February 29, 2016 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)
It must have been some imp of the perverse—or some sardonic pull from dark, hidden sources—which made me change my plans as I did. I had long before resolved to limit my observations to architecture alone, and I was even then hurrying toward the Square in an effort to get quick transportation out of this festering city of death and decay; but the sight of old Zadok Allen set up new currents in my mind and made me slacken my pace uncertainly.
– “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”
H.P. Lovecraft was a man in love with the past and one of avenues he use to explore this passion was a fascination with the architecture of 17th and 18th centuries. Thanks to the wonders of the ‘global thermonuclear war massively redundant communication infrastructure‘ (i.e. the internet, but that such prosaic a word now) you to can look at some of the very same types of buildings that thrilled old HPL so (and in some cases the very same buildings) and from roughly that same era.
I present (well, technically Archive.org presents, but I put them all in one blog post) the White Pine Series of Architecture Monographs! These were a series of short publications produced by, as the name suggests, the Northern Pine Manufacturer’s Association of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; as such each booklet concludes with a two page discussion of the wonders of white pine as a construction material, and an example construction project using that wonder wood.
Outside of selling readers on white pine, these short booklets (each typically runs about 20 pages) offer a brief introduction to the architectural topic at hand as well as multiple photographs of the buildings in question. If nothing else, you can easily round up some nice building exterior images for you next scenario. While I would be even happier if they’d have included some blueprints, or in the case of the towns, maps, I can’t complain about succinct explanations of architectural trends of the 18th century and the building materials and methods used – just be prepared for a lot more pictures of doorways than a healthy mind can enjoy.
Here are the entries from this series of potential interest to Lovecraft Country Keepers –