The Timeless House is a finalist for an INDIEFAB book of the year award.

Subject Line: Building a Timeless House in an Instant Age named Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist

The Brent Hull Companies is pleased to announce that Building a Timeless House in an Instant Age has been recognized as a finalist in the 17th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards in the category of Architecture.

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd.

In the next three months, a panel of more than 100 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 63 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.

Building a Timeless House in an Instant Age is the result of a seed of an idea that formed in Brent’s mind in the early 1990’s as he studied historic preservation at the North Bennett Street School in Boston. Hailed as an “Education in Craftsmanship” it was quickly apparent to Brent that the ideas and skills he was learning at NBSS were skills found in the art of fine building; an art that somehow had been lost.

As Brent continued his career in building and construction, he wrestled with what had happened to homebuilding, craft and design. This book holds the answers and is the result of that struggle.


“After 17 years, our awards program has become synonymous with quality because our editors set such a high bar on the finalist round, which makes it especially tough for the judges who select the winners,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “In every genre, our judges will find an interesting, high-quality selection of books culled from this year’s entries.”

Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco on Friday, June 26 at 6 p.m. at the Pop Top Stage in the exhibit hall.

Brent Hull, owner and president of Hull Historical, is a nationally recognized authority on historic design, architecturally correct moldings, and millwork. Trained in the art of museum quality preservation at the prestigious North Bennett Street School in Boston, Brent is the exclusive licensee for the architectural interiors of the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate in Wilmington, Delaware. He has designed two lines of award-winning moldings and is a popular speaker and presenter.

Brent is also the author of two books, Traditional American Rooms celebrating style, craftsmanship, and historic woodwork with a foreword by Barbra Streisand and Historic Millwork, a guide to restoring and recreating doors, windows, and moldings from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. He is the recipient of four John Staub Awards for classical architecture in craftsmanship and historic restoration.

Brent Hull/Ft. Worth, Byrd House

Historic Botanical Garden Pergola Project

I’ve had a few readers ask for more information about some of our project. We just finished a rather fun historic job here in Fort Worth at the Botanical Gardens. Coincidentally it segues nicely with my recent post on rustic classical buildings. The FW Botanical Gardens were founded on historic natural springs, but became a formal garden in the 1930′s under the direction of Hare and Hare a landscape architecture firm.

Botanical historic


The landscaping and hardscaping are beautiful with the buildings and walls designed for symmetry, order and balance. One of the highlights of the Gardens is the upper pergola that we were privileged to restore using IPE. We worked with Gannon Gries of Bennett and Benner Partners along with the contractor, the Fain Group.

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IPE is tropical hardwood that some of you may have used on decks. It is an EXTREMELY hard and sinewy wood that is very difficult to work. The grain of the wood almost rubbery, and it is very dense. Thus it is a great exterior wood, but made our work more difficult. Here are some difficult coping cuts (into the stone) each one took almost 2 days to work out.

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The dovetail lap joint was a way we devised to tie together long timbers.

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When the Gardens were laid out and built-in the 1930′s it was one of the first public work projects in the city. Here a group of men sit in front of it upon its completion.

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The pergola/pavilion sits at the top of a large hill that has a fountain cascading down through pools and gardens. Here is a picture looking back up at the pergola from below.

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The result I think are quite wonderful and it has been “Timelessly” built to last for at least 100 years.

The primitive classical building

If you’ve ever wondered why the Greek and Roman temples look the way they do, here’s some background and fun inspiration. It is thought that the original Greek temples were built in wood and then later changed to stone which was more durable. It is because of the original wood construction that some of the unique elements like triglyphs (end of beam, supported by the architrave) evolve.

Marianne Cusato in her wonderful book, “Get your House Right.” shows a great illustration of the origins of the classical order. This illustration and the following pics remind us of the rustic and primitive origins, that were humble, unique and now, inspirational.

Classical orders origin

The other reassuring idea that comes from this peak into past, is how the decoration and assorted details (architraves and triglyphs) were not random, haphazard or without reason. For the most part, they represent a structural element of the building or were natural decoration that evolved during construction. Please enjoy this collection of primitive yet classical buildings.

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