Buildings of the United States

Buildings of the United States
Buildings of the United States (BUS) is an award-winning series of books on architecture in the U.S. compiled and written on a state-by-state basis. The primary objective of the series is to identify and celebrate the rich cultural, economic, and geographical diversity of the United States as it is reflected in the architecture of each state. The series is commissioned by the Society of Architectural Historians and published by University of Virginia Press.

SAH Archipedia includes histories and thematic essays from all of the published BUS print volumes as well as additional peer-reviewed, born-digital content. This digital, open-access counterpart to the BUS series contains histories, photographs, and maps for over 20,000 structures and places and continues to grow, with plans to expand to include global content in the coming years.   

Now Available

cover of Buildings of Maryland
Buildings of Maryland

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie
Flexibound | 456 pp. | 5 x 9.675 | $65.00 | ISBN 978-0-8139-4804-1 | 2022  

Maryland is known as "Little America" and "America in Miniature" for its geographical range, from the vast estuary of the Chesapeake Bay to its Atlantic beaches, farm-rich Piedmont Plateau, and rugged Allegheny Mountains. As one of the thirteen original colonies, it is renowned for eighteenth-century architecture highlighting the transfer of the building traditions of its European settlers. The capital, Annapolis, offers some of colonial America’s most iconic buildings, while humbler examples chart the development of regional building types. Baltimore, the state’s industrial powerhouse and architectural epicenter from the mid-nineteenth century onward, features a wide range of the row houses that defined the city, as well as commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings created by some of the period’s greatest designers. Maryland has likewise been shaped by its innovative transportation networks, Chesapeake culture, mountain resorts, and proximity to the nation’s capital. Buildings of Maryland surveys over 500 representative sites, from tobacco plantations worked by enslaved laborers to free Black communities, from maritime settlements along the Chesapeake to traces of coal mining and railroad development across the mountains, and from row house neighborhoods and streetcar suburbs to well-known modernist planned communities. In this accessible guidebook, readers will encounter a wide range of places—the State House and the Basilica of the Assumption, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, the U.S. Naval Academy and Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Columbia New Town and the Susquehanna Museum, Old Greenbelt and the Clara Barton House, Catoctin Mountain Park and Antietam National Battlefield—that chart the state’s history and rich architectural legacy.

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, Historian and Chief (respectively) of the Historic American Buildings Survey, have researched and written about numerous buildings for the Heritage Documentation Program of the National Park Service and other publications.

About the BUS Series

Until SAH published its first BUS volume in 1993, the United States had been one of the few countries in the developed world without a comprehensive series of publications addressing its national architectural heritage. Taking its cue from Buildings of England by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, Buildings of the United States (BUS) has begun to fill this void by documenting, state-by-state, the infinite variety and history of American architecture from pre-settlement days to the present.

Developed under the auspices of the Society of Architectural Historians, BUS eventually will encompass 60 volumes, each of which will be written by leading local and national scholars in the field and heavily illustrated with photographs and maps. A 12-member Editorial Committee drawing from institutions of higher learning from across the country as well as the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, and the Historic Resources Committee of the American Institute of Architects oversees the project. 

The first ten volumes in the series were published by Oxford University Press. In October 2006, the Society signed a new publishing contract with the University of Virginia Press, which has published all subsequent volumes. The first four books in the series received the R. R. Hawkins Award presented by the Association of American Publishers, and the International Book Award from the American Institute of Architects for guidebooks. Buildings of Colorado received the Western Mountain Region AIA Award of Distinction. Buildings of Louisiana received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year award in 2004. Sales in hardcover and paperback editions are over 40,000.

Celebrating both high-style and vernacular architecture, every volume includes the full range of structures — from government edifices and grand private residences to gas stations and granaries — that are deemed important, especially representative of a particular style or type of building, or of other historical or architectural interest.

Intended as a resource for architectural historians, preservationists, and other professionals in the field, BUS volumes are also written to serve as comprehensive guides for the touring and general public, for use in elementary and secondary school classrooms, and for reference by community planners.

More than $4.5 million has been raised for the project to date. Early and continuing support has come from the National Endowment for the Humanities, matched by the private sector, including the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Getty Foundation, the late Paul Mellon, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, and Laurance Rockefeller to name a few.



Gabrielle Esperdy, Editor in Chief, SAH Archipedia/BUS
Catherine Boland Erkkila, Managing Editor, SAH Archipedia/BUS

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610