PDF eBook of Andrew Jackson Downing's 1852 Architectural Classic



I long for the preservation of those pure, simple, holy tastes, which have led our countrymen, in all ages, to delight in the pleasant fields, in the pleasant country houses, in the profound peace of noble woods so favorable to high and solemn musings, and in all those healthful and animating sports and pursuits that belong to such a life." - Howitt.
house plans. house plans. house plans. house plans.


Originally published in 1853 by John Wiley.
Republished by Merrymeeting Archives, LLC, 2003. 163 PDF e-pages.

Leading principles of domestic architecture, and their importance - The principle of Utility or Fitness - Value of a convenient arrangement - Different wants in a cottage - Labor-saving fixtures - The mode of construction, and materials most suitable - Fitness in furniture - The principle of Propriety, or Expression of Purpose - Features most characteristic of expression - The color of the exterior of cottages - Architecture as an art of taste and imagination - Beauty of form. The principle of Unity - Of Uniformity of Symmetry - Of Harmony and Variety - Different styles in architecture - Relation of domestic architecture - The most suitable styles for this country - The sentiment of architecture
A SUBURBAN COTTAGE.Description of the plan of the house, and its internal arrangements - Remarks on it external effect - Details of construction - Chimneys should be placed in the inner walls - Estimate - Laying out the garden - List of creepers for the trellis - Choice fruits for the kitchen garden - Training them to a trellis - The ornamental portion - Sweet-scented shrubs to be planted near the windows - Border flowers - Care necessary to keep the whole in order
A COTTAGE IN THE ENGLISH, OR RURAL GOTHIC STYLE.Object in view in arranging the interior - Explanation of the plans - Beauty of this style of cottage - Introduction of the veranda - The chimney-tops - Construction and details - Estimate - Laying out the garden - Trees to be introduced; disposing the kitchen-garden
A COTTAGE IN THE POINTED, OR TUDOR STYLE.The situation - Size of the cottage suited to the generality of wants in this country - Arrangement of the principal floor - Of the second floor - Of the basement - Degree of decoration to be employed. The proper materials - Introduction of Shutters - Finish of the interior - Details of the exterior - The dumb waiter described - Estimate - Arrangement of the grounds - Sunk fence, or ha-ha - Trees most in keeping with the place - Preparation of the soil for planting trees - Arrangement of trees in the natural style of landscape gardening, and what constitutes art - Flower beds - List of the finest hardy ornamental trees of foreign and native growth, suitable for planting in groups and masses - List of 42 choice fruit trees, for the orchard of this design.
AN ORNAMENTAL FARM-HOUSE.Aim in this design - Reasons why a farmer's house should be tasteful - Description of the first floor plan - Of the second floor - Why the Rural Gothic style is adopted - The material considered - Details of construction and the estimate - The Ferme Ornee, or ornamental portion of the farm - Trees to be employed for ornament - The introduction of hedges, and the best plants for this purpose - Rendering fences ornamental by creepers - Harmonizing the adjacent portions of the farm; list of apples for the orchard
A COTTAGE IN THE BRACKETTED MODE.Bold character of this mode of building: Its adaption to this country and to the South - The plan of the principal floor - Superior effect of one large apartment for the drawing-room - The second floor, and the basement arrangement - Variation of this design as constructed in wood - Details; the chimney and porch - The brackets and siding - Construction of the water-closet - Estimate - Laying out the ground - the ornamental portions, the kitchen and fruit gardens - Hints for detached green-house - Treatment of the hill in the rear - Preparation and treatment necessary to produce a fine lawn - The flower-beds cut in the turf, and reasons why this is a superior method of arranging them - Treatment of the long flower borders - List of perennial border flowers, arranged according to their height, and period of blooming
AN IRREGULAR VILLA IN THE ITALIAN STYLE, BRACKETTED.Beauty of irregularity in buildings, and reasons why an irregular design will be disliked by some, and greatly preferred by others - Elegant domestic features of the Italian style - The accommodation of the principal floor of this design - Of the chamber floor - Trees in keeping with the style - Construction - Estimate - Laying out the grounds - Natural character of the situation, and the way in which it should be treated - Advantages of walks made in natural woods - The importance of studying the natural expression of the place, and of making our improvements harmonize with it - The orchard and fruit garden - List of the finest varieties of fruit - Hints for the cultivation, and for securing them against insects
