Thursday, July 24, 2008

American Shelter; an illustrated encyclopedia of the American house

Today I am the porch hostess at Green Gables, a cottage in Lakeside, Ohio, which is on the 52nd Annual Tour of Homes. I'm supposed to check off tickets and tell the guests, "Green Gables was built as a cottage in 1883 and is Steamboat Gothic style. S.R. Gill, a founder of Lakeside, had hoped that all new buildings would be built in this style, copying the Steamboat Gothic style found in Martha's Vineyard. . . point out the original Gothic windows, ornate bargeboard, gingerbread gable pendant."

Not to be picky, but according to American Shelter (Lester Walker, 1981), a book I bought at the Port Clinton book sale many years ago, Green Gables is actually Carpenter Gothic, not Steamboat Gothic.
    The invention of powered saws for cutting wood, and the popularization of the new ballon frame gave the American carpenter the tools he needed. The result was a building phenomenon unique to this country. . . The Carpenter Gothic Style is characterized chiefly by its profusion of decorative sawn details (gingerbread). . . Carpenter Gothic houses were being constructed all over te nation during the mid19th century. Some cities such as Cape May, NJ; OakBluffs, Martha's Venyard, MA; and San Francisco became famous for the whimsical forms the decoration too on their buildings."
American shelter; an illustrated encyclopedia of the American house by Lester Walker, Overlook Press, 1981.
Location: Lakeside, Ohio bookshelf
ISBN 0-87951-131-1

Begins with the American Indians and ends with post-modern. Wonderful illustrations. Purchased as a discard (Ida Rupp Port Clinton) many years ago for $1.

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