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House Styles At A Glance

May 2024
1min read

by Maurie Van Buren; Longstreet Press; 132 pages; $12.95.

There are a lot of reference books on house styles on the market, but this one’s size (7″ by 9″) and format (one style per two-page spread) make it particularly convenient to use. Its illustrations are large and detailed enough to be genuinely helpful.

Styles are grouped in sections headed “Traditional,” “Victorian,” “European,” “Contemporary,” and finally “Familiar American,” which contains some designs so generic-looking (Temple Front, Shotgun, I-house), it’s something of a surprise to learn they have a name. The text is concise and simply written, with occasional insight: Second Empire is the style Americans associate with haunted houses; the Tudor style was so popular during the late 1920s that it became known as Stockbroker Tudor.

The author hopes the book will shed light on houses being built today as well as on the more venerable kind. After studying it, you may find yourself looking at suburban tract developments of the 1950s to 1980s with new understanding, if not with delight.

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