Preservationist Bookstore


Browse our curated list of books on topics related to local history, architecture, social and cultural history, and preservation theory. Click below to review some interesting selections for the architect or preservationist in your life – maybe even you!

Delivery is available anywhere in the continental United States. A portion of every sale benefits the Preservation Alliance and a local independent bookstore.

If you prefer to browse books in person, we recommend Joseph Fox Books, located at 1724 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Philadelphia’s Architectural History and Local Authors

Ammon, Francesca Russello. Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape. Yale University Press, 2016.

Boudreau, George W. Independence: A Guide to Historic Philadelphia. Westholme, 2012.

Elliott, Joseph E. B., et al. Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City / Joseph E.B. Elliott, Nathaniel Popkin, and Peter Woodall. Temple University Press, 2017.

Farber, Paul M., and Ken Lum, editors. Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia. Temple University Press, 2020.

Gallery, John Andrew. Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City. Fourth Edition, Paul Dry Books, 2016.

—. The Planning of Center City Philadelphia: From William Penn to the Present. Center for Architecture, Inc., 2007.

Gallery, John Andrew, and Tom Crane, editors. Sacred Sites of Center City: A Guide to Philadelphia’s Historic Churches, Synagogues and Meetinghouses. Paul Dry Books, 2007.

Historic American Buildings Survey, et al., editors. Philadelphia Preserved: Catalog of the Historic American Buildings Survey. Temple University Press: Philadelphia Historical Commission, 1980.

Huber, Gregory D. The Historic Barns of Southeastern Pennsylvania: Architecture & Preservation, Built 1750-1900. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 2017.

Keels, Thomas H. Forgotten Philadelphia: Lost Architecture of the Quaker City. Temple University Press, 2007.

Kyriakodis, Harry G. Philadelphia’s Lost Waterfront. History Press, 2011.

Levy Baker, Irene. 100 Things to Do in Philadelphia before You Die, 2nd Edition. 2nd ed., Reedy Press, 2020.

Mauger, Edward Arthur, et al. Philadelphia, Then and Now. 2014.

McClelland, James, and Lynn H. Miller. City in a Park: A History of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System. Temple University Press, 2016.

Meyers, Allen, and Joel Spivak. Philadelphia Railroads. Arcadia Publishing Library Editions, 2010.

—. Philadelphia Trolleys. Arcadia Publishing Library Editions, 2003.

Minardi, Joseph. City of Neighborhoods: Philadelphia: 1890-1910. Schiffer Publishing, 2020.

—. Historic Architecture in Northwest Philadelphia: 1690-1930s. Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2012.

—. Historic Architecture in Philadelphia: East Falls, Manayunk, and Roxborough. Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2013.

—. Historic Architecture in West Philadelphia, 1789-1930s. Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2011.

Moses, Nancy. Fakes, Forgeries, and Frauds. Rowman & Littlefield, 2020.

Moss, Roger W. Historic Sacred Places of Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

Moss, Roger W., and Tom Crane. Historic Houses of Philadelphia: A Tour of the Region’s Museum Homes. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

—. Historic Landmarks of Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.

Rybczynski, Witold. City Life. Simon and Schuster, 1996.

—. Home: A Short History of an Idea. Penguin Books, 1987.

—. How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit. 2014.

Smedley, R. C. History of the Underground Railroad in Chester and the Neighboring Counties of Pennsylvania. 1st ed, Stackpole Books, 2005.

Vitiello, Domenic. Engineering Philadelphia: The Sellers Family and the Industrial Metropolis. Cornell University Press, 2013.

Wunsch, Aaron V., et al. Palazzos of Power: Central Stations of the Philadelphia Electric Company, 1900-1930. First edition, Princeton Architectural Press, 2016.

Young, David W. The Battles of Germantown: Effective Public History in America. Temple University Press, 2019.

Local Architects

Bacon, Edmund N. Design of Cities. Rev. ed, Penguin Books, 1976.

Baker, Jean H. Building America: The Life of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Cooledge, Harold, and Sam Sloan. Samuel Sloan Architect of Philadelphia 1815-1884. Ishi Press, 2009.

Heller, Gregory L. Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics, and the Building of Modern Philadelphia. 2016.

Hildebrandt, Rachel and Old York Road Historical Society. Philadelphia Area Architecture of Horace Trumbauer. Arcadia Publishing Library Editions, 2009.

Hirshorn, Paul, and Steven Izenour. White Towers. Rev. ed, MIT Press, 2007.

Kahn, Louis I., et al., editors. Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture. Vitra Design Museum, 2013.

