Barber's Turn-of-the-Century Houses: Elevations and Floor Plans


At the turn of the twentieth century, George F. Barber ran a successful architectural firm. Today, surviving examples of Barber's signature designs are the pride of their communities. This architectural snapshot from 1901 features working floor plans and fine drawings of more than eighty of Barber's distinctive dwellings.
Specializing in serving a mail-order clientele, Barber's company produced catalogs "giving floor plans of a convenient and practical character, ...

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Barber's Turn-of-the-Century Houses: Elevations and Floor Plans

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At the turn of the twentieth century, George F. Barber ran a successful architectural firm. Today, surviving examples of Barber's signature designs are the pride of their communities. This architectural snapshot from 1901 features working floor plans and fine drawings of more than eighty of Barber's distinctive dwellings.
Specializing in serving a mail-order clientele, Barber's company produced catalogs "giving floor plans of a convenient and practical character, and exterior designs of artistic merit in the various prevailing styles." Prepared from long, practical experience, the handsome designs and plans range from the modest to the magnificent, including stately Georgians and colonials as well as snug country homes and seaside cottages. Loaded with spacious kitchens and double parlors as well as porches and balconies of beautiful classic design, this authentic guide will fascinate architectural historians, preservationists, and home restorers, along with anyone interested in Victorian-era architecture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486465272
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 5/19/2008
  • Series: Dover Architecture Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,342,245
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.31 (d)

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BARBER'S Turn-of-the-Century Houses

Elevations and Floor Plans

By George F. Barber

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14124-4



If You are Going to Build

WE SHOULD like very much to help you in developing your plans or assist you in any way we can to solve the problem, which, by the way, is a right serious one when we think about it being for a house to live in for a lifetime, perhaps. In the back of this book will be found a specially prepared (yellow) blank sheet, on which you will find it an easy matter to tell us fully your wants and to make a rough sketch, giving us some idea of the general arrangement of floor plans desired. From this information and sketch you send us, we will make a drawing to ¼-inch scale, making such changes and improvements as our experience and judgment dictate, and submit to you for inspection, free of cost; at the same time quote you a very low price for complete working plans, specifications, etc. If the blank above referred to has been lost, send us sketch, anyhow.

There are many people who spend years in planning a home, and in many cases many more years are spent in regretting that it is not right. We think that with our long experience we can save you many of these regrets. Let us try, at any rate.


Knowing as we do, that our working drawings, when they leave our office, go out of reach of our personal supervision, we have taken special pains to make everything plain and easily understood.


Basement, or foundation; roof and floor plans; four elevations: showing front, rear and two sides; all drawn to a ¼-inch scale, with every dimension carefully figured and marked; a complete set of scale and full-sized details, for everything inside and out requiring a detail; especially prepared specifications to suit each individual order; two blank contracts and color plates for outside painting, describing their application.

Our work is so extensive, our experience extending over so wide a range of territory, and of so long duration, that we are enabled to give the most satisfactory results in every locality.


In ordering plans please enclose one-third the price with the order, as evidence of good faith, the remainder when the plans are finished, which will be sent C. O. D., with privilege of examination at your express office. Express charges will be prepaid when full price of plans are sent with the order. Send money by New York draft, United States or express money order.

THE ESTIMATED cost of the various houses shown in this book are based upon the experience of years of careful estimating, and will be found as accurate as possible for an average of the country, but subject to variations according to local prices and conditions; also according to the requirements of the building as provided by the plans and specifications, as ordered. Special careful estimates, with any desired information or special sketches, will be cheerfully furnished upon request. In the execution of our plans and specifications we provide for proper and economical methods of construction, following special instructions, and thereby insuring best possible results. Our experience extends over a number of years of the most successful endeavor throughout the United States and many foreign countries.

For the designs shown in this book the estimates of cost for each building have been revised up=to=date—1901.

