Architectural Styles

Starting Points

American Architecture since 1780: A Guide to the Styles

Marcus Whiffen (1992)
Contains descriptions, histories, and illustrations of more than 40 architectural styles. 

The American House

Mary Mix Foley (1980)
This line-illustrated book attempts to clarify the astounding variety of American domestic architectural styles, from early 17th century huts to the postmodern period. More than a field guide, it covers a lot of territory with a good deal of historical background, but it can be confusing. 

A Field Guide to American Architecture

Carole Rifkin (1980)
Handbook to American architecture up to the 1940s describes the historical background, construction materials, and basic structures and styles (Colonial, Federal, Victorian, Greek Revival, Romanesque, etc.) The book is divided first by building function (residential, commercial, etc.) and then by specific architectural period. 

Identifying American Architecture

John J.G. Blumenson (1981)
Will enable the reader to determine architectural styles and terms by comparing real buildings with the books’ many photographs. 

Great American Houses and their Architectural Styles

Virginia McAlester (1994)
This book presents 25 American houses which are open to the public. Included are floor plans for each dwelling and a schematic diagram that point out representative architectural characteristics of the style in question.