This lavish book is a compilation of architectural and landscape terms used in the colonies and states of the Southern seaboard from Delaware to Georgia. The purpose of the work is to trace the growth of a regional and increasingly technical and academic vocabulary in the period from 1607 through the 1820s. The glossary contains 1,500 terms ranging from building types to methods of construction. All terms are succinctly defined, describing meanings found in primary documents of the period. Extracts from various contemporary sources are quoted in most entries in order to elucidate the context and contemporary usage of these words and phrases. Nearly 400 drawings, photographs, plates, and prints illustrate building types, architectural elements, construction details, tools, materials, and landscape features.
In the period between the adaptation of English building practices in the seventeenth century and the beginning of industrialized and standardized building practices in the antebellum period, a wealth of architectural terms were used to describe the Southern landscape and the practice of building. During this period, craftsmen and clients used many traditional terms in new and unusual ways. Many of these, such as the names given to certain framing methods, are distinctly regional in nature. Southerners also shaped the language of building by retaining archaic meanings long after they had passed from use elsewhere in America and Britain. Along with regional and traditional terminology, Southern building was enriched in the late colonial and early national period with the principles and language of classical architecture introduced by English architectural books, professionally trained builders, and knowledgeable clients acquainted with the heritage of ancient architecture and its modern revival.
Readers can refer to the glossary for definitions of archaic terms found in documents, to verify the use of specific words at different periods of time, to identify names of architectural details, to recognize how architectural terminology has been used and modified over time, to trace the emergence of distinctive building types, and, by comparison with other parts of the country, to identify regional patterns in the usage of architectural and landscape terms.show more