Institute of Classical Architecture & Art

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Classical America Series in Art and Architecture

Americans in Paris: Foundations of America's Architectural Gilded Age

Americans in Paris: Foundations of America's Architectural Gilded Age

By Jean Paul Carlhian and Margot M. Ellis

A lavishly produced volume documenting the work and history of American architecture students at the influential École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. The École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, renowned as one of the great art and architecture schools, is the namesake and founding location of the Beaux-Arts architectural movement. Known for demanding classwork and setting the highest standards, the École attracted students from around the world, including the United States, where students returned to design buildings that would influence the history of architecture in America, including the Boston Public Library of 1888–95 (Charles McKim of McKim, Mead & White) and the New York Public Library of 1897–1911 (John Carrère of Carrère and Hastings). This book presents a comprehensive overview of the seminal early work of a century of American architects who studied at the famous school before going on to design and build many of the nation’s most important buildings and monuments.

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Fences, Gates and Garden Houses: A Book of Designs with Measured Drawings
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Fences, Gates and Garden Houses: A Book of Designs with Measured Drawings

By Carl F. Schmidt

Including a wealth of measured drawings and photographs, this volume depicts wood fences, gates, and small garden houses of New England. Several of these elegantly detailed constructions were built between the Revolutionary War and 1825, and many of them no longer exist. Restorationists and preservationists will find this collection a valuable resource.

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Tuscan Architecture: The Renaissance Masterpieces
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Tuscan Architecture: The Renaissance Masterpieces

By Auguste Grandjean de Montigny and A. Famin

This splendid 1806 survey of Renaissance Tuscany’s great buildings features 109 engraved plates. Each of 18 sections focuses on a particular structure, depicting facades, floor plans, elevations, and other details. Featured buildings include such popular tourists destinations as Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio and Pitti Palace, plus regional masterpieces from Pisa, Arezzo, Siena, and elsewhere.

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Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935. Photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston
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Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935. Photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston

By Sam Watters

Drawing from a rare archive in the collection of the Library of Congress, this book presents 250 reproductions of hand-colored glass lantern slides, not seen for over 70 years. Gardens for a Beautiful America presents Frances Benjamin Johnston front and center in the Garden Beautiful movement, as a Progressive Era advocate and artist working with garden clubs and horticultural societies to green tenement lots, parks, and row house yards devastated by Gilded Age pollution and neglect.

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Letarouilly on Renaissance Rome
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Letarouilly on Renaissance Rome

By John Barrington Bayley

Drawn from five large volumes published between 1825 and 1882, this student’s edition showcases the architectural splendor of Renaissance Rome for a new generation. Paul Letarouilly’s original work constitutes the standard reference, presenting the most complete collection of plans, elevations, and details of great buildings and monuments designed by Michelangelo, Peruzzi, Vignola, Bernini, and many others.

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Secrets of Good Design for Artists, Artisans and Crafters
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Secrets of Good Design for Artists, Artisans and Crafters

By Burl N. Osburn

Practical and aesthetically pleasing, this meditation on the constituents of good design considers all manner of construction, form, and ornamentation. It answers many questions about design choices, from basic to specific, with clear, condensed, and practical directions. Its appeal lies chiefly in the integrity of its own design, consisting of hand-lettered text and pleasingly styled and proportioned illustrations.

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The Secrets of Architectural Composition
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The Secrets of Architectural Composition

By Nathaniel Cortland Curtis

This classic survey addresses principles as well as practical applications of scale, balance, proportion, and symmetry. It presents detailed treatments of doors, windows, walls, stairways, columns, and other features. Nearly 250 line drawings by the author illustrate architectural elements from a splendid variety of periods and settings.

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The Decoration of Houses
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The Decoration of Houses

By Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, Jr.

An indispensable overview of the intersection of architecture, interior design, and the decorative arts, this book offers wisdom applicable to public as well as domestic interiors. The authors also discuss furniture, finishes, and decorative accessories. This edition includes a portfolio of historic and contemporary interiors, and insightful introductory and concluding essays by Henry Hope Reed, William A. Coles, John Barrington Bayley, and Alvin Holm.

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The New York Public Library: The Architecture and Decoration of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
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The New York Public Library: The Architecture and Decoration of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

By Henry Hope Reed and Francis Morrone

This informative second edition examination of America’s finest public monuments—and the masterpiece of its architects, Carrère and Hastings—this centennial edition underscores the close relation between architecture and decorative painting and sculpture. The volume features superb photographs by Anne Day and the illustrated glossary is an essential resource for the student of classical design.

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Italian Villas and Their Gardens
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Italian Villas and Their Gardens

By Edith Wharton

A lively tour of the great gardens of the Renaissance, the book discusses the history and design of gardens along Lakes Maggoire and Como, in the Veneto, Tuscany, and near Rome. Illustrated by the evocative watercolors of Maxfield Parrish, this edition also includes introductory essays by Henry Hope Reed and Thomas S. Hayes.

