Unabridged and slightly altered Dover (1988) republication of the work originally published in 1830. 271 illustrations. Glossary of architectural terms. 192pp. 8.375 x 11.25. Paperbound. ISBN-10: 0-486-25802-5. ISBN-13: 978-0-486-25802-7.
This remarkable book, perhaps more than any other in America, awakened popular interest in classic Greek architecture and inspired architects, builders and carpenters of the mid-19th century to dot the American landscape with structures embodying the graceful and imposing style known as Greek Revival. Designed as a practical handbook and guide for carpenters and builders, it is nevertheless generous in offering fascinating insights into the origins of the style and its specific Greek and Roman antecedents.
Asher Benjamin was one of New England's most prominent architects of the early and middle nineteenth century and a scholar of American “late colonial” architecture. It was as an author, however, that he achieved his greatest importance, and through his books late colonial details and designs were broadcast throughout New England. By the time he prepared the first edition of The Practical House Carpenter in 1830, his influence was so substantial that his enthusiasm and the practical information he provided about Greek architecture inspired a major turn in American architectural taste.
It was Asher Benjamin's intent to present in this profusely illustrated book an introduction to the orders of Greek architecture — Doric, Ionic and Corinthian — in sufficient detail that master carpenters could duplicate their components without formal instruction. Here you will find an Ionic capital, a Doric cornice, a Corinthian pedestal and a host of inspired designs for dormer windows, wooden fences, vases, balusters, shutters, pilasters, mouldings, circular staircases and more, superbly drawn and described, their sources scrupulously cited, from the temple of Theseus in Athens to the arch of Titus in Rome.
Now available for the first time in paperback, his historic book is one every architect and every student of architecture must have. Students and lovers of history and the arts as well will find in these pages fascinating insights into a moment in time when the extraordinary grace of Greek architectural ideals was absorbed into American culture.
Cover design by Paul E. Kennedy
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