Blueprint Construction Plans

I would like to direct your attention to a PDF from that preserves a special 1946 supplement to American Builders Magazine.

Blueprint Plans from American Buidler Magazine (1946)

The full PDF at weighs in at 99MB (78 pages) and would probably take seven years to download, so I’ve broken off two selections into smaller pieces that should be easier for our network connection to digest:

If you ever have the time, check out for more architecture and design related documents. Let me know if you find something interesting.

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House Floorpans: 1950s-1960s

Assembled for reference and inspiration: a large number of residential home floor plans of various types and styles from the 1950s and 60s. There was significant growth in this time period right here in the San Fernando Valley so you’ll find plenty of examples of this type of architecture all around you.

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Architectural Plan Views

A floor plan is the most fundamental architectural diagram, a view from above showing the arrangement of spaces in building in the same way as a map, but showing the arrangement at a particular level of a building. Technically it is a horizontal section cut through a building (conventionally at four feet / one metre and twenty centimetres above floor level), showing walls, windows and door openings and other features at that level. The plan view includes anything that could be seen below that level: the floor, stairs (but only up to the plan level), fittings and sometimes furniture. Objects above the plan level (e.g. beams overhead) can be indicated as dotted lines.

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The Changing Skyline of New York City

The New York Times on the architectural transformation of the city:

  • The New Shapes of New York (November 2016): Its transformation has been nothing less than astonishing over the past decade. Even when it seems as if there were nowhere left to go, the city, with its manifold appetites, could not be contained. Thanks to new concrete technologies, we have witnessed an eruption of very slender, very tall (some might say very crass) buildings. But for every heroic skyscraper, there are more than a few more humble, human-scale ventures — a salt shed, a library, a residential hyperbolic paraboloid…
  • As a New High Society Climbs in Manhattan, It’s a Race to the Top (December 2015): The New York skyline is always in flux, and not everyone has been happy about it. In the past, most of the consternation was directed at office towers. Now, though, as the city competes for verticality with Beijing, Dubai and London, residential towers are reshaping the skyline.



The Shotgun Shack & The American Foursquare

The Shotgun Shack

A “shotgun house” is a narrow rectangular domestic residence, usually no more than about 12 feet (3.5 m) wide, with rooms arranged one behind the other and doors at each end of the house. It was the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War (1861–65) through the 1920s. Alternate names include “shotgun shack”, “shotgun hut”, “shotgun cottage”, and in the case of a multihome dwelling, “shotgun apartment”. (link)

The American Foursquare

The hallmarks of the style include a basically square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. The boxy shape provides a maximum amount of interior room space, to use a small city lot to best advantage. Other common features included a hipped roof, arched entries between common rooms, built-in cabinetry, and Craftsman-style woodwork. (link)

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Walter Reed Middle School: Architectural Elements Source List

We tend to take for granted the things we see all the time. Consider the buildings that make up our school. Coming and going, Monday through Friday, day in and day out, it would be easy to forget that Walter Reed Middle School is actually an impressive example of architecture from a time when society invested in public infrastructure with much more enthusiasm and consideration than happens today. As we approach the 80th anniversary of this school (1939-2019) it  would be wise to take a closer look at what makes Walter Reed special. In a previous post, we learned about the well known architect that designed this school; in this post, we will take a closer look at the architectural style of Walter Reed and the elements and principles that make up that style.

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Walter Reed Middle School: An Architectural History

Stop and think about this for a moment: Walter Reed will celebrate 80 years of serving this community in 2019. Opened in 1939 as North Hollywood Junior High School, the name was changed to Walter Reed Junior High School in 1957, and later became designated a middle school in the late 1990s.  As we approach this important milestone it might do us some good to investigate and learn a little more about our school.

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American Residential Architectural Style Guide

If you’re looking for reference material for residential architectural styles you’ve come to the right place. Anything I find relating to this topic I’ll dump here. At one point or another I might try to come back and put things in some semblance of order, but for now have at it. Also: let me know if you find anything especially useful that you think might be a good fit for this post.

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