Architecture / Style – old

Our guide to architectural styles follows. Included are synonyms listed under “Also known as,” brief descriptions, and lists of common features. Sources refer to where some of this information is taken from and where additional information can be found.

Adirondack

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Sprawling complexes intended as summer retreats in wilderness areas, with a rustic look, achieved through the use of stone, logs, and twigs used in their natural state.
Great Camp Decorative half-timbering

Bracket

Intersecting gable

Steep sloping roof

Ribbed-tin roof

Shed-roofed dormer

Split shingles

Shed roof

Stucco

Scroll-sawn rafter tail

Corbeled log ends

Six-over-six double hung sash

Rustic-work railing (rough twigs)

Rubblework chimney

Saddle notch

Recessed porch

Paired windows

Rough-pole porch post

Rubblework foundation

Balcony

Log siding

Exposed rafter

Sources: Carley, p. 170-174.

A-Frame

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
In 1934 the architect Rudolph Shindler designed a modern weekend house for a client, Gisela Bennati, in Lake Arrowhead, California. A planned community, Lake Arrowhead required all new houses to be designed in the Norman Revival style. Schindler responded rather sarcastically with a design dominated by a “Normanroof that fell from the ridge all the way to the ground. Challenged by a dubious jury, the architect countered with photographs of steep-roofed houses, and as none of the panelists had ever been to France, he handily won the argument. The result was the first A-frame built in America. True to the Modernist credo, Schindler sheathed the interior in one of the latest industrial products – plywood – and opened up the gable ends with large panes of glass. The open plan incorporated one large living/dining area and a built-in garage. Steep pitched roof

Wood shingles

Extended beams

Hopper windows (pivot in)

Terrace

Rubblework masonry

Low-hanging eaves

Soffit

Plate-glass gable

Sources: Vogeler.

Art Deco, 1925-1940

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Art Deco is characterized by a linear, hard edge or angular composition often with a vertical emphasis and highlighted with stylized decoration. The facades of buildings often are arranged in a series of set backs emphasizing the geometric form. Strips of windows with decorated spandrels add to the vertical feeling of the composition. Hard-edged low relief ornamentation is found around door and window openings, string courses and along the roof edges or parapet. Ornamental detailing often is executed in the same material as the building or in various metals, colored glazed bricks or mosaic tiles. Although straight-headed windows (metal sash or casement type) are more popular, an occasional circular window or rounded window and door jamb is found. Two stories

Stucco walls

Glass blocks

Casement windows

Small round windows

Curved corner walls

Concrete basement walls

Sources: Blumenson, 77.

Art Deco, 1930-1945

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Art Deco is characterized by a linear, hard edge or angular composition often with a vertical emphasis and highlighted with stylized decoration. The facades of buildings often are arranged in a series of set backs emphasizing the geometric form. Strips of windows with decorated spandrels add to the vertical feeling of the composition. Hard-edged low relief ornamentation is found around door and window openings, string courses and along the roof edges or parapet. Ornamental detailing often is executed in the same material as the building or in various metals, colored glazed bricks or mosaic tiles. Although straight-headed windows (metal sash or casement type) are more popular, an occasional circular window or rounded window and door jamb is found.

Sources: Blumenson, 79.

Art Moderne

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
A modern style: streamlined stucco and chromium, as if buildings traveled at the speed of automobiles. Inspired by the Paris International Exposition of 1937.

Sources: Willensky, 2000.

Arts and Crafts

Also known as: Arts and Crafts Movement

Description and Variations Features
A philosophy of design stressing handicrafts and a return to preindustrial design. Popular in England in the late 19th century, it had some influence on the American Prairie and Craftsman styles. Stone, exterior chimney

Small, high windows on each side of chimney

Dormers, usually gabled or shed

Triangular knee brace supports

Sloped foundations

Fieldstones

Exposed roof beams and rafter tails or ends

Sources: Foster, 2004.

Bay Area Group

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Beaux Arts, 1890-1920

Also known as: Beaux Arts Classicism, Beaux-Arts Classicism, Beaux-Arts

Description and Variations Features
Beaux Arts Classicism is characterized by large and grandiose compositions with an exuberance of detail and variety of stone finished. Highlights of the style are projecting facades or pavilions with colossal columns often grouped in pairs, enriched moldings and free-standing statuary. Windows may be enframed by free-standing columns, balustraded sill, and pedimented entablature on top. Pronounced cornices and enriched entablatures are topped with a tall parapet, balustrade, or attic story. Classical columns, one-story

Classical columns, two-story (colossal)

Baskethandle arch

Sources: Blumenson, 67.

Box-and-Strip Building

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
The simple box-and-strip construction technique appeared in the Plains and in Texas in the late 1800s after milled lumber became available but was still expensive in some hard-to-reach areas. Requiring a minimum of wood, the building method involved nailing vertical boards to a bottom sill and top plate, then merely covering up the cracks with thin wood strips. The look was similar to board-and-batten siding, but the strips were wider and rougher, and there was no balloon frame for support underneath. Wood strips

Vertical boards

Brick chimney

Boxed eaves

Split wood shingles (shakes)

Shed roof

Rafter ends

Porch

Wood pier

Paneled door

Four-over-four double-hung sash

Sources: Carley, p. 126.

Brutalism

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
The bold concrete architecture inspired by Le Corbusier’s work and his followers. Also, New Brutalism.

Sources: Willensky, 2000.

Bungalow, 1890-1940

Also known as: Bungaloid, Bungalows, Bungalows and Small Houses, Craftsman, Craftsman Bungalow, Western Stick, The Western Stick Style

Description and Variations Features
The typical bungalow is a one-story house with gently pitched broad gables. A lower gable usually covers an open or screened porch and a larger gable covers the main portion of the house. In larger bungalows the gable is steeper, with intersecting cross gable or dormers. Rafters, ridge beams and purlins extend beyond the wall and roof. Chimneys are of rubble, cobblestone or rough-faced brick. Porch piers often are battered. Wood shingles are the favorite exterior finish although many use stucco or brick. Exposed structural members and trim work usually are painted but the shingles are left in a natural state or treated with earth-tone stains. Windows are either sash or casement with many lights or single panes of glass. Shingled porch railings often terminated with a flared base. The bungalow, like other simple but functional houses, was subject to variations such as the California, the Swiss, the Colonial, Tudor and others according to locale and fashions of the time. 1-1/2 stories

long, rectangular volumes

ridgepole perpendicular to the street

hipped roofs

small front porches

Piers with slanted sides

Sources: Blumenson, 71.

Cape Cod, 1700-present

Also known as: Cape Cod Cottage

Description and Variations Features
A one-and-a-half-story New England house, end-gabled with central chimney floor plan and steep roof, originally built in Massachusetts from 1700 on. Today, a small end-gabled house common in lower-cost housing developments, barely resembling the original. 1 and ½ story

End-gabled

Sources: Foster, 2004

Chateauesque, 1860-1890

Also known as: Chateau

Description and Variations Features
The Chateau style is massive and irregular in silhouette. It is characterized by steeply pitched hip or gable roofs with dormers, towers, and tall elaborately decorated chimneys with corbelled caps. Croisettes or cross windows are paired and divided by a mullion and a transom bar. The basket-handle arch, similar to a Tudor arch without a point, also is used for windows. At times Renaissance elements such as semi-circular arches or pilasters are mixed with hood molds, Tudor arches, stone window tracery, and finials of the Gothic style. Baskethandle arch

Ogee arch

Gabled dormer

Oriel window

Sources: Blumenson, 51.

Chicago

Also known as: Chicago Commercial, Chicago School

Description and Variations Features
The early modern style of Louis Sullivan, John Wellborn Root, William Le Baron Jenney, and company: birth-school of the skyscraper.

Sources: Willensky, 2000

Colonial Revival, 1870-1920

Also known as: Georgian Revival

Description and Variations Features
The Colonial Revival house is often a combination of various Colonial styles and contemporary elements. Generally the Revival house is larger than its Colonial counterpart and some of the individual elements are exaggerated or out of proportion with other parts of the house. Historical details such as an eighteenth century swan’s neck pediment or Flemish brick bond may be found on a house with large single-light window sash, stained glass, late nineteenth century bevel siding or large entry porches or porticos. Some Revival houses, however, are executed with such historical accuracy that they are difficult to distinguish from original houses. Classical columns, one-story

Segmental arch

Shed dormer

Gabled dormer

Palladian window

Full-width, one-story porch

Estate House Pitched roof

Swan’s neck pediment

Hipped-roof dormer

Gable

Brick roundel

Flanker (dependency)

Twelve-over-twelve double-hung sash

Portico

Hyphen

Gallery

Semicircular oriel

Estate House Pitched roof

Intersecting gable

Wood shingles

Pitched-roof dormer

Paneled shutter

Clapboards

Eight-over-twelve double-hung sash

Segmented pediment

Trellis

Overhang (jetty)

Sources: Blumenson, 25; McAlester; Carley, 188-192.

