History Nebraska Blog

Do you have a Dodds "Pattern Book" House in Your Neighborhood?



The front cover of the Dodds Homes catalogue


CALL FOR PATTERN BOOK HOUSES Want to explore history in your community? May is National Historic Preservation Month, and there's a contest encouraging people to build community and learn history that Lincoln and Omaha residents shouldn't miss! Restoration Exchange Omaha and the Preservation Association of Lincoln are sponsoring a search for early twentieth-century houses advertised in a plan book by Omaha architect Everett Dodds.  Examples have been found in both Omaha and Lincoln and more are out there.  Search your neighborhood!



A Dodds “Argyle"-style house in Omaha


Omaha architect Everett S. Dodds was one of Nebraska’s most prolific home designers. His area of expertise was residential house plans which he offered as “stock” plans to prospective homeowners and homebuilders. These building plans were featured weekly in the Omaha Bee and the Omaha Sunday World-Herald under the headline, “Some New Home Suggestions.” In approximately 1914, Dodds released a plan book of house designs ranging from affordable bungalows to more elaborate homes, which he stated could be modified at a small cost to suit individual preferences. He described himself as a “Specialist in Up-to-Date Residences and Bungalows of the Better Class.” Dodds termed some of his architectural styles as “a bungalow of the California type,” “Colonial in design,” “cottage,” “Dutch colonial,” “of dainty English lines,” and “Tudor.”

A Dodds "Ludlow"-style house in Lincoln


Trade journals commented on the affordability of his work, listing a large number of houses in the planning and bidding stages of construction. Most ranged in price from $3,000-$5,000, with the occasional higher-end home. Although most of his work centered in Omaha, plans were designed for locations as far away as Odebolt, Iowa and Kearney, Nebraska.   In his plan book he wrote: “The beauty of the house is order, The blessing of the house is contentment, The glory of the house is hospitality.” To date, a number of the designs from his plan book have been identified in Lincoln and Omaha. THE SEARCH IS ON Please join us as we search for additional examples of his work. Click here for a copy of the Dodds plan book: BuildaDoddsHomeBookletColor. When you think you have an example, please send a thumbnail photo of the home, its model name from Dodds’ book, and its full address to Jennifer Honebrink at jhonebrink@alleypoyner.com. Honebrink will collect the findings and results will be posted in early June on the Preservation Association of Lincoln, Restoration Exchange Omaha, and Nebraska State Historical Society web sites. Watch for the results in June! MORE INFORMATION Preservation Association of Lincoln web page - www.preservelincoln.org "Like" the Preservation Association of Lincoln on Facebook here. Restoration Exchange Omaha web page - www.restorationexchange.org "Like" Restoration Exchange Omaha on Facebook here. NSHS State Historic Preservation Office  

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