Friday, April 17, 2015

American House Plans

I found this tidbit on an American House from an English publication titled "The Choice of a Dwelling." It gives a detail description along with some basic floor plans.

This common disposition of the plan of an American house is not without useful application at home; plans are here offered (illustration No. i) of one erected by the author in Philadelphia during a residence in the United States, which possesses the most desirable of the features above detailed.
The plot was 25 feet frontage by 100 feet in depth, the invariable area devoted to what is called a "city lot."
The extreme depth on the basement and principal floors is 78 feet, including the piazza, and of the bed-room floors (of which there are three) 50 feet.
In the basement the dining-room is 20 feet wide by 25 deep, and is octagonal, the corners being cut off to obtain more space for the room by curtailing the passage (which is only used by the servants and tradesmen coming to the house), and at the same time not to contract the doorway and its side lights. A fire-proof safe occupies one of the front corners, and from another a door opens into a large private store-closet. The other portions of the plan follow the general description previously given. Servants' bathroom and water-closet are provided on this floor.
The principal floor comprises two long rooms, each 25 by 15 ft. 6 inches, with columns between; the extension or tea-room in the rear, and back of all, the enclosed piazza breast, and with Venetian blinds working in grooves between the pillars that support the over-hanging roof. Between the end of the reception-rooms and the rear apartments, are wide sliding glazed doors, which, when opened, do not show, the opening extending nearly to the cornice. There is at the end of the hall a serving room with lift to a closet below, for use in entertaining company.
The bedroom plan represents two large bed chambers, back and front, with dressing-closets between, lighted by a well, and at each end of the hall small rooms, that in front being a single room, and in the rear, a general bath-room and water-closet. Each floor is similarly arranged. The dressing-closets are very completely fitted; on the right are wide drawers, and above are wardrobes, but of full size and with every contrivance that ingenuity can devise for hanging and placing dresses; upon the left is a bath with shower over, and a marble wash basin; a large cheval glass forms part of the fittings.
§ 296. Cost.
The cost of this residence, built very substantially, finished throughout with hard polished woods, and fitted with heating and ventilating apparatus, hot and cold water to every dressing-room, gas pipes, speaking-tubes, &c, throughout, the exterior faced with cut stone, the floors all double—in fact built in the best manner, and of the best materials—was about ^7000 of English money, the land upon which it stood being worth then about ^2500. At the present time I learn the house and ground are worth nearly ^16,000, the great increase being due principally to the rise in value of the land.
§ 297. Features worthy of adoption.
Some features of this, and similar American plans, are worth introduction into our London buildings; the octagonal planning of the dining-room, giving as it does so fair a space for the front door, removes a frequent objection that builders of small houses are compelled to devote a verynarrow allowance to the entrance passage.

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