Andrew J. Downing – The Architecture of Country Houses

1969 | ISBN: 0486220036 | English | 484 Pages | PDF | 25 MB


1969 | ISBN: 0486220036 | English | 484 Pages | PDF | 25 MB
Throughout the early Victorian period, American domestic architecture was dominated by the ideas and designs of Andrew Jackson Downing (1815?52). Downing, who was America’s first important landscape architect, was instrumental in establishing a well-styled, efficient, yet low-priced house that offered many features that previously only mansions could provide. His designs were widely spread both by his books and by periodical republication.
Downing’s most important work was his Architecture of Country Houses (1850), which passed through nine editions by 1866 and served as the stylebook for tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of homes throughout the Eastern United States. It contains 34 designs for model homes (country house in this context simply meaning a separate house, as opposed to a town house), with elevations, floor plans, and discussion of design, construction, and function. The English country house of the period is the ground style, upon which other styles are overlaid; designs showing Gothic, French, Italian, and Elizabethan styles allow the user considerable choice. In many ways these designs form one of the first steps toward the modern house, with avowed emphasis on function and convenience, expression of personality, Catholicism of taste, and concord with environment. Decoration, of course, was not frowned upon.

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