|About the Book|
This 144-page large-format volume (9 by 11 inches) contains color photographs of 215 nineteenth-century buildings representing 94 of Iowas cities and towns. There are an additional 33 detail views for a total of 248 photographs--about 30% more thanMoreThis 144-page large-format volume (9 by 11 inches) contains color photographs of 215 nineteenth-century buildings representing 94 of Iowas cities and towns. There are an additional 33 detail views for a total of 248 photographs--about 30% more than a typical book of this kind. The enclosed location index lists the towns represented.To accompany the photographs, the author has written a comprehensive text describing the architectural styles of the period, beginning with the Federal, Greek, Gothic, and Italianate houses of the 1850s. Subsequent chapters document the Second Empire, Eastlake, Queen Anne, and Neo-Classical styles that were popular from the end of the Civil War until the early years of the twentieth century. Photo captions describe the design elements that are unique to each category. Many examples feature semi-authentic Painted Lady color schemes.About three-quarters of the photographs in the book are of Victorian period houses, but more than fifty commercial buildings are also illustrated. Constructed between 1870 and 1900, these decorative storefronts display molded Renaissance-style window caps and coverings of stamped galvanized iron.Mr. Plymat has worked as a professional photographer for nearly thirty years. Most of his images were made with a medium-format camera equipped with a perspective-correcting lens. Film exposures made with this camera are nearly four times the size of a conventional 35mm frame, so the photographs are extremely clear and detailed.Though readers will be delighted by the large number of buildings pictured, Victorian Architecture of Iowa is not just a collection of photographs. In addition to a thorough explanation of the architectural styles of the period, the author relates a series of interesting historical episodes that help to place the visual elements in context. Stories include the Great Steamboat Excursion of 1854, the Grasshopper Plague of 1873, and the 1894 invasion of Kellys Army. The 30,000-word narrative will keep readers absorbed for hours.