Old House CSI: Dundas, MN

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Building Research, Building Styles, Carpentry, Folk Victorian, Greek Revival, Historic Preservation, Historic Windows, History, Miscellaneous, Vernacuar

First, a few things that we do know. Dundas was platted by brothers John and Edward Archibald and their cousin George Archibald in 1857. They named the new settlement after their native Dundas County, Ontario , Canada and built a prosperous milling business on the nearby Cannon River. According to the county tax assessor, this […]

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, […]

Details, Details, Details: What I look for when examining historic windows.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Carpentry, Historic Windows, Joinery, Millwork, Miscellaneous

The more you look the more you see. With a casual glance you will identify general shapes and outlines, but when you look closely all sorts of detail will become apparent. When I look at historic windows I try to identify as many details as possible so I can understand better how old they are, […]

The Downing Colors and their Critics

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Andrew Jackson Downing, Historic Preservation, History, Miscellaneous, paint, Picturesque

I have discussed the career of Andrew Jackson Downing previously and the long shadow he cast in American architecture and design during the 19th century. Downing was a romantic who stressed “truthfulness” in architecture where proper design should express the purpose of the building. That is, the purpose “is conveyed by the features of the […]

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 […]