The George B. Hitchcock House

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Building Styles, Federal Style, Historic Preservation, History, Masonry, Miscellaneous

The  George B. Hitchcock house is one of those remarkable survivors that are significant not only as architecture but also for their roles in out nation’s history.   Hitchcock was a Congregational minister and one of several, prominent abolitionists active in southern Iowa.  He used this stone house, which he built in 1856, as a stop […]

History Hiding in Plain Sight: The Vergeboard

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Masonry, Millwork, Miscellaneous, Picturesque

When we speak and write we use lots of words, often without being aware of what they actually mean or what their origins are.  We also use words as metaphors but don’t pause to consider what their original definitions or meanings might be.  For instance, we use the word “verge” all the time,  such as […]

Historic Mortar: Part One

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Masonry, Miscellaneous, paint

One subject that is of great interest for the owners of masonry buildings is mortar.  We all know that mortar is the cementitious material used with brick, stone, tile and terra cotta.  Most have also heard that there are different types of mortar and that some are not appropriate for applications on historic architecture.  Indeed, […]

St. Donatus, Iowa: A Little Luxembourg in Eastern Iowa

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Masonry, Miscellaneous, paint, Vernacuar, Vernacular

Vernacular architecture is a term that can mean different things to different people.  It is generally defined as a building style based upon local or traditional designs, materials and building techniques.  However, the nature and origins of designs and techniques varied. Immigrants brought traditional building designs and construction techniques with them to the United States […]