Acanthus Press publishes fine books on architecture, design, and gardens. Our award-winning volumes chronicle the lost histories of houses and objects, of clients and designers.

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Washington’s history of domestic architecture offers a remarkable range of periods, styles, and types yet, unlike the city’s great monuments and civic buildings, its documentation and in-depth studies have been scarce. Architectural and social historian James M. Goode and award-winning photographer Bruce White fill that void with their magnificent study of Washington’s historic residences that will come as a revelation even to those who think they know the city.

Capital Houses, Historic Residences of Washington, D.C. and Its Environs, 
by James M. Goode and photographer Bruce M. White, examines the history of Washington’s domestic architecture over a period of nearly 250 years through an outstanding collection of 56 historic houses: 44 in the District of Columbia and 12 in its Virginia and Maryland suburbs.

The most comprehensive survey of the city’s historic houses to date, this monumental work paints a picture of private life, taste, and changes in Washington from the first chimneys that rose in Colonial forests to the urban scene today. In ten meticulously detailed chapters, each dedicated to a specific architectural period, Goode traces their stylistic development, from the first Georgian example—Mount Vernon (1735) in Fairfax County, Virginia—to one of the city’s best midcentury Moderns, the Kreeger House (1966) on Foxhall Road in Washington. A number of houses, including the Georgian landmark Hayes Manor, the Stickley-designed Dumblane, the Arts and Crafts-style Granger Cottage, and an Art Deco gem, the Mounsey House, are published here for the first time. A detailed introduction outlines important historical influences and trends and offers insightful political, social, and artistic commentary.

Capital Houses is profusely illustrated with new color images by White and are complemented by restored period photographs and custom-drawn floor plans. Detailed maps, commissioned specially for this book, give an overview of Washington’s all 22 historic districts and focus individually on Dupont Circle, Sheridan-Kalorama, and Georgetown where the majority of the houses in the book are located.

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Benjamin H. Marshall’s contribution to the skyline of Chicago finally receives its due in this masterful volume on his life and work. Marshall (1874–1944), maybe even more than some of his famed architect peers, bridged the gap between the classical and modern by blending traditional design with modern details and amenities. From the French Empire–style Blackstone Hotel and Theatre (1908–10) and the Renaissance Drake Hotel (1919), to like-styled luxury apartment towers of the interwar years such as 1550 North State Parkway (1913) and 209 East Lake Shore Drive (1924), Marshall’s command of historical styles is on display. Beyond Chicago, Marshall’s work stretched across the United States, particularly with theaters during the first decade of the twentieth century and later with hotels from Chicago down through Mississippi. 

Marshall is perhaps best remembered as a Ziegfeld-like personality who was essentially an architectural as well as real estate impresario. Through text and images, this volume will transport you to flapper-era Chicago, offering a glimpse into Marshall’s Gatsby-like lifestyle, as well as his comparably immersive buildings. These experiential spaces include works from his entire practice, from elaborate French classical theaters such as the Maxine Elliott in New York (1908), to the Edgewater Beach Hotel (1916), a veritable resort in Chicago, to his own studio in Wilmette, Illinois (1921-25), whose elaborate gardens and furnishings in a theme park–like atmosphere was visited by celebrities and showgirls alike.  

Beyond his dynamic life and work, Marshall left a great legacy of buildings in Chicago. In creating these extraordinary architectural environments, Benjamin Marshall helped shape the city that we see today, elevating building types such as theaters, country clubs, urban hotels, and multifamily dwellings to another level of architectural achievement. 

Published in Collaboration with the Benjamin Marshall Society.

Capital Houses Historic Residences of Washington D.C. and Its Environs, 1735-1965
Benjamin H. Marshall, Chicago Architect
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