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Foster House

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1933, Tinsley, McBroom and Higgins. 1560 N. Elm St.
  • Foster House (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

As was the case with other architects who practiced in the 1930s and before, the architects used a number of different points of historic references in their designs. In the thirties and on into the post-World War II years, they tended to employ one of three images: the American Colonial, the French Provincial, and on occasion, the French Norman. The Foster house is one of the largest and most impressive of their post-1945 designs in the latter mode. This large suburban house is sheathed in brick that has been whitewashed to give an aged effect. Beside the entrance is a round tower with spire roof which houses the principal staircase. The steeply pitched gable roofs are picturesquely varied, and the skyline of the house is broken by a number of tall chimneys. Small hipped and round dormers break from the roof surface, and below, on the second floor, there is occasional half-timbering. In the realm of the late period revival, the Foster house is one of America's classics.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Foster House", [Ottumwa, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Iowa, David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 339-339.

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