Private Palaces: Life in the Great London Houses

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9780670809646: Private Palaces: Life in the Great London Houses

Private Palaces

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From Library Journal:

What we are treated to in these books is a look at the influence of society on architecture, and it is an experience that will be appreciated by social and architectural historians, visitors to and residents of London and New York City, hobbyist historians, and readers of historical novels. Sykes's examination of London begins in the 17th century and extends to 1962. He draws heavily on contemporary literature and reminiscences. Together with plans, portraits, and interior and exterior views, the letters and memoirs of the visitors to and owners of these great, private city houses bring to life the times past: site selection, building process, even the staffing of the housesand their demolition. While the book is a worthwhile addition to any serious architectural collection, its value tips in favor of the social aspects it presents. Boyer's book, on the other hand, leans toward the architectural and city planning side. She is more concerned with why New York City developed as it didprincipally for reasons of commercial expansion. She includes an abundance of exterior views of hotels, mansions, row houses, and more, as well as plans. While only 50 years are covered, the point is well made that this particular time period had a tremendous effect on the New York City architecture and city planning of today. Those familiar with Manhattan will especialy enjoy a look at city streets as they were a century ago. Carol Spielman Lezak, General Learning Corp. Highland Park, Ill.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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