Bookshelf: Ada Louise Huxtable

Before Huxtable established the architecture beat at the New York Times in 1963, the paper would run stories on major new buildings without even mentioning the architect— “It was as if the buildings sprang out of the ground, anonymous,” she said in a 2005 interview. Things have certainly changed in the subsequent four decades, but throughout it all, Huxtable, now 87, has remained the consummate chronicler of American architecture. Reading the dozens of reviews and essays collected here is both a lively history lesson and a primer on how to write a good sentence. Huxtable on Fallingwater: “The effect is not of nature violated but of nature completed—a dual enrichment.”

Read more short book reviews—covering Jean Nouvel, portable architecture, instant cities, and more—in this month’s Bookshelf.

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