Preservation in Action: Minneapolis and Amboy, MN.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, History, Miscellaneous

Historic preservation has changed its focus over the last few decades.  Years ago historic preservation was largely an antiquarian exercise where citizens would save extraordinary and singular examples of historic architecture in their communities.  Today preservation efforts are directed at a much broader slice of our architectural resources.  In fact, we hardly think of it as […]

The National Register of Historic Places

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in History, Miscellaneous, National Register of Historic Places, Research

Historic Design will donate free architecture research services for a local institution, business or individual in 2017!  Click here to learn more. We frequently see and hear about historic buildings and other structures being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. However, it isn’t clear to many what the National Register is and what […]

Selecting Doors for your Historic Home

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Carpentry, History, Joinery, Millwork, Molding, Tools

One frequently neglected step when restoring a historic home is the selection of millwork that is appropriate for the building’s age and style.  This includes interior and exterior doors, which are often hastily chosen after thumbing through a catalog or browsing in a showroom.  Few salespeople in home centers or millwork outlets know the differences […]

The I-House

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Building Styles, History

When people think of 19th century houses they often  imagine grand Queen Anne homes with towers, elaborate porches and oodles spindles, brackets and fretwork.  However, if you read through my blog you might have noticed that there isn’t much devoted to high-style Victorian homes.  I have, however, written a fair bit about more common houses.  […]

Minnesota Romantic: The LeDuc House

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Andrew Jackson Downing, Gothic Revival, History, Picturesque

Andrew Jackson Downing ([October 30, 1815 – July 28, 1852) was a prominent landscape designer, architectural critic and advocate for romantic architectural styles in the United States. His pattern books Cottage Residences (1842) and The Architecture of Country Houses (1850) were widely read and introduced Americans to revival styles popular in England. Jackson’s advocacy for the […]

The Georgian: Berkeley Plantation.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Building Styles, Georgian, History

In his book Architecture in the United States, Dell Upton proposes that there are two themes in American architecture: The classical, which is “regular, ordered, modular, symmetrical, balanced,” and the picturesque, which is “less obviously ordered, asymmetrical, less obviously unified, often accretive.” Upton’s views echo those of E. K. Rossiter and F. A. Wright, who […]

The Second Empire Style

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in History, Second Empire

Many 19th century building styles like the Greek Revival, Gothic Revival and Italianate were inspired by historic precedents and featured antique details and design.  Around the middle of the century many Americans opted for a more “modern” style which adapted some fashionable designs elements current in Paris.  This new style, called the Second Empire, proved to be especially […]

The Greek Revival: America’s First National Building Style

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Building Styles, Greek Revival, History

The Greek Revival has always been my favorite American building style.  I find its simplicity appealing while its bold and solid nature remind me of the growing confidence and wealth of the new American republic.  The Greek Revival style is quite significant because it was America’s first national style.  Although based on a European precedents, the […]