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Comparative Architectural Details: A Selection from Pencil Points 1932-1937
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Comparative Architectural Details: A Selection from Pencil Points 1932-1937

By Milton Wilfred Grenfell

Here for the first time in three quarters of a century, Milton Wilfred Grenfell brings together 280 drawings of everything from cupolas, windows, doors, fences, gates, to stone finishing, and even radiator enclosures in one volume for application in today’s practice. The drawings, by such leading architects as John Russell Pope, Delano & Aldrich, and Grosvenor Atterbury, along with many from today’s leading traditional architects, provide a solid template for reproducing these fine works. These crisply printed to-scale drawings and companion CD should prove indispensable in the drafting room and vital to the full practice of traditional architecture.

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The Classic Point of View
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The Classic Point of View

By Kenyon Cox

The opening essay, “The Classic Sprit,” is one of the finest statements of the classical viewpoint in the visual arts ever written. Cox, a leading figure in mural painting in the American Renaissance, goes on to discuss the essentials of subject matter, composition and design, drawing, light and color, and technique. Introductory essays by Henry Hope Reed and Pierce Rice put Cox and his point of view in context.

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The American Vignola: A Guide to the Making of Classical Architecture
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The American Vignola: A Guide to the Making of Classical Architecture

By William R. Ware

The leading textbook for learning to draw and design with the classical orders—Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite—that are the essential genetic material of classical architecture. Ware also discusses composition and application of the orders to building design. Clearly illustrated, this edition includes a valuable introduction by Henry Hope Reed and John Barrington Bayley.

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What is Painting?
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What is Painting?

By Kenyon Cox

An excellent collection of critical essays by one of America’s finest decorative painters, Cox covers topics relating to the painting of the figure, landscape, and architectural decoration.

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The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste
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The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste

By Geoffrey Scott

Perhaps the finest book ever written about architecture in English, this is also the best general defense of the classical tradition, and the Baroque in particular. The modern “fallacies” Scott rebuts (Romantic, Ethical, Mechanical, etc.) are still with us, but his arguments remain as compelling as ever. This edition includes a portfolio of historic and contemporary classical design illustrating Scott’s thesis.

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Man As Hero: The Human Figure in Western Art
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Man As Hero: The Human Figure in Western Art

By Pierce Rice

A seminal study by a superb teacher, critic, painter, and founder of Classical America, Rice’s book underscores the central importance of the human figure—in all its various types, poses, and characters—in the mainstream tradition of Western painting and sculpture. Lauded by Tom Wolfe, this book is a gem in the literature of classical art.

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Greek and Roman Architecture in Classic Drawings
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Greek and Roman Architecture in Classic Drawings

By Hector d’Espouy

An outstanding resource for accurate drawings and details of the principal ancient monuments and their ornament, this volume is also an unparalleled collection of artistry in watercolor wash rendering by students at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the French Academy in Rome.

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Monumental Classic Architecture in Great Britain and Ireland
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Monumental Classic Architecture in Great Britain and Ireland

By Albert E. Richardson

This valuable compilation of measured drawings and vintage photographs documents monuments of British and Irish architecture, including familiar works of Chambers, Soane, and Cockerell, as well as less well known buildings by Inwood, Gandy, and Elmes..

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Student’s Edition of the Monograph of the Work of McKim, Mead & White, 1879-1915
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Student’s Edition of the Monograph of the Work of McKim, Mead & White, 1879-1915

By NA

This abridged edition of the classic monograph includes the measured drawings from the original folios at reduced scale for convenient reference. An unparalleled resource for anyone interested in the most impressive body of work in American architecture, including such monuments as New York’s Pennsylvania Station, the Boston Public Library, and the campus of Columbia University.

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The Library of Congress: Its Architecture and Decoration
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The Library of Congress: Its Architecture and Decoration

By John Young Cole (Editor) and Henry Hope Reed (Editor)

An expanded version of the original Classical America edition, this beautiful volume highlights the superb decorative painting and sculpture that places this building among the greatest achievements in American art and architecture. Superb photographs by Anne Day culminate in an extensive illustrated glossary. Essays by Henry Hope Reed, Pierce Rice, and others put the building and its contributing artists in context.

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The Elements of Classical Architecture
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The Elements of Classical Architecture

By Georges Gromort

This essential portfolio of measured drawings and photographs illustrates many of the most important models of classical design, from the Parthenon to the Petit Trianon. The informative text by a leading professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, is supplemented by valuable essays by Henry Hope Reed, Richard Franklin Sammons, and Steven W. Semes.

