Original Dover (1984) selection of material previously published in Building Designs, by R. W. Shoppell, ca. 1890; Shoppell's Modern Houses, No. 15, January–March, 1890; and Shoppell's Modern Houses, No. 68, 1900, all by The Co-operative Building Plan Association, Architects, New York. New Publisher's Note. Approximately 300 drawings. 128pp. 9.375 x 12.25 inches. Paperbound. ISBN 0-486-24567-5.
The late Victorian era (ca. 1880–1900) was a period of transition for American domestic architecture. Houses constructed during these two decades — especially for the middle and upper-middle classes — displayed a greater massiveness, complexity of form, and asymmetry of parts, combined with cleaner architectural lines, and the near absence of frilly ironwork and sawn-wood ornamentation. Interior spaces tended toward greater fluidity, with communal living areas often less rigidly partitioned that those of mid- or early-Victorian houses. While the late-Victorian house incorporated architectural features and elements from many styles — French, Italian, Gothic, etc. — it did so more gracefully and harmoniously and with a greater unit of concept.
Encouraging, stimulating and participating in this architectural evolution was a New York architectural firm (The Co-operative Building Plan Association) which issued a series of catalogs and portfolios created for the prospective purchasers of new houses: Shoppell's Modern Houses. In its pages could be found complete house designs, including floor plans and perspectives (or elevations), detailed specifications of building materials, hidden features of interior contruction, arrangements of accommodations, exact dimensions, feasible modifications and even suggested colors.
This present selection of floor plans and line illustrations for 118 houses, cottages and villas (approximately 300 drawings) is reprinted directly from the pages of Shoppell's Catalogs, and forms an exceptionally rich and reliable record of American late-Victorian domestic architecture. Historians, artists and architects will immediately recognize the historical importance and far-reaching influence of this rare primary source. Today's builders, carpenters, restorers, preservationists and lovers of late-Victorian architecture will find in its pages a wealth of material for the repair of these elegant structures and a trustworthy guide to their authentic restoration.
Cover design by Paul E. Kennedy.
(The above commentary is provided by Dover Publications, Inc.)
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Copyright © 2005–2012 Patricia B. Mitchell.