The English-born architect Calvert Vaux (1824-1895) moved to America in 1850 and within 20 years won a reputation as one of America's greatest landscape architects. He was co-designer (with Frederick Law Olmstead and others) of a number of New York City's principal parks (Central Park, Morningside and Riverside Parks, Prospect Park in Brooklyn), South Park in Chicago, and the Metropolitan and Natural History Museums in New York City. Vaux was a major influence in the development of a national architecture in America. Villas and Cottages, published in 1857, was his only book. It forms a record of his early work in the field of domestic architecture. It contains 39 designs for well-styled, efficient, and low-priced houses - rural and suburban cottages, villas and town houses built in the Hudson River Valley during the 1850s. Each design is supplemented with detailed floor plans, perspective views, a lively commentary, and vignettes illustrating various details; front and side elevations are included in many cases.