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Tenements, Towers & Trash: 08/09/18

Tenements, Towers & Trash

Tenements, Towers & Trash by Julia Wertz is a large book, one you'd probably call a coffee table book, about the history of New York as only a graphic artist could tell it. It's also a memoir of life in New York and trying to make a living as a graphic artist there.

Julia Wertz took the time to learn the history of the buildings around her. Her books contain side by side renditions of "then" and "now." The then drawings show the building as it would have been when the city was going through it's initial end of the nineteenth century growth spurt. The "now" are more recent ones, drawn in the last few years.

This book because of its size allows for huge amounts of detail in Wertz's pen and ink architectural renderings. On the other hand, the hand lettering is a little small and my eyes aren't what they used to be. Having the longer text typeset would have made the book easier to read.

The size also makes the book cumbersome. You're probably going to want to sit at a table and read it that ways. It's not a curl up on a couch kind of book.

Three stars

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