The Seattle Public Library has a large and varied collection of books about architecture and city planning. Here are a few that I find interesting and useful. I hope you enjoy them too.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs’ classic ground-breaking attack on the planning of American cities, published in 1961, is still widely read, and has great relevance for us today. What, she asked, makes cities and city neighborhoods work, and what makes them die? What can planners do to save our great cities? She presented what were at that time completely new principles of city planning, including dense population and diversity of uses, principles which are coming into favor today. She writes with passion as a city dweller; this is an exciting book.
The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: a Complete Catalog by William Allin Storrer
Among the many books available on Frank Lloyd Wright, this is the only authoritative guide to all of his buildings. There is a photograph of each building: full color for those that, sadly, no longer exist. Storrer provides a brief history of each house, as well as full addresses and GPS coordinates, and state maps, so you can locate, for example, all the buildings in Washington state.
Native American Architecture by Peter Nabokov and Robert Easton
This excellent book is the first to present a comprehensive picture of the whole range of North American Indian architecture, from the wigwams of the Northeast to the hogans of the Southwest. Beautifully illustrated with historic photographs and architectural renderings.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: a Historical Guide to the Architects edited by Jeffrey Karl Ochsner
This indispensable source for the history of Seattle architecture focuses on those architects whose designs shaped the physical form of the city. There is an extensive profile of each of these architects and firms, heavily illustrated with photographs of their major buildings. There is a very useful index of buildings. Anyone interested in Seattle architectural history will find this book of great value and interest.
Stanny: the Gilded Life of Stanford White by Paul R. Baker
He was one of the most important American architects of his day. With his partners, Charles F. McKim and William Rutherford Mead, he was largely responsible for shaping the architectural character of turn-of-the-century New York. But Stanford White tends to be remembered for two things, his association with a young chorus girl, Evelyn Nesbit (the Girl in the Red Velvet Swing) and the way he died, shot to death on the roof of the Madison Square Garden, the pleasure garden he had designed for himself. Paul Baker presents a fascinating picture of this great American architect, his life, his achievements and the times he lived in. Be sure to check out McKim, Mead & White, Architects by Richard Guy Wilson if you would like to see the great buildings the firm designed.