When it comes to home styles, there are a few that come to mind right away. You might think of a Colonial, a Victorian, or a Craftsman. But did you know that there are many forgotten historical home styles that are just waiting to be rediscovered? In this article, we’ll explore some of these hidden gems of architecture, and why they’re worth considering for your next home.
The American Foursquare
One of the most popular home styles from the late 1800s to the early 1930s was the American Foursquare. This sturdy, boxy house was a favorite among middle-class families, thanks to its affordability and practicality. The Foursquare typically has a square or rectangular footprint, with a hipped roof and a wide front porch. Inside, the layout is simple and efficient, with a central staircase and four rooms per floor.
Despite its popularity, the American Foursquare fell out of favor in the mid-20th century, and many were demolished or remodeled beyond recognition. However, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in this classic home style, thanks to its clean lines, spacious interiors, and adaptability to modern living.
The Dutch Colonial
Another forgotten gem of American architecture is the Dutch Colonial. This distinctive style originated in the Hudson River Valley in the late 1600s, and quickly spread throughout the Northeast. The Dutch Colonial is characterized by its gambrel roof, which has two slopes on each side, with the lower slope steeper than the upper one. This design maximizes usable space on the upper floor, and gives the house a charming, cottage-like appearance.
Inside, the Dutch Colonial is often surprisingly spacious, with high ceilings and open floor plans. Many examples also feature unique details, such as built-in cabinets, decorative tiles, and hand-carved woodwork. Today, the Dutch Colonial is a rare sight in many parts of the country, but it remains a beloved style among architecture enthusiasts.
The Gothic Revival
If you’re looking for a home style with plenty of drama and flair, the Gothic Revival might be just what you’re looking for. This ornate style was popular in the mid-1800s, and is characterized by its pointed arches, steep gables, and intricate tracery. Gothic Revival homes often feature elaborate stonework, turrets, and other decorative details, and are designed to evoke the feeling of a medieval castle or cathedral.
While the Gothic Revival is not for everyone, those who appreciate its grandeur and elegance find it to be a truly unforgettable style. Whether you’re looking for a historic home with plenty of character, or you simply want to make a bold statement with your architecture, the Gothic Revival is sure to impress.
The Mid-Century Modern
While many of the forgotten home styles we’ve discussed so far are from the 19th and early 20th centuries, there are also some hidden gems from the mid-20th century. One of these is the Mid-Century Modern style, which was popular from the 1940s to the 1970s. This sleek, minimalist style is characterized by its clean lines, flat roofs, and large windows.
Inside, the Mid-Century Modern style emphasizes open floor plans, natural light, and a connection to the outdoors. Many examples also feature innovative materials, such as concrete, steel, and glass. While this style fell out of favor in the 1980s and 1990s, it has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks to its timeless appeal and emphasis on sustainable design.
As you can see, there are many forgotten historical home styles that are just waiting to be rediscovered. Whether you’re drawn to the practicality of the American Foursquare, the charm of the Dutch Colonial, the drama of the Gothic Revival, or the modernity of the Mid-Century Modern, there is a home style out there that is perfect for you. By exploring these hidden gems of architecture, you can find a home that truly reflects your personality and style, while also preserving a piece of our collective history.