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Mary Colter
Architect of the Southwest
Arnold Berke

ISBN 9781568983455
Publication date 3/1/2002
10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm), Paperback
320 pages, 80 color illustrations, 120 b/w illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 12; (664.0)

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This book is also available in a Hardcover edition

Mary Colter may well be the best-known unknown architect in the world: her buildings at the Grand Canyon National Park-which include Lookout Tower, Hopi House, Bright Angel Lodge, and many others-are admired by almost five million visitors a year.

This extraordinary book about an extraordinary woman weaves together three stories-the remarkable career of a woman in a man's profession during the late 19th century; the creation of a building and interior style drawn from regional history and landscape; and the exploitation, largely at the hands of the railroads, of the American Southwest for leisure travel.

Arnold Berke is senior editor at Preservation/The National Trust for Historic Preservation and lives in Washington, D.C.


Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post:
"Among the architects who shaped the national parks, one of the most effective was Mary Colter . . . Arnold Berke has brought to bear text, photographs, and architectural drawings on what he calls a particularly American [story], a version of the Go West, young man theme that brought considerable success, in this case, to a woman."

The New York Times:
"This long-overdue tribute is rich in desert scenery as well as quotations from friends and co-workers, who remember Colter as a feisty pioneer with, as one friend said, a tender heart and a caustic tongue."

Building Design:
"lavishly presented. . . a marvelous story."

"In Colters time architecture was a male preserve. She proclaimed herself an architect and decorator; but by-and-large only the second title was acknowledged. This detailed consideration of her work, excellently illustrated, begins to redress the balance to this Prospero of the Southwest."

The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA):
"This overdue tribute to a great artist is the best book Ive seen this year."

"[Mary Colters] pioneering status as one of the U.S.s earliest female designers has been brought to light over the past twenty years by devoted followers and researchers, and this book is her first full-length biography, gracefully written by well-published scholar and journalist Arnold Berke."

"With bookshop shelves groaning beneath the weight of yet another tome on Frank Lloyd Wright, its good to see a publisher branching out with a monograph on Mary Colter, a contemporary of Wrights who has had none of the great egoists attention."

New Mexico Magazine:
"Arnold Berke has done both the general reader and the lover of architecture a service with his extensively researched book, which is sure to be the definitive book on Colter. Contemporary color photographs by Alexander Vertikoff glow with a light all their own, while vintage photographs, architectural plans and even souvenir postcards give a complete documentary look at Colters work. She was an extraordinary woman. It is time she found her rightful place in architectural history, and this book is bound to ensure that."

Wilson Quarterly:
"With this gracefully written account, Berke, an architectural historian and preservationist, provides the first serious study of Colters contribution."

Press-Telegram (Long Beach,CA):
"This is an illustrated look at the life and work of a woman who designed hotels, restaurants, train stations and what the author calls a highly unusual set of buildings at the Grand Canyon."

"Berke has done Colter and her work great honor and has made a significant contribution to the history of American culture and architecture. The book is a welcome addition to the steadily growing literature on women in the profession of architecture."

The Seattle Times-Post Intelligencer:
"Illustrated with lots of great vintage photos and brochures, as well as beautiful new color photographs by Alexander Vertikoff."

FARB: The Feminist Art Books Bulletin:
"This volume is strong on her professional accomplishments... Wonderful photographs!"

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