New York's Historic Armories: An Illustrated History

SUNY Press
Free sample

Chronicles the evolution of the armory as a specific building type in American architectural and military history, and the role these buildings played in the history of America’s volunteer militia

New York’s Army National Guard armories are among the most imposing monuments to the role of the citizen soldier in American military history. In New York’s Historic Armories, Nancy L. Todd draws on archival research as well as historic and contemporary photographs and drawings to trace the evolution of the armory as a specific building type in American architectural and military history. The result of a ten-year collaboration between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, this illustrated history presents information on all known armories in the state as well as the units associated with them, and will serve as a valuable reference for readers interested in general, military, and architectural history.
Built to house local units of the state’s volunteer militia, armories served as arms storage facilities, clubhouses for the militiamen, and civic monuments symbolizing New York’s determination to preserve domestic law and order through military might. Approximately 120 armories were built in New York State from the late eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth, and most date from the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when the National Guard was America’s primary domestic peacekeeper during the post–Civil War era of labor-capital unrest. Together, New York’s armories chronicle the history of the volunteer militia, from its emergence during the early Republican Era, through its heyday during the Gilded Age as the backbone of the American military system, to its early twentieth-century role as the nation’s primary armed reserve force.
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About the author

Nancy L. Todd, an architectural historian, is a Program Analyst at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. She is a past recipient of the Adjutant General’s Award, New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, for extraordinary contributions to the historic preservation of New York’s armories.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780791480991
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / Buildings / Public, Commercial & Industrial
Architecture / History / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Hailed as "extraordinarily learned" (New York Times), "blithe in spirit and unerring in vision," (New York Magazine), and the "definitive record of New York's architectural heritage" (Municipal Art Society), Norval White and Elliot Willensky's book is an essential reference for everyone with an interest in architecture and those who simply want to know more about New York City. First published in 1968, the AIA Guide to New York City has long been the definitive guide to the city's architecture. Moving through all five boroughs, neighborhood by neighborhood, it offers the most complete overview of New York's significant places, past and present. The Fifth Edition continues to include places of historical importance--including extensive coverage of the World Trade Center site--while also taking full account of the construction boom of the past 10 years, a boom that has given rise to an unprecedented number of new buildings by such architects as Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, and Renzo Piano. All of the buildings included in the Fourth Edition have been revisited and re-photographed and much of the commentary has been re-written, and coverage of the outer boroughs--particularly Brooklyn--has been expanded. Famed skyscrapers and historic landmarks are detailed, but so, too, are firehouses, parks, churches, parking garages, monuments, and bridges. Boasting more than 3000 new photographs, 100 enhanced maps, and thousands of short and spirited entries, the guide is arranged geographically by borough, with each borough divided into sectors and then into neighborhood. Extensive commentaries describe the character of the divisions. Knowledgeable, playful, and beautifully illustrated, here is the ultimate guided tour of New York's architectural treasures. Acclaim for earlier editions of the AIA Guide to New York City: "An extraordinarily learned, personable exegesis of our metropolis. No other American or, for that matter, world city can boast so definitive a one-volume guide to its built environment." -- Philip Lopate, New York Times "Blithe in spirit and unerring in vision." -- New York Magazine "A definitive record of New York's architectural heritage... witty and helpful pocketful which serves as arbiter of architects, Baedeker for boulevardiers, catalog for the curious, primer for preservationists, and sourcebook to students. For all who seek to know of New York, it is here. No home should be without a copy." -- Municipal Art Society "There are two reasons the guide has entered the pantheon of New York books. One is its encyclopedic nature, and the other is its inimitable style--'smart, vivid, funny and opinionated' as the architectural historian Christopher Gray once summed it up in pithy W & W fashion." -- Constance Rosenblum, New York Times "A book for architectural gourmands and gastronomic gourmets." -- The Village Voice
For the house lover and the curious tourist, for the house buyer and the weekend stroller, for neighborhood preservation groups and for all who want to know more about their community -- here, at last, is a book that makes it both easy and pleasurable to identify the various styles and periods of American domestic architecture.

