Confused about what kind of home you want to buy? In a market of infinite possibilities, pick one of the common American styles by visiting these popular museums. If you find a style you like, you can even hire a contractor to build you something from the ground up. Choose the correct style of architecture based on three main attributes: space, features, and locale.
1. American Gothic (Dibble House)
Architecture style: Carpenter Gothic
Location: Eldon, IA
Built in: 1882
Famous for: The artist Grant Wood drove around the town in search of inspiration when he first noticed the Dibble House. Wood considered the home "very paintable" and visited the current inhabitants for permission to use it in an oil painting. The artist later added a couple in front of the house to create the folk masterpiece known as "American Gothic" in 1930.
Architecture style: Modern
Location: Mill Run, PA
Built in: 1939
Famous for: Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater as a weekend getaway for the Kaufmann family. Located partly over a waterfall, the historic landmark won multiple awards for its architecture and is listed on the "28 Places to See Before You Die" in 2008.
3. Graceland Farms
Architecture style: Colonial Revival
Location: Memphis, TN
Built in: 1939
Famous for: Vernon and Gladys Presley picked out the mansion for their son Elvis, and the family relocated in early 1957. The megastar lived and eventually died within Graceland twenty years later, and he is buried in the Meditation Garden on the vast property.
4. Hemingway's Home
Architecture style: Spanish Colonial
Location: Key West, FL
Built in: 1851
Famous for: Renown author Ernest Hemingway only occupied the estate between 1931 and 1939 but created many classic works while there. He owned a unique breed of cats with six/seven toes that are now being selectively bred with help of their descendents.
5. House of the Seven Gables (Turner-Ingersoll Museum)
Architecture style: Georgian Colonial
Location: Salem, MA
Built in: 1667
Famous for: Originally built for Captain John Turner, this real estate is one of the oldest timber-framed survivors on our continent. A distant relative, Nathaniel Hawthorne, often visited the home which inspired his popular novel "The House of the Seven Gables" in 1851.
6. The Molly Brown House (House of Lions)
Architecture style: Queen Anne
Location: Denver, CO
Built in: 1887
Famous for: J.J. Brown purchased the property for his family, but they rented it out as they traveled. J.J.'s wife, Margaret, is widely known as the "unsinkable Molly Brown" after surviving the "Titanic" disaster.
7. Nemours Mansion and Gardens
Architecture style: French Rococo
Location: Wilmington, DE
Built in: 1910
Famous for: Alicia du Pont received Nemours as a gift from her husband and is currently owned by the Nemours Foundation. Alfred du Pont, a multimillionaire, made his fortune via the family-owned gunpowder and polymer manufacturing plant. Other than the sustained fortune they hold, you may also recognize the name from the 1996 court case. John du Pont established a wrestling facility (Foxcatcher Farm) where he shot Olympic medalist Dave Schultz who was living and working on the property.
8. The Painted Ladies
Architecture style: Victorian/Edwardian
Location: San Francisco, CA
Built in: 1849-1915
Famous for: Artists combined bright colors on the Painted Ladies, previously battleship grey from war-surplus paint, during the '60s. The row appears in pop culture as an iconic vision of the city. The series "Full House" uses a shot of these historic homes during their opening credits.
9. Shangri La
Architecture style: Islamic
Location: Honolulu, HI
Built in: 1938
Famous for: Shangri La, Doris Duke's oceanfront property, is inspired by the socialite's honeymoon through the Islamic world and features her extensive art collection from Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Spain, Syria, Eqypt, and India. She created the home as a private retreat; it was opened to the public following her death.
10. The White House
: Washington, D.C.Built in
: 1792Famous for
: The White House
serves as the residence and workspace for the current president. Interestingly enough, John Adams was the first to occupy the house in 1800; George Washington actually lived in a mansion called the President's House located in Philadelphia.