Skills != books

Randomly looking through old architect books on the web, trying again to find an equivalent to Grandma’s apartment building, a fourplex with a separate service hall. Previously I’d looked through my bookshelf of Dover plan books from that era, with no results. There are some fourplexes but no service halls.

While googling, another aspect of social class showed up. ‘Fourplex’ simply wasn’t used in the architecture books and periodicals of the era. There are a couple incidental references in court cases, but nothing in books. ‘Fourplex’ is perfectly common in modern books and magazines about restoration.

‘Beadboard’ has the same pattern. Common in modern restoration books and websites, absent except for court cases in the era when it was actually used.

Low-class stuff is non-verbal. It’s all in the hands of real builders and carpenters, who knew how to make it but saw no need to write or talk about it.

Books are about rich stuff, Carrara marble and burl walnut and pearl-inlaid veneer. And now restoration is a rich activity.

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