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American Architectural Home Styles

Learn about the history and key elements of America's most popular architectural home styles from colonial period to contemporary time.
a data set by art_geek
created May 12, 2017
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FAMILY TREE
StyleExampleKey FeaturesPlace of OriginTime of Popularity in United StatesCommon Current Use
A-frameGable roof extending nearly to ground level; Floor plans often include a loftEurope, China, and South Pacific IslandsMid-1950s to 1970sVacation home
Art DecoFlat roofs; Smooth stucco walls with rounded corners; Bold exterior decorations; Experimentation with new interior materials such as glass block, neon, chrome, mirrors and opaque glass panelsFrance1920s to 1940sCommercial buildings; Public buildings
BungalowRestrained details; Low-pitched roof; Front porch with heavy column supports; Usually one-and-a-half storiesBengal region in South Asia1900s to 1930sResidential home
Cape CodSteep gable roof with small overhang; Symmetrical design with clapboard siding; Multi-pane, double-hung windows with shutters; Usually one-and-a-half stories without a porchNew England in the United StatesColonial period; 1930s to 1950sResidential home
ChaletWood exterior with exposed beams and wide overhang; Decks and balconies; Vaulted ceilings and open floor plansAlpine region in EuropeLate 19th century and early 20th centuryVacation home
ChateauOrnate, steeply pitched roof; Dormers with parapets, pinnacles, or spires; Windows divided by heavy mullions; Stone, brick, or stucco exterior; Asymmetrical designLoire Valley in France1870s to 1890sPublic buildings; Residential home
Colonial/Georgian Revival Rectangular; A symmetrical façade with an accented doorway; Front door with sidelights and topped by transom windows; Evenly spaced windows on either side; 2-3 stories, with a gable roof Original: Britain; Revival: United States 1880s to 1955Public buildings; Residential home
ContemporaryIrregular massing; Clean lines and little ornamentation; Oversized windows; Natural, sustainable components; Recycled and nontoxic materials; Natural light21st centuryCommercial buildings; Public buildings; Residential home
CottageAsymmetrical design with multiple rooflines; Prominent chimney; Window boxes and shuttersBritain and Ireland 1920s to 1930sVacation home
CraftsmanWide eaves with brackets or exposed rafters; Porch with square or round columns and stone supports; Low-pitched roof lines, gabled or hipped roof; 4-over-1 or 6-over-1 double-hung windows; Symmetrical designBritain 1905 to 1930sResidential home
Dutch Colonial RevivalGambrel (barn-style) roof; Dutch doors; Double-hung windows with shutters; Chimney on one or both endsOriginal: Netherlands and Germany; Revival: United StatesLate 19th century to 1930sPublic buildings; Residential home
FarmhouseWraparound porch; Symmetrical design; Gable roof; Horizontal siding and shuttersScandinavia and GermanyColonial period; 1930sResidential home
FederalSymmetrical two-story design with central doorway; Decorative roof over front door; Palladian windowsBritain 1780s to 1820sPublic buildings; Residential home
French ColonialRaised basement; Exterior stairs; Distinctive, full-length veranda on a home's façade; Steep hipped roof, with a dormer or dormers, or side-gabled roofFranceColonial period to 1860sResidential home
French ProvincialBalanced, symmetrical proportions; Brick exterior; Steep roofs; Tall second-story windows (often with arched tops); Porches with substantial balustradesProvence, France1915 to 1945Residential home
GeorgianSymmetrical shape; Decorative pediment supported by classical columns; Paired chimneys; Side-gabled or hipped roofBritain1725 to 1780sPublic buildings; Residential home
Gothic RevivalSteeply pitched roof with cross gables; Pointed windows; Lacy wooden trim; PorchOriginal: France; Revival: Britain1840s to 1880sChurches; Public buildings; Residential home
Greek RevivalPediment over front entry; Cornice (heavy molding) just below edge of roof; Front porch with columns; Symmetrical shapeOriginal: Greece; Revival: Britain1825 to 1860sPublic buildings; Residential home
ItalianateLow-pitched or flat roof; Wide eaves with brackets; Tall, narrow windows; Square cupola; Heavy double doors; Symmetrical rectangular shape; Porches topped with balconiesBritain (with inspiration from Italy)1840s to 1885Residential home
