Building Styles

I’ve always been interested in building styles. Sometimes, the style isn’t initially clear to me but I can usually come to some determination.

An Italianate house at 1036 3rd Avenue in Rock Island, Illinois.

Over the past thirty years I’ve taken photographs of houses that I like in the city where I grew up: Davenport, Iowa. Now, whenever I go back and visit my parents I drive by particular houses and snap a photo or two. Below are three houses that I’ve documented over the years.

Note: Some of the images are scans of photographs that were originally printed out at the time they were taken. That’s what people used to do. They would take photographs and then print them out and have a tangible copy to hold in their hands. If someone told me 35 years ago that it would be wise to keep the negatives of these pictures because “in the future” I would want to use them on something called “a blog” that I would construct on “my own personal computer” I would have laughed and thought the person was intoxicated.

Egbert Storr Barrows House

Dr. Egbert Storr Barrows was a doctor who was born March 26, 1799 in Middlebury, Vermont. He was six feet tall and weighed the same weight (225 pounds) for fifty years. That’s what he claimed. He moved to Iowa on July 6, 1836 after Iowa was opened for settlement. Barrows was the first doctor to practice in the state. He served in the Seminole war and married on his way out to Iowa from St. Augustine, Florida. Mrs. Barrows would die in 1891. E.S. Barrows died March 8, 1892. His death was the result of a fall in this house. It appears, from news reports, that he broke his hip and complications from that fracture led to his death. His obituary in the Davenport Tribune said of him, “He was big in heart as in frame, rough and peculiar in his ways, yet a gentleman in every refinement of feeling, honesty, truthfulness and integrity.”

Barrows House. I am unsure as to the date of this photograph but I know it’s before 1985.

The house was built circa 1850 and is in the Greek Revival style. The key is the pediment and the columns. They’re the most obvious elements of the Greek Revival style. It is located at 224 E. 6th Street in Davenport, Iowa.

The back of this photograph is dated November 1985. The stucco has been removed.

Lolita Bower is the woman who undertook the task of restoring the house. I’ve seen her name also spelled Bauer.

This is what the house looked like in 2009 when it was up for sale.

This is the brochure for the house when it was for sale. I don’t know about that kitchen and why do they have candles on the steps?

The back of the advertisement. It gives the dimensions of the rooms. In 2009 the house was purchased by David Leo.

I took this photograph on July 16, 2019. The current owners of the house are David Leo and Andrew Patterson.

I was doing a clean out over the weekend (May 30, 2020) and found this article. It has no date on it because I clipped it out of the Quad City Times years ago — simply for my own use. The story has lots of good information.

Hans Heinrich Andressen House

The second house is the Hans Heinrich Andressen House. Andressen was a city alderman and also a bank president and director of the German Savings Bank. The house is located at 726 W. 6th Street in Davenport, Iowa and was constructed in 1886. The architect of the building was F.G. Clausen and it cost $16,000 to construct.

Andressen House. I found this early image online.

The image above is from the 1887 German publication Das Erste Album der Stadt Davenport, Iowa. The translation for that title is: The First Album of the City of Davenport, Iowa. Davenport had a large influx of German immigrants in the late 1800s and in 2019 there is a German American Center on the banks of the Mississippi River in honor of the city’s German heritage.

According to an article by the Davenport Public Library the Andressen house was “Built in the Richar[d]sonian Romanesque style, the three-story structure’s distinguishing features included a Flemish step gable and decorative terra cotta and brick work. According to a 1921 report on the house’s sale, “[t]he entire finishing of the building are imported from Germany, many of the old window lights bearing German inscriptions.” I interpret window lights as being stained glass windows. In the National Register for Historic Places registration form the home is listed as Romanesque Revival.

This image is from the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections of the Davenport Public Library.

Hans Heinrich Andressen died on May 11, 1906. His daughter inherited the house and swapped this house for a farm in Silvis, Illinois in 1909. In the 1920s the house became a rooming house and eventually apartments. The house was still being used as apartments in the photograph below.

