Chromolithograph of a Perspective Building View in
Philadelphia by Samuel Sloan, who mainly designed hospitals and insane
asylums, and is best known for his writings. (Sloan, Samuel. City and
Suburban Architecture. Philadelphia . 1859).
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the study of American architecture at the American Antiquarian Society
include an excellent collection of design books by some of the most
renowned architects in American history, as well as architectural
drawings, lithographs, engravings, periodicals, and photographs of
buildings of many types. AAS welcomes scholars interested in the history
of American architecture and we hope this web exhibition serves to
DESIGN BOOKS AND SECONDARY
SOURCES: The works of architects such as Asher Benjamin
(1773-1845) , Samuel Sloan (1815-1884), Minard
Lafever (1797-1854), and Charles Bulfinch
(1763-1844), among others, can be found in the Society's research library.
Among the most important is Asher Benjamin's Country Builder's
Assistant (1797), the first original American work on architecture.
Benjamin, an early architect from Greenfield, Massachusetts, helped
to spread the Classical style of architecture across America. Minard
Lafever, who is often credited with the rise of Greek Revival
architecture, also wrote on architecture and worked in the Classical style
until the 1840s, when he began to promote the Gothic style. A number of
his books including The Modern Builder's Guide (1833) and
The Architectural Instructor (1856) are part of the Society's
Samuel Sloan, one of the most distinguished
nineteenth-century architects, worked in Pennsylvania and was editor of
the Architectural Review beginning in 1868. The Society owns
issues from 1869 and 1870 of this journal along with his books, including
the Model Architect (1852) and City and Suburban
Architecture (1859). Published biographies and letters of
architects, including those of Sloan and Charles Bulfinch, are also in the
collection. Bulfinch, who is credited as the first American-born
architect, was the designer of the Massachusetts State House.
Corinthian Base, Capital, and
Entablature, with all the moldings, figured for practice; an engraving
showing Benjamin's love of Greek architecture, which he helped spread
throughout the country after Minard Lafever's writings. (Benjamin, A.
Country Builder's Assistant, 1798).
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Front Elevation for a Country
Residence engraving expressing the beauty of Greek architecture that
spread throughout the country in the 1830's.
(Lafever, Minard. Modern Builder's Guide , New
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general secondary source material on architecture and biographies of
architects are also in the collection, including works about Robert Mills
(one of the first American-born architects and designer of Greek Revival),
Peter Harrison (early colonial architect), Stephen C. Earle (Worcester
architect), and others.
More recent reference books, such as the American
Association of Architectural Bibliographer's Papers vols I . XI ,
which include helpful bibliographies on nineteenth and twentieth century
architects, are also part of the Society's holdings.