Is not the character of work shown in this volume sufficient evidence that we can do the work of planning your home satisfactorily, and perhaps give you something different from what you see around you every day? That is sometimes an important point. It portrays the excellent character of work our plans will produce when properly carried out by a competent builder. And in considering the building of a home, is it not economy on your part to get your plans where you are sure of satisfactory results? Will not the general appearance of your home, and an interior arrangement prepared by those of the widest experience be points it will pay you to consider? Kindly let us hear from you.

A beautiful and complete home is the dream of every American housewife. A home, with an exterior of pleasing design, beautiful and correct in every minute detail, and an interior of faultless arrangement, planned to greet the eye at every turn with new thoughts of surprising fitness. All are susceptible of the most artistic embellishment in furnishings and decorations the deft hand of the skillful mistress can bestow upon them. Such may be and should be the Modern American Home. The designs in this book are figured to be complete in all modern appointments, except heating, mantels, grates and attics.

LEE, GOOCHLAND Co., VA., June 18, 1900.

Geo. F. Barber Co.:

GENTLEMEN—You certainly deserve the high encomiums pronounced upon you everywhere as architects for your artistic taste, fair and courteous treatment, and very reasonable charge.

Let me add that I wish my name placed upon the list of your admirers and friends, and that you shall certainly have whatever future patronage I may have to bestow in your line.

Very truly yours, JOSEPH R. ANDERSON.

BUENA VISTA, VA., October 2, 1900.

Geo. F. Barber & Co.:

GENTLEMEN—It is with great pleasure I acknowledge the receipt of your preliminary drawings, with floor plans and front elevation. I do not believe it possible to improve upon them, and you may count on my order for plans. I say this because I have at my home (and have been studying) a good stack of books from nearly every other architect, and I have concluded that you, and only you, can furnish me with what I want.

Very truly, W. P. LEE.

THIS DELIGHTFUL plan for a large and elegant home, costing from $30,000 to $40,000 has been developed from the many valuable suggestions coming to us from time to time from many prominent ladies in all parts of the United States.

The dining-room is large and handsome, the bay window having especially designed fittings, upholstered seat, etc. Connected with this is the drawing-room, the doors sliding between ornate columns on either side of the opening, and the elegance of the relation of the two front rooms and the front hall will be seen at once. The stair hall, with its vestibule, lavatory and exit to porte-cochère, is all one could desire. The breakfast room is located for convenience to the kitchen, and children coming down the back stairs can reach it without appearing in any other part of house.

A spacious kitchen enters from the rear through a vestibule, in which is located the ice-box, thus away from the heat of the stove, and, at the same time, convenient to the work pantry; this in turn connected with the butler's pantry, off from which is a dark fruit closet.

The second floor is equally well arranged. Ball or billiard rooms can be located in the basement or attic. The exterior walls are of stone and brick, beautifully harmonized, with red slate for the roof, plate glass, best of hardware, and plumbing throughout.

IN THIS magnificent rendering of Georgian or classic Colonial architecture, as applied to a modern American home, we have gone far enough to include every possible feature of elegance and usefulness to be obtained in a house of this cost. The porches are of beautiful classic design and all of the exterior is nicely treated.

For the interior an excellent opening of rooms across the front, viz.: parlor, hall and sitting-room, of a certain character of treatment; then the beautiful throwing together of the rooms along the right of hall, viz.: sitting-room, music-room and library in a different style, in which are artistically employed three double-columned beams, making one grand stretch of rooms of 53 feet in extent.

Across the back hall another series of rooms—library, hall and dining-room—each capable of being separated or cut off by sliding doors. In all a grand circuitous sweep of beautiful rooms.

Height of stories are 12 feet and 11 feet—a full basement and finished attic. Complete in every detail. Further particulars on application.

A MORE complete home for a country or seaside place is hard to find. A wide, spacious hall and cool, airy rooms, with a 10-foot porch on three sides, makes a combination suggestive of ease and comfort. The double parlor is elegant, as are all double rooms. The second story has six pleasant rooms, besides bath, closets, and a large sewing-room.

