Occasionally, while reading through trade magazines or doing research for our business, I come across an architectural term I am unfamiliar with. Also, I was at a loss of what to call some of the things I posted on this site. Yes, I could look it up on the internet, but it's great having it all in one place, so I went to The Builder's Booksource in Berkeley to find a resource.
There are dictionaries that are more construction-related, but I decided on the Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture, partly because of the sheer number of references. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this book is full of photos, 3,000 according to the publisher. Take a look inside. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of terms, and had many "ah ha" moments learning that so many things I took for granted had their own names.
Not only are terms such as "masonry", "riprap", and "crownstone" described, but also different styles such as Art Deco and Pueblo. The work of hundreds of architects is described as well. It was fun spotting several San Francisco buildings used as examples.
This book is definitely a good reference tool.