April 10, 2011 Mid-Century Modern

What You Can Learn from Just Buying Books

Books and Womb Chair
You can learn a lot from books even if you do not read them. I picked up a stash of modern architecture books at the annual Stone Ridge Used Book Sale. Many of the books I purchased were from the library of Alan Hamilton Rider. I had never heard of Rider so I did some research. I mean, I Googled him. Sure enough he was an architect who graduated with a master’s degree in design in 1953 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Here’s from the Washington Post‘s obit in June 2010:  “Early in his career, Mr. Rider was an associate in the architecture firm of John Carl Warnecke. Among the projects he worked on with Warnecke, who died last year as well, was the memorial for President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery. Mr. Rider also helped develop a master plan for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and the hangar for Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base.”

Rider, who retired in 1994, was also one of the designers of the brutalist Lauinger Library at Georgetown University. Ah, a library. Now if I could actually find time to read a book.