Everything is in first-class shape for a matchless Southern home. The cellar is located under the back part of house. Brick foundation. Shingles are used on the second story and roof. Light Colonial colors are used for the exterior painting, producing a lasting and beautiful effect.

The width of front is 67 feet over porches. Stories are 11 feet and 10 feet, respectively, but may be increased to 12 and 11 feet when preferred for Southern locality.

There are two bath-rooms provided, but a private bath may be had on second floor in place of dressing-room. The lavatory under the front stairs, first floor, saves going to any other room to wash. The outside treatment of columns, grilles and seats assists in making the first floor most delightful all through. Further particulars on application.

A COLONIAL RESIDENCE, prepared for erection in New Orleans. The feature is the wide, central hall, with spacious rooms on either side, all thrown together, making almost one continuous room of the first floor. The second story is thrown into suites, with baths between. Weather-boarding is used for exterior walls, shingles for the roof.

The exterior design presents many attractive Colonial features, such as windows, doors, etc. The stories are 11 feet and 10 feet high, with handsome Colonial interior designing for casing, stairs, etc. The mantels are placed for best effect. Cellar under kitchen and back hall. Width 55 feet 6 inches, length 78 feet, over porches.

A heavy beam divides the double parlor, with paneled effect supported by Ionic columns. An appropriate grille spans the hall at the stair case, a feature of handsome effect from the front door. Further particulars on application.

THE PLANS for this exquisite specimen of Colonial work have been prepared for a number of persons with various changes in the arrangement of the floor plans, sometimes cutting the price down to $4,000 and again raising it to $8,000 or even $10,000. The beam and column effect between the sitting-room and library is an artistic means by which we obtain one large room 15 feet by 32 feet 6 inches.

The plans contain a wide, central hall, provided with a treatment of stairs and grille work of unique design. The dining-room occurs at the front of the building, and is entered from the kitchen through the butler's pantry, while in the kitchen on either side of the sink are arranged ample cupboards. The cellar is under the back part of the house, containing steam boiler. Both inside and outside cellar stairs are provided.

The house is frame, using 2 x 6 studding for the better accommodation of inside sliding and Venetian blinds. All features have been carefully studied and everything is specified to make the house complete. Size 57 feet front by 55 feet deep, over porches; stories 10 feet, and 9 feet 2 inches.

The spacious porch on the right side may be repeated on the left with excellent effect, or may be eliminated entirely when cost is a consideration. The outside walls of this house may be covered with rough cast or weather-boarding, or may be built of brick or stone.

THIS HOME was erected at Seattle, Wash., on a slightly more expensive scale for 22,450. A home, the emblem of everything substantial, beautiful and elevating in character. Elaborately finished throughout. Actual cost from builder's estimate. A study of the floor plans will reveal many desirable features in this classic home. The dining-room contains a handsome built-in china closet and side-board.

A massive front porch of true Grecian proportions constitutes a main front feature; extending through this and around the house is a 12-foot veranda. Through the hall from the front door is a beautiful vista, extending to a rich Colonial mantel beyond, through a handsome treatment of columns, beams and paneled ceilings.

The library has a circular bay built of stone to the second floor, with the four deep spaces between the windows finished in bookcases, fitted with art glass doors. The side entrance to the hall leads to a convenient lavatory; thence by descent to a ball or billiard-room below.

The second floor is liberally supplied with sleeping-rooms, closets, baths, etc., nearly all closets containing large dress drawers. Stories are 11 and 10 feet. Basement 8 feet 6 inches. Further particulars on application.