Commercial Style

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Conch House

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Two Story House

Natives of the West Indies – many immigrating to America to work in Florida’s cigar industry – brought the Conch house to Miami and Key West in the late 19th century. (Native Bahamians were colloquially called “Conchs” at that time.) This simple one- or two-story building form was raised on piers and featured a porch or two-story gallery, often decorated with gingerbread trim, to catch cool breezes. The earliest examples are said to have been crafted by ships’ carpenters using a cross-braced timber system based on shipbuilding techniques, but the vast majority are actually balloon frame structures sheathed with clapboards.

Two stories

Pitched roof

Louvered vent

Gable

Two-story gallery

Two-over-two double-hung sash

Brick pier

Louvered shutter

Clapboards

Plate glass

Transom

Scroll-sawn gingerbread railing

Cornice

One Story House One story

Split wood shingles

Pitched roof

Clapboards

Fascia board

Ribbed-tin shed roof

Picket

Cement-over-stone foundation

Louvered shutter

Stone pier

Cornice

Sources: Carley, p. 117.

Connected Farm

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
The connected farm – a rambling complex of attached houses, barns, and animal sheds – is indigenous to northern New England. The supplementary buildings were usually added one by one over time, often as frugal Yankee farmers moved older, obsolete outbuildings from elsewhere on their property closer to the main house for reuse. While the frigid winters of the region might explain this folk type, connected farms were not common until the mid-1800s and never appeared in other regions of the country that get just as cold as the Northeast. Rather, the connected farm probably developed in response to economic needs. As the 19th century progressed, the poor New England soil couldn’t support the more progressive, large-scale family farms with cottage industries, such as needlecrafts and canning, and adopted a convenient arrangement of buildings to serve agriculture and home industry under the same roof. Shingle siding

Shed roof

Split wood shingles

Pitched roof

Gable

Eaves

Wood sill

End (corner) post

Fascia board

Sidelight

Two-over-two double-hung sash

Clapboards (weatherboarding)

Back house (shed and storage)

Hanging sliders

Barn

Rubblework foundation

Sources: Carley, p. 110-111.

Contemporary Folk

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Cracker House

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
The term “Cracker” is thought to have originated in southern Georgia, where cracked corn was a dietary staple, but it also refers to whip-cracking cattle drivers who made their way across the Florida border in the 1800s. Many so-called Cracker houses, found primarily in central Florida and the panhandle, were log cabins of the standard single- or double-pen, saddlebag, or dogtrot types adapted to a semi-tropical climate. A large, cool porch invariably surrounded the house, which was raised off the damp ground on rot-resistant piers of cypress, heart pine, or limestone. Chimneys were made of sticks where stones were scarce, and the kitchen was often in a separate building. The more substantial “four-squarehouse, of balloon frame construction, featured ample front and back porches and a hipped roof covered in tin to deflect sun. A cupola provided natural air conditioning; as warm air rose out of louvered vents, cool air was drawn in through open windows and doors. Square-hewn logs (split boards nailed over cracks)

Tie bar

Projecting eaves

Purlin

Rafter

Porch

Log joist

Stick-and-mud chimney

Corner board

Heart pine or cypress pier

Round logs

Kitchen

Split wood shingles

Sources: Carley, p. 112-113.

Craftsman

Also known as: Craftsman Style.

Description and Variations Features
A popular American style in the early 20th century exemplified by wide eaves, exposed rafter and beam ends, large porches, and the use of rustic materials. Heavy squared piers

Flared eave

Shed dormer

Gabled dormer

Ribbon window (three or more continuous windows)

Full-width, one-story porch

Partial (often inset in L) porch

Sources: Foster, 2004; McAlester.

Creole House

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Originally a person of European ancestry born in the West Indies or Louisiana during the French Colonial period. Soon expanded to include the descendants of French soldiers and African-West Indian women. Finally, it came to distinguish one likely to be of mixed racial and cultural background who, unlike strangers and foreigners, spoke the Creole language and was well acclimated to the complex culture and difficult environment of the New Orleans area.

Sources: Foster, 2004.

Downing-Davis Cottage

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Dutch Colonial, 1700-1830

Also known as: Dutch

Description and Variations Features
The early eighteenth century Dutch Colonial house built in brick or stone was covered by a steeply pitched gable roof. The straight-sided gables were finished with parapets raised on elbows. The most noticeable feature of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Dutch Colonial house is the gambrel roof. The lower slope of the roof often flared beyond the front and rear of the houses forming a deep overhang. Flared eave

Shed dormer

Casement window

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 17.

Early Classical Revival

Also known as: Jeffersonian, Jeffersonian Classicism, Roman Republican, Roman Revival, Roman Villa, Monumental Classicism, Regency

Description and Variations Features
Classical columns, one-story

Classical columns, two-story (colossal)

Full-height entry porch (commonly with pediment)

Sources: McAlester.

Early Colonial

Also known as: Early New England Colonial, Early Southern Colonial

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Early Colonial Revival

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Early English Colonial

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Establishing their first settlements in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, some half a million colonists had emigrated to America from England, Scotland, and Ireland by the end of the 17th century. With them came a thoroughly British pattern of social and cultural values that soon traversed the Atlantic seaboard. Building characteristics varied from colony to colony and town to town. However, a broad distinction can be drawn between the New England village, which comprised individual houses grouped around a town green, and the isolated southern plantation, a self-sufficient enterprise supported by slave labor and complete with a forge, carpentry shop, and perhaps a brickyard. New England settlers were primarily middle-class yeoman families. Most came from a single area of England (East Anglia), and they continued a well-entrenched tradition of heavy timber-framed buildings. Settlers of the Virginia tidewater region and farther south came from more diverse areas and included a significant number of bricklayers and masons. Lime, used for mortar, was also readily available in the South, so masonry construction was more typical. Until about 1700, all early English Colonial houses shared a distinct postmedieval character, most noticeable in steep pitched roofs (a holdover originally designed to support thatch), immense stacked chimneys, and small casement windows. The plan was typically a one-room, all-purpose “fireroom,” or “hall,” used for cooking, eating, and sleeping, or a two-room layout with a central chimney dividing the hall and parlor or kitchen. Additional sleeping chambers were located above.
Village House (New England)

A mark of late Elizabethan architecture, the overhang, or jetty, was a feature of early Colonial houses throughout the 1600s, primarily in towns and cities. In England it may have been used to provide shelter over street-level market stalls, but in America the shallower overhang – four to six inches deep – was apparently a purely decorative holdover.

Intersecting gable

Valley

Rubblework chimney

Chimney cap

Split shingles (shakes) of pine, hemlock, cedar, or oak

Steep pitched roof

Gable

Overhang (jetty)

Diamond-pane casement

End (corner) post

Rubblework foundation

Pendant (pendill or drop)

Divided door

Porch

Riven clapboards (weatherboarding) of cedar, oak, or white pine

Saltbox (New England) Saltbox roof

Gable

Chimney cap

Rubblework chimney

Split shingles (shakes)

Riven clapboards (weatherboarding)

Vertical plank door

Diamond-pane casement

Pendant (pendill or drop)

Overhang (jetty)

End (corner) post

Rear lean-to

Stone-Ender (Rhode Island) Saltbox roof

Chimney cap

Stacked chimney

Ridge

Valley

Intersecting gable

Split shingles (shakes)

Projecting eaves

Fixed diamond-pane sash

Vertical plank door

Pegged window frame

Riven clapboards (weatherboarding)

End (corner) post

Rubblework masonry

Plantation House (Southern Tidewater) Steep pitched roof

Ridge course (of shingles)

Split shingles (shakes)

Chimney cap

Pitched-roof dormer

Riven clapboards (weatherboarding)

Dormer

Projecting eaves

Flat (gauged) arch

Diamond-pane casement

Divided door

Brick relieving arch (segmented)

Molded brick water table

Rowlock course (row of bricks laid end out)

Gable

Plantation Houses (Mid-Atlantic) Inset double arches

Intersecting gable

Overhang (jetty)

Valley

Pitched-roof dormer

Ridge course

Gable

Split wood shingles (shakes)

Riven clapboards (weatherboarding)

Six-over-six double-hung sash

Pegged window frame

Porch

Scrolled doorhead

Turned spindle

Plantation Houses (South) Chimney viewer

Diagonally set chimney stack

Linked chimney caps

Rowlock course (row of bricks laid end out)

Steeply-pitched hipped roof

Corbeled cornice

Split shingles (shakes)

Flat (gauged) arch

Molded brick water table

Brick relieving arch (segmented)

Diamond-pane casement

Sources: Carley, p. 62-75.

