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Drawing Toward Home: Designs for Domestic Architecture from Historic New England

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As the center of domestic life, the house is perhaps the most important building type in a democratic society. Drawing Toward Home: Designs for Domestic Architecture from Historic New England showcases a variety of drawings of domestic buildings that range in date from the late eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, and depict an array of building types estates, modest single-family houses, summer cottages, and even a typical Boston multi-family dwelling known as a three-decker.

Architectural drawings have a history of their own, and this exceptional assemblage outlines how the medium has morphed to meet the growing expectations of clients, the increasing complexity of the construction process, and the demands of new technologies. A large number of beautifully executed perspectives created primarily for formal presentations to clients are featured. As Benjamin Linfoot put it back in 1884, the "architect . . . must keep his client's enthusiasm alive and active by sending or submitting bright, jaunty little perspectives of his contemplated work." This survey successfully melds Gilded Age works from the venerable offices McKim, Mead White, and Peabody Stearns with designs from a century before and after, ranging from the hand of influential pattern-book author Asher Benjamin to those drafted by Dutch-born modernist R. W. Huygens.

Drawing Toward Home illustrates changes in taste and technology and presents many of the drawings as works of art. It includes designs by both famous and little-known architects and houses designed in the Federal, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and International styles. From Great Diamond Island, Maine, to Boston's Beacon Street, and from cottages on Cape Cod to mansions in Newport, the houses featured in this book remind us that the architecture of New England is a touchstone of American architecture.

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