THE ABOVE plans show some changes suggested by a Southern lady, viz.: the house to be built of brick, two rooms on the right of hall in front of stair hall, instead of one, the same to be separated by columns, the front one to be used as a family-room and the back part as a music-room. The hall fire-places removed and a closet instead, with hall extending on through the house. A spare bedroom, with bath and closet, on first floor, the main porch extending further along the right side. All splendid suggestions—the excellence of this arrangement induces its publication here.

One large additional chamber on second floor is obtained, and a fine private bath over front hall, as well as a private bath over rear bath below, and a public bath off from back hall. The price of this house, in brick, will be about the same as plan No. 1, but varying according to the price of brick used.

THIS artistic home was designed for erection in a Northern city, hence its construction is such as to stand against winter storms of the most rigid climate. One will see in this a happy combination of rooms, a large and commodious piazza, and an air of unusual taste in the exterior design. This is a house that can be enlarged to almost any dimensions and preserve the exterior features.

Back and front stairs are provided. A small cellar is under the kitchen and one other room. The hall and parlor are in oak finish; the rest of entire house is in pine, stained or natural. The width of house is 29 feet 6 inches. Stories are 9 feet, and 8 feet 2 inches, respectively.

Grates are not provided, as the house is intended to be heated by a furnace. A grate in the library, where the kitchen chimney is shown, and one in the parlor, centre of right-hand wall, would be very beneficial in giving heat in mild weather. And small stoves, or even grates, which are better, could be used upstairs.

THIS HOUSE—Colonial in style—has many features of artistic merit not possible to show in the cut. The entrance hall is a charming reception-room, with its artistic staircase, handsome grille, wood mantel, circular bay with its upholstered seat, a convenient bookcase and the indispensable coat closet and neatly finished vestibule. Off the hall is a small wash-room, with entrance to cellar convenient both to hall and kitchen. Many other features will present themselves.

The cellar is under kitchen only—stone foundation—roof and side walls above first story shingled. All other parts first-class throughout. Stories 9 feet 6 inches, and 9 feet. Cellar 7 feet for both plans.

A mantel and grate in the dining-room, and one or two grates in the second story rooms, would make them more cheerful and convenient, as a mantel is always a great convenience as well as an article of embellishment to a room.

WITH proper treatment the Georgian style of architecture can be applied to homes of moderate cost with beautiful effect, as here shown. The plan is beautiful indeed. The front porch, handsome in itself, with stately classic treatment, is in beautiful contrast with the two square side porches. The arrangement of the rooms will appeal to every one of taste as complete in every detail.

A convenient coat closet at the rear of hall, with a marble set wash bowl near by under the stairs, filling out the space back of the sewing-room closet. Any desirable changes can be made to suit. By enlarging the house may be made to cost from $8,000 to $12,000. The stories are 10 feet and 9 feet. Width over porches, 56 feet. The house is complete in every modern appointment.

A house of similar design and plan will be found on pages 24 and 25, which may be more desirable to some tastes, but both are excellent examples of Colonial designing. Further particulars will be given on application.

THE ABOVE Colonial home was designed to meet the demand for something both artistic and convenient. The arrangement of the two front rooms and hall is not only convenient but beautiful in its effect. The dining-room is also ideal. The convenience of the rear part of the house will be apparent. The refrigerator is so located in the pantry as to be iced from the lobby, thus saving the annoyance of the ice man going through the house. The lavatory off the back hall is very desirable.

The front porch as well as the side one are features of merit. The nook, with its fire-place and seats, cut off from the main room by a beautiful grille, gives a cosy effect and is quite an addition to the sitting-room. The house is finished complete in every modern appointment.

With cellar under back part of house, stone foundation, shingle roof, and a generous amount of hardwood interior finish, this house can be built in most any locality for the price given. Width over all, 55 feet. Stories 9 feet 6 inches, and 9 feet, respectively. The exterior, though plain, presents a very highly artistic effect. Stories may be made higher or size of rooms changed to suit any locality or requirements.


Excerpted from BARBER'S Turn-of-the-Century Houses by George F. Barber. Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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