Early Georgian

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
In the middle 1680s isolated early Georgian buildings appeared in Boston and Philadelphia.

Sources: Roth

Early Gothic Revival

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Early Medieval

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Earth Wall

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Mandan Earth Lodge (Great Plains) Mud plaster

Smoke hole

Entrance roof

Willow stick

Center post (four used)

Roof pole

Stringer

Sunken floor

Fire ring

Crotched support post (twelve used)

Thompson Pit House (Northwestern Plateau) Pine needle, grass, and earth covering

Notched log ladder (tilted to east)

Smoke hole

Crotched support post

Stringer

Stone fireplace slab (to protect ladder)

Excavated pit (three to four feet deep)

Navajo Hogans, Forked-Pole Hogan (Southwest) Four forked posts (positioned in cardinal directions)

Mud plaster

Smoke hole

Stacked-log Hogan (Six-sided) Bark and mud plaster

Chimney pipe

Bark chinking

Vertical plank door

Cribbed logs or railroad ties

Saddle notch

Smoke hole

Corbeled (stepped) roof logs

Oil drum stove

Stone Hogan Sod roof

Chimney pipe

Vertical plank door

Stone wall

Sources: Carley, p. 22-25.

Eastern Stick, 1860-1890

Also known as: Eastern Stick Style

Description and Variations Features
The asymmetrical composition of the Eastern stick style is highlighted by functional-appearing decorative “stick work”. Steeply pitched gable roof, cross gables, towers and pointed dormers, and large verandas and porches are also characteristic. The resulting pattern of vertical, horizontal and diagonal boards applied over the horizontal siding becomes highly decorative. Oversized and unornamented structural corner posts, roof rafters, purlins, brackets, porch posts and railings complement the decorative “stick work”. Sash or casement-type windows have either single or multiple lights. Stick work

Steeply pitched gable roof

Cross gables

Towers

Pointed dormers

Large verandas and porches

Sash windows

Casement windows

Sources: Blumenson, p. 54-55.

Eastlake, 1870-1890

Also known as: The Eastlake Style

Description and Variations Features
Eastlake was a popular decorative style of ornamentation found on houses of various other styles, e.g. Victorian Gothic, Stick Style and Queen Anne. This decorative style is named for Charles Locke Eastlake (1833-1906), an English interior designer and critic of Gothic Revival style. Porch posts, railings, balusters and pendants were characterized by a massive and robust quality. These members were worked or turned on a mechanical lathe, giving the appearance of heavy legged furniture of the period. Large curved brackets, scrolls, and other stylized elements often are placed at every corner, turn or projection along the façade. Perforated gables and pediments, carved panels, and a profusion of spindles and lattice work found along porch eaves add to the complexity of the façade. These lighter elements combined with the heavier and oversized architectural members exaggerated the three-dimensional quality.

Sources: Blumenson, 59.

Egyptian Revival, 1830-1850, 1920-1930

Also known as: Egyptian

Description and Variations Features
The Egyptian Revival style is indentifiable by distinctive columns and smooth monolithic exterior finish. Characteristics are battered walls edged with roll or rope-like moldings, tall straight-headed windows with inclined jambs, and a deep cavetto or gorge-and roll cornice. Generally roofs are flat and a smooth wall finish provides a monumental effect reminiscent of pylons or gateways to Egyptian temples. The later examples of Egyptian Revival used a cement or smooth ashlar finish to cover large buildings such as theaters.

Sources: Blumenson, 29.

English Vernacular

Also known as: English Vernacular (Delaware. Pa.), English Vernacular (New York)

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Exotic Eclectic

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Exotic Revivals

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Architectural styles borrowing elements from “exotic” cultures. The Egyptian Revival is probably the best known from this group. It is easily identified by massive columns that resemble a bundle of stalks tied together and bulging at the top. Moorish and Turkish architectural traditions also influenced design in America. Ogee arch

Sources: Phillips, 1994.

Expressionism

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
North European architectural style prevalent in the first quarter of the twentieth century that did not treat buildings as purely functional, but also as exciting sculptured objects in their own right, eg. Gaudi in Spain, Klint in Denmark, Poelzig and Mendelsohn in Germany.

Sources: White & Robertson, 1991.

Fachwerk Building

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
A distinctive addition to the 19th-century frontier landscape of Wisconsin and Texas, where Germanic settlers homesteaded, was the small farmhouse built of Fachwerk, or half-timbering. Fachwerk consisted of a braced timber frame, usually of white oak or cedar, set on a squared timber sill over a fieldstone foundation. The open framework was filled with an insulation of mud and straw, sandstone, or nogging (kiln-fired brick). A coat of adobe or lime plaster was often applied over the walls, but the Fachwerk might also be left exposed.
Farmhouse (Wisconsin) Pitched roof

Split wood shingles

Ceiling joist

Rubblework chimney

Wood lintel

Transom light

Plate

Shed roof

Two-over-two double-hung sash

Vertical plank barn door

Post

Stucco-over-stone infill

Paneled door

Transom

Fieldstone foundation

Sill

Cross brace

End (corner) post

Plate glass

Clapboards

Farmhouse (Texas) Ribbed-tin roof

Shed roof

Porch

Gate

Beveled cedar post

Plate glass

Two-over-two double-hung sash

Adobe plaster over sandstone infill

Paneled door

Brick chimney

Clapboards

Sources: Carley, p. 124-125.

Federal, 1780-1820

Also known as: Adam, Adam Style, Adamesque, Adamesque Federalist, Federalist

Description and Variations Features
The Federal style is typified by a low pitched roof, smooth façade, large glazed areas and elliptical fan light with flanking slender side lights. Geometric forms such as polygonal or bowed bays accentuate the rhythm of the exterior as well as indicate new interior spaces. Tripart windows often are framed in recessed arches. Ornamental elements found on many of the houses during this period herald the work of the English designers, the Adam brothers. Classical columns, one-story

Segmental arch

Gabled door

Palladian window

Sources: Blumenson, 21.

Folk Houses

Also known as: National, Pre-Railroad

Description and Variations Features
Log walls

Side gable of moderate or varied pitch

Transom lights in door

Rough hewn porch support

Sources: McAlester

Folk Victorian, 1870-1910, 1860-1885

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
An architectural style characterized by overall simplicity of form. Decorative treatment is usually confined to porch trim, gable trim, and brackets under the eaves. Turned spindles

Porch on three or more sides (verandah)

Full-façade porch (two-tier)

Full-height entry porch commonly with pediment, two tier)

Full-width one-story porch

Partial (often inset in L) porch

Sources: Phillips, 1994; McAlester.

Formalism

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Emphasis on highly structured visual relationships rather than subject matter, symbolism, theme, or ornamentation.

Sources: About.com.

Francois 1er

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources: Roth.

French Colonial, 1700-1830

Also known as: French, French Colonial (Mississippi Valley)

Description and Variations Features
Early French settlers of the eighteenth century built structures of a half-timber frame method called post on sill or poteaux-sur-sole. The spaces between the vertical posts were filled with clay and rubble stone or sometimes bricks. The lower slope of the pavilion-type roof projects well beyond the walls, forming a cover for the porch or galerie. French-type double casement windows are hinged at the sides or jambs and latch at the center. In French plantation houses of the early nineteenth century, the main floor is raised and encircled by a covered galerie. An exterior staircase provides access to the main living quarters. Flared eave

Porch on three or more sides (verandah)

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 15.

French Eclectic

Also known as: French, French Colonial (Mississippi Valley)

Description and Variations Features
Flared eave

Hipped dormer

Gabled dormer

Sources:

French Revival

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
The picturesque French Revival incorporated stylistic features from a broad period of French architecture spanning several centuries, but found its essence in the landed country estates of Brittany and Normandy. The most distinctive identifying features are the steeply pitched hipped pavilion roof, conical tower, and French doors. This popular style, lasting well into the 1940s, was used for high-style country estates and smaller suburban houses throughout America.
Suburban House Steep hipped pavilion roof

Shed-roofed dormer

Modillion course

Stucco

Built-in garage

Forecourt

Paneled door

Nine-over-six double-hung sash

Louvered shutter

Casement

Tie-rod

Slate shingles

Estate House Steep hipped pavilion roof

Round dormer

Tall chimney

Wood shingles

Hipped-roof dormer

Carved spandrel

Loggia

Garland swag

Treillages

Louvered shutter

Wrought-iron balcony

Pedestal

Stucco over brick

Cornice

Stable

It was not unusual for a stable on a turn-of-the-century country estate to be larger than a typical suburban house. The main floor of this French-inspired design accommodated several carriages and horses; a second story contained rooms for male stable hands and house servants.

