Catalogs of house plans have been offered for at least the last 125 years in the US. From the Victorian period to the present, homeowners have thumbed through publications of house plans looking for their Dream Home.
Some of our vintage catalogs feature house plans and require purchasing a full set of plans to build. Other historical catalogs are from innovative companies like Aladdin Homes in Michigan, which sold and shipped thousands of kit homes with all the parts numbered and ready to assemble. A homeowner could hire a couple carpenters to help them build their home on site or even build it themselves.
Nowadays, housing developers have largely replaced architect-designed homes with tracts of homes which bear a disturbing similarity to one another. Maybe in the coming decades they too will begin to evolve as homeowners stamp each one with individual personality through remodeling and landscaping.
In the meantime, those of us with our old houses revel in the character and patina that only time provides.
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