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Palaces of the Sun King: Versailles, Trianon, Marly, The Chateaux of Louis XIV
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Palaces of the Sun King: Versailles, Trianon, Marly, The Chateaux of Louis XIV

By Bernd Dams and Andrew Zega

A sumptuous volume of exquisite watercolor renderings and line drawings, this book illustrates the principal constructions of Louis XIV at Versailles and Marly, including the authors’ graphic reconstructions of structures no longer standing. The abundance of ornament is especially apparent in this celebration of the grandeur of high French classicism.

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Bricks and Brownstone
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Bricks and Brownstone

By Charles Lockwood

The author presents the history, design, and continuing importance of the New York townhouse as a building type and a constituent of a lively urbanism. The book showcases the variety of styles and levels of sophistication found across a century or more of development and experimentation, and offers guidance to the preservationist and restorer.

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The Architecture of the Classical Interior
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The Architecture of the Classical Interior

By Steven W. Semes

A ground-breaking thematic study of the architectural design of rooms in the classical tradition, this new volume features interiors from antiquity to the present, from monumental to modest in scale, and both public and private in character. From general principles to particular elements—such as ceilings, wall treatments, the orders, doors and windows, stairs, casework, etc.—the book embraces architecture, interior design, and the decorative arts.

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Classical Architecture For 21st Century
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Classical Architecture For 21st Century

By J. Francois Gabriel

A practical text for learning how to design buildings in the classical tradition today. This book is an exceptionally approachable, thorough, informative guide to the theory and technique of designing classical buildings, as taught by a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts. Generously illustrated with sketches, freehand diagrams, renderings, and photographs, the book gives a lively, contemporary reality to what sometimes seems a remote subject.

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The United States Capitol: It’s Architecture and Decoration
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The United States Capitol: It’s Architecture and Decoration

By Henry Hope Reed

An inspiring panorama of our nation’s greatest classical building, this new volume also showcases the building’s painted and sculpted decoration. Featured are architects William Thornton, Charles Bulfinch, Benjamin Latrobe, and Thomas Walter; patron Montgomery Meigs; muralist Constantino Brumidi; and sculptor Thomas Crawford, among others.

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Arthur Brown Jr.:  Progressive Classicist
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Arthur Brown Jr.: Progressive Classicist

By Jeffrey T. Tilman

The first full study of the life and career of architect Arthur Brown Jr. (1874-­1957). This book examines Arthur Brown Jr.’s achievements within their architectural and social context, and details the development of his major works, including San Francisco’s City Hall, the Labor-ICC complex at the Federal Triangle in Washington, D.C., and many other, civic, commercial, religious, academic, and residential buildings.

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Classical Swedish Architecture & Interiors: 1650 - 1830
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Classical Swedish Architecture & Interiors: 1650 - 1830

By Johan Cederlund

The beautiful, often breathtakingly lavish architecture and interiors of Sweden between the 1600s and early 1800s have been among the art world’s best-kept secrets. Overshadowed by the high-profile splendors of Italy and France, Sweden’s majestic palaces, stately manor houses, and tapestry-like gardens have seemed as remote as the Nordic country itself.

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Carolands
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Carolands

By Michael Middleton Dwyer

Designed by celebrated French architect Ernest Sanson, in collaboration with Willis Polk, and landscape designer Achille Duchêne, Carolands became one of the grandest American residences. Michael Middleton Dwyer’s essay gives a rich historical background for the magnificent portfolio of photographs showing the house and gardens today. The book includes reproductions of original drawings by Sanson, Duchêne, and Polk, making the volume an exceptionally thorough tool for the study of its design.

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Theory of Mouldings
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Theory of Mouldings

By C. Howard Walker

With the revival of interest in traditional design, practitioners, students, and historians have begun to study and use the vocabulary of forms that so enriched our architectural heritage. None are as ubiquitous as mouldings, yet an in-depth analysis of them has been absent. This book fills an important gap in the current discourse of building.

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Building Details
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Building Details

By Frank M. Snyder

Between the years 1906–1914, New York architect Frank M. Snyder published Building Details, a serial produced in twelve parts over eight years. This new edition features 120 plates of architectural details showing the work of many of America’s foremost practitioners working in the earlier part of the last century. The accompanying CD contains printable versions of the plates. The reprint volume includes a new Introduction by ICAA Members Peter Pennoyer and Anne Walker.

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Antiquities of Athens
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Antiquities of Athens

By James Stuart & Nicholas Revett

James ‘Athenian’ Stuart and Nicholas Revett’s monumental Antiquities of Athens was the first accurate survey of ancient Greek architecture ever completed. Based on precise measured drawings done between 1751 and 1754, these books set a new standard for archaeological investigation in the 18th century. They transformed our understanding of Greek architecture and by pointing up differences between Greek and Roman examples fundamentally challenged prevailing notions about a universal classical ideal, and fueled the Greek Revival movement that dominated British, European, and American architecture and design for over a century. This new edition includes all plates from the original masterwork.

