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Gordon Wickes House
Numerous model houses were built throughout the 1930s, some sponsored by national and regional magazines, others by local newspapers, various building industries, and local groups of architects. The Wickes house, “America's Most Beautiful Modern Home,” was sponsored by the Des Moines Architects Association. The “ideal suburban dwelling” designs depicted in the 1930s in the pages of the Meredith Corporation's Better Homes and Gardens (and in their pattern books) were generally Colonial Revival—the Cape Cod cottage was popular—but they occasionally indicated that a new day was on hand with Streamline Moderne designs, similar to that of the Wickes house. In its proportion, symmetry of fenestration, suggestion of fluted pilasters, and stone sheathing, the Wickes house conveys a sense that its design also has something to do with the then-fashionable English Regency and American Federal styles. Though it was a steel-frame dwelling, the Wickes house reads as a typical wood-stud building.
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