LogWalls built of stacked logs, or stick-built and faced with log siding; Lots of windows; Outdoor living spacesScandinavia, Russia, and Eastern EuropeColonial period to 1880sVacation home
Mediterranean RevivalRectangular floor plan; Massive, symmetrical primary façades. Stuccoed walls; Red tiled roofs; Windows in the shape of arches or circles; Wood or wrought iron balconies with window grilles; Articulated door surroundsSpain, France, and Italy1920s to 1930sCommercial buildings; Public buildings; Residential home
Mid-Century ModernOpen living spaces; Simplistic design; Technologically advanced materials (iron, concrete, steel, and glass); Seamless integration of nature1945 to 1980sCommercial buildings; Public buildings; Residential home
PrairieLow-pitched roof; Overhanging eaves; Horizontal lines; Windows grouped in horizontal bands; Open plansChicago, United States1900s to 1920sResidential home
Pueblo RevivalWalls are massive, with round edges; Flat roof with no overhang; Roof supported by heavy timbers extending through wallsSouthwestern United States1920s to 1930sCommercial buildings; Public buildings; Residential home
Queen AnneAsymmetrical massing; Dominant front-facing gable; Round or square towers; Ornamental spindles and brackets; Oval glass in the front door; Elaborate and intricately decorated porches; Varieties of patterns and sometimes quite vibrant colorsBritain1880s to 1910sResidential home
RanchAsymmetrical rectangular, L-shaped, or U-shaped design; Single story; Long, low roofline; Horizontal layout; Simple, open floor plan; Living areas separate from the bedroom(s) area; Large windows, often decorated with shuttersUnited States1940s to 1970sResidential home
Richardsonian RomanesqueClear, strong picturesque massing; Masonry exterior (stone or brick); Round-headed "Romanesque" arches; Recessed entrances; Blank stretches of walling contrasting with bands of windows; Cylindrical towers with conical caps embedded in the wallingUnited States (with inspiration from France, Spain, and Italy)1880s to 1900sChurches; Public buildings; Residential home
SaltboxSteeply pitched roof that reaches to first story in the back; Massive central chimney; Small windows of diamond paned casements or double-hung sash with 9 or 12 lightsNew England in the United StatesColonial period to early 1700sResidential home
Second EmpireCombination of a rectangular tower (or similar element) with a steep mansard roof; Tall windows; Elaborate decorative elementsFrance1865 to 1800sCommercial buildings; Public buildings; Residential home
ShedMultiple rooflines; Shingle or vertical siding; Irregular windows; Recessed and downplayed front doorwaysUnited States1960s to 1980sResidential home
ShingleIrregular shape; Curved porches, turrets or towers; Deep porches; Shingle siding; Gambrel roofsUnited States (with inspiration from Britain)1880s to 1910sVacation home
Spanish Colonial RevivalRectangular, courtyard, or L-plan; Horizontal massing; Stucco exterior; Low-pitched tile roof; Little or no overhanging eaves; Arches above doors, porch entries and windows; Interior or exterior courtyardsOriginal: Spain; Revival: United States1915 to 1940sPublic buildings; Residential home
Split LevelLow-pitched roof; Horizontal lines; Two-story unit divided at mid-height to a one-story wing to create three floor levels of interior space; Entry is landing leading upstairs or downstairsUnited States1950s to 1980sResidential home
StickVertical emphasis; Steep gable roofs with cross gables; Decorative wood trusses in the gable apexes; Overhanging eaves; Patterns of horizontal, vertical and diagonal boards (stickwork) applied to the wall surface; Large veranda or covered porch; Square or rectangular tower; Rectangular windowsBritain and Scandinavia1860s to 1890sPublic buildings; Residential home
TownhouseRow-house design; Two stories or more with a traditional layout; Side hallways; Minimal lawn spaceEurope (following Dutch and Belgian models)Late 18th century and early 19th century, and then gained popularity in the 1960sResidential home
Tudor RevivalStucco exterior; Decorative half-timber details; Steeply pitched roof; Tall, narrow, multi-paned windows; Overhanging first floors above pillared porchesBritain1910s to 1940sResidential home
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