Catalogue

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Southern comfort : the Garden District of New Orleans /
S. Frederick Starr ; photographs by Robert S. Brantley and Jan White Brantley.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c1998.
description
viii, 265 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 26 cm.
ISBN
1568981473 (hc. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c1998.
isbn
1568981473 (hc. : alk. paper)
general note
"Revised and updated edition"--Jacket.
catalogue key
2470828
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 256-259) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-05:
Starr describes the Garden District of New Orleans as "an unparalleled museum for the study of 19th-century architecture and society." He analyzes the causes of the Garden District's emergence as a distinctive and largely homogeneous suburb in the antebellum years, the networks of trade its self-made entrepreneurial elite established, and the houses that proclaimed their owners' status. The author examines the interrelationship of architects, patrons, and builders as well as that of masters, servants, and slaves; the District's ethnic composition and Whig political culture; and gender roles within the home. Ironically, in the post-Civil War years, when a new mythology began to romanticize the Garden District, its architecture became less homogeneous and less noticeably regional or local. Paralleling the breakdown of an older sense of community, new residences were flamboyant, aggressively individualistic, withdrawn from the street. Based upon such records as Notarial Archives, tax rolls, census data, and court records, as well as generations of scholarship, Southern Comfort combines architectural and social history in a creative, persuasive way. Highly recommended. -D. Schuyler, Franklin and Marshall College
Reviews
Review Quotes
Southern Comfortis a multifaceted study of the Garden District from its inception in the early 1800s until the end of the 19th century....The book is a valuable contribution to Southern history and to the history of both American architecture and American cities....Southern Comfort is a landmark piece of scholarship on the area. Anne Rice,New York Times Book Review
Southern Comfort is a multifaceted study of the Garden District from its inception in the early 1800s until the end of the 19th century....The book is a valuable contribution to Southern history and to the history of both American architecture and American cities....Southern Comfort is a landmark piece of scholarship on the area.Anne Rice, New York Times Book Review
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Summaries
Main Description
The Garden District epitomizes the beauty and mystery of New Orleans; the stately residences and gardens of this historic area are known worldwide for their graciousness and ease. The financial prosperity of nineteenth-century New Orleans, a center of commerce and culture, enabled wealthy newcomers with similar values and tastes to construct a neighborhood of opulent homes, creating a suburb with a unified style. This neighborhood-the Garden District-was situated along one of the first street railway lines in the country, and became one of the earliest commuter suburbs. It remains an enduring achievement of architectural and residential planning. Southern Comfort details the magnificent architecture and planning of the Garden District. Through the histories of the developers, owners, architects, laborers, and craftspeople who shaped this district, the book creates a picture of a uniquely cosmopolitan city in the American South. This title, first published in 1989 and long unavailable, has been carefully updated by the author. It includes 90 new color photographs, showing the brightly painted facades for which this neighborhood is famous, domestic interiors that have never been published, and restoration efforts that have occurred in the past decade.
Main Description
Through detailed information and documentation, Southern Comfort tells the story of the development of one of America's first suburbs, the 19th century Garden District in New Orleans. The district remains an enduring achievement of architecture and its houses still epitomize graciousness.

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