At Look at US Architectural Styles: The American Bungalow

Last week’s post on architectural styles focused on the impressive Greek Revival, well known here in Middle Tennessee for its prominence in antebellum history. This week, we’re taking look at a style that may be smaller in scale, but definitely high on charm, the American Bungalow.  The bungalow gained popularity at the turn of the century (20th) because it offered affordable pricing for simple, yet soundly constructed homes for many Americans getting by on modest means.

These early bungalows, were not without a sense of style, however. There are actually many variations on the bungalow, each with distinctive artistic touches. From Arts & Crafts to Art Moderne, just about every style you can imagine has found expression in the simple and practical American Bungalow. Still popular, vintage bungalows are a favorite renovation project for many, and fresh takes on the old styles are being built brand new every day. Here’s a look at a few of the popular American Bungalow styles you will find all over the country.

Craftsmen Bungalow

Derived from the English Arts and Crafts style, which lavished attention on handcrafted details using wood, stone, and other materials drawn from nature, the Craftsmen bungalows were simple wooden houses with Arts & Crafts flourishes.
Some of the identifying features of Craftsmen bungalows are:
  • Low-pitched gabled roof with wide, unenclosed eave overhang
  • Roof rafters usually exposed
  • Decorative beams or braces under gables
  • Stone porch supports usually squared and sometimes slanting inward

Chicago Bungalow

Chicago Bungalows are characterized by solid brick construction and a large, front-facing roof dormer. Bungalows built in and near Chicago have many of the lovely Craftsman details that you find in other parts of the country.
Here are some of the identifying elements:
  • Brick construction
  • Full basement
  • Narrow frontage
  • Hipped roof
  • Large gabled dormer facing the street
  • Spacious porch, often enclosed

Spanish Revival Bungalow

This exotic version of a bungalow was inspired by Spanish Colonial architecture in the American southwest. Usually sided with stucco, and with low-pitched to flat roofs, these homes have decorative glazed tiles, arched doors or windows, and many other Spanish Revival details. Some of the identifying features are:
  • Low-pitched or flat roof
  • Red tiles on roof
  • Decorative glazed tile
  • Stucco-siding, usually white, cream, or tan
  • Carved wooden doors
  • Arched windows or doorways
  • Decorative wrought iron railings and window grills

 Dutch Colonial Bungalow

Inspired by the architecture of the colonies, these quaint homes have rounded gambrel roofs with the gable at the front or the side. many of these charming bungalows have the characteristics of larger Dutch Colonial Revivals. Identifying features include:
  • 1½ to 2 stories
  • Clapboard or shingle siding, but occasionally with brick or stone facing
  • Typically symmetrical façades, but also found with side entries
  • Gable-end chimneys
  • Porch under overhanging eaves
  • Shed, hipped, or gable dormers
  • Columns for porches and entry

Whatever your style, Prestige Marble and Granite has the countertop you need to help make your house a home. We offer a large selection of exotic and rare natural stones that are sure to provide your design project with a one-of-a-kind look. Stop by our indoor showroom anytime; we’re here to help you every step of they way – from selection and layout through fabrication and installation.

A Look at Architectural Styles in the US: Greek Revival

One of the most magnificent examples of residential Greek Revival architecture is rattle and Snap, here in Maury County.
One of the most magnificent examples of residential Greek Revival architecture is Rattle and Snap, here in Maury County.

In this second part of our series, we’re going to look at the history and elements that make up the architectural style known as Greek Revival. We see a lot of this style in Middle Tennessee, as most Antebellum homes were built 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. While all three of these revival styles have some basic elements in common, each has distinct design elements that make them unique. Here’s a look at Greek Revival.

A Brief History of Greek Revival Style in the US

Even though Greek Revival seems quintessentially southern, evoking visions of Gone with the Wind’s Tara, the style, in fact, began in 1825 with public buildings in Philadelphia. European trained architects designed in the Grecian style, and the fashion spread via carpenter’s guides and pattern books. At the time, America was looking to ancient Greece for inspiration, not just in its architecture, but in its philosophy, the arts and science, as well. The popularity of Grecian style was essentially an expression of America’s triumphant sense of destiny and the sense that our newly formed nation was the spiritual descendant of Greece, birthplace of democracy. Popular from 1825 to 1860, the Grecian architecture was prevalent right up to the Civil War.

