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Paperback | $45.00 Trade | £31.95 | ISBN: 9780262531672 | 480 pp. | 8.5 x 10 in | August 1999

Pietro Belluschi

Modern American Architect


Pietro Belluschi (1899-1994) was the last survivor of a generation of European immigrants who had a major impact on American architecture. This extensively illustrated study of Belluschi's life and work sheds critical light on the remarkable accomplishments of the AIA Gold Medalist and designer (by his own estimate) of more than 1,000 buildings and projects. The book reveals the enormous power that Belluschi wielded as an arbiter of taste and a decision-maker in the 1950s and 1960s; his role in shaping the policy of the State Department in its overseas building program; and his role in securing major commissions for favored architects such as I. M. Pei. The book also discusses Belluschi's role in the development of regionalism in the Pacific Northwest and its impact on the definition of modernism as it was emerging in the United States.


About the Author

Meredith L. Clausen is Professor of Architectural History at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is the author of Pietro Belluschi: Modern American Architect (MIT Press, 1999.)


". . . a well-crafted biography that sheds light on decades ofAmerican architectural practice."
Progressive Architecture

"Anyone interested in the history of post-WW II American architectureand the critical reception of modernism in American culture will findthis model study invaluable."


“There can be no question that Belluschi was a major figure in American architecture during the mid-20th century, someone who achieved international distinction in his own time both for his own extraordinary work and for the many other ways in which he contributed to the field. Belluschi's work from the late 1930s through the 1950s, especially, represents a very important episode in the difficult, complex search for reconciliation between modernity and tradition. Clausen's scholarship is first rate.”
Richard Longstreth, Professor of Architectural History, George Washington University

“It is long past time that a new and expanded critical appreciation can be extended to architects like Pietro Belluschi who shaped a distinct idiom that was neither doctrinaire modernism nor affected post-modernism. A close study of the work of Belluschi and other Pacific Northwest architectures of the mid-twentieth century discloses a design approach that exploited contemporary structural techniques, traditional building materials, and openness of space, and an orientation to the external landcape that combined the best of what European modernism and Frank Llyod Wright’s inventiveness had to teach.”
Leland M. Roth, Marion Dean Ross Professor of Architectural History and Department Head, University of Oregon

“Belluschi was an essential, yet almost unknown, key to understanding the multiplicities of European émigrés who helped evolve modernism in this country, and the ways in which they responded so keenly to the cultural and regional circumstances they found here. Like all scholars interested in this history, at both a national and a transnational level, I eagerly await Meredith Clausen’s book.”
Gwendolyn Wright, Professor, The Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, Columbia University

“Belluschi is one of those figures who was seminal in American architecture. The range of his work, the positions he held, and the boards and advisory councils on which he served cannot be overestimated. Meredith Clausen is a top flight scholar, one of the best in the country and her book is a major study on an extremely important figure working in a period—the 1930s to the 1970s—that has been in general ignored.”
Richard Guy Wilson, Commonwealth Professor and Chair, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia