ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY

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15 Saltbox Houses Worth Their Salt
Popular in 17th- and 18th-century America for its ability to accommodate large families, the saltbox house features a catslide roof that extends below the eaves, ...
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The 14 Best Governor’s Mansions in America
Landing the plum position of governor comes with the added perk of living rent-free in what is often one of the ritziest residences in the state: the governor's m...
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From Bridges to Stadiums: 13 U.S. Icons That Are Falling Apart
America is a veritable treasure trove of famous bridges, lighthouses, stadiums, and other architectural wonders that are as historically and culturally significan...
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13 Homes from the Original Colonies that Still Stand Today
America may have 50 states now, but a little less than 250 years ago it consisted of just 13 colonies. Even today, there are some amazing homes built during the c...
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18 Small Towns That Changed America
Despite their modest populations, small towns have made their mark on our nation by spawning political or cultural movements, popularizing traditions, and at time...
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Love Old Houses? These Are the AirBnBs for You
Do you have an appreciation for historic homes and old-time architecture? Then consider booking your vacation lodging through Airbnb. The virtual hospitality serv...
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13 Striking House Styles from Around the World
They say that home is where the heart is, but in a world of wildly divergent landscapes and cultures, “home” looks different for everyone. Here are 13 interesting...
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America’s 50 Most Infamous Homes
There are the famous houses of America that everyone knows and loves: Fallingwater, Biltmore, the White House, and other venerable residences distinguished by the...
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15 Places Every American Should Visit at Least Once
From the Empire State Building to the Grand Canyon, America has countless iconic sites within its borders. Gain a greater appreciation for our nation's history, n...
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15 Classic Roadside Motels You Can Visit Along America's Highways
Who doesn’t love an all-American road trip? As automobile travel gained popularity in the early 20th century, a slew of kitschy roadside motels popped up along th...
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25 Tiny Towns to Visit for a Glimpse at How We Used to Live
With their captivating histories and unbroken ties to tradition, these small but fascinating towns bring to life the legends, the lore, and the romance of the past.
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The Best Small-Town Inns in All 50 States
For your next weekend getaway or midweek escape from the metropolis, skip past the swanky hotels and hit the hay at one of these 50 small-town inns across the cou...
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Winter Retreats of Presidents Past and Present
When presidents want to escape the hustle and bustle of our nation's capital, they don't check into a nearby bed-and-breakfast. Instead, they head to secluded est...
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11 Incredible Mansions That No One Wants to Buy
Have you ever passed by a wow-worthy residence that's had a "For Sale" sign on display for what seems like an eternity and wondered why no one has scooped up the ...
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11 Vintage Houses That Came from a Catalog
In the early 20th century, a handful of companies, including Sears, Roebuck and Co., sold tens of thousands of mail-order homes. Available in a variety of styles ...
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America's 50 Most Famous Houses
Fame wasn't the impetus behind the construction of America's most eminent estates, yet it has followed them from their creation to the modern day thanks to their ...
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Here's What Your Home Appliances Looked Like 100 Years Ago
Today's pricey, high-tech gadget may be tomorrow's has-been, little more than the seed for some cooler innovation to come. That was certainly the case with these ...
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18 Victorian Homes We Love
Queen Victoria may have vacated the British throne long ago, but the regal and architecturally distinctive Victorian houses erected during her reign, from 1837 to...
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You’ll Never Believe What These 6 Amazing Homes Used to Be
Why demolish an aging edifice when you can transform it into a dreamy dwelling designed for modern living? That adaptive spirit spurred the crafty conversion of t...
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The 12 Most Infamous Goofs in Architecture History
What do you get when you bring together forward-thinking architects, exacting engineers, and tireless construction crews? In the case of these 12 iconic buildings...
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Take a Peek Inside 11 Charming Carriage Houses
While the days of the horse and buggy are far behind us, relics of that bygone age remain to this day in the form of carriage houses. Originally built to house ho...
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All You Need to Know About Transom Windows
Few architectural structures and details survive centuries of passing trends and technological advances in the way th...
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The Secret Histories of 15 Grand Old American Mansions
Every house has a story—some more mysterious than others. The peculiar pasts and enigmatic former owners of these mansions have left countless unanswered question...
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The 19 Most Photographed Homes in America
Whether you’re an avid shutterbug or simply an admirer of regal real estate, you’ll want to save space on your camera roll for these picture-perfect properties, w...
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Straight and Narrow: 22 Shotgun Houses We Love
Shotgun houses, traditionally no wider than 12 feet, feature a cascaded floor plan, wherein each room is arranged behind the other. These popular residential arch...