Kahn, Louis I., and Dung Ngo. Louis I. Kahn: Conversations with Students. 2nd ed, Architecture at Rice Publications; Princeton Architectural Press, 1998.

Kahn, Louis I., and Robert C. Twombly. Louis Kahn: Essential Texts. W.W. Norton, 2003.

Knowles, Scott Gabriel, editor. Imagining Philadelphia: Edmund Bacon and the Future of the City. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

Lesser, Wendy. You Say to Brick the Life of Louis Kahn. 2018.

Marcus, George H., and William Whitaker. The Houses of Louis Kahn. Yale University Press, 2013.

Sienkewicz, Julia A. and Project Muse. Epic Landscapes Benjamin Henry Latrobe and the Art of Watercolor. 2020. Open WorldCat,

Sloan, Samuel, and Sam Sloan. The Model Architect: A Series of Original Designs for Cottages, Villas, Suburban Residences, Etc. Ishi Press International., 2007.

—. The Model Architect, Vol. 2. Ishi Press International., 2007.

Stierli, Martino. Complexity and Contradiction at Fifty: Robert Venturi’s Gentle Manifesto. 1st edition, Museum of Modern Art, 2019.

Thomas, George E., and Alan Hess. Frank Furness: Architecture in the Age of the Great Machines. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.

Venturi, Robert. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. 2d ed, Museum of Modern Art; distributed by New York Graphic Society, 1977.

—. Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. 17th print, The MIT Press, 2000.

Venturi, Robert, and Denise Scott Brown. Architecture as Signs and Systems: For a Mannerist Time. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004.

Wilson, Dreck Spurlock. Julian Abele: Architect and the Beaux Arts. Routledge, 2020.

Social and Cultural History

Burt, Nathaniel. The Perennial Philadelphians: The Anatomy of an American Aristocracy. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.

Countryman, Matthew. Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.

Cromley, Elizabeth C. The Food Axis: Cooking, Eating, and the Architecture of American Houses. University of Virginia Press, 2010.

Davis, Allen Freeman, and Mark H. Haller, editors. The Peoples of Philadelphia: A History of Ethnic Groups and Lower-Class Life, 1790-1940. Pennsylvania paperbacks ed, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

Diemer, Andrew K. The Politics of Black Citizenship: Free African Americans in the Mid-Atlantic Borderland, 1817-1863. The University of Georgia Press, 2016.

Du Bois, W. E. B., et al. The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.

Du Bois, William E. B. Black Reconstruction in America: 1860 – 1880. 1. ed, The Free Press, 1998.

Hayden, Dolores. Redesigning the American Dream: The Future of Housing, Work, and Family Life. Rev. and Expanded, W.W. Norton, 2002.

Huyck, Heather Ann. Doing Women’s History in Public: A Handbook for Interpretation at Museums and Historic Sites. Rowman & Littlefield, 2020.

Kyvig, David E., et al. Nearby History: Exploring the Past around You. Fourth edition, Rowman & Littlefield, 2019.

Lane, Barbara Miller. Houses for a New World: Builders and Buyers in American Suburbs, 1945-1965. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Licht, Walter. Getting Work: Philadelphia, 1840-1950. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. Open WorldCat,

Newman, Richard S. Freedom’s Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers. New York University Press; Combined Academic distributor, 2009.

Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. First edition, Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, 2017.

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. 1. Vintage Books ed, Vintage Books, 2011.

Preservation History and Theory

Bluestone, Daniel M. Buildings, Landscapes, and Memory: Case Studies in Historic Preservation. 1st ed, W.W. Norton & Co, 2011.

Dubrow, Gail Lee, and Jennifer B. Goodman, editors. Restoring Women’s History through Historic Preservation. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

Hayden, Dolores. The Power of Place: Urban Landscape. 4. print.

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Vintage Books ed, Vintage Books, 1992.

Kaufman, Ned. Place, Race, and Story: Essays on the Past and Future of Historic Preservation. Routledge, 2009.

Lee, Antoinette J. Past Meets Future: Saving America’s Historic Environments. John Wiley & Sons, 1992.

Lowenthal, David. The Past Is a Foreign Country – Revisited. Revised and Updated edition, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Mason, Randall, and Max Page, editors. Giving Preservation a History: Histories of Historic Preservation in the United States. Second edition, Routledge, 2020.

Mayes, Tom. Why Old Places Matter: How Historic Places Affect Our Identity and Well-Being. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2018.

Meeks, Stephanie, and Kevin C. Murphy. The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation Is Reviving America’s Communities. Island Press, 2016.

Murtagh, William J. Keeping Time: The History and Theory of Preservation in America. 3rd ed, John Wiley, 2006.

