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Homes in the Heartland

Balloon Frame Farmhouses of the Upper Midwest

2008
Author:

Fred W. Peterson

Homes in the Heartland

Discover the architecture and construction behind the ubiquitous farmhouses of the Midwest

Homes in the Heartland offers a captivating explanation of the revolutionary balloon frame house construction that swept across Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin from 1850 to 1920, enabling the settlers of the upper Midwest to establish frontier homes. Fred W. Peterson leads readers through the technical aspects of farmhouse construction and discusses the social, economic, and aesthetic values of these familiar homes.

An engrossing account of a fundamental episode in American history.

New York Times Book Review

Available for the first time in paperback and with a new preface, Homes in the Heartland offers a captivating explanation of the revolutionary balloon frame house construction that swept across Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin from 1850 to 1920, enabling the settlers of the upper Midwest to build affordable permanent structures in which to establish frontier homes.

Featuring more than 150 illustrations, including photographs and house plans, Fred W. Peterson leads readers through the technical aspects of farmhouse construction and discusses the social, economic, and aesthetic values of these familiar homes. Together these narratives provide a fascinating window into the lives of the people who occupied these houses. As the American Historical Review says, “Peterson demonstrates the potential and use of architecture for the purposes of writing social history.”

Homes in the Heartland

Fred W. Peterson is professor emeritus of art history at the University of Minnesota, Morris and is the author of Keeping the Faith: German Catholic Vernacular Architecture in a Rural Minnesota Parish. He lives in Salisbury, Maryland.

Homes in the Heartland

An engrossing account of a fundamental episode in American history.

New York Times Book Review

Homes in the Heartland is a welcome addition to college library and American architectural history shelves.

The Midwest Book Review