The historiography of nineteenth-century American architecture took root in the 1920s and 1930s in the writings of critic-historians such as Lewis Mumford, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Talbot Hamlin, and Fiske Kimball, who collectively established a narrative that still informs our understanding of the period.1 Their portrayal of American architecture emphasized a culturally situated art historical analysis of form and style but also argued for the primacy of a small group of practitioners who broke the impasse of eclecticism and paved the way for modernism. Their work shaped how American architecture schools and architects understood the built environment, and instilled persistent attitudes toward the nineteenth century and modernism. In the...

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