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San Francisco Bay Area Architects and Architecture: Finding Books

A bibliographic research guide to finding information on Bay Area architects and architecture.

Architectural Guidebooks

Guidebooks often provide basic facts about building architects and historical information about neighborhoods. Check these guides for information on buildings and neighborhoods in the Bay Area: 

41 walking tours of Berkeley. Berkeley, Calif.: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, 2009. BAHA produces an annual brochure to accompany their house and neighborhood tours.

An architectural guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay area. Susan Dinkelspiel Cerny; contributing authors and ... 1st ed. Layton, UT : Gibbs Smith, c2007. 

Architecture + design SF: a selective guide to the best-designed buildings, interiors, and public spaces in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Mitchell Schwarzer. San Francisco: Understanding Business Press, 1998.

Bay Area historic house museums. 15th ed. Hayward, CA : Bay Area Historic House Museums, 2018.

Benicia; history and historical tour guide [Gladys B. Wold]. [Benicia, Calif.: Benicia Chamber of Commerce, 1978].

Berkeley landmarks: an illustrated guide to Berkeley, California's architectural heritage. Rev. enl. Susan Dinkelspiel. Berkeley, CA : Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, 2001.

Berkeley WalksRobert E. Johnson. Berkeley, California, Roaring Forties Press, 2018

City by the Bay: San Francisco in art and literature, edited by Alexander Chappell. San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ; New York : Universe Pub., 2002.

Claremont hills: historic homes above the Claremont Hotel. Michael Gray. Berkeley, California: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, 2013

Deco by the Bay: art deco architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area. Michael F. Crowe. New York: Viking Studio Books, 1995.

Discovering West Berkeley: a self-guided tour. Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. [Berkeley, CA : The Association, c1987].

A field guide to America's historic neighborhoods and museum houses: the western states. Virginia and Lee McAlester. New York : Alfred A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1998.

The guide to architecture in San Francisco and northern California. David Gebhard Rev.ed. Salt Lake City: G.M. Smith, 1985.

Historic San Francisco: a concise history and guide. Rand Richards. San Francisco: Heritage House Publishers, 2007.

Kensington, past and present.  editors, Lawrence Thal and Melissa HolmesSnyder. Berkeley, California: Kensington Improvement Club, 2017.

Looking at Julia Morgan: early residences in Berkeley. Anthony Bruce. Berkeley, California: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, 2010.

Mid-century modern architecture travel guide: West Coast USA. Sam Lubell. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 2016.

National trust guide - San Francisco: America's guide for architecture and history travelers. Peter Booth Wiley. New York: John Wiley & Sons, c2000.

San Francisco: a guide to recent architecture. Peter Lloyd. London: Ellipsis; Koln: Konemann, 1997.

San Francisco architecture: the illustrated guide to over 1000 of the best buildings, parks and public artworks in the Bay Area. Sally B. Woodbridge and John M. Woodbridge. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992.

Site & insight: exploring notable Bay Area landscape architecture, by Students of LA298, Department of Landscape Architecture, Helaine Kaplan Prentice, editor. Berkeley, Calif. : College of Environmental Design, University of California, [2002]

The spirit of Oakland: an anthology. Abby Wasserman, editor; Carlsbad, CA: Heritage Media, 2000.

Through these doors: discovering Oakland at Preservation Park. Oakland Redevelopment Agency; by Helaine Kaplan Prentice; researched by Betty Marvin. Oakland, Calif.: Oakland Redevelopment Agency, 1996.

Timeless walks in San Francisco: a historical walking guide to the city. Michelle Padams Brant. [Calif.] : M.P. Brant, [c1996].

The Victorian Alliance pocket guide to San Francisco's landmarks. San Francisco : Victorian Alliance, c1976.

Victoria's legacy. Judith Lynch Waldhorn & Sally B. Woodbridge. San Francisco: 101 Productions; New York; dist. Scribner's 1978

Architectural Style Books

These resources can help you identify the style or architectural period of a house or building you are researching: 

American Architecture Since 1780: A Guide to the Styles. Marcus Whiffen. Rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992.

American houses: a field guide to the architecture of the home. Gerald Foster. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

American shelter: an illustrated encyclopedia of the American home, Lester Walker. Woodstock, N.Y : Overlook Press, 1996. Well-illustrated guide to styles and types of houses, with good coverage of California and the West.

America's favorite homes: mail-order catalogues as a guide to popular early 20th-century houses. Robert Schweitzer and Michael W.R. Davis. Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 1990.Series title: Great Lakes books.

"Architectural Styles Guide" (for Oakland) IN Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey manual. Oakland, Calif.: Oakland City Planning Dept., 1980, p. 25-45. See also glossary of terms.

Architecture in San Francisco and Northern California. Rev. ed. by David Gebhard [et al.]. Salt Lake City : Peregrine Smith Books, 1985. Excellent glossary of terms and styles. Covers entire Bay Area.

Architecture and suburbia: from English villa to American dream house, 1690—2000. John Archer. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.

Architecture in the United States. Dell Upton. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Architecture in the United States: a survey of architectural styles since 1776. Ralph W. Hammett. New York: Wiley, c1976.

Clues to American Architecture. Marilyn W. Klein, David P. Fogle; Rev. ed. Washington, DC : Starrhill Press, c1986.

Building an American identity: pattern book homes and communities, 1870-1900. Linda E. Smeins. Walnut Creek, CA : AltaMira Press, c1999.

The California bungalow. Robert Winter; Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1980. California architecture and architects; no. 1.

Early tall buildings: a sentimental sketchbook collection, by Dickinson Weber. Concord [Calif.] : Sandscape Press, 1992. Downtown street views (c.1990) of early tall buildings from the bayside cities and tidewater towns of Northern California.Finding aid.

Field Guide to American Architecture. Carole Rifkind. NY: New American Library, 1980 (Series: A Plume book)

A field guide to American houses, Virginia & Lee McAlester. NY: Knopf, 1984. Excellent guide to identifying styles.

House Styles at a Glance, an illustrated guide. Maurie Van Buren. Atlanta, Ga. : Longstreet Press, 1991.

Houses by mail, a guide to houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company. Katherine Cole Stevenson, H. Ward Jandl. Washington, D.C. : Preservation Press, c1986.

Houses from books, treatises, pattern books, and catalogs in American architecture, 1738-1950: a history and guide.Daniel D. Reiff. University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000.

Identifying American architecture, a pictorial guide to styles and terms, 1600-1945. John J.-G. Blumenson. 2d ed., rev. and enl. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History; New York : Norton, 1981.

The modular home. Gianino, Andrew. North Adams, MA : Storey Pub. 2005

Old House Dictionary: An Illustrated Guide to American Domestic Architecture 1600-1940. by Steven J. Phillips. Lakewood, Colo.: American Source Books, 1989.

Rehab right, how to realize the full value of your old house, Helaine Kaplan Prentice and Blair Prentice, City of Oakland Planning Department. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1987. Offers excellent advice on identifying and properly restoring styles of Bay Area houses.

Storybook style: America's whimsical homes of the twenties. Arrol Gellner; photographs by Douglas Keister. Atglen, PA : Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2017.

West Coast bungalows of the 1920s: with photographs and floor plans. E.W. Stillwell & Co. Mineola, N.Y. Dover Publications, 2006.

What Style Is It? a guide to American architecture. John Poppeliers, Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley, c2003