Conical roof

Diamond shingle pattern

Rubblestone chimney

Broken gable

Knees

Half-timbering

Wood shingles

Porte cochere

Nine-over-nine double-hung sash

Tower

Rubblework masonry

Ribbon windows

Diamond-pane casement

Pitched-roof dormer

Cupola

Weathervane

Sources: Carley,

French Rural

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Gable Roof

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
·          
·         Seminole Chickee (Florida) Crossed-pole thatch weights

Palmetto thatch

Half-log platform (palmetto, palm, or cypress)

Stilt

Crosstie

Rafter poles

Stringer

Ridge pole

·         Wattle-and-Daub House (Southeast) Gable

Smoke hole

Cane thatch (matting also used)

Mud plaster (daub)

Stringers

Rafter

King post

Vertical support pole (dug into trench)

Wattle (woven rods and twigs)

·         Cherokee Log Cabin (Southeast) Log roofing

Crossed rafters

Gable

Cypress or pine log siding

Saddle notch

Mud chinking

·         Ojibwa Plank House (Great Lakes) Bark roofing

Ridge pole

Extended rafter pole

Gable

Vertical plank siding

Vertical plank door

Bracing pole

·         Yurok Plank House (Northern California) Gable

Extended rafter poles (willow or hazel)

Round entry hole

Split-plank redwood siding

Plate beam

Wall poles

Threshold boulders

·         Tlingit Plank House (Alaska) Gable

Bear iconography

Softwood plank siding over cedar log frame

Vertical plank door

Sources: Carley, p. 20-22.

Georgian, 1700-1800

Also known as: Georgian (Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas), Georgian (Middle Colonies), Georgian (New England)

Description and Variations Features
The Georgian house is characterized by a formal arrangement of parts employing a symmetrical composition enriched with classical detail. The façade often is emphasized by a pedimented projecting pavilion with colossal pilasters or columns, and a Palladian or Venetian window. Sliding sash windows are common on houses of the eighteenth century. Each sash has several lights using as few as 6 or as many as 20 panes of glass in one sash. Segmental arch

Gabled dormer

Sources: Blumenson, 19.

German Colonial

Also known as: Colonial German, German, Swiss Colonial, German/Swiss Colonial

Description and Variations Features
Germanic housing in the colonies was typically well built and designed for efficiency. One of the earliest Germanic building types in Pennsylvania was the tripartite house, which reflected the Old World tradition of combining a house, a threshing area, and a stable under the same roof. For convenience, a springhouse was often incorporated directly into a dwelling, which might also include an attic meat-smoking room, or Rauchkammer, connected to the chimney stack. Particularly practical building types were the bank house and bank barn, built into a ground slope to provide cool lower-level storage rooms. The majority of early Germanic houses in America were simple, well-built log dwellings, although it is mostly the stone buildings that have survived. Stone, considered a status symbol, was favored primarily by the rural gentry. The typical Germanic plan was asymmetrical three-room layout, placing the kitchen (Kich, in Pennsylvania German) on the main level, usually to the right of the chimney. To the left was the stove room (Schtupp), with a sleeping chamber (Kammer) in the rear. By the mid-1700s, many Germanic settlers had adopted the Georgian center-hall plan.
Tripartite House
Log House
Swiss Bank House

The Swiss bank house was typically built with the gable end set into the ground slope. The kitchen was located on the lower level, with a rear room dug into the earth. Many of the Swiss settlers were distillers and stored their brews in this cool space.

Pitched roof

Red clay tiles

Nine-over-six double-hung sash

Brick relieving arch (segmented)

Fieldstone (schist) masonry

Divided door

Exterior stone stair (Freitreppe)

Ground slope

Porch (Vorhuf)

Gable

Springhouse Dwelling Pitched roof

Ridge course

Red clay tiles

Rubblework chimney

Flared eaves

Extended joist

Divided door

Porch (Vorhuf)

Rubblework

Door to springhouse

Spring

Whitewashed plaster over stone masonry

Six-over-six double-hung sash

Gable

Vertical plank siding

Center-Hall House Split shingles (shakes)

Gables

Pent roof

Boxed eaves

Twelve-over-twelve double-hung sash

Transom

Exterior stone stair (Freitreppe)

Paneled shutter

Divided door

Fieldstone (schist)

Balcony

Kick

Bake Oven

Few Germanic households were without a bake oven, often a separate out-building that might be incorporated into a larger smokehouse, washhouse, or summer kitchen. The outdoor oven was considered safer than its indoor counterpart, and its larger hearth permitted greater baking yields – as many as a dozen loaves of bread and even more pies at a time. The overhanging roof often shaded cooling shelves.

Pitched roof

Red clay tiles

Brick chimney

Oven belly

Coursed stone masonry

Oven door

Post

Brick masonry

Strut

Bank Barn Vertical plank barn siding

Rubblework masonry

Ground slope

Window grille

Vent

Split shingles

Hanging slider

Forebay overhang

Divided door

Segmented arch

Eaves

Sources: Carley, p. 40-51

Gibbsian Georgian

Also known as: Gibbsian Georgian (Maryland,  Virginia,  Carolinas), Gibbsian Georgian (Middle Colonies), Gibbsian Georgian (New England)

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Gothic Revival, 1830-1860

Also known as: Gothic, Gothick

Description and Variations Features
The popular Gothic Revival style was used for everything from picturesque timber cottages to stone castles. Characteristics of the Gothic cottage and villa are steeply pitched roofs, wall dormers, polygonal chimney pots, hood molds over the windows and a curvilinear gingerbread trim along the eaves and gable edges. The stone castle version of the style included a large carriage porch entry, large pointed windows with tracery and colored glass, towers, and battlements. The standard for Gothic Revival windows was variety. Church and civic architecture adapted Gothic principles and forms with more academic correctness. The exterior of many buildings was finished with vertical planks and strips in the board and batten technique. Chamfered porch support (corners shaved off at 45 degree angles)

Pointed arch

Tudor arch

Gabled dormer

Oriel window

Partial porch (often inset in L)

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson; McAlester.

Greek Revival, 1820-1860

Also known as: Greek

Description and Variations Features
The Greek Revival style is an adaptation of the classic Greek temple front employing details of either the Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian order. The columns support a full entablature and a low pitch pediment. Also many houses were built without the colossal temple front. The rectangular transom over the door was popular and often was broken by two engaged piers flanked by side lights that surround the door. The shouldered architrave trim was widely used for doors and windows. Upper floor lighting is incorporated ingeniously into the enlarged frieze of the entablature. Doric order

pediment roof

raking cornice

tympanum

Ionic order

shouldered architrave trim

tall first floor windows

dentils

entablature

attic story windows in frieze

transom

side lights

corner lights

pilaster corner boards

return

pediment-shaped window head

Classical columns, one-story

Classical columns, two-story (colossal)

Full-façade porch

Full-height entry porch (commonly with pediment)

Porch on three or more sides (verandah)

Sources: Blumenson, 27; McAlester.

High Victorian Gothic

Also known as: Victorian Gothic

Description and Variations Features
A period of design in Great Britain and the United States that emerged in the mid-19th century and lasted for several decades, emphasizing picturesqueness, variety, ruggedness and vigorous modification of historic details.

Sources: Longstreth, 1987, 2000.

High Victorian Italianate

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

International, 1920-1945

Also known as: International Style, Early Modern, Early Modernism, Mies, Miesian, Second Chicago School

Description and Variations Features
The International style is characterized by flat roof tops, smooth and uniform wall surface, large expanse of windows, and projecting or cantilevered balconies and upper floor. The complete absence of ornmanetation also is typical. The asymmetrically balanced composition is at times placed in a dramatic context or orientation with the landscape. Projecting eaves are closed or boxed and covered with the same finish as the wall surface. Roofs without eaves terminate flush with the plane of the wall. Wood and metal casement windows set flush to the wall as well as sliding windows are popular. A series of small rectangular windows often are placed high up along the wall surface forming a clerestory. Some permanently closed or fixed windows extend from floor to ceiling in a single pane creating large curtain-like walls of glass. Wooden trim is often painted or stained in earth tones to contrast with the white painted board siding or plastered surface. Metal casement window

Ribbon window (three or more continuous windows)

Sources: Blumenson, 75.

Italian Renaissance Revival

Also known as: Italian Renaissance

Description and Variations Features
An architectural style characterized by: stone construction, low-pitched hip (or sometimes flat) roof with widely overhanging eaves supported by decorative brackets, ceramic tiled roof, round arches incorporated into doors and first story windows, and the frequent use of porticos or columned recessed entryways. Classical columns, one-story

Round arch

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Phillips, 1994; McAlester.

