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Book Review: Houston Architectural Guide

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Houston Architectural Guide

Second Edition

Stephen Fox, et.al.

1999 - The American Institute of Architects/Houston Chapter and Herring Press, Houston

$20

Amazon dirty link (helps support HAIF): Houston architectural guideir?t=haif-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0917001141

Amazon clean link (does not support HAIF): http://www.amazon.com/Houston-architectura...x/dp/0917001141

This is the granddaddy of all Houston architecture books. Put out by the AIA, it's considered pretty much the Bible when it comes to learning about and appreciating Houston's architecture.

Unfortunately, it's been ten years since the last edition and copies can be hard to come by. Also, Houston has changed a lot since this was last updated (it was originally published in 1990), and there is a lot of worthy, but missing content. Let's hope a new edition comes out in the next few years.

Pros:

It's spiral bound, which is useful for a reference book.

Cons:

It's pretty heavy so it's not exactly a field guide.

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I'm not sure of the dates, but there were two editions of this. The latter version has a red spiral binder, the earlier one white. The newest version has a section detailing recent changes. Great stuff.

I really love the very first version, dating from about 1971. Same basic format to the contents, but with a lot more photos taken around town. Fascinating to get a detailed look at the city during that period.

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I'm not sure of the dates, but there were two editions of this. The latter version has a red spiral binder, the earlier one white. The newest version has a section detailing recent changes. Great stuff.

I really love the very first version, dating from about 1971. Same basic format to the contents, but with a lot more photos taken around town. Fascinating to get a detailed look at the city during that period.

I have the red spiraled one, which is dated 1999. It references a 1990 edition, so maybe that's the white one.

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Yeah, the previous identical-looking one was the 1990 edition.

The copy I have of Houston: an architectural guide is from 1972 and is soft bound and square.

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I highly recommend both versions, the 1972 one is square (mine came from a library sale in North Texas -10.00), the newer one was about 20.00. I use them all the time, quote them on HAIF quite a bit.

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The Borders near Baybrook Mall had a copy of the 1999 edition on the shelf about 10 days ago. $20.00 Probably been there awhile.

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Important, though -- the 1972 edition doesn't have the little textual descriptions of each building like the 1990 and 1999 editions do. Just pictures.

If the 1999 edition were published today, it would probably be 20% thinner because of all the buildings that have been torn down. :(

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What I like about the 1972 book is the candid shots of each section of town, shown in the beginning of each chapter. Wish those photos had captions, though. Many of these scenes have changed so much. But as mentioned by others, the 1972 book is not quite as detailed as the later one.

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