Monthly Archives: January 2013

Luvsteun House

I located this place back in 2007.  The house sat on a 220 acre farm enrolled in CRP, a government sponsored set-aside program that pays farmers not to plow marginal and environmentally sensitive lands and instead plant them with native prairie grasses.  With the contract up in 2008, the owner decided to not renew and bulldozed the farmstead and plowed up the native prairie for corn.  The before and after photos were taken from the same perspective.

Farmstead as it appeared in 2007.

Farmstead as it appeared in 2007.

yikes!  the owner had pushed trees up against the front of the house for years.

yikes! 

Two light windows with pediment hoods above.  Very nice detail.

Two light windows with pediment hoods above. Very nice detail.

segmental arch window hood!!!

segmental arch window hood!!!

metal chimney

metal chimney

Rear framed addition

Rear framed addition

Glenwood Lutheran Church, built of limestone in 1871.  Photo taken from second floor dormer window.

Glenwood Lutheran Church, built of limestone in 1871. Photo taken from second floor dormer window.

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shoes!

shoes!

Second floor domer detail

Second floor domer detail

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Luvsteun family stone.  This original family stone was replaced in about 1910 and brought back to the farmstead and stuck in a shed.

Luvsteun family stone. This original family stone was replaced in about 1910 and brought back to the farmstead and put in a shed.

granary

granary

Farmstead as it appeared in 2008.

Farmstead as it appeared in 2008.

Impeccable dovetail notching

Impeccable dovetail notching

 

Howes House

The Howes house was built by an English family sometime in the 1870s or 1880s using logs salvaged from existing buildings.  The area in which the house sat, French Creek Township, Allamakee County, was settled beginning in the late 1840s.  Twenty or thirty years later existing structures were already being taken down and repurposed into new houses .  What I do isn’t particularly new or unique.

I disassembled the house in 2008 and it was rebuilt as an addition onto an existing house.  See portfolio page for the end results.  I really, really appreciated this sweet little house and was sad to take it apart.  The family who owned it had had it since the 1960s and did not know the core of it was log.  I found it and immediately called the owner and asked whether I could have the thing.  “What log house?” they asked.

The logs both inside and outside were covered from the day it was built.  The corner notching was an impeccable full dovetail, but the spacing between the logs was ridiculously large.  Keep in mind they simply meant the logs to serve as framing much like 2″x4″s do in a conventional house.  The species is all oak.  In disassembling it and putting it back together I conjectured there were at least logs from two, possibly three houses.  The timbers had existing V-notches, dovetail notches, notching for doors and windows, and odd weathering patterns where they shouldn’t have been.

Enjoy!

House as it appeared 2008.  It was abandoned sometime during the 1960s.

House as it appeared 2008. It was abandoned sometime during the 1960s.

A symmetrical facade!  Very tidy and uniform.  Notice the four light windows and pediment hoods.

A symmetrical facade! Very tidy and uniform. Notice the four light windows and pediment hoods.

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West and south facades

West and south facades

Bay window

Bay window

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Very pronounced full dovetail corner notching unlike anything I've seen before.  The full dovetail is usually executed pretty shallow on both the top and bottom, unlike the steeply cut undersides shown here.

Very pronounced full dovetail corner notching unlike anything I’ve seen before. The full dovetail is usually executed pretty shallow on both the top and bottom, unlike the steeply cut undersides shown here.

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The farmstead sits in stunning French Creek Township in Allamakee County, Iowa

The farmstead sits in stunning French Creek Township in Allamakee County, Iowa