The Study of Architectural Design: With Special Reference to the Program of the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design

Used to train every architect in America until the late 1940s, it was supplanted by the advent of modernism. With Harbeson’s clear approach to teaching the system, students and practitioners can recover the classic course of study for use today, from the making of the initial sketch, through development, to the rendering of the project for presentation to clients.

“Harbeson’s lost masterpiece is back in print-and provides an invaluable insight into architectural training methods from an age that produced giants…Of particular value to this reprinted edition is the new introduction…a great addition to the architectural literature.” — Traditional Building

Book Details

  • Publication Date: 27/05/2008
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 352
  • Author: John F. Harbeson


  • Attention to Detail9/10
  • Writing Style8/10
  • Good entertainment factor10/10
  • Value9/10
  • Readability9/10
  • 9/10


    <p>This book is amazing in the sense that it shows you an entirely different approach to what occurs nowadays, even though it was in use only some 60 years ago. Plenty of architects could expand their own trail of thoughts by reading this.</p>


A native of Philadelphia, John F. Harbeson (1888-1986) attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied in the Department of Architecture under Paul-Philippe Cret, the great exponent of the Beaux-Arts method. Harbeson passed from gifted pupil to master of design and partner in the Cret firm. As professor of design and, eventually, chair at the University of Pennsylvania, he taught by the Beaux-Arts method and, with the publication of The Study of Architectural Design, became its principal historian. John Blatteau, AIA, an architect based in Philadelphia, founded John Blatteau Associates, a firm known for its work in the classical tradition. Blateau and his firm have received numerous awards for design excellence: for the Benjamin Franklin Dining Room at the U.S. Department of State; the restoration of the Church of the Gesu at Saint Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia; several branch offices of Riggs Bank in Washington, DC., Virginia, and Maryland; and the Roberson Pavilion for Bayonne Hospital, New Jersey. In addition to his practice, he currently teaches at Drexel University, where he leads a summer study tour to Paris. Sandra L. Tatman earned her doctorate in art history from the University of Delaware. She has taught at several local universities, including Widener University, University of the Arts, University of Delaware, and Towson University in Maryland. Currently she is executive director of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, where she was also principal investigator for the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Project, now expanded to the American Architects and Buildings Program.

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