clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The definitive architectural encyclopedia is now open for everyone to read

The SAH Achipedia has gone mobile and open-access

A photo of the Mansfield Art Center, a boxy white modern building set on green grass with blue skies behind it.
Mansfield Art Center, Mansfield, OH
Barbara Powers

Cities are filled with buildings we know nothing about. It’s no one’s fault—the built environment is overwhelmingly complex, comprised of structures, public spaces, and streets that tell a story of our collective history.

A brown, curving roof of an open-air church with concrete supports sits on a green grass with a brown wall behind it.
Roofless Church, New Harmony, IN
Benjamin L. Ross

To better understand those stories, the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and University of Virginia Press (UVA Press) partnered on the SAH Archipedia, an online resource launched in 2012 that drew from content in the printed Buildings of the United States books (BUS).

A regal house in Atlanta features a fountain with stairs on either side that lead up to an imposing facade.
Swan House, Atlanta, GA
Robert M. Craig

In the years since, the SAH has added to the online collection of histories and essays, building it up as a definitive repository of architectural knowledge that encompasses more than 20,000 structures and places in the U.S. Like a Wikipedia written by editors and experts, the SAH has now gone open-access and mobile, giving a clean, accessible shine to its treasure trove of architectural writing.

Want to know the story behind Atlanta’s elegant Swan House? Easy. Curious to see what an expert has to say about Nebraska’s landscape? There’s an essay on that, too. You can dive into writings based around place and theme, scour maps, check out photos, and read encyclopedic histories that have been organized by architect, address, material, state, style, and type. In other words, you can spend a lot of time here.