Real Estate

What Style Is My Old House?

· A place to find out all about your old house and discover which architectural style it really is
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There are so many different architectural styles that dot the landscape of America. And knowing what style your old home is can tell you a lot about its history and how to renovate it properly.

Each architectural style has its own unique characteristics that set it apart from the rest. Knowing these defining characteristics and how to tell one style apart from another is key. So, I assembled this page for anyone who isn’t sure what kind of house they are looking at. I’ll walk you through some of the most popular architectural styles and give you a thorough breakdown of each.

I’m always adding more to this page, so if you don’t see a particular style you want to know about contact me and I’ll add a post about it soon enough.

Architectural Styles of America

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American Craftsman – This is one of my favorites styles. Craftsman Bungalows were a big hit in America from 1905-1930. Their humble stance and return to building with natural materials set them apart from other styles. Exposed rafters, natural unpainted wood and extraordinary craftsmanship made these homes incredibly unique. Read more…

American Foursquare – The simple a easily adaptable Foursquare was the perfect house to fit the most space into the small city lots from the 1890s-1930s. It received its name from its perfectly square shape and massing of four rooms per floor most times. These houses could be as plain or ornate as as the owner wished and their skins were any range of components like brick, stone, stucco, shingles, clapboards. Read more…

American Queen Anne – Only the grandest homes of this period were Queen Annes. The simpler expressions of this style fall into the Folk Victorian category. Intricate detailing and ginger breading, showy paint schemes all encompass the style that swept the nation from 1870-1900. The machine age was in full swing and the railroads carried huge new inventories of new materials and patterns available for homes of this time. Read more…

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Colonial Revival – One of the longest lived and heavily varied architectural styles in the country. From 1876 – 1955 this style appeared in neighborhoods across the country in varieties like the Classic Box, Dutch Colonial Revival, Brick veneer, clapboard, etc. The variety is vast and so is the popularity of this home. Read more…

Folk Victorian – Popular the same time as Queen Annes, but even more popular. These were the “everyman” version of the fanciful painted lady Queen Annes. They had simple designs with as much colorful detailing as the owner could afford at the time. These houses were often beautiful in their utilitarian simplicity. Read more…

Gothic Revival – 1840-1870 was a turbulent time in our nation. The civil war was raging through the later part of this period and the new nation was struggling with its identity. The Gothic Revival style though not the most popular style of it’s time was very popular in farmhouses across the country. Think steeply pitched roofs with ornate bargeboards on the gable ends. Read more…

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Greek Revival – America had just celebrated its 50th birthday when the Greek Revival style came into popularity. Our country embraced the original birthplace of democracy and the style spread throughout the entire country, until finally giving way to the Queen Anne style in the 1860s. The proud pediments and ionic, dorian and corinthian pillars on these homes usually make them easy to spot. Read more…

Mission Style – In the early 20th century Americans in the southwest, Florida, and Texas got a renewed interest in the Spanish style buildings and techniques that had preceded their presence in the land. Natural colors, bright red clay tile roofs and stucco walls brought together in a nod to spanish style and architecture spread quickly throughout the area in the Spanish and Mission styles. Read more…

Tudor Revival – America once again embraced its English roots, architecturally speaking, between 1890-1940 when the Tudor style burst back onto the scene. The unique half-timbering and steep roof pitches set these homes apart. Whether they are stone, brick or timber, they are beautiful all the same. Read more…

If you’d like even more detailed information about any and every form of architecture from Teepees to Log houses, I recommend the book A Field Guide to American Houses. This book is an invaluable resource that sits prominently on my bookshelf. It not only has the specifics of each style, but also includes hundreds of pictures to help you get acquainted with them.

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150 Charles

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A remarkable site overlooking the expanse of the waterfront, 150 Charles Street is sited between the activity on the Hudson River and the history of the West Village

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