This is the first photograph I took of the house. The date on the back of this photograph is January 1984. It looks like it could be the image on an old Christmas card. The snow looks silky.

This is the way I remember the house over the years. Whenever I went back to Iowa I would go and “check on it” like it was an old friend. The house was vacant but it was boarded up. I always wanted to buy it and fix it up or, at least, go inside and see what the interior looked like.

This plaque on the front of the house provides a little information.

I find the simple detailing really wonderful.

Isn’t that beautiful.

More terra cotta.

In 2018 it looked like this. As I pulled my car up to a slow stop I thought, “Oh, no.” When I saw it I just felt sad.


This is a photo from the Quad-City Times. The photographer is Kevin E. Schmidt.

A fire at the home was reported at 3 a.m. on May 10, 2018. The home had been bought by Dustin Eastwood in October 2012 for $19,500. Eastwood was a self-employed home builder who had planned to fix up the house. It was a major undertaking for Eastwood and it was slow going. Unfortunately, Eastwood died in March 2018 at the age of 32. The house went up in flames two months later.

The fire was deemed suspicious and the usual suspects were looked at: the homeless, kids with matches and teenagers. No one has been arrested or charged as of September 2019.

In 2019 this was all that was left.

The Fred B. Sharon House

This image is from 1974. It was in a Times article regarding historic houses.

The third is the Sharon House. It is located at 728 Farnam Street in Davenport, Iowa. I took these first four photographs in January 1984. I realize these photos are faded and the focus could be better but they’re great because they show what the house looked like at a specific time in the past.

I must have taken this one at a different time in January ’84 because it has snow on the roof.

It was built in 1891 and is in the Second Empire style. The clues to the home’s style are the mansard roof, the dormer windows, the decorative brackets, the tower and the cast iron cresting.

I remember when I took these pictures a little boy, about 10 years old, came out on the porch and asked me why I was taking pictures of his house. I said,”Because it’s a beautiful house. You’re lucky to live there!” He looked leery when I said he was lucky. He watched me for a moment more and then turned around and went inside probably to tell his mother what I said.

This tells you all you need to know about the Sharon House occupants.

Here it is in 2018.

Somebody needs to paint but it still looks better than it did in 1984

This is from the Wikipedia commons page. I like this image because of the sparseness of the tree foliage.

All of these homes are easy to identify because their characteristics are evident and the buildings haven’t been altered beyond recognition. Also easy to identify are Gothic Revival, Italianate, Stick, Queen Anne, Tudor, Chateauesque, Beaux Arts, Mission, Monterey, Pueblo, Prairie, Craftsman, Modern (Art Deco and Art Modern), Ranch and the international style. I have more problems with: Spanish Colonial, Dutch Colonial, French Colonial, French Eclectic, Colonial (Adams and Georgian), Neo-Eclectic and Spanish Eclectic.

I just have to work on those.



Egbert Storrs Barrows 1799-1892. (1892, March 9). Davenport Tribune.

Fred B. Sharon House. Wikimedia commons.

Gaul, A. (2018, May 11). Suspicious fire destroys historic Davenport house. Quad-City Times.

Gold coast-Hamburg historic district architectural guide. (2014). Davenport: Davenport’s First Neighborhood.

Historic homes open for tours. (2010, August 22). Quad-City Times.

Lost but not forgotten. (2018, May 14). Davenport Public Library special collections.

Photos: Iowa historic homes. (2016, September 14). Quad-City Times.


My book from The History Press, Architects Who Built Southern California, was released on March 11, 2019. It’s 10 chapters with each chapter devoted to a different architect (or architectural firm) including: Harrison Albright, John Austin, Claud Beelman, Elmer Grey, Hudson & Munsell, A. C. Martin, Meyer & Holler, Julia Morgan, Morgan Walls & Clements and Alfred F. Rosenheim.

Bradbury Building entrance.

Published in: on September 13, 2019 at 1:09 am  Comments (2)