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Acadiana Lifestyle

Books: How It's Built

10/30/2015 08:00AM ● By Aimee Cormier

By Ray Saadi—Book Editor

THE DAKOTA By Andrew Alpern, Princeton Architectural Press $55

The iconic Dakota is considered by those in the know to be the finest apartment building in New York – if not the nation. Occupied by some of the most famous and/or wealthiest personages from its’ conception and construction, it housed residents John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall, Jason Robards, Boris Karloff and Rudolph Nureyev whose fantastical apartment is revealed in a six page full color spread. Built by Edward Clark from the design by architect Henry J. Hardenberg, it’s described in the book through archival photographs of the construction and interiors as well as floor plans of typical apartments on each floor. It was the first truly luxury apartment house in New York and over 130 years it remains so, not just in the city, but in the world. 

HENRY HOWARD Louisiana’s Architect  By Robert S. Brantley with Victor McGee, The Historic New Orleans collection $60

Much closer to home is the remarkable story of one of the most prolific architects of the 19th Century described by historian Frederick Starr, as “a man who did more than any other person to define the architecture of New Orleans during its most opulent era.” In addition more than 150 years after they were built—“many structures credited to Howard still stand: Nottoway and Madewood Plantations, the Pontalba buildings of Jackson Square, the Courthouse and jail in Thibodaux.” He’s also credited with St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Houma before it burned four years ago and the Presbytery of the First Presbyterian Church in Houma: destroyed in 1885. Lavishly illustrated in brilliant color and black-and-white photographs by Robert S. Brantley and Jan white Brantley, it’s a veritable tour of our most beloved plantation homes.

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