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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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I-HOUSES. The I-house is a vernacular house type, popular in the United States from the colonial period onward. The I-house was so named in the 1930s by Fred Kniffen, a cultural geographer at Louisiana State University who was a specialist in folk architecture. He identified and analyzed the type in his 1936 study of Louisiana house types. He chose the name "I-house" because of its common occurrence in the rural farm areas of Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, all states beginning in the letter "I".

I-houses generally feature gables to the side and are at least two rooms in length, one room deep, and two full stories in height. They also often have a rear wing or "ell" for a kitchen or additional space. The facade of an I-house tends to be symmetrical, and they were constructed in a variety of materials, including logs, wood frame, brick or stone. Houses of this type were two rooms wide, one room deep, and two stories tall.

This style was found in LITTLE DUBLIN. This style of building allowed homes to be constructed on shallow lots like those once squeezed between South Locust Street and the bluff.



"I House," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Online: http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=IH001