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Cape Cod Style (Cape Style) c. 1675 - c. 1950 Traditional, Colonial era Cape Cod houses had many of these features: •Steep roof (8"-12" pitch) with side gables - Keeps weather out - Allows attic as living space •Small roof overhang •1 or 1½ stories •Made of wood and covered in wide clapboard or shingles - Winter: Wood swells against wind - Summer: Wood shrinks, allowing air to circulate •Large central chimney linked to fireplace in each room •Symmetrical appearance with door in center •Multi-paned, double-hung windows •Dormers for space, light, and ventilation •Shutters •Formal, center-hall floor plan •Hardwood floors •Little exterior ornamentation About the Cape Cod Style The Cape Cod style is an example of Colonial Revival architecture, which expresses a renewed interest in America's colonial past. The Cape style's history goes back to English colonists who came to the United States in the late 17th century. They used half-timbered English houses with a hall and parlor as a model, and adapted it to New England's stormy weather and natural resources. Over the course of a few generations, a modest, one- to one-and-a-half-story house with wooden shutters emerged. Reverend Timothy Dwight, a president of Yale University, is credited with recognizing these houses as a class and coining the term "Cape Cod." In the 1930s, when the trend was for small, economical, and mass-produced houses, Cape style homes became popular throughout the United States. In the twentieth century version of the style, the chimneys were often placed at the side rather than the center and the shutters were strictly decorative. Cape Cod Floor Plan Georgian Colonial 1690s - 1830 A reader from Massachussetts sent this photo of her classic Georgian Colonial Spacious and comfortable, Georgian Colonial architecture reflected the rising ambition of a young country. It was the preferred housing style of the prosperous, and its features were reflected in the design of more humble dwellings. Georgian Colonial homes usually have these features: •Square, symmetrical shape •Paneled front door at center •Decorative crown over front door •Flattened columns on each side of door •Five windows across front •Paired chimneys •Medium pitched roof •Minimal roof overhang Many Georgian Colonial homes also have: •Nine or twelve small window panes in each window sash •Dental molding (square, tooth-like cuts) along the eaves Georgian Colonial became the rave in New England and the Southern colonies during the 1700's. Stately and symmetrical, these homes imitated the larger, more elaborate Georgian homes which were being built in England. But the genesis of the style goes back much farther. During the reign of King George I in the early 1700's, and King George III later in the century, Britons drew inspiration from the Italian Renaissance and from ancient Greece and Rome. Georgian ideals came to New England via pattern books, and became a favorite of well-to-do colonists who wanted their homes to convey a sense of dignity and prestige. But in America, Georgian homes were less ornate than their British cousins, and there were many variations in the style. •Is your home patriotic? If you live in a Federal style house, then it reflects ideas that were gaining favor during the founding of the United States. American Federal (Adam Style) c. 1780 - c. 1840 •Woodlawn, near Mount Vernon, Virginia, is often called "Georgian Colonial." However, the fanlight over the door, the arched window, and the elliptical window in the gable are characteristic of the Neoclassical style known as Federal. Designed by William Thornton, Woodlawn was completed in 1805. American Federal houses have many of these features: Low-pitched roof, or flat roof with a balustrade Windows arranged symmetrically around a center doorway Semicircular fanlight over the front door Narrow side windows flanking the front door Decorative crown or roof over front door Tooth-like dentil moldings in the cornice Palladian window Circular or elliptical windows Shutters Decorative swags and garlands Oval rooms and arches •These architects are known for their Federalist buildings: Charles Bulfinch Samuel McIntyre Alexander Perris William Thorton About the Federal Style Like much of America's architecture, the Federal (or Federalist) style has its roots in England. Two British brothers named Adam adapted the pragmatic Georgian style, adding swags, garlands, urns, and other delicate details. In the American colonies, homes and public buildings also took on graceful airs. Inspired by the work of the Adam brothers and also by the great temples of ancient Greece and Rome, Americans began to build homes with Palladian windows, circular or elliptical windows, recessed wall arches, and oval-shaped rooms. This new Federal style became associated with America's evolving national identity. It's easy to confuse Federalist architecture with the earlier Georgian Colonial style. The difference is in the details: While Georgian homes are square and angular, a Federal style building is more likely to have curved lines and decorative flourishes. Federalist architecture was the favored style in the United States