Key Elements of Greek Revival

Roof
Low pitched gable and hip roofs were typical. The cornice line was embellished with a wide band of trim to emphasis the temple-like roof.
Windows
Windows were mostly double hung with six panes to each sash. Decorative windows were frequently in three-part assemblages. Window surrounds tended to be less elaborate than doorways.
Tall columns and pediments
The ancient Greek temple model, with its row of tall columns and pediments, includes two of the most obvious characteristics of this style of historic home design.
Painted plaster exterior
Although the actual buildings in Greece were all made of stone, American homes of this style were not. Instead, they were crafted in wood and covered in plaster, then painted white to create the look of stone.
Entrances
The arched entrances and fanlights common in the Georgian and Federal styles were not part of the Greek revival movement, but elaborate door surrounds were frequent features of Greek Revival homes. Typically, sidelights with small panes and a rectangular transom (over the door) were framed by heavy, wide trim, sometimes recessed for a more three-dimensional look. The door itself might be single or double, divided into one, two, or four panels.  A portico or porch was almost invariably added in front of the entrance.
Bold Moldings
The moldings were bold, yet simple. Heavy cornices, gables with pediments, and unadorned friezes were typical inside and out.
Embellishment 
Expensive homes would usually add more detail, like framed dormer windows on the second story, with pilasters and pediments. The less wealthy adopted similar features but with less flash.

 

Whatever your style, Prestige Marble and Granite has the countertop you need to help make your house a home. We offer a large selection of exotic and rare natural stones that are sure to provide your design project with a one-of-a-kind look. Stop by our indoor showroom anytime; we’re here to help you every step of they way – from selection and layout through fabrication and installation.

 

A Look at Architectural Styles in the US: Cape Cod

Every house has a style. Sometimes it has two or more due to renovations or new, eclectic design styles. This can make fitting a home into one specific category a daunting task! In this series on architectural styles, we’re going to take a look at the most popular home styles in the U.S., their history, and the key elements of each style. First, here’a look at a style that has endured through the ages, the Cape Cod.

Colonial Era Cape Cod Homes

The Hoyt-Barnum House built in 1699 at 713 Bedford St. Stamford, Connecticut
The Hoyt-Barnum House built in 1699 at 713 Bedford St. Stamford, Connecticut (Photo by By KForce at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The first Cape Cod homes were built in new England in the 17th century. They were modeled after the half-timbered thatched cottages of England, but were adapted with steeper roofs and larger central chimneys to withstand cold Northeastern winters. Unlike later revivals, Colonial-era Capes did not have dormer windows.

Features of Colonial Era Capes

  • One and a half stories
  • Narrow roof overhang
  • Steep roof to slough off heavy snow
  • Plain exteriors with little ornamentation
  • Rectangular shape
  • Center front door, flanked on each side by two windows
  • Shutters on windows
  • Exterior siding of unfinished clapboard or shingles that turn grey with exposure
  • Low ceilings and central chimney for more efficient heating
  • Center hall floor plan
  • Center stairway leading to a small unfinished loft

Colonial Revival Cape Cod Homes

Colonial Revival Cape Code Style~Exterior by Boston Architects & Building Designers Patrick Ahearn Architect

A renewed interest in America’s past inspired a variety of Colonial Revival styles in the late 1800s and became especially popular during the 1930s. After World War II, the architect Royal Barry Wills promoted the Cape Cod style in suburban developments throughout the country. Inexpensive and mass-produced, these 1,000-square-foot houses filled a need for the rush of soldiers returning from the war.

Revival Capes are very similar to their colonial forbears, but some have the chimney at one end of the living room on the side of the house, rather than the center. A modern-day Cape will usually have dormers, and the window shutters are strictly decorative; they can’t be closed during a storm.

Features of Colonial Revival Capes

  • Finished bedrooms upstairs
  • Dormers to expand living space on the second story
  • Decorative shutters that do not close
  • Exterior siding in wood, shingles, brick, stone, aluminum, or vinyl
  • Garage or additional room attached to one side or the rear

Today, the Cape Cod lives on, with both vintage versions and new remodels inspired by the classic look.

Whatever your style, Prestige Marble and Granite has the countertop you need to help make your house a home. We offer a large selection of exotic and rare natural stones that are sure to provide your design project with a one-of-a-kind look. Stop by our indoor showroom anytime; we’re here to help you every step of they way – from selection and layout through fabrication and installation.