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Classic Houses of Seattle: High Style to Vernacular, 1870–1950

By Caroline T. Swope

A treasure-trove of a book, packed with vintage photos of exteriors and interiors of Seattle houses, from the handsomest mansions to the humblest houseboats.

Seattle Times

Home owners, history and architecture buffs, and visitors to the Pacific Northwest will all find a treasure trove of information within these pages. With 300 photographs and illustrations, both historic and contemporary, this text provides a comprehensive overview of the city's major residential architectural styles, including Victorian, Craftsman, Tudor Revival, and Modern. The homes featured range from the showplaces of the wealthy to humble cottages and bungalows in residential neighborhoods. Beginning with a historical overview and continuing through descriptions of the 120 featured houses, organized by chronological era, this is the first-ever comprehensive guide to Seattle's historic homes. Checklists of houses by neighborhood and style make this useful for walking tours by residents and visitors alike. Anyone interested in preserving Seattle's architectural treasures will find this an essential resource. Classic Houses of Seattle is a vibrant portrait of the city's development, an important chapter in the story of American residential architecture.

Media reviews

"A thorough guide to the architectural styles of Seattle's residential neighborhoods, a trove of histories of individual dwellings, and ... a welcome companion on your next stroll around town."

—Lawrence Cheek, Sunset

"As much an homage to the city's past as it is a tour through its present. ... This book also functions as a resource for budding preservationists eager to save historic treasures in a city where they've often been cast aside."

Old-House Journal

"This lushly illustrated volume is equally well suited for display on coffee tables as it is for the libraries of serious scholars of Seattle's architectural history. Homeowners who have researched their home's history (or plan to do so) will find this book particularly helpful — even inspirational."

—Paula Becker, HistoryLink.org

"This fascinating book is a treasure for those interested in history and architecture."

—Dan Hays, Salem Statesman Journal

"Like a CSI detective parsing a crime scene ... Swope shows us how to 'read' the scene of Seattle residential architecture."

—Pat Tanumihardja, Northwest Home and Garden

"With useful lists of featured houses by style and neighborhood, this resource is both a portrait of the city and a guide to the history of residential architecture in the Northwest."

—Lawrence Kreisman, Seattle Times

"A treasure-trove of a book, packed with vintage photos of exteriors and interiors of Seattle houses, from the handsomest mansions to the humblest houseboats."

—Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times

"This is a book of coffee-table elegance, but for those who love old houses, it is dog-ear-doomed."

—Gordy Holt, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Caroline Swope has given us a very readable reference book for Seattle's residential architectural history."

—David Wang, Washington State Magazine

"Through the book's remarkable architectural photography and brief house biographies, everyone, including historians, can gain a rich, evocative connection with Seattle's past."

—Janet Ore, Pacific Northwest Quarterly

About the author

Caroline T. Swope

Caroline T. Swope is an instructor of art and architectural history at Seattle Central Community College, and has worked on preservation projects at the federal and local levels. Caroline is active in local historical organizations such as the Society of Architectural Historians.

Read more about Caroline T. Swope

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