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Welcome to... Companion PowerPoint Presentation for the Introduction to Housing textbook Vernacular (Folk) Houses Built for shelter with little concern for popular styles Traditional —based on a local model & uses local materials & construction techniques

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Welcome to...

Companion PowerPoint Presentation for the Introduction to Housing textbook

Vernacular (Folk) Houses

Built for shelter with little concern for popular styles

Traditional—based on a local model & uses local materials & construction techniques

  • Modern Vernacular—more typical of vernacular architecture today

    uses readily available materials, not necessarily of local originsuses traditional construction techniques is based on a variety of models

Early colonization:

Adapted European concepts

Centered around a large fireplace (heat, light & food preparation)

Stone, but wood better choice in America

Simple, small & built by family members

Hall and Parlor Cottage

  • Fireplace

  • Steep roof

  • Gabled roof with the sloped sides parallel to the front door (side as opposed to front gable)

  • Hall was the public & work area while the parlor was used for sleeping

Cape Cod

  • Most popular in the 18th century; major revival in mid-20th century

  • Story and a half with side gable & centered front door

  • Dormers facing the front & symmetrically placed windows

Georgian Style

  • Hired builders—more attention to aesthetics

  • Divided interior spaces

  • Primary style until early 19th century

  • Inspired by classic Greek & Roman design

  • Windows were large with numerous panes

  • Entry door capped by decorative crown

Greek Revival Style

  • In the early 19th century the ideal home was a single family detached homestead surrounded by a garden

  • Importance of the home in the new democracy—search for identity

  • Attracted to the birthplace of democracy—Greece

  • Popular up to Civil War

  • Lower slope & front gable

  • Porches with columns; half-round windows

Gothic Revival Style

  • Competition between styles in the 1840s due to plan books

  • More picturesque—muted colors instead of white

  • Irregular shape

  • More decorative

  • Steeply pitched roof with decorative barge boards on the gable ends

Mid-19th century innovations

  • Commercial saw mills—stud frame construction (2” x 4”) & machine made nails—could have more angles: light frame construction

  • Cast iron stove that could be located out of view; less impact on design

  • Central heating

  • Railroads providing shipment of lumber & millwork (architectural trim & decorative elements)

Victorian Era Home Styles

  • Modern suburban homes

  • House should have an organic form & be set in a suburban setting with trees & gardens (middle class)

  • Promoted by plan books & land developers—time of self-improvement & progress

  • Complex exterior forms and roof lines to add aesthetic interest

  • Multiple gables, towers & bay windows

  • Wide porches

  • Variety of siding types

  • Elaborately detailed millwork

  • Interiors were also heavily ornamented with elaborate woodwork & multiple special purpose spaces

  • Hand work

Craftsman or Bungalow Style

  • Early 20th century—reaction to excess

  • Home economics & smaller families

  • Smaller & simpler homes—one or one and a half story set on high basement

  • Low pitched roof with wide eaves

  • Porches under main roof supported by columns

  • Natural materials & colors

Prairie Style

  • Credited to Frank Lloyd Wright

  • Usually 2 stories

  • Low pitched hipped roof wide overhangs

  • Horizontal focus

  • Many variations

Tudor Style

  • Eclectic styles of the 1920s

  • English-trained architects

  • Development of brick veneer &

    stucco construction techniques

  • Variety of steeply pitched roofs

  • Tall windows

  • Prominent chimney

Post WW 2

  • Pent up housing demand

  • Development of large subdivisions

  • Smaller homes on larger lots—allowed long side of house to face street with space for a car along side the house

Ranch Style

  • Prevalent style today, with many variations

  • Inspired by western ranch homes

  • Started as one level & attached garage

  • Set lower to the ground with little if any exposed basement

  • Sprawling in form

  • Side facing gables with low slopes & wide eaves


  • No single style has replaced the ranch

  • Many variations— split level, raised ranch & two story ranch

  • Older styles also selectively incorporated into housing

Focus now:

Construction & detail

Alternate building techniques

Green materials

Energy efficiency

Thread—importance of housing to families & American society over time

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