Italian Villa, 1830-1880

Also known as: The Italian Villa Style

Description and Variations Features
The outstanding feature of the Italian Villa style is the combination of the tall tower with a two-storyL” or “T” shaped floor plan. The roof with projecting eaves has a gentle pitch resembling the pediment shape of classical temples. Other distinctive features are the grouping of either straight or round-headed windows into threes or small arcades, and the placement of porches or arcaded loggias between the tower and house or at the corners. A smooth stucco finish highlights the classic simplicity of the design while an exuberance of enriched ornamentation provides a baroque appearance. The overall composition is an asymmetrical balancing of classical forms intending a picturesque quality.

Sources: Blumenson, 35.

Italianate, 1840-1880

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
The Italianate style is a rectangular (almost square), two or three-story house with very wide eaves usually supported by large brackets, tall thin first floor windows, and a low-pitch hip roof topped with a cupola. The formal balances of the house often is accentuated by pronounced moldings and details, such as string course and rusticated quoins. A central one-bay porch or long porches also are evident in the style. Chamfered porch support (corners shaved off at 45 degree angles)

Classical columns, one-story

Segmental arch

Baskethandle arch

Round arch

Full-width, one-story purch

Partial (often inset in L) porch

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 37; McAlester.

Late English Gothic Vernacular

Also known as: Late English Gothic Vernacular (New England)

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Late Gothic Revival

Also known as: Collegiate Gothic

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Late Modern

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Log Building

Also known as: Log Buildings

Description and Variations Features
Although the Swedes were the first settlers to build log structures in America, the major tradition of log building here originated independently in the late 1600s to the early 1700s with German-speaking settlers in the mid-Atlantic region. From Pennsylvania and Virginia, the tradition of log building began spreading south and west with migrating Germans and Scots-Irish in the 1730s and reached its height during the period of frontier expansion from the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries. The basic log house form was the one-room, or single-pen, plan. The central-chimney “saddlebag” plan evolved when the single-pen house was enlarged by setting the gable end of a second log building against the chimney of the existing structure. An easier way to add on to a log house was to place a second cabin next to the first, gable to gable, and simply roof over the intervening space, producing the “dogtrot” (two pens and a passage) house. Pine and spruce were the preferred woods.
Single-Pen Cabin Pitched roof

Knee

Butting pole

Eaves beam

Ceiling joist

Floor joist

Log step

Sill

Mud-and-grass chinking

Round logs

Hewn-log firebox

Chimney prop

Stick-and-mud chimney

Chimney plate

Ridge pole

Log rib

Vertical planks

Saddleback Cabin Split wood shingles

Rubblework chimney

Mud-and-grass chinking

Gate

Stone step

Vertical plank door

Square-hewn logs

Gable

Pitched roof

Dogtrot Cabin Split wood shingles

Loft

Pitched roof

Eaves beam

Ceiling joists

Square-hewn logs

Mud-and-grass chinking

Dogtrot (pass-through)

Six-over-six double-hung sash

Sill

Gable

Rubblework chimney

Nordic Log House

The square-hewn log house built by Nordic settlers, primarily in the upper Midwest, was characterized by a two-room plan, often with a third room added to make an I- or T-shaped layout. The door opened directly into the kitchen, an all-purpose room used for sleeping and daily work activities. The parlor was reserved for visitors.

Split wood shingles

Rafter tail

Two-over-two double-hung sash

Vertical plank door

Square hewn logs

Projecting eaves

Eaves ladder

Brick chimney

Sources: Carley, p. 119-123.

Mission, 1890-1920

Also known as: Mediterranean Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Spanish Mission, Spanish Revival, Spanish Territorial Architecture, The Mission Style, Mission Style

Description and Variations Features
Characteristic of the Mission style is simplicity of form. Round arches supported by piers punctuate stucco or plastered walls. Color and texture are provided in the broad red-tiled roof. Roof eaves with exposed rafters may extend well beyond the walls. At times the plain wall surface is continued upward forming a parapet. Towers, curvilinear gables and small balconies or balconets are used on large buildings. The only surface ornamentation is a plain string course that outlines arches, occasional gables and balconies. Piers with slanted sides

Heavy squared piers

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 5.

Moderne, 1935-present

Also known as: Modern, Moderne, Modernistic, Streamline Moderne

Description and Variations Features
A modern style: streamlined stucco and chromium, as if buildings traveled at the speed of automobiles. Inspired by the Paris International Exposition of 1937. Casement window

Ribbon window (three or more continuous windows)

Sources: Willensky, 2000; McAlester.

Modernism

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Most moderately priced housing built in the 1960s and 1970s was limited to the popular one-story and traditional styles of the postwar era. Among higher-end clients, however, architectural firms found an interest in sophisticated modern designs that continued to reinvent abstract, cubic architecture. In fresh interpretations, architects began to break the box with sculptural forms that had an almost machinelike clarity. Technology allowed increasing experimentation with shapes, scale, dimensions, and complex multi-level plans. Casement window

Ribbon window (three or more continuous windows)

Seaside House Flat roof

Cylindrical stairwell

Skylight

Plate glass

Plate-glass slider

Pipe railing

Cantilevered balcony

Enclosed stair

Cylindrical deck

Cedar siding

Recessed window

Seaside House Flat roof

Concrete block

Plate glass

Recessed entry

Paired chimney cylinders

Roof terrace

Sunshade

Solar House Passive solar collector panel

Plate-glass gable

Plate glass

Clapboards

Deck

Concrete foundation

Stilt

Screened porch

Deck

Exposed rafters

Solar House Pitched roof

Clerestory window

Cedar siding

Balcony

Plate-glass slider

Concrete foundation

Deck

Sliding sash

Asphalt shingles

Brick chimney

Passive solar collector panel

Vacation House Broken gable

Clerestory window

Shed roof

Diagonal clapboards

Plate-glass slider

Plate glass

Brick chimney

Sources: Carley, p. 253-258.

Monterey, 1925-1955

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Partial porch (often inset in L, upper story)

Sources: McAlester.

Native American, to ca. 1900

Also known as: Native American Dwellings

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Neoclassical, 1900-1920

Also known as: Neo-classicism

Description and Variations Features
Neo-Classicism is based on primarily the Greek and to a lesser extent the Roman architectural orders. IT is distinguished by symmetrically arranged buildings of monumental proportions finished with a smooth or polished stone surface. Colossal pedimented porticos may highlight the façade flanked by a series of colossal pilasters. When windows are employed they are large single-light sashes. Attic stories and parapets are popular but statuary along the roof lines is never employed. Since the Greek Orders are preferred, the arch is not often used and enriched moldings are rare. Classical columns, one-story

Classical columns, two-story (colossal)

Full-façade porch

Full-height entry porch (commonly with pediment)

Palladian window

Sources: Blumenson, 69; McAlester.

Neoclassical Revival

Also known as: The Neo-classical Revival

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Neoeclectic

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Neo-Expressionism

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Neo-French Eclectic

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

New Brutalism

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
A second coming, in the 1960s, of Brutalism.

Sources: Willensky, 2000.

New Formalism

Also known as:  The New Formalism

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Northwest Regionalism

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Octagon, 1850-1860

Also known as: The Octagon, The Octagon Mode

Description and Variations Features
The octagon was an innovation in American domestic architecture. The concept of the centrally planned home was far advanced of the time. The ideal octagon was a two- to three-story house characterized by a raised basement, encircling verandas or porches, a cupola, belvedere or roof deck, and minimal ornamental detailings. According to Orson Fowler (1809-1887) the inventor of the octagon house, the beauty of the house rests with its forms, the economy of materials (concrete), the functional interior, and the splendid views offered by any one of eight exposures in addition to observations from the roof. Fowler conceived of the octagon house from rethinking the needs and requirements of the working class family. The octagon house was accepted across the country and adapted to various styles. Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 49.

Period Houses

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Pole and Sapling Frame

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Postmedieval English

Also known as: English, English Gothic, Elizabethan, Tudor, Jacobean, Jacobethan, New England, New England Colonial, Southern Colonial

Description and Variations Features
New England Colonial, 1600-1700

The New England house of the seventeenth century is characterized by a natural use of materials in a straightforward manner. The box-like appearance is relieved by a prominent chimney, a sparse distribution of small casement-type windows. The one-room house often was expanded by adding a room against the chimney end, forming a large house with a centrally located chimney. The well known “salt-box” shape house also provided rooms by extending the rear roof slope. Other useable space was made by placing windows in the gable end forming a half story. In larger houses the upper floor projected beyond the lower floors creating an overhand known as a jetty. Blumenson, 11.

Casement window
Southern Colonial, 1600-1700

The Southern Colonial brick or timber frame house generally is narrow, only one room deep, and covered with a steeply pitched roof. Medieval characteristics such as curvilinear and steeped gables, massive chimneys, diagonal stacks, and a variety of brick bonds often are combined with classical elements, such as symmetrical arrangements of openings, modillioned cornices, and molded belt course. Blumenson, 13.