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10 U.S. Towns That Are Older Than America
For history lovers, nothing beats the old-time charm and architectural wonder of America’s oldest towns. These settlements are hundreds of years old, dating back ...
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21 Crazy But True Facts About the White House
Although the memorable speeches, grand state dinners, and other important events that have taken place at the White House have been well documented in history boo...
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18 Castles You Can Buy (for Less Than You Think)
Who said you had to be a royal to live like one? Everyday house hunters looking for a new place to call home can snag any one of these on-the-market castles and c...
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Would You Recognize These 9 Iconic Streets Way Back When?
America’s streets are paved with remarkable history. Some of the nation’s earliest historical routes; ones that once wound through quiet boroughs and townships, a...
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15 100-Year-Old Houses That Haven't Aged a Day
Can’t find any centenarians on your street? Look again; the oldest resident in the neighborhood may well be a historic home. These ancient abodes around the count...
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The 20 Best (and Most Unusual) B&Bs in America
Planning your next escape? Venture beyond the familiar hotels to uncover the best-kept secrets in vacation destinations. These 20 bed-and-breakfasts around the co...
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Step Inside 12 Hotels That Take You Back in Time
Across the world, countless historic structures have been converted into hotels whose old-world architecture and antique decor transport guests back to another er...
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The 22 Weirdest Town Names Ever Put on the Map
No matter how underpopulated, unremarkable, or remote they may be, these oddly named American communities are places to see and be seen (at the very least in a se...
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16 Iconic American Homes Torn Down Before Their Time
In desirable neighborhoods across the United States, the razing of a tear-down is a familiar sight. But this market-driven trend actually has a very long history....
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17 Parts of Your Home You Never Knew Had Names
Your house is made up of walls, windows, floors, doors... and a bunch of other thingamajigs and whatsits. Here, a slew of architectural mysteries solved!
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18 American Towns Every Old-House Lover Needs to See
For old house enthusiasts, the historic charm of a vintage home can outweigh even the most tempting of today's modern amenities. Whether you’re on the lookout for...
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How the Historic Hemingway Home Beats the Florida Heat and Humidity
Fans of Ernest Hemingway remember him not only for his classic books, but also for his larger-than-life persona and h...
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Better Your Builder-Grade Home with 12 Old-House Details
In a community of volume homes, where most facades are similar, dare to be different. Unlock the secrets to aesthetic appeal with timeless trends and historic fea...
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House Tour: A French Castle Rises from Its Ruins
In 2013, Karina and Craig Waters undertook the project of a lifetime: restoring a centuries-old, long-neglected chateau in the south of France.
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The Resurrection of a Gloriously Derelict Castle in France
Five years ago, Karina and Craig Waters—a tax accountant and a urologist, respectively, in Perth, Australia—began loo...
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7 Ways to Trace Your Home's History
Most owners of older homes eventually come to terms with the fact that they will never know everything about their property. If the last set of homeowners didn't ...
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Find Out Which Renowned Homes Were Practically Uninhabitable
Pushing the envelope always entails risk. But much more often than you might have expected, works of architecture tha...
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An Army of Artisans Descends on a California Craftsman
In La Verne, California, a small, sunny city roughly 30 miles east of Los Angeles, renovation expert Ray Adamyk recen...
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10 Iconic Baseball Stadiums Worth a Roadtrip to See
There's nothing quite like a trip to the ballpark: the uniform-clad crowds, the salty peanuts, the 7th-inning stretch—and the all-important game, of course. Yet a...
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TV House Quiz: Test Your Memory of 12 Famous Shows
Over the course of watching a television series, you get to know the characters pretty well—and you also learn to love (or loathe) the where they live. Test your ...
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Living Like Shakespeare: A Tudor Tutorial
Tudor architecture is a style of building that originated in England more than 500 years ago. This style's popularity coincided with the reign of the Tudors, an e...
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The Tudor-Style Home
If you grew up in an American suburb, you’re probably familiar with the Tudor architectural style, typified by homes ...
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Bob Vila's Architecture Bucket List: 10 Must-See Wonders
Take an architectural tour to see some of the incredible buildings that have inspired Bob Vila. Ranging from classical to modern, these landmark structures will p...
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15 Old House Features We Were Wrong to Abandon
We were probably right to leave behind many hallmarks of yesterday's home, but it's time to reconsider these 15 once-popular details, not for their novelty, but f...
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How Old Is My House?
Nothing satisfies like solving a good mystery, especially when the mystery to be unraveled is the history of your hou...
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Create a Restful Refuge with a Traditional Sleeping Porch
As a youngster, one of summer's great thrills was "sleeping out," usually on someone’s deck or porch, but sometimes e...