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Get Your House Right
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Get Your House Right

By Marianne Cusato and Ben Pentreath with Richard Sammons and Leon Krier

Destined to become a valuable reference for builders, contractors, homeowners, and homebuyers, this comprehensive guide describes the essential elements of a house, how they work together, and how to use them appropriately. It also shows how to avoid common mistakes during the design and construction process. Nearly 1,000 meticulous line drawings illustrate errors to avoid and correct approaches to use when designing the components of a house. It’s also a rich source of inspiration and pleasure for armchair architects, design enthusiasts, and everyone who appreciates a beautiful building.

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The Study of Architectural Design
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The Study of Architectural Design

By John F. Harbeson, with a new Introduction by John Blatteau and Sandra Tatman

The only text in English that describes, step by step, the system of architectural education developed in France and commonly known as the Beaux-Arts method as it was adapted and refined to suit the structure and demands of American schools of architecture. Until the late 1940s this system was used to train every architect in America. Students and practitioners can now recover the classic course of study for use today, from the making of the initial sketch, through development, to the rendering of the project for presentation to clients.

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Edwin Howland Blashfield: Master American Muralist
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Edwin Howland Blashfield: Master American Muralist

By Mina Rieur Weiner (Editor)

Edwin Howland Blashfield (1848–1936) rose to prominence as a muralist during the “American Renaissance,” the period between the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the United States’ entry into World War I. Blashfield’s monumental work can be viewed in courthouses, state capitols, churches, universities, museums, and other places across the United States. New scholarship highlights Blashfield’s contributions to the beauty of civic spaces and his lasting influence on public art in America.

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The Vatican and Saint Peter's Basilica of Rome
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The Vatican and Saint Peter's Basilica of Rome

By Paul Letarouilly

French architect Paul Letarouilly (1795-1855), known for his book Edifices de Rome Moderne as well as his unparalleled observational skills and drawing ability, devoted much of his life to record the intricacies of Vatican City and its famous buildings- St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Pontifical Palace, the Museo Pio Clementino, and the Villa Pia. This book, originally published in three volumes in 1882 after his death, was an unmatched source for the decorative details of the architecture the Vatican has to offer. Vatican’s impeccable records were quickly disseminated the treasures the Papal State had to offer, and went on to spur – in part- the movement of American Renaissance Style. This work of art is republished here in a single book with an introduction by architectural historian Ingrid Rowland.

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The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation
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The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation

By Steven W. Semes

Steven Semes’ book makes a case for preservation and new traditional architecture. Semes argues that new buildings should pay deference to and respect their surroundings as to create harmonious compositions. New traditional architecture practices recover traditional methods and historical language to redefine contemporary design. The book calls in to question current methods of preservation and conservation, and asks what this movement might be like in the future. Semes is an associate professor and director of the Rome program at the University of Notre Dame’s architecture school. Additionally, he has practiced architecture for over thirty years and has written several books on classical architecture.

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The Original Green [Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability]
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The Original Green [Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability]

By Stephen Mouzon

The Original Green is the sustainability our ancestors knew by heart. Originally (before the Thermostat Age) they had no choice but to build green, otherwise people would not survive very long. The Original Green aggregates and distributes the wisdom of sustainability through the operating system of living traditions, producing sustainable places in which it is meaningful to build sustainable buildings. Original Green sustainability is common-sense and plain-spoken, meaning “keeping things going in a healthy way long into an uncertain future.” Sustainable places should be nourishable because if you cannot eat there, you cannot live there. They should be accessible because we need many ways to get around, especially walking and biking because those methods do not require fuel. They should be serviceable because we need to be able to get the basic services of life within walking distance. We also should be able to make a living where we are living if we choose to. They should be securable against rough spots in the uncertain future because if there is too much fear, the people will leave. Sustainable buildings should be lovable because if they cannot be loved, they will not last. They should be durable because if they cannot endure, they are not sustainable. The should be flexible because if they endure, they will need to be used for many uses over the centuries. They should be frugal because energy and resource hogs cannot be sustained in a healthy way long into an uncertain future.

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The Golden City
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The Golden City

By Henry Hope Reed

The book that started the renewal of the classical tradition in 1959, this is a blistering critique of modernist art and architecture and a passionate call for a return to the classical tradition of urbanism and decoration. Reed’s famous “city of contrasts” juxtaposes modern and classical images to great effect, and his presentation includes new proposed designs by John Barrington Bayley and others. Henry Hope Reed, a founder of Classical America, and ICAA Scholar in Residence, is the leading authority on classical art and architecture in the United States.

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