In the early days of America’s founding, along the eastern seaboard, English colonists built robustly beautiful homes that are today often referred to as Colonial. However, Georgian, or more descriptively American Georgian, better describes these houses and distinguishes them from earlier colonial traditions of our English, Dutch, Spanish, and French colonists. The term Georgian refers to the period of British history encompassing the reigns of Kings George I through IV (1714-1830). American Georgian architecture is most prevalent prior to and just after our revolution, after which other stylistic influences drawn from discoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum captivated popular taste.
Category Archives: House Styles
English Colonial Domestic Architecture of New England
Following close upon the heels of the Virginia Company’s 1607 settlement of Jamestown, a second group of English colonists put down roots in the Northern parts of what was then known as Virginia. Settling Plymouth in 1620 “for the glorie of God, and advancemente of the Christian faith, and honour of [their] king and countrie,” the Pilgrims brought with them to New England their belief in simplicity of worship and strict morality. The English Colonial architecture of New England is perhaps best seen in relation to the character of its Puritan and Separatist settlers.
Colonial Revival Style
With population expanding, immigrants arriving, rapid industrialization, and urbanization, it is little wonder that late-19th century Americans viewed their simpler colonial past as a Golden Age. Emerging wearily from Reconstruction, Americans patriotically celebrated their past and future at Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exhibition. The “New England Farmer’s Home and Modern Kitchen” was a particularly popular exhibit. Inside this log cabin, women in colonial dress exhibited artifacts such as a Pilgrim’s cradle and spinning wheel, idealizing an America heroically hewn out of New England by hard-working colonists.Continue reading
Houses of the French Colonial Tradition
Of all American colonial building traditions, that of the French is one of the richest. While the houses of French Colonists owe a debt to their native traditions, they also wisely responded to the materials and climatic conditions found in America. From St. Genevieve, Missouri (1735) to New Orleans, Louisiana (1718) and beyond, French colonists created a diverse tradition including the Creole and Acadian Cottages, and the classic French Colonial house of the raised cottage type.
THE SPANISH COLONIAL HOUSES OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Colonial is a common adjective used to describe American houses. Yet which colonial do we mean? Normally we are referring to English Colonial Houses. Yet, from Florida to California, our colonial history is primarily Spanish, not English. Our oldest continuously inhabited city, St. Augustine, Florida, and early Southwest missions were built by Spanish conquerors, colonists, and missionaries.