and insect protection. Unfortunately, it cannot decide whether it is a historical reference work, for which the four-volume Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects (Macmillan, 1982) is a better resource, or a compendium of contemporary practice, for which the five-volume Encyclopedia of Architecture (Wiley, 1990) is more appropriate. Moreover, it contains entries on such vapid topics as career, computer, and even history, a huge catchall that nonetheless hardly mentions American architecture while at the same time it leaving out such important topics as postmodernism and Greek Revival architecture. Appropriate only as an additional resource for informed readers.-Peter Kaufman, Boston Architectural Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.