from about 1780 until the 1830s. However, Federalist details are often incorporated into modern American homes. Look past the vinyl siding, and you may see a fanlight or the elegant arch of a Palladian window. •With details reminiscent of the Parthenon, stately, pillared Greek Revival homes reflect a passion for antiquity. Here are facts and photos for the classic style that still shapes the way we build. Greek Revival 1825 - 1890 •Greek Revival houses usually have these features: •Pedimented gable •Symmetrical shape • Heavy cornice •Wide, plain frieze •Bold, simple moldings •Many Greek Revival houses also have these features: Entry porch with columns Decorative pilasters Narrow windows around front door •In the mid-19th century, many prosperous Americans believed that ancient Greece represented the spirit of democracy. •Interest in British styles had waned during the bitter War of 1812. Also, many Americans sympathized with Greece's own struggles for independence in the 1820's. •Greek Revival architecture began with public buildings in Philadelphia. •Many European-trained architects designed in the popular Grecian style, and the fashion spread via carpenter's guides and pattern books. •Colonnaded Greek Revival mansions -- sometimes called Southern Colonial houses -- sprang up throughout the American south. With its classic clapboard exterior and bold, simple lines, Greek Revival architecture became the most predominant housing style in the United States. •The fashion became known as the National Style. During the second half of the 19th century, Gothic Revival and Italianate styles captured the American imagination. Grecian ideas faded from popularity. However, front-gable design -- a trademark of the Greek Revival style -- continued to influence the shape of American houses well into the 20th century. •Boothie's Dry Goods Store in Peninula, Ohio occupies an 1820's Greek Revival home. The restored building has an entry on the side of the building, facing the old Ohio-Erie Canal. Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration Examples of Greek Revival Homes: Long Branch Estate Belle Meade Plantation •Antebellum Architecture c. 1830 - 1862 The term Antebellum stirs thoughts of Tara, the palatial plantation home featured in Gone with the Wind. From grand, pillared Greek Revival mansions to stately Federal style estates, America's antebellum architecture reflects the power and idealism of wealthy landowners in the American South, prior to the Civil War. Antebellum houses have many of these features: •Hipped or gabled roof •Symmetrical façade •Evenly-spaced windows •Greek pillars and columns •Elaborate friezes •Balconies •Covered porch •Central entryway •Grand staircase •Formal ballroom About Antebellum Architecture Antebellum isn't so much an individual house style as an architectural time and place. Antebellum, Latin for "before war," refers to elegant plantation homes built in the American South in the 30 years or so preceding the Civil War. Antebellum homes are essentially in the Greek Revival, Classical Revival, or Federal style: grand, symmetrical, and boxy, with center entrances in the front and rear, balconies, and columns or pillars. The features we associate with Antebellum architecture were introduced to the American South by Anglo- Americans who moved into the area after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Gothic Revival Medieval traditions mingled with modern methods to create these whimsical Victorian homes, built between 1840 and 1880. •Sir Horace Walpole started it. •In the mid-1700s, the English author got it into his head to redo his country home with arched windows, battlements and other pseudo-Gothic details. •Walpole's house, located at Strawberry Hill near Twickenham, became a model for Medievalism. •The romantic new style was a welcome change from the stately, symmetrical architecture of the day. •By the 1800s, fashionable houses throughout England began to resemble churches, convents and storybook castles. •Queen Victoria took delight in these fanciful Gothic Revival buildings. On the other side of the Atlantic, New York architect Alexander Jackson Davis was evangelical about the ecclesiastical style. He published floor plans and three- dimensional views in his 1837 book, Rural Residences (compare prices). His design for Lyndhurst, an imposing country estate in Tarrytown, New York, became a showplace for the Gothic Revival style. Gothic Revival Features Found at Lyndhurst: •Steeply pitched roof •Pointed windows with decorative tracery •Grouped chimneys •Pinnacles •Battlements and shaped parapets •Leaded glass •Quatrefoil and clover shaped windows •Oriel windows •Asymmetrical floor plan •Verandah Most private homes in the United States did not follow Gothic models this faithfully. However a series of pattern books by another popular designer -- Andrew Jackson Downing -- captured the imagination of a country already swept up in the romantic movement. Houses across North America -- especially in rural areas -- began to sport gothic garb. Clever builders developed a frivolous, most un- churchlike adaptation known as Carpenter Gothic.
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