Sources: Blumenson, 11-13.

Postmodernism

Also known as: Post-Modern, Post-Modernism (Creative Eclecticism III)

Description and Variations Features
Postmodernism is a contextual architecture in which a house design is developed with specific regard to the site, the design of neighboring structures, and climatic conditions. Designs often draw on local building types, such as the Florida Cracker House as well as colonial architectural and American vernacular modes such as the Shingle and Stick styles. This interest coincided with a growing preservation movement in America, which gained momentum with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. In contrast to previous revival movements, Postmodernism has a sense of humor and an attitude – a certain chip on its shoulder that gives the style its edge. Turned out in Pompeiian colors, designs might make liberal use of such traditional Classical vocabulary as the pediment and Palladian window, but the familiar forms are deliberately exaggerated, overblown, flattened, or designed to look broken or eroded. This is a style of applied ornament in which decoration does not require a specific purpose. Designers have been criticized for rummaging among various styles and combining elements in an indiscriminate and superficial pastiche. At its best, however, Postmodernism is stark and original and represents a return to “humanized” design. The movement reached its height of popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Its playful qualities made it particularly well suited to beach houses.
Seaside House Steep pitched roof

Weathered wood shingles

Six-over-six double-hung sash

Plate glass

Mullion

Half-round window

Projecting eaves

Fascia board

Soffit

Clerestory window

Country House Hipped roof

Asphalt shingles

Clerestory window

Acroterion

Soffit

Stucco over concrete block

Plate glass

Industrial steel stash

Glass-block pocket

Multipane door

Plywood board-and-batten siding

Projecting eaves

Pipe chimney

Seaside House Pitched roof

Stickwork

Hipped roof (ribbed tin)

Exposed rafter tails

Two-over-two double-hung sash

Clapboards

Pilaster

Plate glass

Stickwork

Globe finial

Screened porch

Pediment

Fascia board

Projecting eaves

Cupola

Sources: Carley, p. 259-263.

Prairie, 1900-1920

Also known as: Prairie School, Prairie Style

Description and Variations Features
The Prairie style consists of a one- or two-story house built with brick or timber covered with stucco. The central portion rises slightly higher than the flanking wings. The eaves of the low-pitch roof extend well beyond the wall creating a definite horizontal and low to the ground quality. The large and very low chimney is found at the axis of the intersecting roof planes. Extending walls form the sides of terraces, balconies or delineate walks and entrances. Casement windows grouped into horizontal banks and sometimes continuing around corners emphasize the length of the house. The exterior walls are highlighted by dark wood strips against a lighter stucco finish or by a coping or ledge of smooth stucco along brick walls. Piers with slanted sides

Heavy squared piers

Flared eave

Hipped dormer

Casement window

Ribbon window (three or more continuous windows)

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 73.

Prefab Housing

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
After World War II, a severe housing shortage in America resulted in a market for pre-fabricated industrial homes that could be arranged in temporary settlements just outside of existing developments. Not only were these cheap, but they could also be put up miraculously fast. The parts of the steel-sheathed “Palace, for example, were transported by truck from factory to building site. Within three hours of delivery, claimed the advertisement, the house, complete with furniture, conventional plumbing, heating, wiring, and kitchen appliances was ready for two families. The prefab Quonset hut had few amenities and only a chemical toilet, but manufacturers claimed it was immune to sagging, warping, rotting, fire, and termites.
Two-Family House Flat roof

Projecting façade

One-over-one double-hung sash

Galvanized steel sheeting

Rib

Brick veneer foundation

Paneled steel door

Wood stoop

Trellis

Quonset House Domed roof

Asphalt-coated particleboard

Louvered vent

Ventilated air space

Wood rafters

Sunshade

Lip

Porch

Concrete porch floor

Steel sash

Hopper window (pivots in)

Asphalt-coated particleboard over self-supporting laminated wood arch

Dymaxion Deployment Unit Zinc-oxide-coated galvanized steel sheeting

Adjustable translucent ventilator

Ribs

Domed roof

Hood

Airtight door

Louvered vent

Acrylic porthole

Hood

Sources: Carley, p. 231-235.

Provincial Dutch Renaissance

Also known as: Provincial Dutch Renaissance (New Netherlands)

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Provincial Jacobean

Also known as: Provincial Jacobean (Virginia, Carolinas)

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Provincial Spanish Baroque

Also known as: Provincial Spanish Baroque (Southwest and Florida)

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Pueblo, 1905-1940

Also known as: Pueblo Style, The Pueblo Style

Description and Variations Features
The Pueblo-style house is characterized by battered walls, rounded corners and flat roofs with projecting rounded roof beams or vigas. Straight-headed windows generally are set deep into the walls. Second and third floor levels are stepped or terraced, resembling the Indian habitats called pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona. Rough hewn porch support

Sources: Blumenson, 7.

Pueblo Revival

Also known as: Santa Fe Style

Description and Variations Features
A predominantly Southwestern architectural style characterized by: flat roofs with projecting rounded roof beams (called vegas); stucco covered battered walls with rounded corners; multi-paned, straight-headed windows set deeply into walls; and stepped or terraced upper stories. Flat roof

Vigas

Stucco covered battered walsl with rounded corners

Multi-paned, straight-headed windows

Stepped or terraced upper stories

Sources: Phillips, 1994.

Queen Anne, 1880-1900

Also known as: The Queen Anne Style, Queen Anne Revival, Queen Anne-Eastlake

Description and Variations Features
Queen Anne

The Queen Anne style is a most varied and decoratively rich style. The asymmetrical composition consists of a variety of forms, textures, materials and colors. Architectural parts include towers, turrets, tall chimneys, projecting pavilions, porches, bays and encircling verandahs. The textured wall surfaces occasionally are complemented by colored glass panels in the windows. Elements and forms from many styles are manipulated into an exuberant visual display.

Turned spindles (except free classic)

Gabled dormer

Wrap porch

Partial porch (often inset in L)

Full-width, one-story porch

Queen Anne (free classic) Classical columns, one-story

Gabled dormer

Wrap porch

Palladian window

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 63; McAlester.

Ranch House

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
The ranch house was perhaps the ultimate symbol of the postwar American dream: a safe, affordable home promising efficiency and casual living. California architects introduced the “close-to-the-groundranch in the 1930s, evidently finding inspiration in the one-story plan of the Spanish rancho of the Southwest. By the late 1940s, this new house type had caught on across the country and still remains popular. With its open kitchen/living area, the ranch was specifically geared to casual entertaining. Another key selling point was the desirable indoor/outdoor living promised by the one-story layout, which featured sliding glass doors, picture windows, and terraces and patios secluded in a rear yard. “The ability to move in and out of your house freely, without the hindrance of steps,” boasted Sunset magazine’s 1946 edition of Western Ranch Houses, “is one of the things that makes living in it pleasant and informal. Pitched roof

Concrete chimney

Vertical siding

Clapboards

Brick veneer

Recessed entry porch

Paneled door

Fixed multipane picture window

Louvered shutter

Six-over-six double-hung sash

Projecting eaves

Soffit

Intersecting gable

Weather vane

Louvered vent

Cupola

Wood shingles

Sources: Carley, p. 236-238.

Renaissance Revival, 1840-1890

Also known as: Renaissance, Romano-Tuscan Mode, North Italian Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, French Renaissance, Second Renaissance Revival, Renaissance Revival: The North Italian Mode, Renaissance Revival: The Romano-Tuscan Mode.

Description and Variations Features
Buildings in the Renaissance Revival style show a definite studied formalism. The tightly contained cube is a symmetrical composition of early sixteenth century Italian elements. Characteristics include finely cut ashlar that may be accentuated with rusticated quoins, architrave framed windows, and doors supporting entablatures or pediments. Each sash may have several lights or just one. A belt or string course may divide the ground or first floor from the upper floors. Smaller square windows indicate the top or upper story.

Sources: Blumenson, 39.

Richardsonian Romanesque, 1870-1900

Also known as: Richardson Romanesque

Description and Variations Features
Richardsonian Romanesque houses, following the examples of H.H. Richardson (1838-1886), are characterized by a straightforward treatment of stone, broad roof planes and a select distribution of openings. The overall effect depends on mass, volume, and scale rather than enriched or decorative detailing. The uniform rock-faced exterior finish is highlighted with an occasional enrichment of foliated forms on capitals or belt course. The façade is punctuated with transomed windows set deeply into the wall and arranged in groups in a ribbon-like fashion. The large arched entry without columns or piers for support is the one most often used. Towers are short and chimneys are usually squat so as not to distract from the solid shape of the building. Columns with cushion capital

Syrian arch

Eyebrow dormer

Round arch

Ribbon window (three or more continuous windows)

Partial (often inset in L) porch

Sources: Blumenson, 47.

