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St. Louis ladies with a past
Lust, loathing and a little lip gloss
Kyra Davis.
Don Mills, Ont. : Mira, c2009.
In this final Sophie Katz mystery, Sophie is in love--with a three-bedroom Victorian. However, the rich, creepy seller wants Sophie to join San Francisco's spirited Specter Society. After a Society member is found dead, Sophie is sure her problems are caused by someone six-feet tall rather than six-feet under. Original.
     
The Victorian house book : a practical guide to home repair and decoration
Robin Guild.
Buffalo, N.Y. ; Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, 2008.
This well-illustrated design sourcebook on Victorian homes features spreads organized by room complemented by numerous interior and exterior styles, house plans, construction details, finishes, colors, upholstery, and more as well as renovation and maintenance advice.
     
Victorian house style handbook
Linda Osband ; edited by Paul Atterbury.
Newton Abbot : David & Charles, 2007.
A comprehensive pocket source book bursting with architectural and decorative design features: Provides all you need to identify authentic Victorian styles and colours, whether you are restoring a Victorian house, or simply wish to recreate the intimate splendour of the period, Explores each room in great detail, from structural features such as doors, windows, staircases and ceilings, to design details including wallpaper, tiles and door handles, Combines inspiring original source material - including 19th century architectural designs and catalogue excerpts - with photographs of modern interiors, enabling you to balance traditional Victorian style with 21st century living. Book jacket.
     
Victorian cottage architecture : an American catalog of designs, 1891
George F. Barber ; introduction by Michael A. Tomlan.
Mineola, NY : Dover Publications, 2004.
At the end of the nineteenth century, carpenter, architect, and publisher George Franklin Barber began publishing his residential designs in inexpensive illustrated catalogs. The publications also contained order forms and price lists for his drawings. While not the first catalog of its kind to sell private homes to the public on a widespread basis, the issue was revolutionary because it also gave customers an opportunity to buy custom-designed houses. Reaching thousands of potential clients throughout the U. S. and abroad, Barber created homes that today are cited as "unique, " "fascinating, " and "distinctive." This republication of his 1891 catalog, "
     
Victorian Gothic house style : an architectural and interior design source book
Linda Osband.
Newton Abbot : David & Charles, 2000.
With its admirable purity of design and skillful crafting, Victorian Gothic took its cue from medieval ecclesiastical buildings in northern Europe. Through this highly illustrated source--with over 500 photographs, some from original catalogues and others specially commissioned--anyone can recreate the feel of a 19th century Gothic revival style home. From steeply pitched roofs topped by turrets, towers, and chimney-stacks to beautiful natural materials to intricate carvings, every detail will fascinate and inspire. 9 X 10 1/4.
     

Thirty years ago color emerged as an important focal point in the renovation of Victorian houses. Since that time, St. Louisí own Victorian Painted Ladies have been brought back to their original look using exterior paint colors that mirror the sensibilities of the Victorians.

The Painted Ladies of St. Louisí Lafayette Square neighborhood have limestone fronts and large cornices perfect for displaying the painterís art. But color hasnít always been a part of their past. When they were first erected in the 1870ís their limestone facades were plain, not painted. Cornices, windows, and doors were a sedate neutral color. Then tastes changed and strong colors came into fashion. The 1890ís Ladies of the Square could be seen with dark green and red facades. Deep blue and bold yellow were popular base colors with gold and brown used as trim.

After the turn of the 20th century when city neighborhoods went into decline, no one  cared for the Ladiesí fine features. For decades they were covered with a single color of paint.  They became "Plain Janes" indeed!

Painted Lady

The term "Painted Lady" was coined in 1978 by Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their book of the same name about San Francisco houses.  In order to be called a "Painted Lady" the Victorian building must be:

*A balanced, felicitous blend of color and architecture

*Painted in three or more contrasting colors

* Ruffled and flourished, using color to emphasize these features

The colorist movement of the 1970ís was born in the resurgence of interest in Victorian houses. Bright, psychedelic colors that echoed the times could be found on a few houses in the Square. Those bright colors gave way to more sophisticated colors in the 1990ís as home owners researched original Victorian colors and sought to replicate them. Now, complex palettes using up to ten colors dress the Ladies. These carefully chosen colors highlight their best features.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff