More "Ancient" Public Domain Writings
Public domain ebooks are a good place to find regarding your favorite subjects for free. Following are some examples I've dug up (regarding construction), from different eras.
"The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed." Written in the 1800s.
From CHAPTER IV:
"Besides the plain capital thus described, of which instances with the
single escalloped edge occur in the crypts beneath the cathedrals of
Canterbury, Winchester, and Worcester, and with a series of escalloped
edges, or what would be heraldically termed _invected_, in many of the
capitals of the Norman piers in Norwich Cathedral, an extreme variety of
design in ornamental accessories prevail, the general form and outline of
the capital being preserved; and some exhibit imitations of the Ionic
volute and Corinthian acanthus, whilst many are covered with rude
sculpture in relief. They are generally finished with a plain square
abacus moulding, with the under edge simply bevelled or chamfered;
sometimes a slight angular moulding occurs between the upper face and
slope of the abacus, and sometimes the abacus alone intervenes between the
pier and the spring of the arch. There are also many round capitals, as,
for instance, those in the nave of Gloucester Cathedral, but they are
mostly late in the style."
Rural Architecture, Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings. Also written in the 1800s.
"The term _style_, also, is "the _manner_ or _form_ of a thing."
When we say, "that is a stylish house," it should mean that it is in,
or approaches some particular style of building recognized by the
schools. It may or may not be in accordance with good taste, and is,
consequently, subject to the same capricious test in its government. Yet
_styles_ are subject to arrangement, and are classified in the several
schools of architecture, either as distinct specimens of acknowledged
orders, as the Doric, the Ionic, the Corinthian, in Grecian
architecture, or, the Tuscan and Composite, which are, more distinctly,
styles of Roman architecture. To these may be added the Egyptian, the
most massive of all; and either of them, in their proper character,
grand and imposing when applied to public buildings or extensive
structures, but altogether inapplicable, from their want of lightness
and convenience, to country or even city dwellings. Other styles--not
exactly orders--of architecture, such as the Italian, the Romanesque,
the Gothic, the Swiss, with their modifications--all of which admit of a
variety of departures from fixed rules, not allowed in the more rigid
orders--may be adapted in a variety of ways, to the most agreeable and
harmonious arrangement in architectural effect, for dwellings and
structures appurtenant to them."
You can get more texts at Gutenber.org.
Other samples: Superb Architecture Writings
1800s Public Domain Prints
"Ancient" Public Domain Writings