Romanesque, 1870-1900

Also known as: Romanesque Revival

Description and Variations Features
The monochromatic brick or stone Romanesque Revival building is highlighted by the semi-circular arch for window and door openings. The arch is used decoratively to enrich corbel tables along the eaves and belt or string courses making horizontal divisions. The archivolt or intrados of compound arches and the capitals of columns are carved with geometric medieval moldings. Facades are flanked by square or polygonal towers of differing heights and covered with various roof shapes. Round arch

Sources: Blumenson, 43.

Roman Classicism, 1790-1830

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Typical of Roman Classicism is the one-story Roman temple form employing variations of the Roman orders. The raised first floor is characteristic of design inspired by the proper Roman temple built on a platform or podium. The four-columned portico with pediment enclosing a lunette is one of the most often copied features in the Roman idiom which was popularized by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). Generally classical moldings are left plain without enrichment and painted white.

Sources: Blumenson, 23.

Second Empire, 1860-1890

Also known as: Second Empire Baroque, The Second Empire Style

Description and Variations Features
The Second Empire style house is an imposing two or three-story symmetrical square block with a projecting central pavilion often extending above the rest of the house. The distinguishing feature is the mansard roof covered with multi-colored slates or tinplates. Classical moldings and details such as quoins, cornices, and belt course have great depth and are dramatized by different textures and colored materials. Windows are arched and pedimented, sometimes in pairs with molded surrounds. Entrance doors often are arched double doors with glass upper panels. First floor windows are usually very tall. 2 story

3 story

Square block

Symmetrical

Projecting central pavilion

Mansard roof

Multi-colored slate

Tinplates

Classical moldings

Quoins

Cornices

Belt course

Arched windows

Pedimented windows

Arched double doors

Glass upper panels

Tall first floor windows

Chamfered porch support (corners shaved off at 45 degree angles)

Partial porch (often inset in L)

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 53.

Second Italian Renaissance Revival

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Second Renaissance Revival, 1890-1920

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Scale and size distinguish the later Revival from the earlier Renaissance Revival. Large buildings – usually three tall stories – are organized into distinct horizontal divisions by pronounced belt or string courses. Each floor is articulated differently. If the Doric Order or rustication is used on the first floor then the upper floor will be treated with a different order and finish. The window trim or surround also usually changes from floor to floor. Additional floors are seen in the small mezzanine or entresol windows. Arcades and arched openings often are seen in the same building with straight headed or pedimented openings. Enriched and projecting cornices are supported with large modillions or consoles. The roof often is highlighted with a balustrade.

Sources: Blumenson, 41.

Shingle

Also known as: Shingle Style

Description and Variations Features
The Shingle style house, two or three stories tall, is typified by the uniform covering of wood shingles (unpainted) from roof to foundation walls. The sweep of the roof may continue to the first floor level proving cover for porches, or is steeply pitched and multi-planed. The eaves of the roof are close to the walls as not to distract from the homogeneous and monochromatic shingle covering. Casement and sash windows are generally small, may have many lights, and often are grouped into twos or threes. Syrian arch

Eyebrow dormer

Hipped dormer

Gabled dormer

Palladian window

Ribbon window (three or more continuous windows)

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Blumenson, 61.

Shotgun House

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
One room wide, the shotgun house featured a gable-end entry and consisted of two or three all-purpose rooms placed back to back. It was said that if a gun were fired through the front door, the shot would pass through all the rooms in a straight line and go right out the back door. A second story was often raised over the rear room. Associated primarily with New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, and the rural South, the shotgun was used for workers’ and tenants’ housing, and by the 1920s was found as far afield as California and Chicago. The long, narrow house type is believed to have first come to America during the 19th century by way of free blacks migrating from Haiti to Louisiana, where it developed as an amalgam of African, French, and Arawak building traditions. Pitched roof (ribbed tin)

Clapboards

Porch

Two-over-two double-hung sash

Paneled door

Brick pier

Plate glass

Porch

Exposed rafter

Shed roof

Gable

Sources: Carley, p. 116.

Sod House

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Prevalent from the mid-1800s into the 1900s, the sod house, or “soddie,” was a product of the Plains, where lumber and other building materials were scarce. A specially designed breaking, or “grasshopper,” plow allowed settlers to cut furrows without turning over and destroying the soil, producing foot-wide blocks of sod known as “Kansas brick” or, more optimistically, “Nebraska marble.” Blocks were laid with staggered joints, as bricks would be, with every third course (row) set crosswise and the chinks filled in with fine dirt; the interior might be plastered with clay. A twelve- by fourteen-foot house took about an acre of sod and a week to build. Although dirty and leak-prone, the sod, preferably tough buffalo grass, kept the interior warm in winter and cool in summer, withstood wind, and was also good, according to one early settler, for “stopping arrows and slowing bullets.” Sod
Pitched-Roof House Pitched roof

Wood lintel

Sod roof

Four-over-four double-hung sash

Sod wall

Rafter tail

Barrel-Roof House Barrel roof

Lintel

Sod

Stone weight

Two-over-two double-hung sash

Cross batten

Rafter end

Sources: Carley, p. 118.

Spanish Colonial, 1600-1840

Also known as: Spanish

Description and Variations Features
The Spanish Colonial house in characterized as a low, long one-story building with a covered porch extending along the façade. Adobe bricks or stone were used for wall construction. The wall often was covered with a lime wash or plaster. Extending roof beams and porch posts were left round or roughly squared. By the early nineteenth century, many two-story houses were built with encircling porches and covered with wooden shingles. The rear of the house often faced an enclosed patio or garden. Churches or missions of Texas and the Southwest were vernacular interpretations of contemporary Mexican church building in the Baroque style. They were richly ornamented with churrigueresque-style decoration or simplified Renaissance-style detailing.

Sources: Blumenson, 3.

Spanish Colonial Revival, 1915-1940

Also known as: Mediterranean Revival, Spanish Mission, Spanish Revival, Spanish Territorial Architecture, The Mission Style

Description and Variations Features
The unique feature of the Spanish Colonial Revival style is the ornate low-relief carvings highlighting arches, columns, window surrounds and cornices and parapets. Red-tiled hipped roofs and arcaded porches also are typical. Stone or brick exterior walls often are left exposed or finished in plaster or stucco. Windows can be either straight or arched. Iron window grilles and balconies also may be used. A molded or arcaded cornice highlights the eaves. The facades of large buildings often are enriched with curvilinear and decorated parapets, cornice window heads, and symbolic bell tower.

Sources: Blumenson, 9.

Spanish Eclectic, 1915-1940

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Round arch

Casement window

Sources: McAlester.

Stick

Also known as: Stick Style

Description and Variations Features
A style of wood construction that appeared after the Civil War, designed to suggest the wood framework beneath. Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal flat boards organize the exterior elevations by outlining panels of various siding textures. “Sticks” were also used to decorate gables, porch supports, and brackets. Chamfered porch support (corners shaved off at 45 degree angles)

Flared eave

Gabled dormer

Partial porch (often inset in L)

Full-width, one-story porch

Sources: Foster, 2004; McAlester.

Suburban & Regional Eclecticism

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Sullivanesque, 1890-1920

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
An intricate weaving of linear and geometric forms with stylized foliage in a symmetrical pattern is the unique element of the Sullivanesque style, originated by Louis Sullivan (1856-1924). Bold geometric facades are pierced with either arched or lintel-type openings. The wall surface is highlighted with extensive low-relief sculptural ornamentation in terra cotta. Buildings often are topped with deep projecting eaves and flat roofs. The multi-story office complex is highly regimented into specific zones – ground story, intermediate floors, and the attic or roof. The intermediate floors are arranged in vertical bands.

Sources: Blumenson, 65.

Swedish Vernacular

Also known as: Swedish Vernacular (Delaware. Pa.)

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Swiss Cottage

Also known as: Swiss Chalet

Description and Variations Features
A minor style vaguely recalling a Swiss chalet, promoted in pattern books in the mid-19th century. Generally with a gable in front, it was identified by gable-end balconies with decorative railings and extended roof overhangs.

Sources: Foster, 2004.

