Houses: I-House

The I-house is a one-and-a-half or two-story house with two rooms on each floor, usually with a central hallway. Cultural geographer Fred Kniffen coined the term I-house because he first noticed examples of this house type in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. He later realized that the house type could be found in additional states, but by that time, the name had stuck. In the quote below, Warren distinguishes between the dog-trot house, with its open central breezeway, and the I-house, with its enclosed central hallway. You will note by clicking on the Ketcham House link at right that the categorization between the two types is often problematic.

"I-houses of frame or brick construction are common in southern Indiana both in the countryside and in towns. The Indiana houses of log [which are often described as dog-trot houses] can best be called log I-houses . . . . When the log examples are in good condition with the usual siding intact, it would be very difficult to tell them apart from frame I-houses of the same period."

Warren Roberts, Log Buildings of Southern Indiana, 1996, 144.