Public domain books are a really good place to get books regarding your favorite topics free of cost. Following are a few samples I have dug up (pertaining to construction), from various eras.
"The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed." Written in the 1800s.
From the Introduction:
"The frequent occurrence of panelled compartments, and the partial change
of form in the arches, especially of doorways and windows, which in the
latter part of the fifteenth century were often obtusely pointed and
mathematically described from four centres, instead of two, as in the more
simple pointed arch, and which from the period when this arch began to be
prevalent was called the TUDOR arch, together with a great profusion of
minute ornament, mostly of a description not before in use, are the chief
characteristics of the style of the fifteenth century, which by some of
the earlier writers was designated as the FLORID; though it has since
received the more general appellation of the PERPENDICULAR.
This style prevailed till the Reformation, at which period no country
could vie with our own in the number of religious edifices, which had been
erected in all the varieties of style that had prevailed for many
preceding ages. Next to the magnificent cathedrals, the venerable
monasteries and collegiate establishments, which had been founded and
sumptuously endowed in every part of the kingdom, might most justly claim
the preeminence; and many of the churches belonging to them were
deservedly held in admiration for their grandeur and architectural
elegance of design."
The second comes from Rural Architecture, Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings. By Allen, Lewis Falley.
STYLE OF BUILDING.--MISCELLANEOUS:
"Let it be understood, that the above sums are named as simply comporting
with a financial view of the subject, and such as the economical
management of the estate may warrant. To one who has no regard to such
consideration, this rule of expenditure will not apply. He may invest
any amount he so chooses in building beyond, if he only be content to
pocket the loss which he can never expect to be returned in an increased
value to the property, over and above the price of cheaper buildings. On
the other hand, he would do well to consider that a farm is frequently
worth less to an ordinary purchaser, with an extravagant house upon it,
than with an economical one, and in many cases will bring even less in
market, in proportion as the dwelling is expensive. _Fancy_ purchasers
are few, and fastidious, while he who buys only for a home and an
occupation, is governed solely by the profitable returns the estate will
afford upon the capital invested."
You can find many more texts at Gutenber.org.
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