AN IRREGULAR COTTAGE IN THE OLD ENGLISH STYLE.Character of the old English cottage, and reasons why it should only be built in appropriate situations - Domestic expression, the characteristic of this style - Examination of the interior - Fitting up and furnishing - Plan of the chamber story - Construction and details - Care necessary in executing a design of this kind - Estimate - Laying out the grounds - Mode of thinning out a wooded surface - Management of the walks - An irregular flower garden - Beauty of vines and climbing plants on cottages
A VILLA IN THE ITALIAN STYLE.Grecian and Italian architecture compared; characteristic quality of the latter - Situation suitable for this villa. The terrace; its beauty and utility; union between the house and grounds - exterior features - of the second floor - Comparative cost, and the facility of making additions to buildings in the Italian style - Construction and details - Estimate - Arrangement of the grounds - The architectural flower garden described - Elegant effect of vases, etc., in connection with garden scenery - Pedestals for vases - Details of the garden; construction and supply of the fountain
COTTAGE IN THE ITALIAN, OR TUSCAN STYLE.Description of this cottage; the principal floor - The second floor and basement accomodation - Arrangement of the ground, with a view to combine utility and beauty - The orchard and kitchen garden - Attached conservatory.
A VILLA IN THE GOTHIC, OR POINTED STYLE.Character of the exterior - Complete interior arragement - The dining, drawing-room and library, and other apartments of the principal floor - The second floor and basement accomodations - Estimate - Arrangement of the grounds; treatment of the approach - Care and judgment necessary in opening a wooded surface
A COTTAGE FOR THE COUNTRY CLERGYMAN.Actual wants of a country clergyman - Description of the plan suggested - Plan of the second floor - Effect of rustic trellis work covered with vine
A VILLA IN THE ELIZABETHAN STYLE.Criticism on the plan - Improvements suggested - Construction and estimate
A SMALL COTTAGE FOR A TOLL-GATE HOUSE.Best position for a building of this kind with reference to the gate - Plan, construction, and estimate - Gate-house of stone in a massive simple style.
A COTTAGE IN THE RHINE STYLE.The residence of J.T. Headley, Esq. Style in keeping with the Hudson Highlands - Plan of the principal floor - of the chamber floor - Cost of construction
A CARRIAGE-HOUSE AND STABLE IN THE RUSTIC POINTED STYLE.Exterior composition, picturesque and characteristic - Arrangement of the stable, &c. - Construction and cost
FURTHER HINTS ON THE GARDENS AND GOUNDS OF COTTAGE RESIDENCES.Arrangements of the smallest grounds: Two ways of laying out even the smallest flower garden - Flower gardens of beds and walks; Flower gardens surrounded by turf - Selection of plants necessary in the latter - Advantages of employing only ever-blooming dwarf plants and China Rose - The soils of flower gardens - The parterre-different examples - Plan of Baron Hugel's garden - Elizabethan flower garden - Selection of suitable plants - Labyrinth in the ancient style - Original design for a flower garden and lawn combined - Examples of the mode of laying out small places in the French style - Plan for the grounds of two small adjoining cottages - Landscape garden of an acre in the German style - Example in the English style - Original design for the grounds of a surburban residence - Essential elements of the beautiful in laying out all places of moderate size
ADDENDA.Remarks on building by contract: Disappointments that occur in the cost of building - How to remedy them by careful plans and specifications - Economy and advantage of employing the best architects - Architectural charges

Cottage Residences by A. J. Downing, 1852-53
with color photos of existing houses
Bonus: Rural Architecture by Lewis Allan, 1852, appendixed at end of book

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Andrew J. Downing, New York, 1800s, writes "this volume is the first published in this country devoted to Rural Architecture..." House designs with house floor plans include Early Ornamental Victorian American Houses, Gothic and Italianate.

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