1900 Queen Anne – Mt. Pleasant, IA (George F. Barber)

Added to OHD on 7/27/12   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   16 Comments
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National Register

207 E Henry St, Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641

  • $225,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 1 Bath
  • 2236 Sq Ft
  • 0.5 Ac.
Own a piece of history with this G.W.S. Allen House listed on the Iowa Historian Register. This Victorian home with 4 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, ALL the following are original: woodwork, wood floors, pocket doors, light fixtures, light switches, all brass door hinges,knobs, open staircase. New kitchen, new master bath, storage abundant in this newly updated home, lots of mature trees, grape vines, flower beds, carriage house, AND five porches to enjoy!

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16 Comments on 1900 Queen Anne – Mt. Pleasant, IA (George F. Barber)

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  1. john c says: 434 comments

    Mount PLeasant is a wonderful town with the annual old thresher’s reunion featuring steam tractors and machines, among many other things. I began going in the early 60s. http://www.oldthreshers.com/ See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1tvWowrVD8 In those early years of the reunion, one of the most thrilling events was where very aged men — usually in their 80s and sometimes in their 90s — would balance their steam tractors on planks placed across logs, rolling the behomeths back and forth until, finally, they achieved perfect balance. To those who were from farms, to realize the immense skill and gentleness those now-elderly men used sixty or more years before in their daily work was a revelation.

    Mount Pleasant then, at least, revered the past and was pretty confident (if diffident about talking about) the future. Again, wonderful town, wonderful people. If someone interested in this house reads this, go to the show and see Mount Pleasant — you might want to stay!

  2. john c says: 434 comments

    The Schedule of Events for this year’s reunion.

    http://www.oldthreshers.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.scheduleProgramSponsors

  3. says: 460 comments

    Those rounded turrets look nice from the outside, but they always seem like such awkward spaces on the interior.

  4. Karen says: 73 comments

    I love a George F. Barber house, and this one is no exception! I love the details–the floors, hardware, light fixtures. I’d like to find a more complete list of George F. Barber houses than the list on wikipedia. Anyone know how to find a complete accurate list of Barber houses??

  5. Chris DiMattei says: 268 comments

    This is the George W. S. Allen house, and it is one of seven extant Barber designs in Mount Pleasant. This gem of a town has one of the best collections of Barber designs, outside of Knoxville itself. If only . . .

  6. James Brown says: 6 comments

    There is a strikingly similar house in Forest City, IA. It differs a bit in details, but the design is similar enough to make me think they are variations on the same design http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v157/dragonoake/?action=view&current=queen-anne-2.jpg

    • Chris DiMattei says: 268 comments

      James, I checked out the photo you linked to the similar house in Forest City, IA. You might be right in that the Forest City house could also be a George Barber design, albeit another one of his published designs. I intend to look into this further.

      • James Brown says: 6 comments

        I’ve always thought it looked like a Barber design, but unless I’ve overlooked a similar design, I’ve never been able to find it in the print books I’ve seen. I’ve uploaded all the pix I have to the VICARR site. Other than the wider veranda, the octagonal tower, and the narrower gable, the design looks very similar. The differences on the west side (the missing half of the bay window and the side porch) could be due to damage suffered when the hotel that used to be next door burned down in the 30’s, which might explain the odd placement of the window there. The back porch (along with a section of the veranda on the east side) appears to have been enclosed to make a laundry room, which was later removed to build the garage, and turned into a garden shed.

        • Chris DiMattei says: 268 comments

          James, Thanks for creating the Vicarr photo album with the photos of the Forest City Victorian. I have added an image to that album that illustrates the Barber design that I feel is most closely resembles the house created in Forest City. Now this is by no means proof, but combined with the interior photos you provided, strongly suggests that Barber was involved. As I see it, there are two principle differences between the published design that I have added to your album, and the Forest City home, those being the squared off massing of the bays on the second floor, and the single wrap-a-round porch on the first floor. I attribute these differences in the Forest City house to be simple variations on the design that Barber probably made to accommodate the desires of his client. In my research and documentation of Barber, I have seen other examples of this particular design with similar variations. Also, I have found that this particular design seems to be consistently found with circular motifs in the gingerbread, something your Forest City example supports. Again, it is not proof, yet, but I believe this to be a Barber design. However did you get the interior photos? Do you know the homeowners? I would love to see more and decipher the floor plan layout of each level. This would assist me in making a more informed determination. Thanks again for bringing this gem to my attention. Got any others you are suspicious of? Feel free to email me directly at crdimattei@gmail.com

          • James Brown says: 6 comments

            I don’t know the owners, but a quick Google search on the address reveals that it is again for sale: http://www.haugenrealty.com/345northclarkstreet/

            • john c says: 434 comments

              Perhaps Chris and others might be able to work with those interior photographs at the bottom of that web-page. This address is/was the location of a business: Prairie Elegeance, 641-585-2346, 345 N Clark St,
              Forest City, IA, US 50436-1409. I am wondering if a call or letter to that address might elicit more information.

              This description appears in the former Realtor listing and perhaps gives some vague indication of layout on the first floor.
              The exterior of this Victorian-syle home features era-appropriate paint colors, banks of windows & a wrap-around porch. Located on tree-lined Clark Street, the home offers the character & charm of years-gone by, as well as modern updates. The front door opens into a grand foyer, which provides a view of stained glass windows, an open staircase, ornate woodwork, wood floors & 10-inch baseboards. The formal parlor is evident to the right of the foyer. A fireplace is found in the LR, with shelving & cabinets available in the library. A floor-to-ceiling, built-in hutch in the DR features glass-front doors. The unique kitchen offers a pantry, as well as access to the main level laundry & 3/4 bath, back stairs to UL & attached garage. The UL has 4 BRs – two access full baths. A finished attic, with half bath, provides more living space. Large yard & shed for storage or play.CLICK HERE for virtual tour!</A…More Less

              Source: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/345-N-Clark-St-Forest-City-IA-50436/76896479_zpid/ That same listing page says there are 15 rooms

  7. John C. Shiflet says: 5356 comments

    The “drama” one often encounters upon entering a Geo. Barber designed house is evident here. Lavish, intricate fretwork; ornate light fixtures; millwork; mantels; stained or beveled glass, were combined in Barber homes to make an impression of elegance. But the impression was based on the tastes of the 1890’s so when all things Victorian fell out of favor after 1910, removing these ornate period details were high on people’s remodeling list. Finding these details intact in the old homes of larger cities is as rare as finding the proverbial hen’s teeth but the pace of change was slower in smaller towns so occasionally an intact original entry like this one is found. As for the Forest City towered Queen Anne, the design is similar to some of George Barber’s but probably not attributable to a specific planbook. Always adding to the difficulty of identifying Barber houses is the fact that he did a fair amount of custom work that either does not match any published design or has elements not found in his published planbooks. As Chris will tell us, there’s undoubtedly some (custom) Barber designed houses that unless a lucky piece of evidence linking the house to Barber is somehow found, we will never know the design connection. For lovers of Barber designed homes in the Queen Anne style, this one has a lot going for it.

  8. Maxim Mann says: 1 comments

    This looks like a modified version of George F. Barbers Design no. 245, without the front porch varandah and the turret extending all the way to the first floor. https://www.flickr.com/photos/31942379@N00/14040638051/

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