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The Place of Houses 1.0


Several entries here have dealt with aspects of Agincourt’s housing stock. It is the largest percentage of all building types, yet it may have received the least attention. Single-family houses alone would have come from a wide range of sources, including a broad type called “pattern books”.

Architects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries expanded their market area through publication of plan books, residential designs collected in a sort of catalogue. Lumber yards often used these as suggestions for their customers. Knoxville, TN architect George Barber published several that included a wide price range. Barber’s designs can be found as far west as Oregon, though model #54 was built in Chicago for a client appropriately named Goodenough:


Some designs were presented with options, such as model #65; a set of plans and a material list could be had for $35.00:


Other plan collections were published by manufacturers of building materials. The Building Brick Association of America held a competition for “A Brick Bungalow to Cost $3,000” to promote its products.


The White Pine Manufacturers Association did the same for their product. Here, for example, is Russell Barr Williamson’s “Design for a White Pine House to Cost $12,000.” Would it surprise you to know that Williamson spent some time in the studio of Frank Lloyd Wright?


The so-called “women’s magazines” — House BeautifulLadies Home JournalHouse & Garden, among them — promoted good design, like the LHJ‘s series, “A fire-proof House for $5,000”. Frank Lloyd Wright’s design is the best known of them:


It’s likely that Agincourt was touched by each of these and others of their kind. The question is how many and to what degree.

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