The Economical Small House

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Frequently built from mail-order plans, the economical small house of the postwar era offered a cheap alternative to the ranch house. Prospective buyers could leaf through plan books and magazines; choose a model named the “Monarch,” the “Tarry,” or perhaps the “Alpine;” and for the price of a stamp and a few dollars become the proud owners of a complete set of working blueprints and specifications. Houses built from stock plans were touted as “pretested,” offering a fine “custom” design without the considerable cost of hiring a professional architect. To keep prices down, the plan companies specified inexpensive factory-made plywood or prefab wood siding and stucco. The convenient one-story plan proliferated, but there was also the new split-level or “hi-ranch design.” This boasted vinyl tile floors, interior walls of gypsum (plasterboard), and a lower level often designed to be left unfinished until the space was needed.
Small Suburban House Shed roof

Plate glass

Overhang

Horizontal chimney

Poured reinforced concrete

Plate glass slider

Concrete shade arbor

Steel pole

Flagstone terrace

Hopper windows (pivots in)

Small Suburban House Hipped roof

Pivoting windows

Gutter

Downspout

Hollow-core door

Trellis

Recessed entry porch

Brick veneer

Fixed multipane picture window

Asphalt shingles

Horizontal chimney

Small Suburban House Low-pitched tar-and-gravel roof

Boxed eaves

Awning window (pivots out)

Rough stucco

Brick built-in planter wall

Carport

Louvered vent

Jalousie window (adjustable glass louvers)

Sources: Carley, p. 239-242.

The Futuristic Home

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
While tradition held through the 1950s and 1960s, innovative designers were always looking for new expressions. As the space age unfolded, visions of the ultra-modern future captured the American imagination, sometimes inspiring house designs that would have looked more at home on other planets than on Earth. New building methods made virtually any structural feat possible, and bizarre shapes were no problem. Most fell by the wayside, but the geodesic dome, patented by Buckminster Fuller in 1954, caught on in the 190s, and by the next decade more than 80,000 sets of plans for dome homes had been sold.
Geodesic Dome Domed roof

Acrylic skylight

Coated plywood panels

Acrylic porthole

Shed-sided entry porch

Vertical plank siding

Acrylic transom

Bubble House

The bubble house was based on a  construction technique known as Airform, patented by California architect Wallace Neff around 1940 and used sporadically in the 1950s. After the foundation was poured, a balloon was stretched over a steel cable, inflated, coated with reinforcing, then sprayed with concrete. A compressor kept the balloon full until the concrete had set, and then the balloon was deflated and removed.

Sprayed concrete over balloon form

Hopper windows (pivots in)

Plate-glass window

Stovepipe

Earth Sheltered House

The concept of the quiet, energy-efficient, earth-sheltered house, in which the roof and at least three sides of the structure are covered with soil, was developed in the early 1960s as an outgrowth of atomic fallout shelters, and its popularity grew in the next decades with increased awareness of environmental concerns. The primary building material is typically concrete, which acts as a thermal mass. The insulating soil helps warm the structure in cool weather and draws heat out in warm months. Solar panels collect and store natural energy, while south-facing windows capture low-angle winter sunlight.

Flat precast concrete roof (earth covered)

Passive solar collector panel

Turbine ventilator

Sunshade

Retaining wall (concrete sewer pipe)

Entrance tunnel

Earth berm

Plate-glass slider

Plate-glass picture window

Sources:

The Middle Atlantic

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

The South

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

The Traditional House

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
Although new ideas meant new designs in the postwar era, traditional styles never lost their popularity. The low-slung Regency-style house with its floor-to-ceiling windows, was especially well suited to comfortable one-story living. As always, Colonial style houses were in demand, especially reproductions of houses from Williamsburg, the restored capital of 18th-century Virginia that had been opened as the country’s first outdoor museum in 1926. All designs, of course, were freely updated for “modern” living. “If cooking’s going to be fun,” wrote one designer of a small traditional house in 1954, “we might as well make a family room out of the kitchen.”
Regency Style House Hipped roof

Brick chimney

Twelve-over-twelve double-hung sash

Flat roof

White-washed brick

Paneled door

Louvered shutter

French door (full-length casement)

Multipane transom

Williamsburg Style House Steep pitched roof

Chimney cap

Brick chimney

Split wood shingles

Clapboards

Brick foundation

Nine-over-nine double-hung sash

Chinese Chippendale railing

Entry porch

Colonette

Modillion course

Boxed eaves

Pitched-roof dormer

Pediment

Colonial Style House Pitched roof

Triangular window

Split wood shingles

Clapboards

Paneled door

Louvered shutter

Recessed porch

Trellis

Six-over-six double-hung sash

Sources:

Tudor Revival

Also known as: Tudor, Jacobean, Jacobean Revival, Jacobethan Revival, The Jacobethan Revival, Elizabethan Revival

Description and Variations Features
The high-style Tudor Revival house of the late 19th and early 20th centuries derived primarily from English Renaissance buildings of the 16th and early 17th centuries, including those of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. These rambling, asymmetrically massed mansions typically featured steeply pitched roofs, one or more intersecting gables, decorative – rather than structural – half-timbering, and long rows of casement windows. By the early 20th century the Tudor Revival style was adapted to the middle-class suburban house and eventually became especially popular for the affordable small house of the 1920s and 1930s. There have been periodic revivals ever since. Tudor arch

Gabled dormer

Oriel window

Casement window

Estate House Pitched roof

Wood shingles

Knee

Cross brace

Six-over-one double-hung sash

Rubblework masonry

Diamond-pane casement

Rubblework terrace

Pointed arch

Balustrade

Half-timbering

Bargeboard (vergeboard or gableboard)

Trefoil cutout

Valley

Stacked chimney

Shed-roofed dormer

Pitched roof dormer

Intersecting gable

Stucco

Garage (Auto Barn) Pitched roof

Slate shingles

Oak crossbeam

Clapboards

Decorative tail

Lantern

Half-timbering

Wrought-iron strap hinge

Vertical plank door (knotty oak)

Stucco

Leaded glass

Suburban House Steeply pitched sloping gable

Clapboards

Arched window

Vertical plank door

Girt

End (corner) post

French door (full-length casement)

Stucco

Leaded-glass casement

Chimney pot

Quarter-round lunette

Knees

Slate shingles

Sources: Carley, p. 200-201; McAlester.

Victorian Gothic, 1860-1890

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
The most distinguishing feature of the Victorian Gothic style is the polychromatic exterior finish. Materials of differing colors and texture are juxtaposed, creating decorative bands highlighting corners, arches and arcades. Ornamental pressed bricks, terra cotta tile and incised carvings of foliated and geometric patterns also are used to decorate wall surfaces. Straight-headed openings are used in addition to traditional Gothic (pointed arch) windows and doors. In timber frame buildings the gable, porch, and eave trim is massive and strong, resembling the structural members. This is in sharp contrast to the lighter curvilinear gingerbread-type trim of the Gothic Revival.

Sources: Blumenson, 33.

Victorian Romanesque, 1870-1890

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features
A polychromatic exterior finish combined with the semi-circular arch highlight the Victorian Romanesque style. Different colored and textured stone or brick for window trim, arches, quoins and belt courses relieve the rock-faced stone finish. Decorated bricks and terra cotta tiles in conjunction with stone trim also may be used. The round arches usually supported by short polished stone columns. Foliated forms, grotesques, and arabesques decorated capitals, corbels, belt courses and arches. Windows vary in size and shape.

Sources: Blumenson, 45.

Western Stick, 1890-1920

Also known as: The Western Stick Style, Western Stick Style

Description and Variations Features
The open and informal Western Stick style house is characterized by gently pitched gable roof that spreads out well beyond the walls and projecting balconies, porches, recessed entries, and attached loggias. A unique feature of the style is the attenuated and exposed stick-like roof rafters and purlins that project well beyond the ends of the roof. Window lintels, railings and other beams protrude through vertical posts. When pegs are used to join the horizontal and vertical members, the ends are rounded and polished as are the corners of posts, beams and rafters. The exterior finish of wood shingles or wood siding is protected by earth-tone stains.

Sources: Blumenson, 57.

Wrightian

Also known as:

Description and Variations Features

Sources:

Sources Cited

About.com. Architecture Glossary. Accessed December 13, 2009.
Blumenson, J.J.G. Identifying American Architecture, A Pictorial Guide to Styles and Terms. Revised edition, 1990.
Carley, Rachel. The Visual Dictionary of American Domestic Architecture. 1994.
Foster, Gerald. American Houses: A Field Guide to the Architecture of the Home. 2004.
Longstreth, Richard. The Buildings of Main Street, A Guide to American Commercial Architecture. 1987.
McAlester, Virginia & Lee. A Field Guide to American Houses. 1984.
Phillips, Steven J. Old House Dictionary, An Illustrated Guide to American Domestic Architecture, 1600 to 1940. 1994.
Roth, Leland. A Concise History of American Architecture. 1979.
Vogeler. House Styles. Accessed July 8, 2017.
White & Robertson. Architecture & Ornament, A Visual Guide. 1991.
Willensky, Elliot and Norval White. AIA Guide to New York City. 2000.

Revision History
Original Version, July 8, 2017.