Philadelphia: City of Homes is an affectionate homage to Philadelphia by architect David Traub, which reveals his deep and intimate knowledge of the city’s streets and buildings. His third book about Philadelphia’s architecture and streetscapes, Traub takes readers on a wide-ranging and eclectic tour of the city’s homes. This book offers full-color photographs and descriptions of Philadelphia homes, dating from the seventeenth through the twenty-first centuries. They range from modest rowhouses to distinctive mansions, and from the historically significant to the eccentrically expressive. We see homes located in every section and nearly every neighborhood in Philadelphia, from the working-class to the affluent.
In Traub’s descriptions, these homes become portals to greater understanding: of the history of the neighborhood where they appear; of the range of architectural styles that characterize the city’s homes; and of the aesthetic effect of each building’s massing of visual elements, inflected by an open-ended curiosity about those who designed, built, or lived in these buildings—all combining to bring them to life on the page.We learn more about the types of homes found across Philadelphia’s many neighborhoods—including the ubiquitous rowhouse and townhouse; twin homes; courtyard and walkway homes; detached houses; mansions and carriage houses; “unusual” or somehow distinctive houses; modern houses, and the recently emerging style that Traub calls the New Vernacular.