American Heritage Entries - Restoration & Design for the Vintage House | Old House Online

American Heritage Entries

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Stumped for ideas? Here's a few of the great entries we've had so far!


If I had to pick one word that says "America" to me, it would undoubtedly be "diversity". Not only are we a nation of diverse races, religious and beliefs, but walk through any American town and you can't help but notice our diversity of architecture. In my neighborhood, lusciously ornate Queen Annes happily reside next to mid-century modern ranches. Charming mail-order bungalows cozy up to towered Norman cottages. These houses were built during different periods in our nation's history, yet coexist like a close knit family.


When we choose a house, we tend to fall in love with what makes it unique and how it reflects who we are. We love its stained glass, bracketed eaves, eyebrow window, gazebo. We tend to overlook its quirks because we know its heart.

Although, however varied in color, style, size,material and embellishment, these homes all blend into a lovely scene of contentment. . . especially on a glorious summer day, with all the flags flying on the front porches, flowers everywhere, kids on bikes. As American as apple pie.

America to me is the ability to live wherever we choose. After finding a beautiful river town full of buildings with incredible early19th century architecture, I told my husband that we were moving to Madison, Indiana. We are so fortunate, not only that these buildings still exist, but that we can actually live in them. My ancestors settled in Virginia in 1622 and stayed within the state until my family moved to the Midwest in the 1960s. While traveling back home, as a child, I looked at the old houses alongside the road and wondered how old they were and who lived there? I remember thinking, "When I grow up, I'm going to find out." I did end up studying history and historic preservation in school, but still wanted to live and touch the beautiful old pieces of 'material culture'. So, when my husband took a position in Indiana, I became an antiques dealer. Travels to auctions took me throughout the state and one of the auctions was in Madison. At first I was just interested in the beautiful items offered at the auction, but after driving through town I thought "this is it!" That's how we came to live the American Dream!

2 Easy Ways to Enter

What says "America" to you? Perhaps it's the picket fence you installed outside your 1920s cottage, or the annual Thanksgiving meal prepared in your restored kitchen. Let us know by uploading a 2 minute video (tag it "American") or writing an essay. The winning entry will receive a special all-American prize package!
Contest ends 07/15/2011


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