Page, Max. Why Preservation Matters. Yale University Press, 2016.

Page, Max, and Marla R. Miller, editors. Bending the Future: Fifty Ideas for the next Fifty Years of Historic Preservation in the United States. University of Massachusetts Press, 2016.

Stipe, Robert E., editor. A Richer Heritage: Historic Preservation in the Twenty-First Century. University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Tyler, Norman, et al. Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice. Third edition, W.W. Norton & Company, 2018.

Tour Guide Suggestions

Alotta, Robert I., and Robert I. Alotta. Mermaids, Monasteries, Cherokees, and Custer: The Stories behind Philadelphia Street Names. 1st ed, Bonus Books, 1990.

Brenner, Roslyn F. Philadelphia’s Outdoor Art: A Walking Tour. 3rd ed., updated and expanded, Camino Books, 2002.

Cohen, Lizabeth. A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America. 1. Vintage Books ed, Vintage Books, 2004.

Di Giacomo, Donna J. Italians of Philadelphia. Arcadia Pub, 2007.

Dipilla, Michael. South Philadelphia’s Little Italy and 9th Street Italian Market. Arcadia Publishing Library Editions, 2016.

Fishman, Robert M. Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia. Nachdr., Basic Books, 1999.

Fried, Stephen. Rush: Revolution, Madness, and the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father. First edition, Crown, 2018.

Garvin, Alexander. The Heart of the City: Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Century. Island Press, 2019.

Golden, Jane, Robin Rice, Natalie Pompilio, et al. More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell. Temple University Press, 2006.

Golden, Jane, Robin Rice, Monica Yant Kinney, et al. Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell. Temple University Press, 2002.

Heller, Gregory L. Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics, and the Building of Modern Philadelphia. 2016.

Hepp, John Henry. The Middle-Class City: Transforming Space and Time in Philadelphia, 1876-1926. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.

Kyriakodis, Harry G., and Joel Spivak. Underground Philadelphia: From Caves and Canals to Tunnels and Transit. The History Press, 2019.

Miller, Fredric, et al. Still Philadelphia: A Photographic History, 1890-1940. Temple University Press, 1983.

Piola, Erika, editor. Philadelphia on Stone: Commercial Lithography in Philadelphia, 1828-1878. Pennsylvania State University Press ; In association with the Library Company of Philadelphia, 2012.

Rappleye, Charles. Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution. Simon & Schuster, 2011.

Sundman, Jim. Pennsylvania Main Line Railroad Stations: Philadelphia to Harrisburg. Arcadia Publishing, 2016.

Warner, Sam Bass. The Private City: Philadelphia in Three Periods of Its Growth. 2nd ed., University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.

Wright, Robert E. The First Wall Street: Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance. University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Books for Kids and the Young at Heart

Beaty, Andrea, and David Roberts. Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017.

Beck, Barbara. The Future Architect’s Handbook. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 2014.

Bowkett. Archi-Doodle City: An Architect’s Activity Book. Laurence King, 2017.

Bowkett, Steve. Archi-Doodle: An Architect’s Activity Book. Laurence King Publ, 2013.

Burton, Virginia Lee. The Little House. Houghton Mifflin Co, 1988.

Dillon, Patrick, and Stephen Biesty. The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond. First U.S. edition, Candlewick Press, 2014.

Ellis, Carson. Home. First edition, Candlewick Press, 2015.

Fantastic Cities. Chronicle Books Llc, 2015.

Fogliano, Julie, and Lane Smith. A House That Once Was. First edition, Roaring Brook Press, 2018.

Laroche, Giles. If You Lived Here: Houses of the World. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011.

Latham, Donna, and Andrew Christensen. Skyscrapers: Investigate Feats of Engineering. Nomad Press, 2013.

Latham, Donna, and Jen Vaughn. Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering, with 25 Projects. Nomad Press, 2013.

Macaulay, David. Built to Last. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010.

McDonald, Steve D. Fantastic Structures: A Coloring Book of Amazing Buildings Real and Imagined. 2016.

Paxmann, Christine, and Anne Ibelings. From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers: Architecture for Children. Prestel, 2012.

Rosenstock, Barb, and Christopher Silas Neal. Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland into a Home. First edition, Calkins Creek, An imprint of Highlights, 2019.

Stein, Joshua David, and Julia Rothman. Brick: Who Found Herself in Architecture. Phaidon Press Inc, 2018.

Winter, Jeanette. The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid. Beach Lane Books, 2017.

Are we missing a book that you think should be on one of our lists? Please email Jennifer at and we’ll see about getting it added.