Hennessey, William J. [Editor]: AMERICA’S BEST SMALL HOUSES. New York: The Viking Press, 1949.

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William J. Hennessey [Editor]

William J. Hennessey [Editor]: AMERICA'S BEST SMALL HOUSES. New York: The Viking Press, 1949. First American edition [Canadian edition printed simultaneously]. First edition. Quarto. Brown paper covered boards stamped in gold. Quarter cloth binding titled in gold. Photo illustrated dust jacket. 196 pp. 275 black and white illustrations. Illustrated case studies of 40 houses. Interior unmarked and very clean. Out-of-print. Dust jacket lightly rubbed and soiled.  A nearly fine copy in a nearly fine dust jacket.

9 x 12 hard cover book with 196 pages and approx. 275 black and white illustrations. The included homes were selcted by a jury of architectural photographers including Robert C. Cleveland, Paul S. Davis, P. A. Dearborn, Richard Garrison, Fred Gund, Julius Shulman (30 photos included in this compendium), Roger Sturtevant and Nowell Ward. Absolutely beautiful and pragmatic residential architecture from the Modernist heyday (and yes, a few colonials too).

With hindsight Hennessey spotlighted 40 small American residences that showed the advances made in design and construction during the war years. Most of these houses failed to capture the media’s attention during their time, so Hennessey’s selections ended up providing a valuable visual record of lesser-known structures of the period, thus supplying a perspective lacking from concurrent volumes that showcased the iconic residences. The interior design photographs provide great insight into the choices American modernists made before the Eameses’ Plywood revolution.

Architects include Ernst A. Benkert, Berla & Abel, Harold J. Bissner, Jerome Robert Cerny, Fritz Craig, Gardner A. Daily, John N. Douglas, Gordon Drake, P. Ellerbroek, Boyd Georgi, Samuel Glaser, Raymond Viner Hall, Chalfant Head, Alber H. Hill, E. H. and M. K. Hunter, George F. and William Keck, Paul Kirk, Carl Koch, Herman H. Lackner, Roger Lee, Joseph Marlow, F. J. McCarthy, Allen L. McGill, Mitchell & Ritchey, Claus R. Moberg, Philip Moore, Thomas J. Nolan and Sons, Gryffyf Partridge, George R. Paul, Ramey, Hines & Buchner, John R. Sproule, Hugh Stubbins, Jr., Arthur C. Swab, Kenneth R. Swift, Paul Thiry, Royal Barry Wills, Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons and Harold B. Zook.