Concentrating not on rare landmarks but on typical dwellings in ordinary neighborhoods all across the United States -- houses built over the past three hundred years and lived in by Americans of every social and economic background -- the book provides you with the facts (and frame of reference) that will enable you to look in a fresh way at the houses you constantly see around you. It tells you -- and shows you in more than 1,200 illustrations -- what you need to know in order to be able to recognize the several distinct architectural styles and to understand their historical significance. What does that cornice mean? Or that porch? That door? When was this house built? What does its style say about the people who built it? You'll find the answers to such questions here.

This is how the book works: Each of thirty-nine chapters focuses on a particular style (and its variants). Each begins with a large schematic drawing that highlights the style's most important identifying features. Additional drawings and photographs depict the most common shapes and the principal subtypes, allowing you to see at a glance a wide range of examples of each style. Still more drawings offer close-up views of typical small details -- windows, doors, cornices, etc. -- that might be difficult to see in full-house pictures. The accompanying text is rich in information about each style -- describing in detail its identifying features, telling you where (and in what quantity) you're likely to find examples of it, discussing all of its notable variants, and revealing its origin and tracing its history.

In the book's introductory chapters you'll find invaluable general discussions of house-building materials and techniques ("Structure"), house shapes ("Form"), and the many traditions of architectural fashion ("Style") that have influenced American house design through the past three centuries. A pictorial key and glossary help lead you from simple, easily recognized architectural features -- the presence of a tile roof, for example -- to the styles in which that feature is likely to be found.

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Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) was one of the most celebrated architects of the Renaissance, so important that the term Palladian has been applied to a particular style of architecture that adheres to classical concepts. The wide spread of Palladianism was due partly to the private and public buildings he constructed in Italy, the designs of which were copied throughout Europe. But of even greater consequence was his remarkable magnum opus, "I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura"; translated into every major Western European language in the two centuries following its publication in 1570, it has been one of the most influential books in the history of architecture.
The Four Books of Architecture offers a compendium of Palladio's art and of the ancient Roman structures that inspired him. The First Book is devoted to building materials and techniques and the five orders of architecture: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite. Palladio indicates the characteristic features of each order and supplies illustrations of various architectural details. The Second Book deals with private houses and mansions, almost all of Palladio's own design. Shown and described are many of his villas in and near Venice and Vicenza (including the famous Villa Capra, or "The Rotunda," the Thiene Palace, and the Valmarana Palace). Each plate gives a front view drawing of the building and the general floor plan. The Third Book is concerned with streets, bridges, piazzas, and basilicas, most of which are of ancient Roman origin. In the Fourth Book, Palladio reproduces the designs of a number of ancient Roman temples. Plates 51 to 60 are plans and architectural sketches of the Pantheon.
In all, the text is illustrated by over 200 magnificently engraved plates, showing edifices, either of Palladio's own design or reconstructed (in these drawings) by him from classical ruins and contemporary accounts.
All the original plates are reproduced in this new single-volume edition in full size and in clear, sharp detail. This is a republication of the Isaac Ware English edition of 1738. Faithful and accurate in the translation and in its reproduction of the exquisite original engravings, it has long been a rare, sought-after work. This edition makes The Four Books available for the first time in more than 200 years to the English-speaking public.
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, a Roman architect and engineer flourishing in the first century B.C., was the author of the oldest and most influential work on architecture in existence. For hundreds of years, the specific instructions he gave in his "Ten Books on Architecture" were followed faithfully, and major buildings in all parts of the world reveal the widespread influence of his precepts. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, he was "the chief authority studied by architects, and in every point his precepts were accepted as final. Bramante, Michelangelo, Palladio, Vignola, and earlier were careful students of the work of Vitruvius." His book is thus one of those rare works that have been supremely important in the creation of the greatest art masterpieces.
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It is a direct, authoritative, and detailed introduction to the ancients' methods of construction, the materials of the architect, and the prevailing aesthetic beliefs of the times; but it is also a work of art. Vitruvius wrote in such a fascinating manner, and digressed from his subject so often (as, for instance, when he wrote about the winds, Archimedes in his bath, and why authors should receive awards and honors at least as often as athletes), that his book has had a continuing appeal to the general reader for many centuries. Besides being an instructive treatise on nearly everything connected with Roman and Greek architecture, it is an entertaining description of some aspects of the life and beliefs of the times. This edition is the standard English translation, prepared over a period of several years by Professor M. H. Morgan of Harvard University.
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