Many of Juneau's most notable and interesting buildings were built during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries during the Gold Rush period.  The buildings look similar to many that were built during that time in the West; that is they are usually fewer than four stories tall, somewhat square and squat in shape, and have little ornamentation.  Homes in Juneau are generally small, cottage sized buildings and can also stem their roots to the Gold Rush, when many homes were built to house miners and their families.  The lack of height and squat shape of the buildings makes them easier to heat and maintain in Alaska's harsh climate.  Most older Juneau buildings are made of wood, as reflects the available building materials at the time they were constructed.