Virginia McAlester is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and attended Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is a founding member and past president of Preservation Dallas (formerly called the Historic Preservation League, Inc.) and of Friends of Fair Park, a support group for the Fair Park National Historic Landmark in Dallas, site of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. She serves on the Dallas Landmark Commission and is an Adviser Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Lee McAlester, a geologist by profession, is Chairman of the Geology Department at Southern Methodist University and was formerly Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences there. He is the author of several geology textbooks as well as numerous scientific monographs and papers. He has an active interest in architectural history and has been involved in many Dallas preservation projects. Together the McAlesters are the authors of A Field Guide to American Houses (available in Knopf paperback), Discover Dallas/Fort Worth, and Great American Houses and Their Architectural Styles.  

The National Trust awarded them a Preservation Honor Award for creating A Field Guide to American Houses, and they have recently received the Texas Society of Architects’ Flowers Award for excellence in interpreting architecture through the media.

Books in order of publication:

A Field Guide to American Houses: The Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America’s Domestic Architecture Hardcover – 1984

DISCOVER DALLAS/FORT WORTH – 1988

Great American Houses and Their Architectural Styles Hardcover – October 1, 1994

The Homes of the Park Cities, Dallas: Great American Suburbs Hardcover – October 21, 2008