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Common Architectural Home Styles

Victorian Styles

There are many different styles of Victorian homes in the area. As a note, the term “Victorian” is correctly used only in terms of Queen Victoria’s reign. These houses vary from smaller, single-story cottages to fantastic Queen Anne mansions. Most of these houses have exteriors that were uniformly finished in old grove redwood siding and have survived well due to the long-lasting quality of the wood.
This style was most popular at the turn of the century. It is closely associated with the Victoria era. The design focuses on decorative excess. Generally “anything goes.” People who built these houses used freedom of expression to intermingle many different styles, creating an air of “busyness.” These homes intermix porches with turrets and gable roofs, and fishscale shingles with brick chimneys.

Queen Anne Victorian

  • Most popular at the turn of the century
  • During the reign of Queen Victoria
  • Focused on decorative excess
  • Intermingles many styles & materials
  • Intermixed porches with turrets and roof gables
  • Irregular in shape
  • Variety of color
  • Victorian Cottage

    • smaller one-story house
    • Usually feature wrap-around porches with spindle galleries
    • Projecting or cutaway bay windows and is some cases windows with geometric stained glass
    • Gables with decorative barge boards are common, and there is typically an array of “gingerbread” outside

    Victorian Residence: While it’s difficult to find the right descriptive word for these wonderful houses, they are easily identified.  These homes are usually two stories, however many examples in the area are only 1-1/2 or 1-3/4 stories in height.  They sometimes have corner towers, cast iron roof cresting, and decorative wood skirting, and typically feature massive chimneys and elaborate staircases.

    • Two-stories
    • Typically have corner towers
    • Cast iron roof cresting
    • Decorative wood skirting
    • Massive chimneys, someties more than one

    Victorian Farmhouse

    • Usually two stories
    • very litte ornamentation
    • Fishscale shingles on gable ends
    • Porches have simple square columns
    • Very simple homes

    Crartsman Styles


    Craftsman Bungallow:  We have a large number of bungalows in our general area, ranging from Craftsman style homes to small houses built in the bungalow style.  The term “bungalow” has become a generic name to describe many kinds of houses and cottages, but generally refer to homes built between 1910 and 1930.  These homes are usually rectangular in shape and typically have broad overhangs and open porches, which are very desirable in warm climates.

    • Generally built between 1910 & 1930
    • Large rooms with generous windows
    • Extensive wood detailing & built-ins
    • Earth tone colors
    • Some could be ordered from mail order catalogs

    California Bungallow

    • Generally wood siding
    • Smaller one-story house
    • Open front porch
    • Gently pitched, broad gables
    • Major use of windows throughout


    Airplane Craftsman

    Colonial Craftsamn

    Revival Styles

    Spanish Colonial Revival

    • Generally built between 1915 & 1940
    • Red tile roofs
    • Ornamental ironworks
    • Reminiscent of Missions of the Southwest
    • Plain Stucco surfaces
    • Terra cotta tiles
    • Exuberant detailing


    Classic Revival Cottage

    • Period revival of the 1920’s
    • Sumetrical Design
    • Central or offset front porch with columns
    • Ship-lapped siding
    • Steep pitched roof
    • Victorian-like embellishments

    Colonial Revival

    • Reminiscent of Colonial America
    • Very basic in plan
    • Primarily two stories
    • Wide, ship-lapped siding
    • Large round columns
    • Side lights around front door
    • Straight window heads
    • Dormers

    Pueblo Revival

    • Based on the Governor’s Palace in Santa Fe, NM
    • Flat roofs
    • Projecting Vigas (roof beams) are prominent features
    • Smooth stucco surface
    • Square openings at doors & windows

    American Foursquare

    • Box-shaped
    • Hip roof & tripped dormers
    • Very little ornamentation
    • Plain porch columns
    • Usually holds four rooms per floor
    • Front veranda


    • Inspired by the architecture of Italy and Spain
    • Rectangular in shape
    • Arched windows on the ground floors & rectangular windows on the second story
    • Built of stucco
    • Tile roofs


    Tudor Styles

  • English styles
  • Half timbers
  • One or two front gables
  • Paned windows
  • Brick is used on the exterior




    • Steep gable roofs
    • Dormer windows smaller than others
    • Popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s


    Home Styles and Materials

    Spring is here – a time for new beginnings. This is the first opportunity I have had to finish my feature on styles of homes in our City. I hope it was worth the wait. Remember, also, that I have just covered some of the architectural styles of houses – there are many more that could be mentioned. But I feel it’s time to move on to other subjects that may be important to owners of older homes. So begins the final chapter on styles.

    Classical Revival Cottage – This is a style that was a period revival of the 1920s. These homes represented a return to symmetrical design with a centrally placed porch, balanced windows and narrow ship-lapped siding. The windows were usually double hung and many times had multiple panes in the top sash and a single pane in the bottom. The porch roof was typically supported by turned classical columns and the entry door was frequently flanked by side lights. There are many fine examples of this style all along North Myrtle Avenue. Read more