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FDR's "Real" Springwood on the Hudson
With the release of Hyde Park On Hudson, a Focus Features film starring Bill Murray as President Franklin Delano Roos...
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Mobile Homes: Then and Now
In Elkhart, IN, at the Recreational Vehicle/Manufactured Housing (RV/MH) Hall of Fame, resident historian Al Hesselba...
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Vacation in a National Park
Nearly 140 years ago, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the act that made Yellowstone the first national park in Amer...
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Historic Paint Colors
The gasp was audible. On entering the dining room at Monticello in late 2011, the chatter abruptly ceased as the tour...
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Historic St. Petersburg Neighborhoods
St. Petersburg, the fourth-largest city in Florida, was founded in 1888 and now has 248,000 residents. Set on Tampa B...
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A Farm Grows in Brooklyn: Visiting the Weeksville Heritage Center
Weeksville’s OriginsBefore the city grid was imposed, a Dutch and Indian trade route called Hunterfly Road meandered ...
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Bill Clinton’s Birthplace Achieves Historic Status
Billy Blythe’s HopeClose to America’s center is a half-forgotten railroad town called Hope. Located just off Intersta...
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5 Historic Homes Open for Christmastime Tours
Everything’s sparkly and bright at five of America’s historic landmarks—all open for touring this holiday season. &nb...
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A Brief History of Cobblestones
A walk through the historic districts of many older American cities will reveal a rustic and romantic street standard...
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Mobile Homes Timeline: Manufactured Housing Through the Years
The factory-built home has come a long way from its humble trailer origins to its growing popularity today.
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Historical Sleuthing: Reclaiming the Past at Washington’s Headquarters
I have the deepest respect and admiration for people who undertake the restoration of historic houses. Our first home...
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The Biltmore Estate: A Brief Architectural Tour
I recently toured The Biltmore in Asheville, NC—a 250-room estate on 8,000 acres, the largest private home built in A...
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Vaux & Olmsted’s “Other” Central Park
Incredible garden inspiration can be just around the corner, especially if you live in a city that is graced with a p...
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Nuts & Bolts: Designing America
Beloved for its impeccably researched and beautifully designed architectural history books, Acanthus Press recently i...
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Bob Vila's Guide to Historic House Styles
In the United States, a dizzying number and array of house styles are to be found, each one unique.
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Remembering Vizcaya
While visitors to Miami primarily come for sun and fun, the city offers a wealth of artistic, cultural and architectu...
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10 Ways to Bring Historic Style Home
Period details are not a thing of the past with today's stylish reproductions.
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Transporting Eames
Bobbye Tigerman, assistant Curator of Decorative Arts & Design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), i...
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Taking an Architectural Tour of Harvard Square
Bob explores Harvard Square with architectural historian Brian Pfeiffer, who highlights three centuries of architecture in Cambridge, MA.
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Touring the Isaac Bell Historic House
Bob takes a tour of the Isaac Bell historic house in Newport, RI, exploring one of the finest examples of the Shingle Style to be found anywhere.
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Painting with Historically Accurate Colors
Architectural conservator Brian Powell helps Bob do some detective work to discover the original exterior paint color scheme. They then look at historically appro...
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Touring the Shingle Style Naumkeag Historic House
Bob takes us to Stockbridge, MA, to tour Naumkeag, a wonderful example of the grand Shingle Style by architect Stanford White.
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Restoration of the Brooklyn Academy of Music
Karen Brooks Hopkins, president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), gives Bob a peek at the restoration of the main building.
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Touring Lincoln Road in Miami Beach
Bob visits Lincoln Road guided by architectural historian Allan Shulman, who chronicles the Lincoln Road saga from its beginning with Carl Fisher, "Mr. Miami Beac...
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Site Work Preparing for Precast Foundation
Bob teams up with Michael Shiels, the project's general contractor, to discuss the foundation prep work that is underway.
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Tour of the Gilded Age Cottages of the Berkshire Hills
Bob tours the Gilded Age cottages in the Berkshire Hills around Lenox, MA.
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Cape Cod-Style Architecture and Royal Barry Wills
Bob visits Cape Cod with Dick Wills, who is carrying on the work of his father, architect Royal Barry Wills. Beginning in the 1920s, the senior Wills popularized ...
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Architectural Possibilties in a Modern Cape
Dick Wills takes Bob on a tour of the interior of his Cape-style home.
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Touring the Calvin Coolidge House and the Burtch-Udall House
Bob meets University of Vermont professor Tom Visser in Plymouth Notch to visit the birthplace of President Calvin Coolidge. They then go to see the Burtch-Udall ...
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Reviewing the Bathroom Tile and Fixtures
Bob looks at the finished wall tile from Shaw in a second-floor bathroom at the Vermont farmhouse project site.
