Fanciful Fretwork
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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Fanciful Fretwork

The mid-19th-century industrial revolution made mass-produced architectural details—like this oak fretwork that divides rooms on the parlor floor—affordable to the middle class, establishing an ornate style for the entire Victorian era. "A lot of people think the elaborate woodwork in these brownstones was all handcarved by master craftsmen," says Lockwood. "The truth is that long before the 1890s, most of this stuff was factory-made."
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