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Thread: historical documents at the local used book store

  1. #1
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    historical documents at the local used book store

    I love historical documents/books.

    Yesterday, I bought a historical book at a used book store during lunch. It is titled "Boston Architecture" and was written for disturbution at the 1970 AIA convetion in Boston. It is a great book that talks about Boston and Boston architecture at the time. What I find most fascinating about it is its description of the Back Bay. Apparently it was a gritty urban area at the time. Certainly not now.

    Oh...to have been a single college graduate in 1969.

    Also, my local public library has issues of Architectural Record dating back to 1960. One issue is all about the wave of the future for urban planning - Think Radiant City in Center City Philadelphia - it's great.

    What's your experience with such books/magazines?
    Last edited by mendelman; 29 Apr 2005 at 12:33 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    1970? Historical? You are getting young.

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee
    1970? Historical? You are getting young.
    Hey man, that was over 35 years ago. Cars are considered classic after 20.

    So....you are a historical document then......

    I just like the perspective it gives about the transition and regeneration of urban America over the last 40 years.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    I've been looking an Ebay for old maps and such of Buffalo. I got a Chamber of Commerce brochure from 1946(?) that advertises the virtues of Buffalo. In a paragraph about population it boasts how Buffalo was second only to Milwaukee in native born white population. You would never do that today. Oh, and apparently Buffalo had "gay nightclub entertainment" at the time.

    I've also picked up a 1942 chamber of commerce street and transit map for Buffalo as well as several regional maps put out by the gas stations.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Hey man, that was over 35 years ago. Cars are considered classic after 20.
    So I should have kept the '84 Cutlass?

    I have a commemorative publication from the Monona Terrace (FLWright) in Madison. That was only 1998, though, so it has a few decades before it is historic.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My mom saved the newspaper from the day after JFK was shot. It is not only interesting to read the news coverage, the ads are fascinating.

  7. #7
    [channeling Mr. Gould] Historic: adj. famous in history. Historical: adj. of or concerned with history as a science[/channeling Mr. Gould]

    I love antique books and documents. Some years ago my wife went to an estate auction and bought a box lot for $0.50. Inside was a math text from 1846, in good shape but not collectible by any means. The best part was that some kid had "rubbed" coins on various pages, all dating from c.1855. Really neat. Another book, published in 1918, had a great photo of USS Arizona sailing under the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Alas, being basically broke makes collecting such fun stuff beyond my means.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  8. #8
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    I love historical documents/books.

    Yesterday, I bought a historical book at a used book store during lunch. It is titled "Boston Architecture" and was writing for disturbution at the 1970 AIA convetion in Boston. It is a great book that talks about Boston and Boston architecture at the time. What I find most fascinating about it is its description of the Back Bay. Apparently it was a gritty urban area at the time. Certainly not now.

    Oh...to have been a single college graduate in 1969.

    Also, my local public library has issues of Architectural Record dating back to 1960. One issue is all about the wasve of the future for urban planning - Think Radiant City in Center City Philadelphia - it's great.

    What's your experience with such books/magazines?
    Talk about a co-incidence, about 20 years or so ago, I bought a copy of '1965/1975 GENERAL PLAN FOR THE CITY OF BOSTON and the regional core' for 25 at a surplus book sale at the Appleton, WI Pvblic Library. It is a hardcover book the size of an old vinyl LP and about 25-30 mm thick. Chocked full of neat stuff for anyone interested in the area and the thoughts of its powers-that-be in that day, complete with the fully developed freeway system.



    Mike

  9. #9
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    So I should have kept the '84 Cutlass?

    I know of a few places that that car is highly desirable. However it is tough to hear the banjos over the rusted exhausts.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  10. #10
    Not the local bookstore, but..

    Our local library holds booksales two times a year or so. A few years ago, they purged their old architecture section, and I was able to by about 60 books for $1 each. On the last day, they had a bag-for-a-buck day and I filled two or three bags with even more architecture/planning/house plan books. Each bag contained about 10 books so they cost me about 10 cents each.

    The books covered a wide variety of archtectural and planning themes, ranging from Swedish archticture to Historic Apartment Plans to highway design. Although most of it was from the 1940s to 1960s, there was also a lot of items from the 1890s to 1910s.

    I ended up selling about 40 of the books on e-bay a couple of years ago. Items fetched anywhere from $5 to $40. Some of it even sold overseas. One item, sold for $130! Keep in mind that I only paid $1 for these items, max.

    I'll probably put another lot up on e-bay in the near future, but some stuff I will never sell. I have never hit a gold mine like that and probably never will again.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    My mom's great-uncle comissioned a biography in the 1920's - 30's. My mom's siblings all received copies, but for some reason, she didn't get a copy. I searched Barnes and Noble used books, and found two copies, both reasonably priced, and bought them. Lately, another is listed there, but the asking price is 4x what I paid, so I'm waiting them out. Seeing as the man had no children of his own, and my grandfather was an only child, I didn't think anyone would be interested enough in selling them.

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    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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  13. #13
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    You know....I actually thought of him when I purchased the book yesterday. Is that strange?
    Last edited by mendelman; 29 Apr 2005 at 5:35 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    My mom saved the newspaper from the day after JFK was shot. It is not only interesting to read the news coverage, the ads are fascinating.
    My mom and dad had saved newspapers from World War II, such as the surrender of the Germans, VJ Day, etc. I still have them and their action inspired me to always save newspapers from important historical events. I have the assasinations (JFK, MLK, RFK), the moon landing, Nixon resigning, 9-11, etc.

    Katie (a Denver Bronco fan) saved the rags from their recent Super Bowl victories.

    Bear
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