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Tour of Middleton Place
Bob visits Middleton Place, a plantation located outside Charleston, SC, renowned for its exquisite landscaped gardens.
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Tour of Shirley Plantation
Bob takes a tour of Shirley Plantation, the oldest operating family farm in America, located right on the James River.
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Tour of Boston's Leather District
Bob takes a walking tour of some of Boston's best-preserved antique commercial buildings in the Leather District with architectural historian Brian Pfeiffer.
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Tour of Historic Roxbury Architecture
Bob tours some of the grand old houses that remain from Roxbury's heyday at the turn of the century.
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A Retrospective of Restoration Projects in the Elmwood Neighborhood
Bob recaps the entire Elmwood project. It was a community effort involving an array of houses, though great pains were made to adhere to the historic look of the ...
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Shoreline House Tour of Miami
Bob takes a shoreline tour of Miami, his hometown, to introduce the new project.
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Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House
Bob takes a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House.
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Neighborhood Tour of Newton, MA
Bob takes a tour of Newton, MA. "The Garden City" boasts a wide variety of American architectural styles and is one of the most desirable communities in the Bosto...
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Discussing the Design
Bob is on site to discuss the design of the completed addition with the project architects.
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Tour of Charleston, SC
Bob sets out on a carriage tour of historic Charleston, SC to get a feel for the elegant and well-preserved architecture of one of the most beautiful cities in th...
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Initial Tour
Restoration contractor Richard Marks shows Bob around the elegant, though quite run-down, Federal-style project house.
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William Gibbes House Tour
Bob tours the William Gibbes House, one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in America.
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William Gibbes House Garden Tour
Bob returns to the William Gibbes House in Charleston, SC for a tour of the one-acre garden of this grand Georgian mansion, one of the nation's best examples of G...
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Tour of Millford Plantation
Bob takes a field trip to Millford Plantation, a spectacular Greek Revival governor's mansion with echoes of the Civil War still ringing through its halls.
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Robert Barnwell Rhett House Tour
Bob tours a Georgian architectural beauty with twin octagonal parlors a few blocks away from the project house in Charleston, SC.
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Tour of the Vanderbilts' Great Camp Sagamore
Bob tours the mother of all cabins in the woods of upstate New York's Adirondack mountains, a camp once owned by the Vanderbilt family.
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Osterville, MA & Nauticus Marina
Bob tours the town of Osterville, MA, which has a deep background in fishing and maritime activity. And he meets with Bill Koch, one-time America's Cup champion, ...
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Historic Windmill Tour
Bob tours the Old East Mill, a restored post-and-beam windmill, at Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, MA. In its day, the mill produced rye, corn, salt, and barley....
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Touring the Exterior of Chateau-sur-Mer
To prepare for the Victorian remodel, Bob takes an inspirational tour of the striking Chateau-sur-Mer in Newport, RI.
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Touring the Interior of Chateau-sur-Mer
Bob tours the lavish interior of Chateau-sur-Mer in Newport, RI. The entrance walls are painted canvas and the ceiling is adorned by a fresco. Hand-carved walnut ...
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Staining the Exterior
Painting contractor Mike Suarez sprays water-based stain on the home's exterior, while Bob, accompanied by paint consultant Sherry Hiller, tours the island with a...
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Tour of Drayton Hall in South Carolina
Bob visits Drayton Hall, in South Carolina, for a tour of one of the finest examples of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the United States.
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Thomas Edison Home Tours
Bob tours homes that were designed by Thomas Edison. Built in Maine before being shipped to Florida, the homes are surrounded by indiginous plantings, and the dec...
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Touring Art Deco Architecture in Miami Beach
Bob tours the Art Deco section of Miami Beach. His guide points out many notable sites, including the Bow Hotel, believed to be the oldest building in Miami Beach...
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Touring Vizcaya
Bob visits Vizcaya, a remarkable Italian Renaissance-style palazzo. Head curator Doris Littlefield shows Bob around the 70-room mansion and 12-acre estate gardens.
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Florida Architecture
Bob and Andrea, a Florida architect, look over some building models and visit examples.
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Touring Chicago's Modern Architecture
Bob meets with architectural historian Susan Benjamin to tour five buildings in Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper.
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Touring Chicago Architecture
Bob joins architectural historian Susan Benjamin for a tour of some of Chicago's landmark buildings.
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Tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Studio
Bob tours the Oak Park, IL studio of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Bob goes on to visit several nearby houses designed by Wright at the turn of the century.
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Historic Neighborhoods of St. Petersburg
Bob visits the historic neighborhoods and parks of St. Petersburg, FL.
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