An extraordinary work, unparalleled in its breadth and depth of
detail, this three-volume set offers the first comprehensive
history of architecture and town planning throughout colonial North
America, from Russian Alaska to French Quebec, to Spanish Florida
and California, to British, Dutch, and other settlements on the
East Coast. Across this vast terrain, James Kornwolf conjures the
outlines of the constructed environment as it emerged in
settlements and communities, in structures and sites, and in the
flourishes and idiosyncrasies of the families and individuals who
erected and inhabited colonial buildings and towns. Here as never
before readers can observe the impulses and principles of colonial
design and planning as they are implemented in the buildings and
streets, harbors and squares, gardens and landscapes of the New
Incorporating more than 3,000 illustrations, Kornwolf's massive
work conveys the full range of the colonial encounter with the
continent's geography, from the high forms of architecture through
formal landscape design and town planning. From these pages emerge
the fine arts of environmental design, an understanding of the
political and economic events that helped to determine settlement
in North America, an appreciation of the various architectural and
landscape forms that the settlers created, and an awareness of the
diversity of the continent's geography and its peoples. Considering
the humblest buildings along with the mansions of the wealthy and
powerful, public buildings, forts, and churches, Kornwolf captures
the true dynamism and diversity of colonial communities -- their
rivalries and frictions, their outlooks and attitudes -- as they
extended their hold on the land. His work conveys for the first
time the full scale, from intimate to grand, of their enduring
transformation of the natural landscape of North America.
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