Architecture is all around us--it is part of our lives, and its continuing development is a central theme in the history of mankind. Learning to read a building--its style, period, and architectural features--is the route to understanding a major part of cultural inheritance. This guide takes the reader through the process of learning more about buildings and architecture. Starting with the basics of analyzing the home, then moving onto looking at public buildings and larger and more well-known structures, Timothy Brittain-Catlin shows the reader how features are inherited and copied, as well as adapted with each new generation. Whether you live in a small apartment or a house, you can find traces of architectural history, learn to interpret the features you see, and put them into the wider context of your surroundings. With easy reference ID guides to important features and concepts, and chapters on Classical, Gothic, 19th Century, and post-1900 architecture, this book will help you start to uncover fascinating aspects of architectural style and history from the buildings you pass every day.